127GB Windows XP Partition Cap

By darkchaos78 ·
When installing XP on a Seagate 500gb HDD w/3GB/s the OS loaded the drive as a 127 GB partition even though my bios reconized it as 500 and now there's a limit on the drive. I desperately needed a machine to work on and the cap wasn't a problem for me at the moment, but now I am having the trouble of reconizing just how to regain my data status.

My considerations are to:

Buy a couple cheap drives and use them in a RAID 1 for partition use, or if need be use them seperately, but that's another issue.
Then take the drive i have now and format it, then use it for data storage. I have no problem with setting up the RAID, but what I'd like to know is the why and how of this partition cap by XP. It's extremely frustrating and I don't know where to turn. I read in the intruction manual that if you don't have at least serivice pack 1 with XP installed that you cannot use the drive beyond a 137 GB extent(different #), but I havn't even installed XP at the time much less a service pack. If any one has any suggestions I'd be welcome to hear them. Thank You

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by IC-IT In reply to 127GB Windows XP Partitio ...

Either SP2 or SP3 into an XP CD. Nlite can make this task much easier.
If you use the 500GB drive with the current XP installed, you may (will) run into a slew of problems. Do the slipstream and then re-install the OS.
Here is a link for Nlite;


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What you have here is a old Install version of XP

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to 127GB Windows XP Partitio ...

If it is a M$ Branded Install Disc you can use nLite to make a Slipstreamed Install Disc and Include Service Pack 2 which will allow you to use all of the available HDD Space but you;ll have to delete the existing partition before you start


make sure to check out the Guides section on nLite's web site for the correct way to use their application


Alternativelly you could open the Drive Management inside Windows after applying SP2 or latter and chose to create another Partition or several to make full use of the available HDD space that isn't currently being used.

As to why this happens it is because XP has been available for a very long time and when it was first released a size limit of 137 GIG's was far in excess of any available HDD at that time. Since XP was originally released hardware has got faster and HDD have grown in size to capacities that are far in excess of anything that was available when XP was released. So it is no longer suitable to use the Original Version of XP on Modern Hardware with HDD's of a capacity of more than 120 GIG.


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