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I used to use Windows ME, but recently refomatted my hard drive and installed Windows XP Pro. I have already installed SP2 (and Norton Internet Security 2004).

However I noticed that my primary hard drive, which is a 20 GB drive, is shown as only having a 7.82 GB capacity when I check it on My Computer.

What could possibly account for the missing 12 GB?


This is an older computer, bought in 1998. Pentum II 450mhz 256MB RAM.
I also have a USB hard drive which is 200gb I believe, but is being shown as only 186gb capacity. But I don't chalk this up to the recent XP install, because Windows ME showed it as that size too.

Thanks for your time.

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Last Post by DivisionByZero
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I'm not sure about the history of the drive, but it may have been partitioned, so the other 12GB is just unpartioned space.

To check this, right click my computer and select manage. The computer management console opens up, on the left side click disk management. This will show info info for each hard drive including how it is partitioned and if any space has been left unpartioned.

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I hate using the WinXP formatter. What you might try doing is going to your hard drive manufacturer's website. Western Digital has Data Lifeguard Tools and Hitachi has Drive Fitness Test. Both of them have a tool that does a low-level format and writes 0's to the entire hard drive (if you choose that option). Or you can always use FDISK and enable large disk support and delete the partitions that way *if* you do indeed have something leftover.

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Yes, you are spot on. When I checked disk management, both the 20gb C: drive and the 200gb F: drive are displayed as partioned.

On the 20 gig drive it says that 10.79gb is unallocated. That's the missing space right there.

Here is what I see.

I don't suppose there is any way to fix that without reformatting the hard drive, is there?


I'm not sure about the history of the drive, but it may have been partitioned, so the other 12GB is just unpartioned space.

To check this, right click my computer and select manage. The computer management console opens up, on the left side click disk management. This will show info info for each hard drive including how it is partitioned and if any space has been left unpartioned.

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I don't suppose there is any way to fix that without reformatting the hard drive, is there?

Yes there is -- use a partition manager like Partition Magic. There are also some free ones, see ranish.com or google "partition manager".

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Does fdisk resize partitions non-destructively? I thought it only allocates space and you need to format after you do that.

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lol non-destructively? i only used this on a completely blank HD, never on a well-fuctioning HD. I don't have that much faith in programs like Partition Magic or whatever... never even touched those progs come to think of it.

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The original poster had asked if there was a way to reclaim the unallocated space without reformatting. I assumed he wanted to add it to the C: partition.

Partition Magic actually works very well. I have been using it for years and now have complete confidence in it. Resizing partitions without losing data in them is no problem. It gives you great flexibility, especially when you want to add more than one OS.

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Thanks for your help everyone. Another user told me to go into Disk Management and create another partition in the free space. I must have goofed when I reformatted the drive. I went ahead and created another partition in the free space. It worked like a charm.

Thanks again!

The original poster had asked if there was a way to reclaim the unallocated space without reformatting. I assumed he wanted to add it to the C: partition.

Partition Magic actually works very well. I have been using it for years and now have complete confidence in it. Resizing partitions without losing data in them is no problem. It gives you great flexibility, especially when you want to add more than one OS.

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