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FaceAche
04-01-2012, 02:01 PM
I've got a PC running XP with a 120gb HDD. I installed Ubuntu on a 35gb partition, and subsequently deleted the partition and recreated the Master Boot Record with the Windows install disc using Windows Recovery mode.

In hindsight, i realise that i should have used some kind of partition management program to repartition the drive, as the 35gb partition has been deleted, and the remaining partition of 85gb doesn't seem to be able to be amended - i think i've lost the 35gb of space!!

Nice work, noob :rolleyes:

Anyway, i was okay with that really, there's still around 40gb free of the 85gb, as the bulk of my media content etc is on an external 1.5tb drive.

But here's the weird thing about it all; when i was removing the 35gb partition, for that particular 120gb drive, under Admin Tools-->Computer Management-->Disk Management it actually says that C drive is 1404.88gb in size.

Seriously, what the feck?!?! :)

So there's a 39mb partition, which i assume is for some important recovery system stuff, a 79.12gb partition, and then there are three more partitions showing 434.33gb, 465.57gb (saying Free Space) and 425.82gb (saying Health Unknown Partition).

The one saying 434.33gb i formatted, just out of interest, assigning it the drive letter 'Z'. After 10 minutes it was still at 1%, so i canned it. But there it was under My Computer, so i clicked it, to be told it wasn't formatted. I used the Quick Format option, which completed in about 3 seconds, and then the drive was showing, and usable.

I've copied a bunch of stuff to it, and it all seems to be working fine.

So i'm stumped - how does my crusty old 120gb Dell desktop PC from around 2003 actually have a 1.4tb drive in it?

Should i do anything with the other two massive partitions of 465.57 and 425.82 mentio0ned above?

Any ideas how to recover the 35gb partition? (will write it off if that's too hard, not like i'm pressed for HDD space!)

Just to be clear, i've been doing all this without the external 1.5tb HDD connected, just to make sure that it wasn't part of that drive that i was formatting.

Anyone have any ideas for this noob here? :D

wainuitech
04-01-2012, 02:21 PM
you can try to use a dedicated partition software, something like paragon Free edition (http://www.paragon-software.com/home/pm-express/) or if you prefer you can also try Gparted (http://gparted.sourceforge.net/download.php). That download is a ISO file that you burning using ISO burning software to make a bootable CD.

Just a word of caution -- pays to back up any data to an external drive or location before altering partitions, just in case it all turns pear shaped.


how does my crusty old 120gb Dell desktop PC from around 2003 actually have a 1.4tb drive in it?
either something is not reading right,or somehow you have discovered a trick to increase drive sizes. ;)

pctek
04-01-2012, 03:14 PM
I've got a 120gb HDD.

the bulk of my media content etc is on an external 1.5tb drive.

But here's the weird thing about it all; when i was removing the 35gb partition, for that particular 120gb drive, under Admin Tools-->Computer Management-->Disk Management it actually says that C drive is 1404.88gb in size.


Ooops.

1)Don't rely on one drive for your stuff. What happens when that external drive dies? Backups mean stuff on two separate drives, not just one.

2)I suspect you deleted C:. Then because you had D: or whatever it was called attached - the external, it became C:. You are now playing with the external.

FaceAche
04-01-2012, 03:20 PM
Thanks.

I've been doing some more testing on this.

Across the 79gb partition, and the other 434gb partition, i now have just under 200gb of data. On a 120gb drive. :D So clearly, something isn't right. Do you think it might be like, a manufacturing image or iso that was installed when the PC was built? As in, an image/iso from a 120gb HDD, but actually installed on a machine with a larger HDD?

I'm not going to muck around with this anymore - Windows is running fine, and that 434gb partition seems fine too, so i'm just going to leave it as-is and move on.

Ubuntu - i love it how operating systems make it super easy to install them, just not so easy to get rid of! Never again; i now have the attitude of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' :D

pctek
04-01-2012, 03:22 PM
Unplug the external and check again.

FaceAche
04-01-2012, 03:24 PM
Ooops.

1)Don't rely on one drive for your stuff. What happens when that external drive dies? Backups mean stuff on two separate drives, not just one.

2)I suspect you deleted C:. Then because you had D: or whatever it was called attached - the external, it became C:. You are now playing with the external.

Sorry your post wasn't showing when i did that last post.

As i say, the 1.5tb HDD is not, and hasn't been connected for several days - i just didn't want anything heinous to happen to it during the Ubuntu install, and then subsequently during this 'partition fun'.

Yep, fair to say i'm super-confused!

pctek
04-01-2012, 03:30 PM
OK, so it wasn't connected at any time during this deletion, creation etc.

Then, with it still not connected, start over with this small drive, it's probably screwed up totally now then.
When you delete c: with Windows, it screws it up majorly if you have other partitions there. Best to start again, wipe all partitions from it and do it over. As you say, the important stuff is on the external.

And back up the external too!!!
'

FaceAche
04-01-2012, 03:40 PM
Hmmm. I didn't actually delete C, just used Admin Tools-->Computer Management-->Disk Management, right-clicked the partition with Ubuntu on it, and selected 'Delete logical drive'. The partition disappeared, but the 'C partition' of 79gb is still showing, and is able to be accessed with no issues.

I then recreated the Master Boot Record with the Windows CD via Windows Recovery Mode and then DOS commands fixmbr and fixboot, and it started booting straight to Windows. I used these instructions to do it, and it went exactly as described;
http://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/fix-mbr-xp-vista/

Edit; sorry if i'm contravening the rules posting that link, feel free to delete it, it was really just to show you what steps i took to recreate the MBR.

wainuitech
04-01-2012, 04:54 PM
Edit; sorry if i'm contravening the rules posting that link, feel free to delete it, it was really just to show you what steps i took to recreate the MBR. No you're not, thats perfectly allowable and quite safe. Its not spamming.

In fact its actually sometimes helpful, then people trying to help can see exactly what was done :thumbs:

While everything appears to be going fine now, one thing is usually certain, sooner or later thing may start to play up.

(Murphy's Law dictates) This normally happens when you are in a hurry or at the exact time you really need your computer for something important.

Paul.Cov
04-01-2012, 05:50 PM
Take a look at the label on the drive, and confirm the manufacturers stated drive capacity.

Some older BIOS systems did not support drives over 120GB, so would only report 120GB available on a drive any larger.
It's a very unlikely scenario that you've had a 1.5TB drive installed all this time... but you never know your luck.

dugimodo
05-01-2012, 12:23 AM
Yeah what Paul said, look at the drive itself. It should have the size printed on it, or at least a model number you can google.

FaceAche
05-01-2012, 10:28 AM
While everything appears to be going fine now, one thing is usually certain, sooner or later thing may start to play up.

(Murphy's Law dictates) This normally happens when you are in a hurry or at the exact time you really need your computer for something important.

Heh, yeah i suspect that might be the case here - if it seems too good to be true, it often is :)

I'll shut the PC down, pop the case open and take a look at the drive.

FaceAche
05-01-2012, 11:03 AM
Okay it's a Seagate Barracuda 7200.7, 120Gbyte, model number ST3120026AS - http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=8cc83b0c2aeef010VgnVCM100000f5 ee0a0aRCRD&locale=en-US&reqPage=Legacy

So yeah, there's definitely some weird voodoo going on with this.

I thought that maybe the 1.4tb information showing under Disk Management was incorrect, and that as soon as i reached the physical limit of the drive, 120gb, it'd say "Drive full" or something to that effect, but 200gb of data was on it yesterday, so i'm still at a total loss as to what has happened.

I'll keep using the 434gb Z drive partition, i just won't put anything important on it.

Paul.Cov
05-01-2012, 05:49 PM
This idea seems crazy, but what if HDD manufacturers shipped HDDs much like CPU manufacturers ship CPUs.

What I'm getting at, is just maybe your HDD was manufactured on a line producing... lets guess 500GB drives.
They then adjust its true capacity via firmware to limit it to the stated 120GB.
So what's inside has the potential to do 500GB... if it could just be unlocked.

More likely your Bios or HDD controller is fubar'ed however, and like the others are suggesting, this will likely not end happily (ie dead drive in the future)

FaceAche
06-01-2012, 10:24 AM
What I'm getting at, is just maybe your HDD was manufactured on a line producing... lets guess 500GB drives.
They then adjust its true capacity via firmware to limit it to the stated 120GB.
So what's inside has the potential to do 500GB... if it could just be unlocked.

More likely your Bios or HDD controller is fubar'ed however, and like the others are suggesting, this will likely not end happily (ie dead drive in the future)

That's kind of what i was getting at with my earlier suggestion that it might have been an image/iso used when i first bought the PC - it's a Dell machine, so quite likely to be on a large production line type of operation.

I'll keep an eye on the main drive and that 434gb Z drive partition over the coming weeks, and let you know how it goes.

Agent_24
06-01-2012, 12:11 PM
What I'm getting at, is just maybe your HDD was manufactured on a line producing... lets guess 500GB drives.
They then adjust its true capacity via firmware to limit it to the stated 120GB.
So what's inside has the potential to do 500GB... if it could just be unlocked.

That's exactly what is done sometimes - but usually with a limit jumper.

However, it IS possible to also limit a drive in software which can be changed. To check this (and reset to the native capacity) a HDD tool like HDAT2 can be used, or the manufacturer's own tool.

It's also possible the MBR\FAT whatever is corrupted and reporting a fake size. It's also possible that the 200GB+ data is not actually being written, but simply lost.

Rod J
06-01-2012, 02:49 PM
Sounds like a corrupted partition table to me. You need to check/fix it with some partition managing software. I can recommend Parted Magic for this: http://partedmagic.com/doku.php This ISO also includes the TestDisk program which I have used to fix aborted partitioning attempts too.