Hard Drive over 150GB missing

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 320gb hard dri...
January 21, 2010 at 07:51:21
Specs: Windows 7
My computer froze up on me recently, so I switched off the power supply.
When I booted up again i had found that my 320GB harddrive now only has 127GB..
All my files are still around but most of my ripped movies now have a size of 0mb.
What is going on?

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January 21, 2010 at 08:22:07
It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittant, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Try another data cable if in doubt.

Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:

(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

"When I booted up again i had found that my 320GB harddrive now only has 127GB.."

Where are you finding that figure?
- that's only relevant if your hard drive has only one partition, or if you're seeing that in the bios or in Disk Management.
- a hard drive's manufacturer's size and the size seen in Windows are expressed in two different ways.Manufacturers always use the decimal way of expressing that; operating systems and mboard bioses always use the binary way of expressing that.
320gb manufacturer's size = ~ 298gb binary size, before the drive has been partitioned and formatted, which makes even less space available for user data.
- depending on how old your mboard chipset is, some older mboard bioses will see the size of the large hard drive as max ~127 gb in the bios, despite the fact the operating sees it as larger.

Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of the mboard.
The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site.
The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots.

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January 21, 2010 at 13:18:15
Are you sure your system ever saw the full size of the HDD?

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January 21, 2010 at 14:16:42
Given the 127 gig figure, it does sound like a 48-bit LBA problem. Does the bios too see it as 127 gig? As already mentioned, check the cable.

You're not really green until you're soylent green.

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January 21, 2010 at 14:22:54
Yes, watch the POST screens at start up to verify the drive is properly identified by BOTH the model number and the FULL capacity. If the BIOS only sees 127GB then your motherboard BIOS is not 48 bit LBA compatible.

I can explain why you were able to see more if it becomes necessary after you check the drive capacity at start up.

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January 22, 2010 at 20:12:58
Checking disk management says that I have 170gb unallocated, My motherboard isn't that old, it's a P35-UD3P
I don't care so much about the lost data but I wouls like to reallocate that space, any idea how I can do that?

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January 23, 2010 at 01:59:07
Was any older version of Windows ever installed on that hard drive?

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January 23, 2010 at 15:25:06
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.

"...170gb unallocated,"

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.

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