|Your mboard model is apparently an OEM only model - there is no support for it on the Gigabyte websites (US or Global) - that model is sold only to brand name system builders. |
If it's no older than 7 years old or so, the bios supports recognizing hard drives larger than 128gb in the bios / Windows = 137gb manufacture's size - the bios has 48bit LBA support.
"Checking disk management says that I have 170gb unallocated,"
my note from Response 1
"320gb manufacturer's size = ~ 298gb binary size, before the drive has been partitioned and formatted,"
"now only has 127GB."
298 - 170 = 128gb, before before the drive has been partitioned and formatted, which makes even less space available for user data.
That indicates the partition on the 320gb hard drive was NOT being recognized as ~298gb BEFORE it froze - you just didn't know that till after you looked!
Reasons for that, assuming your mboard bios supports recognizing the full size of the drive, which it probably does....
- improper settings in the mboard's bios, in the past.
The drive detection in the mboard's bios should be set to Auto by the method Auto or LBA for the mboard bios to see the drive's full size.
- if the drive is seen as ~ 298gb in the bios, that's what it should be. If that was wrong when the operating system was installed, it may have been seen in the bios as ~128gb, and that's the size Windows 7 made the partition.
Obviously, Windows 7's Disk Management sees the full size of the drive at present, or you would not see the ~170gb of un-allocated space
OR - "Was any older version of Windows ever installed on that hard drive?
- the older operating system that was installed did not support recognizing hard drives larger than 128gb in the bios / Windows = 137gb manufacture's size, so it made only a ~128gb partition, and/or the drive had Setup last run on it on another computer that had a mboard bios that did not recognize it's full size.
2000 without SP4? updates or greater included, and the original XP without at least SP1 updates, DO NOT recognize the full size of drives larger than that .
- you installed Windows 7 on the same partition that was made by the old operating system.
(or you deliberately made the Windows partition ~128gb during Setup - not likely).
Don't "put all your eggs into one basket" !
By the way, it's NOT recommended you make only one partition if there is only one hard drive!
You can specify a smaller partition size during Setup, and partition and format the un-allocated space that remains in Disk Management later after Setup has finished.
In any case, you can install almost all programs on a partition other than the one Windows is on, if you choose or specify other than the default installation location, or select Custom install or simliar. In that case, only the minimum data needed for the program is installed on the Windows partition, the vast majority of it on another partition.
You should NOT store anything you don't want to lose on the Windows partition, unless you take steps to back that data up somewhere other than the Windows partition, because that data will all be lost if you ever have to re-install Windows from scratch on the partition Windows was on.
You can leave the Windows partition as is, and partition and format the entire un-allocated space in Disk Management, and store data on that, preferably including data you don't want to lose.
OR - NOT recommended if you have only one hard drive - you can make the size of the existing partition larger (or smaller) in Disk Management in Vista - I assume you can do that in Windows 7 too - and have it take up the entire space available.