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Making unallocated space usable


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#1
RLDavies

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After a major crash a year or so ago (power surge), I splurged on a new terabyte hard drive. Hooray!

Unfortunately, when I installed Windows it wouldn't recognise more than 127.99 gigabytes. So that's the size of my C: partition. All that extra space is unallocated and unusable.

We're talking Windows XP Pro with all three service packs, by the way.

Ideally I'd like to extend C: to include all the space on the drive. I'd also be perfectly content to turn the unallocated space into a separate partition and call it drive D: (which would echo my last setup). As an absolute last-ditch solution, I'm just about willing to reformat everything and reinstall Windows, somehow forcing it to recognise all the space.

I've tried using the Windows Disk Management application. First I tried following the directions to use DISKPART to extend C:, but that failed. Then I tried allocating the space as a separate partition, and that failed too. There were no useful error messages, just "The disk configuration operation did not complete." It refers me to the system log for more information, but I don't know where this is.

On the advice of a friend, I tried Easeus Partition Manager, but it didn't help. Trying to extend C: results very quickly in "An error occurred". Trying to create a new partition in the space makes it work happily for a while but fail at the end with the somewhat more helpful message "Update system information failed".

Any suggestions?
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#2
happyrock

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you should find everything you need here
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#3
RLDavies

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Thanks for your quick reply.

The Microsoft page is the same as the Disk Management help screen, so it's not really tellng me anything new. I've tried those instructions again, very carefully, just to make sure. This is the sequence:

1. Right-click on unallocated space.
2. Select "New partition" (it doesn't offer the option of "New logical drive").
3. Make various choices. I've tried all the permutations (primary or extended partition, with or without volume label, with or without formatting).
4. Press "Finish".
5. Instantly get error message "The disk configuration operation did not complete".

EDIT: I've heard that XP without the service packs won't recognize large partitions. When I first installed XP and formatted the drive, of course it was XP on its own; the service packs were installed after XP. Could this be the problem? Would running a quick re-install of XP over itself help at all?

EDIT AGAIN: Well, a quick re-install isn't going to work. It recognises that the version on the computer (with the service packs) is "newer" than the version on the installation disk, and won't touch it.

Edited by RLDavies, 01 November 2009 - 09:26 AM.

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#4
rshaffer61

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Is the system setup as FAT32 or NTFS?
Fat32 will give oyu the exact problem you are experiencing
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#5
RLDavies

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Both Windows Disk Management and Easeus Partition Master show everything as NTFS. I don't see any reason to disbelieve them.

A friend has suggested making a new installation disk, slipstreaming the original XP and the SP1 installations together, so it would at least recognise large partitions right from installation. I haven't done this yet as it seems something of a slog, and I'm not too keen on the idea of backing up all my stuff and reinstalling from scratch. (Although I will if every other avenue is exhausted.)

It's not a major panic crisis or anything, but I've paid for the space and I'd really like to use it, especially now that I'm getting interested in video projects.
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#6
123Runner

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I assume that you are seeing "unallocated space" while you are in disk management.
If so you should be able to right click the space and create a partition. Then format it.

Also if this is a Fat 32 you will have the problem you see.
I do not recall off hand exactly, but there used to be a jumper on the drive to limit the size. I believe that limit was around 32gb though.

Another install over what you have will not fix the issue.
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#7
RLDavies

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Disk Management refers me to the system events log. Where would I find this? Just in case there's some useful information in there.
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#8
123Runner

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I am assuming they mean the event viewer under administrative tools.

Is the drive formatted Fat 32 or NTFS?
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#9
rshaffer61

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  • Please download the Event Viewer Tool by Vino Rosso VEW and save it to your Desktop:
  • Double-click VEW.exe
  • Under 'Select log to query', select (as appropriate):
    • Application
    • System
  • Under 'Select type to list', select (as appropriate):
    • Error
    • Information
    • Warning
Then use the 'Date of events' or 'Number of events' as follows:

Either:
  • Click the radio button for 'Number of events'
    Type 3 in the 1 to 20 box (or any number from 1 to 20)
    Then click the Run button.
    Notepad will open with the output log.

  • Click the radio button for 'Date of events'
    In the From: boxes type today's date (presuming the crash happened today) 13 07 2009
    In the To: boxes type today's date (presuming the crash happened today) 13 07 2009
    Then click the Run button.
    Notepad will open with the output log.
Please post the Output log in your next reply
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#10
RLDavies

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I'm looking at the log through Event Viewer in Windows Administrative Tools.

After a load of entries obviously relating to this morning's startup, the following entries are repeated in order lots of times (which makes sense, because I tried lots of times):

-The Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service was successfully sent a start control.
-The Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service entered the running state.
-The Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service entered the stopped state.

There are also occasional "The epmntdrv service was successfully sent a start control."

I've tried running VEW and it comes back with no output at all.

EDIT: I've got to sign off now and start preparing dinner. Will check back in the morning. Thanks to everyone who took the time to be helpful!

Edited by RLDavies, 01 November 2009 - 11:51 AM.

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#11
happyrock

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right click on my computer...then manage...then double click storage...then double click disk management...
drag the window open so we can see it all and get a screenshot for us ...
if you don't know how to post a screenshot...go here...
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#12
RLDavies

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Thanks. Here's the screenshot of Disk Management. Sorry it's so big, but I wanted to make sure it was legible.

Posted Image

You'll note I've re-lettered my two CD/DVD drives E: and F: in hopes of naming the unallocated space D:. (F: is not visible off the bottom of the picture.) I have some other external drives but none is plugged in at the moment.

The disks X: and Y: seem to be related to a card reader that is occasionally plugged in. Their existence is mildly annoying but ignorable. I gave them those letters to keep them out of the way.

...Sudden thought. When I use Easeus Partition Master, it's happy to create a partition in the space, and fails only at the very end, when it's actually displaying 100% completed. The error message is "Update system information failed". So is there something I might try tweaking in the Registry? I'm confident with fiddling about with the Registry, as long as I know what to change the settings to.

I've been wondering whether a new installation with a slipstream disk would even help. Whatever the installation, the computer certainly has all the service packs now, so surely it ought to be able to manage large partitions now...?

Edited by RLDavies, 02 November 2009 - 09:41 AM.

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