Fixes for Hard Drive Shows Wrong Capacity

Jean updated on Dec 05, 2018 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

3 Causes for Hard Drive Not Showing Full Capacity

Is your hard drive corrupted when it shows the wrong capacity? Not really. There are quite a few reasons that would lead to a hard drive showing less space than it is advertised. For example, a newly bought 500 GB HDD displays only 465 GB even with no data on it. Or, some external hard disks and USB flash drives may develop another incorrect capacity issue that the free space size is hugely decreased. 

This is the real story of a user telling his 1TB hard drive now showing only 0.18TB of free space.

"My WD external hard drive gets a strange problem. It's 1TB advertised and I only use it as a backup hard drive. But today I surprisingly found that the free space is only 0.18TB. That's impossible because the used space can't be more than 200GB. What happened? Why is the hard drive showing wrong free space? Can I restore the full size even so?"

Viewing from all the examples and excluding the fact that you have bought a fake hard drive sold by those unscrupulous merchants, there are three reasons for you to understand the occasion of why your hard drive showing the incorrect size of either the total or only free space.

  • Hidden recovery partition or files that take a certain amount of disk space.
  • A computer virus has eaten all the storage, intentionally showing less free space, especially 0 bytes in hard drive partition.
  • There's huge unallocated space out of the whole disk partition.

3 Fixes for Hard Drive Shows the Wrong Capacity

How to correct your hard drive storage size, you can follow the tips in this part to have it fixed.

As you can tell, not all the events require a fix. Many hard drives are with an OEM partition or recovery partition, usually for factory restore purpose, and it's usually invisible in My Computer in Windows operating system. So, when you find a new hard drive showing less disk space than it advertised, go to "My Computer" (in Windows 7 and 8) or "This PC" (in Windows 8.1 and 10) -> "Manage" -> "Disk Management" and check the real space taking by the recovery partition.

Now we come to the point. In order to restore your hard drive to its full capacity and let the free space showing correct figure, you should try EaseUS free partition manager, with which the resize partition feature, format partition feature and check partition feature can help you get rid of all occasions that cause the problem.

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 Windows 10 is supported

Method 1: Add the unallocated space to the partition showing the wrong size

The first step is to try to add the unallocated space to the problematic partition in order to restore hard drive full capacity.


Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master

Run partition manager software

Step 2: Free up space to extend partition

If the hard drive has enough unallocated space to extend the target partition, jump to Step 3 and continue.

If not, free up space first:
1. Right-click on a partition next to the target partition and select "Resize/Move".
2. Drag the partition ends to free up space, leaving enough unallocated space behind the target partition, click "OK".

Free up space to extend partition

Step 3: Extend partition

1. Right-click on the target partition and select "Resize/Move".

Resize target partition

2. Drag the target partition handle into the unallocated space to extend partition.

Add space to the target partition

Step 4: Keep all changes

Click the "Execute Operation" button and click "Apply" to keep all changes.

Keep all changes for extending partition

Method 2: Check disk partition errors and repair

Since the virus or other hardware issues could result in the wrong capacity in hard disk partitions, you should check and repair partition errors to rectify the problem.

Method 3: Format hard disk partition that shows the wrong capacity

At last, the worst case that brings about a hard disk's storage capacity being wrongly labeled might be hard drive corruption. You can only try to format a corrupted hard drive so as to use it as new with its original storage space.

Note that your existing hard drive data would be erased by formatting. Please make a backup in advance and then apply the following troubleshooting steps. Data becomes inaccessible? You shall download EaseUS data recovery software to recover inaccessible data from hard drive.

Step 1: Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the hard drive partition you intend to format and choose "Format".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: In the new window, set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and Cluster size for the partition to be formatted, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: Then you will see a warning window, click "OK" in it to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4: Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting the partition on your hard drive.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4
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 Windows 10 is supported

Since hard drive showing wrong capacity has a noticeable impact on data and system storage, try to fix the hard drive not showing full capacity issue as soon as possible and restore the missing storage back to its full size with the fixes herein provided!


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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

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Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

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