As most of you are probably aware, computer hardware problems can be a pain in the rear to solve. And in case of Michael's computer being unable to correctly detect the capacity of his new hard drive, the problem could be caused by a variety of reasons, ranging from a BIOS issue to a FAT32 file system limitation. Therefore, we can't get a solid solution without getting more details from him. So while this week's winning answer by Joe M. and all of the honorable mentions may provide Michael with better insight into his troubles, if you are reading this, Michael, I hope you will join us in this discussion and give us more specifics so that all of our supportive members can give you a helping hand. This newsletter is all about helping each other out, so please join in. Thanks for all the great submissions, everyone, and I await your participation.
I just replaced my 40GB hard drive with a new 80GB one. But now my computer shows the drive at less than half of its capacity. I am running Windows Me with a 1.4GHz P4. What is
--Submitted by: Michael M.
(WARNING: Many of this week's suggestions include flashing the computer's BIOS. It is best to leave this task to a qualified computer technician or follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. Flashing the BIOS is serious task and if done incorrectly, can render your system completely useless. So be warned!)
Your answer may be very simple, or it may not be, depending on what's causing the problem. I'm thinking it's this first answer here--because you said you have a 40GB drive running fine, which means your system is likely OK with larger drives. But if it doesn't work, try the other solutions. And please, please upgrade your operating system, not the problem in this case but still a good idea. :)
Some drives have jumper settings that allow them to be compatible with older BIOSs that wouldn't recognize drives less than 32GB drives at all (or would recognize them incorrectly) and that when set tell the drive to pretend to be only 32GB. You can fix that by changing the jumper settings. Check your drive manufacturer's Web site or do a Google search with the name of your drive (model #) and "32 GB" and/or "Jumper," to find the exact settings. This is the easiest thing to check. (A jumper, for those who aren't familiar with the term, is a little plastic piece that you can put between two pins that allows you to select certain settings that must be made at a hardware level. All modern hard drives have one--for Master or Slave, when in use with two or more drives--and some have more than one.) This is the most likely solution, especially since you were running a 40GB drive before.
Second, your BIOS may be recognizing it incorrectly. This is less likely, since you had the 40GB drive before, but not impossible (some BIOSs recognize some but not all drives properly, and some have issues with drives less than 64GB). This is a little harder to fix but... Read more
--Submitted by Joe M .
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For Joe's efforts, were sending him his choice of any Help.com
Check out next week's question:
I have a lot of things listed in Windows start-up through Msconfig. Is there a way to safely delete things other than going to Web sites and going through the long, agonizing search process? What would you recommend?
--Submitted by: Nikki K.
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