NTFS Query

  Petopjasp 11:50 21 Apr 2004

I have recently installed a 160gb IBM Deskstar Hard Drive. It will only format in NTFS and loses 26gb in the process. Why can't I use Fat32? Why am I losing 26gb when using NTFS? Why am I getting this error message and how do I get rid of it? Please help.

  temp003 12:06 21 Apr 2004

For the original thread, click here

I thought from the last thread you had got rid of the error message.

XP cannot format a partition larger than 32GB in FAT32 file system, even though it can read and write to such a partition without any problem. Just a restriction imposed by Microsoft, probably encouraging people to use NTFS.

If you must use FAT32, you'll have to do it with Fdisk using a 98 boot floppy.

A hard disk manufacturer's 160GB means 160,000,000,000 Bytes, whereas Windows uses the binary system, so that Windows' GB means 1024 x 1024 x 1024 Bytes.

IBM's 160GB should roughly translate into Windows' 149GB.

Right click your new drive, Properties, and see what it says about its capacity, both in Bytes, and in GB.

  Petopjasp 16:41 21 Apr 2004


Thanks for your advice, the original error has now gone. I did use a 98 boot disk and with fdisk created a dos partition. For some reason fdisk only recognised about 25gb but I did manage to format fully using NTFS. The drive capacity is 164,686,523,392 bytes / 153gb but 27,363,676,672 bytes / 25.4gb are used and I have nothing on the drive yet.
I am more than happy to use NTFS it seems to work ok but I still wonder where the missing 25.4gb have gone.


  ayrmail 21:06 21 Apr 2004

Your 25gb will more than likely be formatted in fat32 when you used fdisk, as I think it needs a primary partition before it can format.NTFS would then see the 25gb as being used.

  temp003 22:17 21 Apr 2004

I assume that this new hard disk is your 2nd hard drive on the computer? Your XP is installed on another disk?

Click Start, Run, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.

Look at the lower half. If this is your 2nd hdd, it should be called Disk1.

See what it says there - whether there's another partition on the disk, description, size and so on.

You can start again by right clicking a partition and select delete partition. Delete all partitions on the new hard disk until the whole disk becomes "Unallocated space".

Then right click unallocated space and click create new partition and follow the prompts to format it in NTFS. Wait until formatting finishes and you see the word "healthy" in the box. Then you can exit disk management.

  Petopjasp 11:38 22 Apr 2004

Have done all what you have advised there are now no patitions and the whole drive is only showing 128gb Healthy.

Thanks very much for your help though it was much appreciated.

  Petopjasp 11:39 22 Apr 2004


  temp003 11:57 22 Apr 2004

128GB in Windows is 137GB for hdd manufacturers. That's the size barrier for some BIOSes/operating systems.

You need to check 2 things: that your motherboard BIOS supports hdd over 137GB, and that your OS supports it too.

For OS, XP SP1 is fine, and support for disks of that size is automatically enabled. If you haven't installed SP1, install it.

More likely, the problem may lie with the BIOS. You need to go into BIOS setup (usually press the Delete key when computer starts, but may be another key). See what BIOS says the disk size is. If it shows around 137GB only, you need to see if BIOS has an option for enabling 48-bit LBA (Normally it's set to Auto, which means if it supports 48-bit LBA, it will use it).

If present BIOS does not support it, find out model of your motherboard, go to their website, and see if there's a BIOS update which gives support for hdds large than 137GB, and flash the BIOS.

If there's no BIOS which supports it, and you don't want to lose the 20 odd GB, the better option is to buy a PCI IDE adapter to which you can connect the new hdd. Buy an adapter which supports ATA133 because that is certain to support the large size.

Alternatively, use drive overlay software provided by IBM (I think they have it too), which you should be able to download from the IBM/Hitachi site. I don't recommend drive overlay myself, because it can make data recovery a little more difficult.

Or, let things be and forgo the 20 odd GB you lost.

  temp003 12:01 22 Apr 2004

I think the drive overlay software is called the Feature Tool click here

But please check it yourself, check that it supports your drive, and read the instructions carefully if you're going to use it.

  Petopjasp 18:14 22 Apr 2004

Thankyou so much I now have 153gb's of NTFS formatted hard drive to use. I do feel somewhat embarrased as I thought I had XP SP1 installed but after a recent format I neglected to reinstall it and only found this after trying everything else and thought it prudent to double check.

Thanks again.

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