This is in response to a question that was posted
in the I Need Help section of the January
12 issue of PCIN. The question was:
Q1) Bought a new hard disk. The OS didn't get the right
size of the hard disk. It is 13G hard, but it comes out
as 8G hard. What is the problem?
These are the suggest answers sent in by subscribers.
I was partitioning an IBM 25gb at 95% for drive C and 5% for
drive D. (I always copy on the windows 98 x:\win98 subdirectory
into a small drive D and install windows from there. It's
faster and in the future when it needs extra files from the
windows setup CD, it finds them automatically without having
to search for the Windows CD), and when I went to format,
it too stated it was just about to format 8gb when it should
have been virtually 23.5gb. I do not know why this happened
and the only way I could resolve the situation was to partition
the drive as one partition, format it and then re-partition
the drive as I wanted it. This I presume does not get your
problem solved. I can only suggest to make sure that the BIOS
is set up for LBA, you choose LBA when asked for, prior to
partitioning. If you have done this already and I'm sure you
have, try a different version FDISK. (I did wonder whether
the problem may have something to do with partitioning a UDMA66
HDD on a UDMA33 IDE mainboard although they are meant to be
backwardly compatabIe.) I have a feeling that I haven't been
very helpful but at least you know it has happened exactly
to someone else. Perhaps we could start off an "Eight gig
I believe there is is a 8 GB limit due to the File System
used. I also believe that NTFS (Windows NT File Sytem) is
not limited to 8 GB. I came across some info on internet about
File System limit some time ago. So, if you're interested,
a quick search will probably tell you more.
What motherboard do you have. it may not support such a large
hard disk. alternatively you could see if you can flash your
bios as this works for some older boards. else partition it
in smaller sections.
If the OS sees only 8GB of your 13GB harddisk, then your BIOS
doesn't have extended int13 support. To correct this you will
need to get a BIOS update for your motherboard. You should
contact the manufacturer of the board or visit their website
to see if they have one.
In reply to the 13GB HDD, most BIOS's will only see drives
up to 8Gb. Beyond that size, it will need a software patch
utility (which usually comes with the drive), to enable Windows
to see the whole 13GB.
The BIOS is probably using ECHS translation to address the
space on the HD. This limits the size to around 8G. If the
BIOS supports it enable LBA. This is a different method for
addressing large drives. May need to manually enable as it
may be disabled by default. Also check that 32 bit disk access
is enabled in BIOS and in windows system, performance, advanced
file system , troubleshooting. Normally it is enabled by default.
There are some links to articles about this topic at http://www.firmware.com/support/bios/index.htm
The disk manufacturer's web site probably has their own tweaked
version of disk overlay software. Their tech support would
have a recommendation of which commercial disk overlay software
they know to work best with their drives.
If you or running Windows 95 it only recognizes 8G. If you
want to use your whole drive. You will have to make two partitions
on your drive.
The reason for that is that the BIOS of the PC do not recognize
hard drives greater than 8G. This is a limitation in older
PC with such BIOS, specially those PC in the market before
the adventing of the Pentium II. However, there is way to
overcome this size limit. You can get a BIOS upgrade from
the motherboard manufacturer (which at this time I doubt you
find one due to the speed technology is changing and new models
in the market), or you can use software provided by the HardDisk
manufacturer or third party vendors to install the Hard Disk.
As an example, I recently install a Hard Disk in a customer
computer who had the same problem. The BIOS do not recognize
the full Hard Disk. IBM, the manufacturer of the drive provided
an installation utility which detected the drive and configured
it automatically overriding the BIOS default by recognizing
the drive as a full 14GB IBM DeskStar drive. You can go to
the website of the drive manufacturer and look if they have
an installation utility for your drive's brand.
Certain levels of BIOS will not recognize over 8 GB hard drives.
The solution is: A. (Easy) Use EZDrive that comes with most
hard drives. B. (can be Hard) Find the BIOS upgrade for your
specific BIOS (and this MUST BE specific!) on the internet
and upgrade your BIOS. If you elect to do option B, be warned
that if anything interrupts the progress of the upgrade, you
will be unable to recover your old BIOS and will have to replace
your BIOS chip.