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Hard drive problem

I’ve got a couple of hard drives, a Western Digital 250GB IDE and a 300GB IDE (may be WD) that can only be seen as 137GB drives in any BIOS on any motherboard or in any OS. At one time I was able to use them to their full capacity. I’ve tried these drives in various systems to include motherboards that known to support large drives and with different operating systems (W2K SP4, XP SP3 and various flavors of Linux). No matter what I stick them in, only 137GB is seen.

Obviously, this isn’t an OS problem and doesn’t seem to be a BIOS problem either. I’ve tried several utilities on the Universal Boot CD but they’ve all fallen short of the task. Am I stuck with a couple of partial capacity drives?


2 Responses

  1. The other drive is a 300GB Maxtor DiamondMax 21 320GB drive that’s only seen as a 32GB drive. I may have put this drive into an old system with a 32GB BIOS limitation. I may have placed the 250GB WD drive on a motherboard with the 139GB limit. But that shouldn’t have permanently altered the drives, right?

  2. I found a HDD Capacity Restore tool that restored the 320GB Maxtor drive to its original capacity.

    The utility said it restored the Western Digital drive but the Windows Drive Manager still showed it at the lower capacity. I rebooted my test system and noticed that the BIOS no longer recognized the WD drive and when booting to the UBCD, it seemed to hang searching for the drive. I was beginning to suspect that the drive may have been bad anyway. I think at this point, I can regard it at junk.

    I’m not sure what caused the problem but one forum I read said something about a Host Protected Area (HPA) that may have been created on the drives by the OS.

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