|Many things in Vista are the same as in Windows 7. |
I have a friend's computer on hand that is dual booting XP MCE 2005 and Vista Premium by means of a third party boot manager program (BootIt! Next Generation) . XP cannot see the partition Vista was installed on in My Computer or Windows Explorer. In Disk Management in XP, it sees the partition Vista was installed as Healthy (Unknown Partition...).
So - what you're seeing is similar to what I'm seeing. All the partitions on that computer are either FAT32 or NTFS; I didn't make any a Dynamic drive.
The only option for that partition in Disk Management when I RIGHT click on it is to Delete the partition.
In Vista, I can see all the 8 formatted partitions, on 2 physical drives, in My Computer and Windows Explorer.
Vista and XP MCE are on the same physical drive.
What data is on the 500gb drive? Does it have just one partition or more than one?
My Computer and Windows Explorer can't see physical hard drives. They can only see partitions on hard drives that are software partitioned and formatted using something XP recognizes - the drive letters are for those partitions = logical drives. A physical hard drive is only ~ = to the size of a logical drive if the physical hard drive has only one partition, that is software partitioned and formatted using something XP recognizes (the single partition is always smaller than the binary drive capacity because software partitioning and formatting use up some of the space).
So - your 500gb physical hard drive isn't missing if it shows up in Disk Management - it just can't show up in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
(~500gb manufacturer's size (decimal) is = ~465.66gb in the bios, binary size, that's the "RAW" size in Window's Disk Management when the drive has no data or formatting on it, and software partitioning and formatting use up a small percentage of that ~465.66gb)