Over 70GB missing from my 200 gig HD

  • knowledgedot
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Greetings, I'm new here, I registered to get help with this problem I've had for quite some time, only to a lesser degree. Also please note that ahead is what is essentially the history of the computer on which I am having this problem. If you're pressed for time, you may as well skip to the bolded section titled "Summary," where the important details are, well, summarized. Otherwise feel free to read on, you may think of it to be an interesting read =]

Four to six years back (my memory's a bit off :]), I purchased a new "X-go" brand PC. Being the no-name low standards manufacturer I perceive them to be, a components list wasn't included, so I have no idea as to the brand of my HD, but it was a 200 gig one. The PC came with XP home, which I wasn't satisfied with, and so I bought XP Pro and installed that. Everything was fine until Pro stated to get laggy and eventually took hours to start up. At this point, I said alright, let's see what options are out there. So I spoke to some people and they referred me to Mandrake Linux. Being the total idiot I am, and not anticipating the fact that I had no idea how to use Linux and thus would have a hard time using it, I downloaded it, mounted, and installed it. But something went wrong. My HD had never had more than one partition before (and to this day, still hasn't), and being fed up with Windows at that point anyway, I deleted windows from the one and only partition and installed Mandrake Linux. Low and behold, somewhere between the time I slipped the installation CD into my CD tray and the time I uninstalled Linux and reinstalled Windows XP Professional out of frustration, 13 GB of my harddrive had vanished. I don't mean like Linux took 13gb of space and I now had 187/200 GB; no - I had xxx/187 GB of HD space. I didn't think much of it at the time, so I went about my business and after becoming more frustrated at Linux than I was at Windows in the first place, I reinstalled my old Windows XP Professional on the [one and only partition] that Linux was on, using the tools in the Windows XP Pro installation cd (booted from it).

Aside from 60+ reformats and reinstallations of Windows (which had no affect on the HD space as far as it was documented), all went well until a few days ago, when a trial version of Microsoft Office I had been using expired, and I was forced to *try* and install the new, 2007 edition, which required SP2 on Windows XP. Being an SP1 person myself, after hearing so many bad things about the stability and actual usefulness of SP2, I was reluctant to install it but I eventually caved. I installed all the hotfixes and what have you up to SP2, then went for the queen herself. However, 3/4 through what I believe to be the installation (what the progress bar showed in the window that opened up after it had finished downloading), my computer abruptly restarted. The only thing was that Windows wouldn't load. The first time, the process of rebooting ended in a blank black screen, not even making it to the load screen. Various succeeding attempts also hailed no results, achieving the much anticipated goal of getting to the load screen, but not making the even bigger goal of getting past it. The scrolling progress bar on the Windows XP Professional load screen would go about its business for hours on end, until I remembered Safe Mode. It took two tries to get Windows to load under safe mode, finally making it the second time where I tried 'Safe Mode with Networking', and cancelled the search for a missing/corrupted STDS.xxx file (not quite sure of the name, or the extention).

When I finally managed to get in, a window came up notifying me that the SP2 installation had failed and that my system was in an unstable state (gee, thanks!). It suggested I uninstall the service pack, and I immediately followed. After this, I was able to reboot my computer normally again, but since the sudden reboot during the installation of SP2, I was unable to connect to the internet from the computer, even though other ones from the same router were connected.

So, I eventually gave up, backed up my music and important documents, and attempted to Repair my Windows installation. Didn't work. Then I thought, "Hey, I have a 64-bit processor, and I have to reformat anyway, it's time I got me a 64-bit OS," but I wasn't sure of its compatability, so I asked a friend of mine to borrow his version that ended up almost being thrown out a while back because of this very same incompatability with most things at the time. He gladly lent it to me and I, for the 60-something-th time reformatted my HD and installed an OS. The 64-bit worked great at the beginning. It didn't support an updated version of my graphics driver, but that didn't matter - I had my original driver CD, which it gladly took the contents of. My sound card installed well, but as usual there were compatability issues with my sound system, and so no audio came out. Now, I'm a big gamer, so I was immediately turned off when it wouldn't let me play my favourite online game. I tried everything I could to get it to work, but it just wouldn't connect to any of the game's servers (the internet was, however, working. hallelujah!). Unable to comprehend life without my favourite of many games, I slipped back in Ol' Faithful (Windows XP Professional [32-bit]) and was on my way. However, the miniscule problem from years back now reared its ugly head again to disconvenience me for the second time. This time, ever perceptive of HD space from the last incident, I noticed that my HD space had gone down again right after deleting the partition with windows xp 64-bit on it, another 60 GB. That's right, of my once shining, 200gb HD, there was only 127GB left of available space (once again, not 127/200 GB shown, xxx/127 GB). Thinking this was somehow some sort of crazy typo on the part of whatever tool the Windows XP installation CD used, I attempted to reinstall Windows XP a few more times to see if the problem lay in an isolated case of a botched installation. It didn't. So here I sit, writing on my laptop, hoping for the solution to this gargantuant problem. I only hope that the experts here are able to help me recover this lost space.

If you've read up to this point, you can skip this next part as it's meant to summarize the contents of the above:

Summary:
(order of events in chronological order)

    -Got my pc 4-6 yrs ago, came with no components list. 200GB HD

    -Was fed up with Windows XP Home, installed XP Pro. No problems

    -Pro got slow so I decided to try out Mandrake Linux. Sometime between when I deleted the partition Windows was on to install Linux, and installed Windows back after I deleted the partition Linux occupied, I had lost 13 GB of HD space (not lost as in I now had only 187/200GB, but lost as in I now only had xxx/187 GB)

    -After reinstalling Win XP Pro, and using it without any major problems (HD-Wise) for a few years (over 60 reformats during this time, none of them affecting the HD space, and all of them with Win XP), circumstances required my to perform an update to SP2 which botched up.

    -Wanting something new, I installed XP Pro 64-bit after deleting the partition Win XP Pro was on (still 187GB).

    -Due to it not supporting my sound card/system configuration, as well as my favourite game, I decided to remove it.

    -After booting from the Win XP Pro (32-bit) installation CD, and deleting the partition that XP Pro 64-bit was on, I had suddenly lost another 60GB of HD space, leaving me with 127 (again, didn't display 127/200 GB, but rather xxx/127 GB).


    That brings us to today, where I hope to receive the help I need to correct this error.


An important thing to note for those who didn't read the full version is that from the day I bought it, the HD only had one partition. Never did I add a partition, only delete the ones that the installation CDs made.

Many, many thanks in advance for your assistance.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Thayk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Some viruses actually take space out of your HD even after reformatting it. If you want to completely have a fresh and new OS installation, I suggest you backup your files on another media then you are going to low-level format (or zeroing) your drive.

It may do good if you post your harddrive's manufacturer here. then we can take the next step.

a previous post on this forum may help. try to browse it over...

http://www.ozzu.com/hardware/missing-space-40gb-harddrive-t68565.html
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/index.cf ... ag=hdd_lim
http://www.ozzu.com/hardware/need-fix-for-250gb-recognized-127gb-t60730.html

Check those. This is a known problem and should be easily fixed.
  • knowledgedot
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thayk wrote:
Some viruses actually take space out of your HD even after reformatting it. If you want to completely have a fresh and new OS installation, I suggest you backup your files on another media then you are going to low-level format (or zeroing) your drive.

It may do good if you post your harddrive's manufacturer here. then we can take the next step.

a previous post on this forum may help. try to browse it over...

http://www.ozzu.com/hardware/missing-space-40gb-harddrive-t68565.html


I read through the first bit of this thread, and saw something about DBAN. So I downloaded that, and booted off it. The strange thing was, though, that when I went to reformat with it (not through the autonuke option, but instead the guided one), I found two options to nuke. Now, as I speak it's formatting the second one, so I'm not sure of the exact values, but the first one was ( IDE 0,0,0,-,- ) WDC WD2000JB-00EVA0 and then
( IDE 0,0,0,-,- ) PARTITION 1. Not having any expert knowledge myself, my best interpretation of this is that there are two partitions, even though I've never created so much as a single one manually.

Could this be part of the problem: that something actually created another partition that's hidden, with all the extra space? After I click submit I'll check out your links, grinch. Thank you both.

EDIT: After googling "WDC WD2000JB-00EVA0" (what I believed could be a serial number of sorts) I found that it in fact is a WD Caviar SE 7200rpm 200 gig manufactured by Western Digital. Hopefully this helps.

EDIT2: As soon as DBAN is done doing what it does, I'll try the methods described in that windows kb article.
  • Thayk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Forget first the DBAN thing knowledgedot. What DBAN does is actually erase and re erase your harddrive so that any traces data will no longer be recovered. The basic problem of your HD is to gain back the lost space then install OS later. i think the following may help.

1. download Western Digitals drive utility called Data Lifeguard Tools.
http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp?swid=1

it actually does help to prepare your harddrive for installation. it also reformat the HD. (I havnt tried the this tools). Should there be an option for low-level format, select it.

2. Make sure you have a Windows XP (if you choose XP as your OS) Home or Professional that SHOULD HAVE SERVICE PACK 2 integrated on the installation disk. if you are buying from the internet or from computer shop, insist to have one that has SP2.

3. (take lightly number 3) Project a positive and lively attitude during repair and installation. Patience and presence of mind is needed during this process... and having a jovial ambiance can do make things easier.... :)
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

grinch2171 wrote:
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/index.cfm?a=wiki&tag=hdd_lim
http://www.ozzu.com/hardware/need-fix-for-250gb-recognized-127gb-t60730.html

Check those. This is a known problem and should be easily fixed.


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