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XP Pro SP2 Reports HDD size incorrectly

Posted on 2011-10-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I apologize if this has been asked, I did do a search but did not find a solution that matches my problem exactly.
I am installing XP Pro SP2 on a Dell Dimension 8200 (old). I confirmed it had the latest BIOS and that the BIOS supports large HDD's.
No matter what size HDD I install (200-500g) the install reports the size as 20 gig.
The BIOS appears to report the HDD size accurately.
I am formatting in NTFS
I have added a registry line to EnableBigLba

I have never encountered this before, any help would be greatly appreciated
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Question by:CoreCompRepair
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by:Arman Khodabande
ID: 36896299
Have you partitioned the HDD completely?

Do you have an OS installed on it ?
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Author Comment

by:CoreCompRepair
ID: 36896301
Yes
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Author Comment

by:CoreCompRepair
ID: 36896302
Sorry, I mean, yes, fully partitioned, and this problem is first appearing during an attempted OS Instal of XP SP2. The install see's it as 20 gig, and I am fully partitioning it
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 36896419
Which BIOS version are you running?  Is it P or A series?

As the 8200 was shipped with a 20GB HDD as standard there may be a setting limiting detection of available space.

Read through the following
http://blog.atola.com/restoring-factory-hard-drive-capacity/

The tool linked to can often fix this but Catch22 is you need Windows running to use it.   Look for a DCO setting in the BIOS first.
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Author Comment

by:CoreCompRepair
ID: 36896894
It is bios version A09

I tried the tool without any luck, reports a 200 gig drive as a 20 gig and no changes necessary.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36897077
I doubt this is the case if you've tried multiple hard drives... but some drives have jumper configurations that limit the size of the drive for various reasons... are you sure your jumper config is correct?
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Author Comment

by:CoreCompRepair
ID: 36897101
Thank you, yes, only cable select jumper in place
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by:garycase
ID: 36897152
r.e. "... The BIOS appears to report the HDD size accurately."  ==>  So the BIOS is showing the correct size ??   (e.g. 200GB, 500GB, etc.)   If the BIOS was also showing the wrong size, I'd suspect an incorrect "Max Address" setting in the disk's firmware => this is easy to change; but it the BIOS is "seeing" the correct size, then it's not the issue.

Does the BIOS have an "install mode" setting?     I don't think an 8200 would have this (it's usually only on their servers) ... but look carefully to confirm it =>  if so, it may be restricting the size "shown" to the OS (although I thought it only restricted memory -- NOT hard drive size).

Finally, after you install XP, what does Disk Management show for the drive?     If it's correctly showing the full size, it's very simple to expand the OS partition to use the full size.

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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 36897167
Is the capacity the same if it is slaved (via CS) to the standard 20GB primary drive?

Have you formatted the drive to it's full capacity in another machine first either as NTFS or FAT32?
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Author Comment

by:CoreCompRepair
ID: 36897283
is reporting it as 200 gig, XP is reportg it as 20 gig, both during installation and in disk managment. I have tried multiple drives on the same channel and different channles, none are shown in xp at the proper size. The Bios does not have an install mode setting
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by:CoreCompRepair
ID: 36897284
The Bios is reporting...
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by:garycase
ID: 36898658
Very interesting issue.    A couple other quesitons:

=>  Other than the drive size issue, does XP install and work correctly?    If so, do you have a "clean" Device Manager?  (i.e. no undefined hardware)

=>  If you format a drive on a DIFFERENT system, do you still have the same problem if you subsequently try to use it in this system?
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by:nobus
ID: 36898712
can you post a picture of how the disk shows in disk management?
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by:noxcho
ID: 36900076
Does Windows Disk Management say 20GB of partition or entire HDD?
Also, did you install SP3 over to this 20GB partition installation?
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Author Comment

by:CoreCompRepair
ID: 36900146
XP installs and works correctly. Drive mgmt reports it as a full 20g drive not a 20g partition. Device manager is totally clean.  I don't have another windows system to setup the drive on. I have not installed sp3 on it as of yet. I will try and post pics ASAP. Thanks everybody so much.
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by:garycase
ID: 36900156
What are the exact model #'s of the drives you have tried?
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by:Arman Khodabande
ID: 36902942
I found something similar to your problem but not it's solution ! (Read the last 3 comments)

Try resetting your BIOS settings to Safe/Defaults. Maybe a miracle . . . !
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by:nobus
ID: 36903740
plse - psot a pic ture of what shows in disk management
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by:CoreCompRepair
ID: 36907586
Here ya go nobus, thanks for the help Disk Mgmt
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by:garycase
ID: 36907630
As I asked above, what are the exact model #'s of the drives you have tried?
... and exactly what pins do you have jumpered?  [Describe them relative to the power connector]

Reason for this question is the Seagate capacity limit jumper is in the same place as the Western Digital cable select jumper.    ... and some older drives have slightly different jumper settings than more modern drives.
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Author Comment

by:CoreCompRepair
ID: 36907694
Seagate Barracuda ST340016A - Pin 3 (CS as described on drive) 40 gig reports 20
WD 5000AAKB-00H8A0 - No Jumper 500 gig reports 20
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Accepted Solution

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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 36907905
Okay, clearly you're jumpering the drives correctly.    Unless you've had a WEIRD failure mode in the disk controller, this must be something incorrectly resolving in the BIOS.     Since this is a fairly old system, it's likely the CMOS battery is not in good shape.    I'd unplug the computer (must be physically unplugged -- not just turned off); remove the battery (the round coin cell battery on the motherboard);  wait 10 minutes;  then install a new battery (most likely it's a CR2302); plug it in; and turn it on.     See if you still get the same incorrect size reported.

By the way, just to confirm what you said earlier, are BOTH of these drives reporting the correct size in the BIOS?    Are you sure the BIOS is set for LBA mode?    It HAS to be, since CHS mode would be restricting the drive to 8.4GB ... but with a problem this weird you should certainly check any and all settings.     Clearing and resetting CMOS (the battery procedure above) MAY resolve what's happening here -- but if not I'm rapidly running out of ideas other than simply a failed controller.     Next step if that's the case is to install an inexpensive PCI hard drive controller (one that's bootable).
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by:nobus
ID: 36908147
did you test the drives on another pc - and they show up correct?
can you install the disk to another IDE/Sata port ? even if that means switching cd and disk drive?
if you run DFT what does it show ?
you can run DFT from the UBCD : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

also - Bootit-ng  can be used in this case : www.terabyteunlimited.com/
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by:garycase
ID: 36911058
Boot-It NG would not help -- it would simply "see" the same 20GB drive.
In addition, it's obsolete and no longer downloadable.

It is, however, a good idea to run a disk diagnostic on the drives => although I doubt it will, since the same problem is happening with multiple drives.
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by:nobus
ID: 36911350
i am thinking it looks like a disk controller problem
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by:garycase
ID: 36911462
Agree ... as I said above, where I noted the next step is a bootable PCI disk controller.
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Author Closing Comment

by:CoreCompRepair
ID: 36911474
Resetting Bios worked! Thanks all so much
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by:nobus
ID: 36915109
tx - good to know
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by:Ashok Dewan
ID: 36915110
very Good ! :)
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by:Arman Khodabande
ID: 36916014
I suggested it before . . . ! http:#36902942
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by:garycase
ID: 36917914
The link in tht post was not related to this at all -- it was a 48-bit LBA issue;  and the comment r.e. choosing the "fail safe" defaults in the BIOS does NOT clear CMOS ... which is what resolved this.
Fail-safe defaults just reset CPU & memory voltage & timing parameters so you can recover from an over-zealous overclock and/or incorrect voltage settings.
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by:Arman Khodabande
ID: 36921978
You're right . . .
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