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Invisible Sectors on a Hard Drive

By entmas ยท 4 replies
Jun 15, 2007
  1. I have an annoying problem. I took one disk from another computer and installed it on the one I use most. There, it had 37GB capacity, although the disk was identified as the 40GB disk by the manufacturer.

    After installation, I removed partitions, created a new one and formated it. The partition was formatted in NTFS. I expected to use this disk for The disk storing miscellaneous data.

    The Windows XP Pro, when I ran the CheckDisk on this second hard drive after some indexing issues that I could not understand, modified the available disk space from 37GB to 32GB. Now when I start up my computer, the BIOS set up also shows 32GB as the maximum space. So now I could not access the additional 5GB in this lost space from within the Windows.

    The peculiar thing though is that I can see the space and even delete the files and directories stored in it when I run Norton Ghost 2003 and exit to DOS. I see files that should have been formated away a while back. I can manually delete these files and directories in DOS by using DEL and RD commands. Very tedious process of processing one directory at the time. However, my computer still does not see this lost space. I even tried Partition Regeneration software, but to no avail: the lost space is not visible.

    What this though suggests to me that the bad sectors were just marked bad by the system, even though they are not bad at all.

    Is there something that I can do to have my computer recognize the entire disk space? Once the BIOS recognizes the entire space, I hope to be able to recover at least some of it with Partition Regeneration program.

    I appreciate any advice.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,880   +903

    hum; you deleted the existing partition, created and formatted a new one
    (assumed to be the full 37gb) and you see files in dos but not in xp?

    repeat the partition delete;recreate;reformat to cleanup the new HD.

    GHOST is a problem by itself as it copies raw sectors, good or bad.
    run chkdsk /f on the original HD before you attempt to ghost it to the new HD.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +419

    How old is this computer? If its really old it may not be able to deal with larger than 32 gigs.

  4. entmas

    entmas TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The reply to Jobeard: I did all of that once I saw the capacity dropped by 5 gigs. If the BIOS sees only 32 gigs, deleting, recreating and formatting a new partition does nothing new.

    The reply to SNGX1275: This may be a real issue. It is Pentium III, 700 Mhz clock. However, why would it see 37 gigs initially upon physical installation? That I do not understand.

    Another piece of info. This hard drive sits on an Promise Technology's Ultra133 TX2 controller in a PCI slot of the DELL Dimension XPS T700 machine. It is kind of old (vintage 2000 or 2001).
  5. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    If the drive detection is set to 'Auto' in BIOS, set it to 'None', reboot so that it detects no drive, then change it back.
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