Hard drive over 137GB not being recognized

September 11, 2010 at 16:01:16
Specs: Windows XP
two harddrives hooked up to Promise Technology Ultra IDE controllers. One is 320 other is 160 gigs. Neither are being recognized with the full amount of disk space. Running WinXP SR3, bios showing correct size of harddrives. How do I check to make sure that the bios is really recognizing them? Checked the registry and it shows LBA enabled.

See More: Hard drive over 137GB not being recognized

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September 11, 2010 at 17:29:06
Any service packs? Although the BIOS may support it, XP doesn't support 48-bit LBA unless SP1 or better is installed.

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September 11, 2010 at 18:58:56
as said, running Windows XP service pak 3 ( SR3)

They are both hooked up to a Promise Ultra TX2 100 controller cards, and now I'm wondering if that is the problem. Looking for drivers but Windows keeps telling me that I have the best one installed and won't let me go any further.

Keep the ideas coming I'm at a loss here.

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September 11, 2010 at 20:38:51
SR3? I think you mean SP3.

Try updating the BIOS on your controller card:


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September 11, 2010 at 20:53:31
Below is a press release from Promise Technology on that card. The year of release is 2001. Because of that I would guess the card is NOT 48 bit LBA compatible.

I can't say if a BIOS/firmware update for the card can make it 48 bit LBA compliant.


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September 11, 2010 at 22:08:00
When windows was originally installed was at least SP1 used? Even if you're running SP3 now, if the original install did not contain any service packs then the partition that was created would be no more than 137 gig. Adding service packs later on wouldn't change that.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat

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September 11, 2010 at 22:19:09

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September 11, 2010 at 23:10:38
Yes it started with SP1.

Okay totally stumped here....and it's just very weird.

I just finished updating the driver and now BOOM everything is recognized fully again.

I had to force windows to take the new driver, but I'm not going to complain.

I'm wondering now if the driver became corrupted and for some reason rolled back to an earlier driver that was not LBA compliant?

I want to thank everyone for all of their ideas and their prompt replies, you all have been wonderful!!

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September 11, 2010 at 23:11:33
Oh and let's hope this sticks. With windoze you just never know.

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September 11, 2010 at 23:38:13
Oh and X86, I had been there already, about three weeks ago :)

And Othehill, the bios update supports LBA (but I already had updated to that a while back.)

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September 12, 2010 at 06:03:09
WinXP SP1 or better may see the full capacity of drives over 137GB when the hardware is NOT 48 bit LBA compliant.

Running the drives under those conditions will eventually result in data loss or corruption.

Watch the POST screens at start up to verify the drives are actually being configured using the full drive capacity.

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September 12, 2010 at 06:18:30
Did you update the Promise BIOS like I recommended? Did you at least look at the Promise download site that I posted a link to? Here's what it says about the BIOS update:

"Supports 48-bit LBA for drives larger than 137 GB"

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September 12, 2010 at 07:32:59
I am not stating that the controller isn't now 48 bit LBA compliant. I am just being cautious in the approach. Many folks have been fooled by WinXP into thinking all was well when it wasn't. In your case all may be well. Just verify it.

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September 12, 2010 at 13:17:46
Jam, if you read my post reply you would have seen that I had already updated my bios. I believe what happened was that the driver became corrupted.

But I am not sure, but I did go to promise download both and that's how I knew that the bios was already updated to the bios that you pointed me to. While I was there I also grabbed the driver. (so not sure where the "did you at least" hostility is coming from) YES I DID go to the site. read what I posted earlier please.

I installed the driver on both control cards. Restarted windows and both hard drives were recognized fully by the control cards.

Othehill, I will watch at post and see if the hard drives are recognized at all. Previously when they were working correctly, they never were recognized in the post although they were listed under hard drives in the bios setup and in Windows and functioned fine. I appreciate your cautiousness, I'm not fulling trusting it either.

I am in the process of backing up the drive again just in case something starts going south. I am tempted to format but we'll see.

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September 12, 2010 at 14:44:02
Othehill, watched the post and it's showing both hard drives now, fully recognized.


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September 12, 2010 at 14:50:00
Then you should be good to go.

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September 12, 2010 at 15:31:24
I sure hope so. Has all of my artwork on it and I'm doing a fresh backup of the whole drive.

I truly appreciate everyone's help and ideas. It's tough to think things through when there are no sounding boards around. But I found that here and that 's a good thing.

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