137 MB limit

August 8, 2009 at 00:12:07
Specs: Windows XP Professional version 2002 SP3
After I installed my rather old Windows XP on my new computer, I discovered that I was using about 137 GB of my 1TB disk. How can I access the rest of the disk without having to re-install Windows and all my other software?

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August 8, 2009 at 01:49:28
Install Service Pack 3 and then in Disk Management it should show all the drive.

If you use nLiteOS Software you can create a customised XP CD with Service Packs etcetc included...

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August 8, 2009 at 02:36:54
You have run into the 48 bit LBA limit. To overcome it you need windows XP SP1 at least but you allso need a 48 bit LBA complient BIOS.

If the computer is reasobably modern it should already havea 48 bit BIOS.



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August 8, 2009 at 07:04:07
To elaborate on StuartS's response, watch the POST screens at start up to verify the drive is identified by both the model and the full capacity. If only 137GB is shown in the POST screens then your computer is NOT 48 bit LBA compliant. Using the drive, even as is, will eventually result in data loss or corruption.

You may be able to update the BIOS to be 48 bit LBA compliant or you could install a controller card.

If the full drive capacity is showing in the POST screens then as Stuart mentioned you must be installing with WinXP original.

The solution is to install a service pack and then go to Disk Management to partition and format the remaining space on the hard drive.

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August 10, 2009 at 00:35:06
Thanks a lot for the prompt replies. My computer is definitely 48 bit LBA compliant and sees the unformated 9/10ths of the disk. I did indeed use an old XP professional on my new disk and installed the SPs afterwords. Therefore, I will just have to create another, much larger, partition and use it for data storage. I only wonder whether making it bootable will be of any advantage. Thanks again!

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August 10, 2009 at 05:23:43

Seeing the remaining space in WinXP is not proof that your BIOS is 48 bit LBA compliant.

You must watch the POST screens at start up to verify the drive is identified by BOTH the model and the FULL capacity.

Windows with service packs can see the remaining space but if you use it you will eventually end up with data loss or corruption. That goes weather or not you partition and format the remaining space or not. Windows SP3 can't make your BIOS 48 bit LBA compliant.

IMO, you should use multiple partitions anyway. A smaller boot partition is advantageous.

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August 12, 2009 at 02:35:45
Thanks a lot Othehill. I have a problem with reading the POST screens 'cause they flash by very quickly. This is a brand new motherboard with a BIOS date of 2008 and I am fairly certain it should be LBA compliant. The BIOS setup screen has LBA/large set to AUTO for the HDD. But isn't there another way of verifying this, like booting up in DOS and using FDISK to see the size of partitions? Thanks again for the help.

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August 12, 2009 at 03:37:37
If the BIOS date is 2008 you can be 99.999% certain that it is LBA complient.

All you need is Windows XP SP1, or better still SP3 and you should be good to go.

If you have the original Windows XP without any service packs you might like to slipstream SP3 and make it a lot easier in the future.


This site refers to SP2 but the same applies for SP3.


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August 12, 2009 at 04:00:50
Thanks a lot StuartS! The link is very useful and I will certainly use it.
In a nutshell: my problem was apparently caused by my using an original 2002 version of XP and adding the SPs afterwards. I was punished for being too honest since I had a very recent integrated version which, however, was not strictly legal. Thanks again.

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August 12, 2009 at 07:48:23
StuartS is correct about the BIOS. For future use there are two things you can do to read the POST screens.

First enter the BIOS screens (Esc) and disable any logos. BTW, did you set values in the BIOS when first firing up that new board?

Second, hit the Pause key to freeze the screens. Hit the space bar to resume.

If you slipstream SP3 into the files on your WinXP CD then you won't have that issue to deal with.

That said, I recommend multiple partitions on most hard drives. Look at the link below for ideas on pratitioning.


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August 12, 2009 at 08:57:23
Thanks a lot OtheHill! The partitioning site is fascinating. Pity that I am too lazy to go back and start from scratch, but shall use the info to partition the remaining part of my disk (nearly 1 TB).

As for setting values in the BIOS, I must admit to total ignorance. I have istalled operating systems several times over the past 20 odd years, but never touched anything in the BIOS except the boot sequence and the occasional flash. BTW, now that I come to think of it, it was never with a brand new motherboard.

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August 12, 2009 at 12:08:23
At the very least you must reset the date and time or Windows may balk. There are many items that should be tweaked. Read the motherboard manual to learn more about them.

Some that come to mind are disabling integrated hardware that you are not using. Manually adjusting memory settings. That one can be very important due to the wide variation of specs and the defaults in your BIOS. You could end up running the memory at the wrong voltage. Running lower than required can cause blue screens, for instance.

One other one is to Enable legusy USB support. Without that setting enabled a USB keyboard may not be able to access the BIOS when needed. Lastly, the boot order should be set.

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August 13, 2009 at 09:32:01
I have set the date and time, as well as the boot sequence. Will have another look at the the motherboard manual and check the rest of your tips. Thanks a million yet again.

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