General Question

MissAnthrope's avatar

Need geek help for HD issue, please.

Asked by MissAnthrope (21496points) August 14th, 2008

Okay, so I got my HD enclosure, got the thing installed and working. I had totally forgotten, but there was an additional issue I came across when I first bought the HD a couple years ago..

I have a WD Caviar [model WD1600JBRTL], 160 GB, 7200 RPM, 8MB cache. I’m running XP SP2. Basically, the issue is that the full storage capacity of my HD is not available. I know there are system limitations, but I would like to get around them to have all 160 gigs.

Here’s the problem.. I followed the directions here. My Atapi.sys version is new enough. I went to use regedit to do the next step:

“For the original release version of Windows XP Home Edition or of Windows XP Professional, you can enable 48-bit LBA for testing purposes. To do this, set the EnableBigLba registry value to 1 in the following registry subkey:

Only problem is there isn’t an “EnableBigLba” registry value in that registry subkey. Uh.. what do I do??

Thanks. :)

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6 Answers

Lovelocke's avatar

As far as I recollect, Windows XP can natively support anything up to 500GB or so, with larger drives to be partitioned in sections (making it drive C:\, D:\, E:\ and so on until full capacity is used).

That said, I have a 500GB external hanging off my machine right now. The only issue I ever had with it is that it originall came formatted as FAT32, and not NTFS. Since I use the drive for gameplay as well as capturing/editing HD video, anything over a particular filesize was being rejected by the drive, which is what prompted closer inspection.

Open up your command prompt (Start, Run, ‘cmd’) and try throwing one of these at it:

convert drive letter: /fs:ntfs

So for example, if you plug in the external drive and it happens to register as drive D:\,

convert d: /fs:ntfs

If there’s data on it right now, doing this WILL NOT destroy that data, so it’s perfectly safe to do without having to reformat/copy all your files away from it.

Let us know.

Lovelocke's avatar

Note: About my opening sentence (larger drives to be partitioned in sections). It is possible to have a 1TB drive as your C:, but the damn time it takes to say, defrag a drive that large makes it ridiculous. As a general rule, I suggest to folks to set up their partitions around 250gb and 300gb a pop. Plenty of space to work in each partition, and you can defrag/virus scan your drives in chunks as opposed to leaving it online for a solid day or so.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Thanks for the reply. I am a little confused.. from what I’m reading, it seems that XP limits HD size to like 134GB. Mine formatted to 127GB. From what I was reading, you can do some tweaks or something to get the computer to recognize it as 160.. but what you’re saying is that I have to partition it?

I don’t understand why, if I have SP2, I don’t have the 48-bit ATAPI support in the registry.

What is the command you mentioned, /fs? I just had to reformat the disk, as it was earlier my boot drive, and I formatted as NTFS.

Lovelocke's avatar

Nah… I’ve got a 160GB drive as my C:\, and it shows about 150GB of that right now… remember that even though the box may say something like 500gb, you won’t get 500gb exactly to mess around with.

/fs is “File System”. Basically, it just converts your drive, doesn’t format it. If it’s already NTFS, then there are other things you can do…

Go here and Download EASEUS Partition Manager:

It’s free partition management software (Like Partition Magic). This will allow you to create partitions on your drive in order to “open up full capacity use”.

Think of it like a large pizza. You know you ordered a whole pizza, but you can’t eat it all in one pass. This software will allow you to create “slices” of your hard drive, and after so many slices, you will eventually be able to “eat” the full hard drive.

Remember, make your partitions as large as you can. If you’re using a 160gb drive, for example, you can make 2×80gb partitions… and that’d split it right in half. Or, you can make 1×100gb (main drive) and 1×60gb (storage space).

The second suggestion is what I did with a drive once, I used the 60gb partition to store MP3s, downloaded files, and things of that sort, while I kept my 100gb partition clear for application install data, game installations, etc.

Keep me posted.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Hrm. I’m kind of annoyed that I can’t just have one big 160-ish (whatever less due to formatting) GB drive. Why?? It should show up automatically, but on both previous and current systems, the same issue.

So, how does partitioning work? When I connect my external drive, do two drives show up? Or just the one, and inside you find the partitions?

Thanks again. :)

MissAnthrope's avatar

Okay, I’m a dolt. As I was researching this and reading stuff, I had a vague recollection of the HD coming with a CD. I sort of remembered there being a program on there to do what I want. So I did a search and found it, installed it, gave my drive one big 160 partition, and it seems to work.

Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it. :)

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