actual hard drive space not detected

October 31, 2011 at 05:23:57
Specs: Windows 7
I replaced my oem hdd with a new larger one. when i had it plugged into usb port i can see all 250gbs on drive. when i install it into laptop no matter what laptop only sees 123gbs of space--- i am sure that this is a 48bitlba issue but i dont know how to find out if this is enabled or not.......

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October 31, 2011 at 05:32:15
What laptop models have you tried the 250GB into? IF it truly is a BIOS limitation then there isn't much you can do. Post model numbers and the model number of the 250GB hard drive.

Just to clarify, you are looking at the capacity of the new drive while in the BIOS (setup) screens? If that is not the case explain what you are doing? Are you trying to install WinXP by chance?

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October 31, 2011 at 12:59:37
Hello , it all started with my OEM hard drive.... this is acer aspire 5000. original drive = 80gb. it was starting to fail, so before it totally crashed i bought a new one. since its ATA choices are pretty slim. i got a WD 250gb drive... to transfer all of my files i plugged it into USB port on laptop. i looked at it in disk manager and it showed 240 gbs. that was fine so i transfered. when i installed it in the laptop it will only see 128gbs.. no matter how or what i do i cant seen to get the full amount of storage.....

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October 31, 2011 at 13:04:43
and no started out with XP- sp3. i installed win7 just to see what would happen.... same thing. it works fine otherwise---- i am using it now... the only thing is it really bothers me that i cant get the full amount of storage space--- it has 2 partitions== one = 2.5gb fat32, 1= 90 gbs ntsf, and 1= 30gbs ntsf=== this is how it formatted from windows.

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October 31, 2011 at 17:29:53
Yeah it sounds like your bios has the 48-bit lba limitation. The size is seen correctly when plugged in the USB port because the bios has nothing to do with a USB drive. You only then need a 48-bit lba OS, which everything above XP sp1 is.

If you had a desktop you could just install an ATA card and connect the drive there but you don't have that choice with a laptop. Check the support page for your laptop to see if a bios upgrade might see it correctly.

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October 31, 2011 at 22:34:56
The manual for your series (Aspire 3000/5000) is dated 2005 in the manual itself, your model probably wouldn't be much older than that, so your bios would be able to recognize any size of hard drive, if default bios settings were used regarding drive detection.

What size does it show the hard drive is in the bios now ?

It will be slightly smaller than the hard drive manufacturer's size if it's seen as it's full size in binary size, which is what the bios and Windows detects it as.

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October 31, 2011 at 23:37:56
"....when i install it into laptop no matter what laptop only sees 123gbs of space.... "

Did you by any chance use a program to clone the original drive - copy the entire data contents on the original drive to the larger drive ?

If YES........

Some brand name systems have a HPA on the original drive.
Up until now, I thought only Dell did that, on laptop drives at least.

What happens when a hard drive is cloned that has a HPA on it is the larger drive is seen as the size the HPA specifies, if that's smaller than the size of the larger drive, not the actual size of the larger drive, in both the mboard's bios and in Window's Disk Management.

In the cases I've seen so far, when you clone a Dell laptop hard drive that has a HPA to a larger hard drive, the larger hard drive is seen as the same size or close to it that the original drive was seen as.


In the manual for your series it says the max hard drive size the series originally came with was ~ 120 gb. (Hard drive sizes vary a bit from the standard sizes.)

It's quite possible your original drive has a HPA on it that specifies the max size as ~ 120 gb rather than the ~ 80 gb size it was because ~ 120 gb was the max size the series originally came with.

That would have been an advantage for Acer because when they originally loaded the hard drives for the series, they could use data with the same HPA for ~ 40 gb to ~ 120 gb drives, rather than a different set of data with a HPA for each approximate hard drive size.

You can fix the problem.

See this...

1710: HPA Makes the Cloned Drive Display Wrong Capacity

After that fix is successful, the bios and Disk Management will see the full size of the drive, but there will probably be a large un-allocated (not software partitioned using FAT32 or NTFS / formatted) space on the drive in Disk Management.
If so, you'll need to use a third party program such as the freeware Easeus Partition Master Home Edition to add the space to an existing partition, if you want to do that, if you don't want to lose the data on the existing partition.

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November 1, 2011 at 10:40:49
Note that the info at the link above in response 6 mentions your laptop hard drive may have an EISA partition on it.

More info...

See the last part of response 4 in this....

...starting at...

"Brand name computers sometimes have a smaller EISA partition .....


- in that info, that example HP computer had 3 Recovery disks that came with it. The other two were a HP XP Re-installation CD or similar , and a HP Drivers and Applications or similar CD or DVD.
The XP Re-installation CD or similar has files that have been modified such that it can only be used with the same HP model or a small group of HP models made at the same time to install Windows from scratch, or to run a Repair installation of XP procedure. It's common for brand name computers (e.g. Dell, HP, Compaq) that originally had XP on them to have a brand name labeled XP Re-installation or similar CD like that, rather than the hard drive having a smaller partition that has enough data on it to load the original contents of C, whether it came with the computer, or is a disk in a Recovery disk set you can buy for the model, or make yourself by using a program already on the hard drive that was provided by the brand name.

(Acer has Recovery disks or Recovery disk sets - they may have one you can buy for your model, or if not, you can try looking here : )

- some brand name computers have two smaller EISA partitions (on the original brand name supplied software installation on the original hard drive).

- if the original hard drive DOES have one or more EISA partitions, they probably DO show up in Disk Management in Windows 2000 and up as the type EISA (Healthy), but they usually if not always are NOT assigned a drive letter, and in that case they DO NOT show up in My Computer (or in Computer in Vista or Windows 7) or in Windows Explorer.

- an EISA partition that is for restoring the original software contents of C on the hard drive has to be large enough for that data.
E.g. if it's smaller than, say, 1.5 gb for a brand name software installation that includes XP, that probably can't be what that EISA partition is for.

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