5 Fixes for Hard Drive Only Showing Half Capacity in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 (2023)

"Hard drive only showing half capacity"

5 Fixes for Hard Drive Only Showing Half Capacity in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 (1)

“Several days ago, something weird happened to my SanDisk. Well, the SanDisk SSD has 500GB, but the system does not show the full capacity, only half of the size. What’s wrong? What can be done? Any helpful suggestions welcome. Thanks in advance!”

- Question from tom’s hardware forum.

Have you ever encountered such similar disk problems such as SSD reporting wrong size? Or are you just being bothered by hard drive only showing half capacity? So you might be wondering why these occur and how to deal with them, just like the guy asking for help on forums. Just read on, the content below will clear all your doubts.

Why hard drive not showing full capacity?

There are many reasons that could help explain why the hard drive shows wrong size in Windows 10/8/7.

►When your hard drive is infected with virus or malware that has eaten some storage space, and then hard drive only showing half capacity issue occurs, so you can perform anti-virus software to keep your device clean and safe.

►When the hard drive driver is out of date, there is also a possibility that the hard drive shows wrong capacity in the Windows computer.

►If you format the hard drive using an improper tool or the formatting process is interrupted by sudden power failure or removal, then it might get damaged and displays wrong capacity.

►If the disk is larger than 2TB, but initialized to be MBR, then the rest space over 2TB will be shown as “Unallocated” in Disk Management and you will be unable to see and access it in File Explorer. That’s because MBR only works with disks up to 2 TB in size.

►One or more partitions on the disk are deleted and shown as unallocated in Disk Management, then you can not see and access such space in Windows File Explorer.

(Video) Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Full Size (Still Works 2022)

How to fix "hard drive only showing half capacity"? (5 Solutions)

In order to restore hard drive to full capacity in Windows 10/8/7, the following solutions are proven to be effective, you can try them one by one until the problem gets fixed.

Warning: To protect your data from damage during the issue-fix process, you had better make a data backup in advance.

Solution 1. Update hard drive driver

To update hard drive driver, do as follow:

Step 1. Click on “Start” and type “Device Manager” in Search box, then hit “Enter” to open it.

Step 2. Click “Disk drives” to expand the category. Right-click on the hard drive which reports wrong capacity and select “Update driver”.

Step 3. Select “Search automatically for updated driver software.”

Step 4. If Windows doesn't find a new driver, you can try searching for one on the hard drive manufacturer's website and follow their instructions.

Besides, you can also try to reinstall the driver: select “Uninstall” in the step 2. Then restart your PC, and Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver.

Solution 2. Reformat the hard drive

Instead of formatting disk via some unknown tools, you can first try the Windows built-in tools to see if they work. For example, you can format the hard drive in Disk Management, if there is no option to format drive, go for the Diskpart.

To format disk using Diskpart, first of all, click “Start” button, input “cmd” in the Search field and press “Enter”, right click Command Prompt icon and choose “Run as administrator”. In the subsequent Command Prompt window, type “Diskpart” and press “Enter” to launch this utility.

Then, input the following commands in order and hit Enter after each.

(Video) How To Restore USB Drive Back To Original Full Capacity/Size

  • list disk : get a detailed list of all disks on your system.

  • select disk n: n is the number of the target hard drive

  • clean: delete all partitions on the selected disk and clear it.

  • create partition primary: create a primary partition on the disk.

  • format fs=ntfs quick. Or you can replace ntfs with fat32 or exfat based on your requirements.

Now, you can check whether the hard disk shows full capacity or not, if not, proceed to the next method.

Solution 3. Wipe the hard drive to its full capacity

If formatting does not resolve the problem, you can try to wipe the hard drive to check if they will show up full capacity. For this task, you can make use of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This freeware can wipe a hard disk or certain partition with zero filling method.

Download the freeware, then install and launch it on your Windows PC (Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista of both 32 bit and 64bit supported). And follow the specific steps below:

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP

Secure Download

(Video) [Fixed] Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows 11/10/8/7

Step 1. In the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, right-click the hard drive which only shows the half size and select “Wipe Hard Drive”.

Step 2. In the pop-out window, you can see four wiping methods. Choose the first one and click on "OK" button.

Step 3. You will preview the wiping effect after you go back to the software main interface. Then, you need to click on the “Apply” button to execute this change.

Then you can create a new partition on the unallocated space.

Solution 4. Convert the large hard drive from MBR to GPT

If the hard drive only showing half capacity is with MBR style, and it is larger than 2TB, surpassing the maximum size of MBR disk, you could convert it to GPT to see if it shows full size. Although this conversion could be finished in Disk Management or Diskpart, you need to delete all existing partitions first. That means everything on the disk will get lost.

In this situation, the free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can help you as well. It is able to convert data disk between GPT and MBR with keeping partitions and stored data intact. Windows 11 only supports GPT system disk, so you can convert MBR to GPT to upgrade to Windows 11.

Step 1. Right-click the disk and select "Convert to GPT Disk".

Step 2. Then a mini window will appear, just click "OK" if you are sure to convert the disk to GPT.


Step 3. Finally, click "Apply" on the left corner to start the conversion.

If it is the internal hard drive that only shows half capacity and needs to be converted from MBR to GPT, you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, which can convert boot disk between MBR and GPT without removing partitions/losing data.

Solution 5. Recover deleted partition on the hard drive

If the partition on your hard drive is deleted by accident, it will show wrong capacity as well. Thus, recovering the deleted partition can help solve the issue. To do so, you can turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Step 1. Click “Partition Recovery Wizard” under Wizard column. Select the disk that contains the deleted partition and click “Next”.

Step 2. Select a search method according to your special requirements and click “Next”.

Step 3. Select the deleted partition you want to recover from the given list and click “Proceed”.

Step 4. When you see the word “Congratulations”, the partitions have been recovered successfully. Click “Finish” to exit the window.

(Video) Hard Drive Full but No Files in Windows 10


In this article, we have discussed why the hard drive only showing half capacity, and how to fix it via five different methods. I sincerely hope that you can get help right here. Worth to mention that AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is very versatile for dealing with many intractable disk/partition jobs, such as formatting 2TB hard drive to FAT32, SD card not showing full capacity and more.

Besides, its Pro edition comes with many attractive functions including quickly creating multiple partitions, migrating OS to SSD, cloning GPT disk to GPT disk and so on.


Why is my hard drive not showing full capacity Windows 11? ›

The possible reasons for 4TBdrive not showing full capacity: The hard drive has been initialized to a wrong partition table - MBR, which only supports a disk less than 2TB. The hard drive driver or firmware is out of date. Bad sectors make the hard disk drive unable to read correctly and show the wrong capacity.

Why is only half of my hard drive space available? ›

Many reasons can cause a hard drive with an incorrect capacity issue: Virus or malware attack. Out-of-date hard drive driver. Improper formatting.

Why is my 3 TB hard drive not showing full capacity? ›

If your 3TB hard drive not showing full capacity in Windows 10, it may be because the partition style is set incorrectly. You can fix this problem by converting the hard drive from MBR o GPT. ✿ Note: This process will first clean up all data on the disk. Therefore, back up important files if necessary.

Why does my 4TB hard drive only show 3.63 TB? ›

The reason the drive doesn't show as 4TB in your OS is because, since the beginning of time, hard drive manufactures consider 1 kilobyte as 1,000 bytes, 1 megabyte as 1,000 kilobytes, 1 gigabyte as 1,000 megabytes and 1 terabyte are 1,000 gigabytes. That is a marketing gimmick.

Why is there so little space left on my hard drive? ›

Delete personal files or move them to an external storage device. Personal files such as videos, music, photos, and documents can take up a lot of space on your device. To see which files are using the most space: Select File Explorer from the taskbar and find the files you want to move.

How do I fix limited storage space? ›

6 Ways to Fix "Insufficient Storage Available" on an Android
  1. 1 Resetting Your Apps' Caches.
  2. 2 Uninstall Unwanted Apps.
  3. 3 Clearing the Play Store Cache and Data and Uninstalling Updates.
  4. 4 Transfer Photos and Videos to a Computer.
  5. 5 Save Photos and Videos to an External SD or Cloud Storage.
  6. 6 General Tips and Tricks.
Jan 23, 2023

Why is my C disk full for no reason? ›

When the hard drive's file system gets corrupted, it will show the capacity incorrectly and cause the C drive is full for no reason problem. You can use a hard drive repair tool - EaseUS Partition Master to check and repair back sectors by fixing the file system errors with the Check File System feature.

How to change MBR to GPT? ›

Back up or move the data on the basic MBR disk you want to convert into a GPT disk. If the disk contains any partitions or volumes, right-click each and then click Delete Partition or Delete Volume. Right-click the MBR disk that you want to change into a GPT disk, and then click Convert to GPT Disk.

How do I format my SSD to full capacity? ›

How to format an SSD
  1. Click on Start or the Windows button, select Control Panel, then System and Security.
  2. Select Administrative Tools, then Computer Management and Disk management.
  3. Choose the disk you'd like to format, right-click and select Format.

Is exFAT better than NTFS? ›

In a debate regarding exFAT vs NTFS vs FAT32, NTFS is the best format for storage devices with Windows operating system. However, exFAT is best for portable storage devices due to more efficient power and memory management. It also allows you to use a storage device on both Windows and macOS.

Why does my 2TB HDD only have 1.8 TB? ›

Operating systems like Windows never uses a decimal-based SI system to display the capacity of hard drive space. It always uses the binary numbers instead. So the 1.81 TB shown in the disk properties above really means 1.81 TiB (Tebibyte).

Why is my 1tb hard drive not showing up? ›

If your internal hard drive is not showing up, it might be because it is not initialized or it needs formatting. Ensure your disk is properly connected to the motherboard with the SATA cable. Due to some BIOS settings, your HDD might also not be visible in Windows 10.

What is the default capacity of hard drive? ›

Hard disk drive storage capacity

Some of the most common storage drive capacities include the following: 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. This range is among the lowest for HDD storage space and is typically found in older and smaller devices. 120 GB and 256 GB.

How many TB should a hard drive have? ›

If you want a hard drive for general use, your safest bet is getting a 500GB – 1TB hard drive for storing files. That should be enough to cover most standard file storage needs. The price difference between a 500GB and 1TB is typically negligible, so I personally recommend going for a 1TB drive.

Why is my 2TB hard drive not showing up? ›

Try Another Cable, Port, or PC

If the drive still isn't working, unplug it and try a different USB port. It could just be finicky with your specific drive. If it's plugged into a USB 3.0 port, try a USB 2.0 port. If it's plugged into a USB hub, try plugging it directly into the PC instead.

What do you need to exceed a hard drive larger than 2TB? ›

In order for an operating system to fully support storage devices that have capacities that exceed 2 terabytes (2 TB, or 2 trillion bytes), the device must be initialized by using the GUID Partition Table (GPT) partitioning scheme. This scheme supports addressing of the full range of storage capacity.

How do I reset my storage space? ›

Manage storage on your device
  1. On your Android device, open the Google One app .
  2. At the bottom, tap Storage. Free up account storage.
  3. Select the category you want to manage.
  4. Select the files you want to remove. To sort files, at the top, tap Filter . ...
  5. After you select your files, at the top, tap Delete .

How do I get my storage space back? ›

How to Free Up Storage on Your Phone
  1. Get a Look at What You're Storing. Both Android and iOS make it easy to see exactly what's on your phone and how much space it takes up. ...
  2. Optimize Your Storage Space. ...
  3. Move Your Files to an SD Card. ...
  4. Optimize Your Photos. ...
  5. Clear Your Cache. ...
  6. Delete Old Files. ...
  7. Pare Down Your Apps.
Feb 21, 2023

How do I increase available disk space? ›

Here are three ways to create space on your system and make it easier to find the programs and files you actually use.
  1. Delete programs you never use. ...
  2. Back up rarely used data on an external hard drive. ...
  3. Run the Disk Cleanup utility.

How do I make my C drive full without reason Windows 10? ›

Press Windows key+R together, type %temp%, select all and delete them. Then go to C drive, right click->properties->general->disk cleanup->clean up system files->select temporary files and delete them. Lastly, open settings->system->storage->configure storage sense->clean now. That should do the trick.

Is it OK to delete temp files? ›

Can I delete the temporary files on my computer? It's completely safe to delete temporary files from your computer. It's easy to delete the files and then restart your PC for normal use.

How do I clean my C drive in Windows 11? ›

Disk cleanup in Windows
  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type disk cleanup, and select Disk Cleanup from the list of results.
  2. Select the drive you want to clean up, and then select OK.
  3. Under Files to delete, select the file types to get rid of. To get a description of the file type, select it.
  4. Select OK.

Which is better MBR or GPT? ›

Q #1) Which is better MBR or GPT? Answer: A choice of MBR or GPT depends on the number of partitions one wants to create. MBR has a limitation of only up to 4 primary partitions, whereas GPT allows the creation of up to 128 primary partitions. So, GPT is the most suitable choice if more partitions are to be created.

How do I know if my hard drive is MBR or GPT? ›

If you want to see whether your existing uses MBR or GPT, it's easy.
  1. Press Windows key + X.
  2. Click Disk Management.
  3. Find the drive in the bottom pane, right-click it, and click Properties.
  4. Switch to the Volumes tab.
  5. Next to Partition style, you'll see either Master Boot Record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT).
Apr 5, 2022

Should I use MBR or GPT? ›

MBR is best for some legacy versions, but if you use a Windows OS higher than Windows 7 version on a system with SSD, you should opt for GPT. GPT is far better for modern-day systems and high-capacity storage devices.

Why is my SSD not showing full capacity? ›

Your drive shows up smaller than advertised because storage drive capacity is calculated and reported slightly differently than other capacities in computing.

Why does my SSD not show full amount? ›

There are possible reasons that can be accounted for the SSD not showing the correct size: ▶ Vendor's capacity calculation is different from computer OS. ▶ The Virtual Memory paging file is located on the SSD/HDD. ▶ The SSD drive is larger than 2TB but initialized to be MBR.

How do I reset my SSD storage? ›

Here's how to secure wipe an SSD from BIOS.
  1. Enter your system BIOS / UEFI settings.
  2. Look for your drive and select it. ...
  3. Look for a Secure Erase or data wipe option. ...
  4. Perform the Secure Erase or wipe procedure, following any pertinent prompts or instructions that may arise.
Mar 3, 2020

Is there a downside to exFAT? ›

Disadvantages of exFAT

Not as compatible as FAT32. It does not offer journaling functionality and other advanced features built into the NTFS file system.

Is it better to use FAT32 or NTFS? ›

Compared to FAT32, the NTFS file system has higher disk utilization and can manage disk space more effectively. The read and write speeds of NTFS are also faster than that of FAT32.

Which format is best for hard drive? ›

Choose the right file system
  • NTFS file format: If you want to format your primary drive (with your OS), you must use NTFS (New Technology Files System), the default and modern Windows file system. ...
  • With basic file security and support for files over 4 GB in size, NTFS is the best option when transferring large files.
Oct 8, 2021

How do I see all hard drives in Windows 11? ›

If you're running Windows 11, Windows 10, or Windows 8, you can view all mounted drives in File Explorer. You can open File Explorer by pressing Windows key + E . In the left pane, select This PC, and all drives are shown on the right.

How do I increase the size of my D drive in Windows 11? ›

Type and search [Computer Management] in the Windows search bar①, then click [Run as administrator]②. In Computer Management, select [Disk Management]③. In Disk Management, right-click the existing volume you want to extend④, then select [Extend Volume]⑤.

How big of a hard drive can Windows 11 support? ›

Hardware requirements

Storage: 64 GB or greater available disk space. There might be more storage requirements over time for updates, and to enable specific features within the OS.

Why only C drive is visible in Windows 11? ›

After Windows 11 update, the hard drive disappears. Sometimes you can only see C drive in File Explorer. This may be caused by multiple reasons and the common causes are corrupted system files, problematic Windows updates, hardware issues, outdated/corrupt drivers, and more.

How do I see everything on my hard drive? ›

Windows Explorer
  1. Click "Start" and select "Computer" to open Windows Explorer.
  2. Double-click the hard drive's letter from the right pane's Hard Disk Drives section to view the drive's contents. ...
  3. Right-click the drive letter and select "Eject" when you are finished browsing the drive.

How can I find out why my hard drive is full? ›

Find out what files are taking up space on Windows 10
  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Storage.
  4. Under the “(C:)” section, you will see what's taking up space on the main hard drive.
  5. Click the “Show more categories” option to view the storage usage from other file types.
Jan 3, 2023

How do I make my SSD full potential? ›

Top 7 Tips to Get the Most from your SSDs
  1. Enable TRIM. TRIM is essential for keeping SSDs in tip-top shape. ...
  2. Don't Wipe the Drive. ...
  3. Update Your Firmware. ...
  4. Move Your Cache Folder to a RAM Disk. ...
  5. Don't Fill to Full Capacity. ...
  6. Don't Defrag. ...
  7. Don't Store Large Files.

How can I increase the capacity of my D drive? ›

To extend a volume by using Disk Management

After Computer Management opens, go to Storage > Disk Management. Select and hold (or right-click) the volume that you want to extend, and then select Extend Volume.

How do I merge C and D drives in Windows 11? ›

Merging C and D drive works the same way.
  1. Step 1: Select the target partition. Right-click on the partition which you want to add space to and keep, and select "Merge".
  2. Step 2: Select a neighbor partition to merge. ...
  3. Step 3: Execute operation to merge partitions.
Sep 22, 2022

How do I change my default hard drive from C to D in Windows 11? ›

Use the steps below to change the default folder locations in Windows 11.
  1. Click on Start ⊞ and select Settings⚙.
  2. Select Storage.
  3. Select Advanced storage settings, then select Where new content is saved.
  4. Select the location where you want each type of content to save.
Dec 21, 2022

Is 8gb RAM and 256GB SSD enough for Windows 11? ›

Yes , 8 GB Ram is enough to run Windows 11 smoothly.

Is 256 GB SSD enough for Windows 11? ›

If your computer can install multiple drives, a 256GB SSD is enough for daily use. You can install the 256GB SSD and one or more HDDs into the computer. Then, the OS and some frequently-used programs are installed on the SSD drive while documents and other programs are kept on the HDDs.

Is 150GB enough for C drive Windows 11? ›

Is 150GB enough for C drive Windows 11? This is because it is recommended to have your OS in a drive with a minimum capacity of 120-150GB. On the other hand, if you are using a 500GB to 2TB Hard Drive, then make as many partitions as you need.


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