Hard Drive Problems (Hitachi Deskstar 120GXP)

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I purchased a 120GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) some time ago and installed it as a secondary HDD for my 733 MHZ Packard Bell computer (running Windows ME). The BIOS would only let me format 31.4GB.

The HDD worked quite well apart from the limitation. However, I transferred the HDD to a Dell running XP (again as a secondary drive). The HDD is running perfectly well as a 31.4 GB Drive.

I really want to make full use of the HDD and reset it to 120GB. The BIOS will not give me any other options. I tried formatting it within Windows, ensuring that it is formatted as NTFS but no other options are available.

Does anyone have any ideas?

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by TelcoChuck In reply to Hard Drive Problems (Hita ...

The destructive way (after you backed up everything you want to save) is to right click on My Computer, Manage. Under Storage, select Disk Management. Delete the partition, then set the partition as the whole drive. Then do the long format (NTFS), this does a little bit of checking. Or you could get partiton magic, but I recomend that you convert to NTFS anyway, so it wouldn't be of much use.

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Or create a new volume

by DMambo In reply to Re-Partitioning

Make use of the 80+ GB as a new volume. I generally rename the optical drive(s) so that I can use the "lower" letters for the HD volumes.

Is the Hitachi Deskstar the devil spawn of the old IBM Deskstar (Deathstar)? I hope you have better luck than I have had with those dogs. Four or five years and kaput for about 10% of them.

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IBM Deathstar

by johnm In reply to Or create a new volume

I guess you remember the 'chirp of death'? =D

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Well firstly the Deskstars had a size limiting Jumper on them

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Hard Drive Problems (Hita ...

So make sure that you are not limiting the actual size of the HDD to the Minimum that it allows.

The next thing that you have to consider is will the current BIOS read a 120 GIG HDD? Many have an upper Size Limit and you can not exceed this size and still have a working Drive.

If the BIOS can not read the full size of the Drive you have a couple of options the first is to use a piece of Software to trick BIOS into seeing the full size of the drive messy particularly with XP involved. My Suggestion would be to Fit a PCI to IDE Card and set the 120 GIG drive to that as a Master that will bypass your existing BIOS without a problem and allow you to use all of the available capacity of the drive as well as fit other big drives without a problem if you wish.

Once you get the drive mounted you'll have to use a wiping utility to erase the entire drive and then reformat it so you can get full access to all the drive space available. I tend to use Boot & Nuke as it's easy to use and fairly fast as well. IBM used to have a Wipe & Zap utility but with the advent of Hitachi that has now disappeared so the easy option is to use the Boot & Nuke utility available here.


While you are at it download Hitachi's testing utility to check the working of the drive before you even start to proceed with anything. The Deskstars had a nasty habit of dieing without warning so I always check these with the provided software available here.


Just scroll down the page till you find the correct Drive Fitness Tester for your needs and download it and test the drive before you even begin to proceed further.

You can also find the correct directions on how to setup your Hitachi HDD here so I would suggest that you down load them and make sure that the jumper setting is correct as most of the Deskstars had 2 settings on them one for 15 head and another for 16 head drives if I remember correctly. If you use the wrong jumper setting it will not work properly either.



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Thank You

by mail In reply to Well firstly the Deskstar ...

Thanks everyone for your input, particularly HAL 9000. It was a great help.

I shall be giving it a go over the weekend.

Kind regards,

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120 hitachi puting out 2.gig or memory

by ctat37 In reply to Hard Drive Problems (Hita ...

where is the jumper that reduces the size of the drive located? thanks

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