Full size of 160GB HDD not recognized when formatting with Win XP-sp2

By soheilrz · 16 replies
Sep 20, 2007
  1. Hello,

    This is related to my earlier post when I was trying to have Win 2k recognize the full capacity of a 160 GB ATA HDD. The OS has since been changed and a SATA HDD is added as follows:

    OS=> Win XP, SP2
    MoBo=> ASUS A7N8X-E Socket A (462) purchased 2005. I have just flashed the BIOS installing the latest.
    Primary SATA HDD (where OS is installed)=> Hitachi DeskStar 7K80, 80GB
    Storage ATA HDD=> Maxtor 160GB, connected to MoBo via Promise Ultra 100 Tx2 PCI controller card. Maxtor has shown having a problem with the recognition of its full 160GB capacity under a different set up. This happened while reformatting the HDD from clean install when there was an unintended power shut down. This may have caused MBR corruption.

    My current system is up & running with no problems except when I tried to format the Maxtor using Win XP disk management, this HDD has appeared as having a total size of 127 GB only!
    This has been a very frustrating experience. Any help is very much appreciated.

    Thank you,
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,001   +2,532

    127 GBs is a lot anyway, isn't it......?

    Just kidding, don't get all bent.

    48 bit logical block addressing (48 bit LBA) must be implemented before the computer will recognize the full capacity of the drive. You could check with the board mfgs' website to see if the board & BIOS you have is capable of supporting it.
  3. soheilrz

    soheilrz Banned Topic Starter

    MoBo is fully capable of large disk recognition. I did update ASUS BIOS anyway. Win XP, SP2 (that’s what I am using) recogizes large disk too, so no problem here. I successfully updated Promise BIOS & on boot up Promise BIOS shows HDD size of 152GB which is correct for a HDD "advertized" as 160GB. However most unfortunately XP under disk management indicates 128 GB as unallocated only.
    I disconnected my main drive (with OS on it), leaving only Maxtore 160 GB connected and booted up to Win XP OS CD and proceeded to the blue screen as if I was going to format and install OS. Windows indicated the size as 132 GB only.
    My strong hunch: MBR is corrupted. Any suggestion as how to fix the damn thing. I am about to pitch this one....

    Thanks a lot everyone who has contributed to this in any way.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,001   +2,532

    Drop the Big One.......!

    Plan A: My solution is heavy handed and pretty much cataclysmic! Scrub the master drive with Iolo "Drive Scrubber 3" (or similar), then reinstall XP from scratch.
    Plan B: less severe and possibly more practical would be, try this search page from Google: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Repair+master+boot+record+XP&btnG=Google+Search If you think that the problem is the master boot record, repost this thread under "Windows OS", right here on Techspot. Most of the search page indicated using the Windows CD and boot into the repair console, but I don't have streamlined instructions for you. I think this topic has been well represented int the Windows thread.
  5. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 173

    Have you tried running the Maxblast software on that drive? It has diagnostics to test the drive and utilities to wipe the drive and repartition it.
  6. soheilrz

    soheilrz Banned Topic Starter

    I did use XP recovery console to give the command: FIXMBR. After the procedure HDD size still stands at 128-132GB as far as XP is concerned.
    Too many days & much headache trying to fix this darn problem. Seems it's time to move forward with a new SATA drive.
    Thanks everyone who tried to help.
  7. soheilrz

    soheilrz Banned Topic Starter

    I appreciate your suggestion, however I have tried to stay away from 3rd party solution, thinking for this sensitive purpose, it may be more of a "band aid" solution; possibly causing more problems down the line.
    Thanks again for your help.
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    please read the hard drive guide in the guides forum. It solves this problem very clearly.
  9. soheilrz

    soheilrz Banned Topic Starter

    Hi Tedster,
    Thank you for your help. I tried to look up Guide Forum. Could not find a "Forum" by that name.
    Are you referring to the general heading of "Guides"? I appreciate if you can include a link for this.
    Thanks a lot,
  10. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 173

  11. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 173

    You do know that Maxblast is made by Maxtor for Maxtor drives?
  12. soheilrz

    soheilrz Banned Topic Starter

    Hi alphnumeric,
    Thank you for your follow up. I am familiar with Maxblast. I guess I will give it a try for sure. Nothing to be lost.....& perhaps some gigs to be gained!
    thanks again,
  13. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    My 160 GB Sata in

    3 NTFS Partitions =
  14. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15


    It's clearly there on the second page. The forum is called the guides forum. Right under your nose! ;)
  15. soheilrz

    soheilrz Banned Topic Starter

    Thanks for the link. I have already gone thru that entire process. MoBo, BIOS & controller card issues have all been resolved as my previous replies to different individuals indicates. My Bottom line conclusion: Either use MaxBlast or a 3rd party software that works on "low level" (which I don't know of any) to fix the damaged MBR. MBR appears to have been damaged beyond the ability of XP's FDISK or FIXMBR commands.
    I am still open to other ideas that may be out there.
    Thank you,
  16. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

  17. soheilrz

    soheilrz Banned Topic Starter

    Full size of 160GB HDD not recognized when formatting with Win XP

    Hi mscrx,
    Thanks very much for your suggestion. I have looked at some reviews regarding Gparted. It looks very promising. I'll definitely will try it this week end.
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