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Fixes for Hard Drive Shows Wrong Capacity

Updated on Dec 05, 2018 by Jean to Partition Manager

In case that hard drive shows wrong capacity, especially the total storage of used space and free space becomes less and you need to restore its full capacity, apply the fixes here to correct the hard drive size!

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!