Fix Hard Drive/External Hard Drive Only Shows Half Capacity

Tracy King updated on Sep 16, 2020 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


Many reasons would result in hard drive showing partial capacity, like a half. Read this page, so you can get answers to how to restore hard drive full capacity. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard comes handy when you want to recover data from the unseen hard drive space.

Full solutions to restore a hard drive or external hard drive's  full capacity:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Scan and remove virus If you have anti-virus software installed, run the anti-virus software...Full steps
Fix 2. Convert MBR to GPT Download and launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the MBR disk...Full steps
Fix 3. Create New Volumes In Disk Management, right-click on the unallocated space and select "New Simple Volume"....Full steps
Fix 4. Show Hidden Partition In Disk Management, right-click the partition named as New Volume...Full steps
Fix 5. Add Unallocated Space to Partition Use Disk Managemen or EaseUS Partition Master to add unallocated space to existing partition...Full steps
Fix 6. Recover Lost Partition Select the disk or device where you lost partition(s), click "Scan" to continue...Full steps

The provided methdos can be applied to fix the following issues and restore your storage device to its full capacity with ease:

  • 1tb hdd only showing 500GB
  • 500GB hard drive shows only 130gb of space
  • 1TB hard drive only shows 127GB
  • external hard drive only showing 32GB
  • hard drive only shows 4GB
  • 4TB hdd shows only 2TB

If you are having a similar issue on your device and want to make use of all sapece on your HDD, SSD, or external hard drive, pick up the right solution and follow steps to fix this issue now.

Causes of Hard Drive Shows Half or Partial Capacity

Hard Drive, like HDD/SSD, plays an essential role in reading and writing data. The bigger the hard drive, the better. So we don't need to worry that there is low disk space warning when keep installing programs, games or saving huge documents, movies, music and whatever we want in daily computer use.

However, many people found that they invest in a large hard drive of 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, but only seeing half capacity, or even partial capacity available for usage. What's the problem? Why is the hard drive not showing its correct size?

In general, the hard drive showing wrong size issue happens to a lot of users, and the following reasons may account for the problem:

  • Virus or malware infection
  • The hard drive, SSD, or external hard drive is with MBR style
  • Files invisible
  • Partition deleted or lost, showing unallocated

Recover Data First Before Fixing HDD Shows Half Capacity Issue

Applies to: Scan and restore all exising vailable data on the hard drive,SSD,or external hrad drive which shows half or only partical space in Windows PC.

If you have saved valuable data on the hard drive, SSD, or external hard drive that only has half or partical space visiable, you should first take action to scan and restore all valuable data to another secure divice first. If you have files to recover, download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

It's hard disk data recovery software that specializes to recover data after deleting, formatting or virus infection from all types of storage devices regardless of their capacity show only half, partial, or full:

Step 1. Select partition to scan lost data.

On EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, select a partition like C: drive, D drive or E drive where you lose your data and click "Scan" to start.

select and scan partition

Step 2. Find and preview lost partition data from the scanning result.

After the scan, select and preview found partition data in "Deleted Files" or "Lost Files". The Filter or Search bar may also help you access the lost files.

Preivew found partition data

Step 3. Select and recover lost partition data.

Select all lost partition files and click "Recover" to get everything back. Before making your partition safe to save data again, save all recoverable files to another secure device.

recover data from partition

6 Fixes to Reclaim Full Size of Hard Drive That Shows Only Half or Partial Capacity

After knowing the reasons, you can feel released for a while because we're going to share corresponding solutions with you.

Method 1. Remove Virus That Makes Hard Disk Showing Wrong Size

Applies to: Fix HDD/SSD, or external hard drive not showing full capacity due to virus infection.

When your hard drive is infected with virus or malware which eats some storage space on your hard drive, it only shows half or patial capacity. You can perform antivirus software to keep your drive clean and safe.

Step 1. To check virus or malware infection

If you have anti-virus software installed, run the anti-virus software for the first time. If you don't have an anti-virus software, try Avast, AVG,etc., download and install one on your PC.

Step 2. Keep your problematic HDD, SSD, or external hard drive connected to PC correctly.

Step 3. Run antivirus software to scan your device and clear up the existing virus, malware.

For people who don't have the software, you can also refer to this linked page and learn how to use cmd to remove virus in Windows 10/8.1/8/7.

Method 2. Convert MBR to GPT to Restore Full Capcity of Large HDD/SSD

Applies to: Fix large hard drive, SSD, or external hard drive only shows half or partial capacity due to MBR limitation.

Another reason that may stop your disk from showing full capcity is due to the limit of MBR partition style. As we know, MBR only works with disks up to 2TB in size, at the same time, allows for creating 4 partitions in total.

If you have a particularly large-capacity hard drive that is over 2TB but initialized to MBR style, you will only get 2TB storage capacity in total. To make full use of the rest space you don't see, you need to convert MBR to GPT.

EaseUS Partition Master is a perfect choice to convert hard disk between MBR and GPT, it's super easy and guaranteed with zero data loss during the conversion.

Step 1. Download and launch EaseUS Partition Master on your Windows computer.

Step 2. Right-click the MBR disk that you want to convert and choose "Convert to GPT".

convert MBR to GPT - 1

Step 3. After that, find and click the "Execute 1 Operation" button on the toolbar and choose "Apply" to start the conversion. You need to restart your device to enable this change.

convert MBR to GPT - 2

Once the MBR to GPT conversioni process completes, you will get the full size of your HDD, SSD, or external hard drive again.

Method 3. Create New Volume to Make Use of Unallocted Space on Disk

Applies to: Make use of unallocated space on hard drive or ssd which only shows half or partial space.

Sometimes, the hard drive showing half capacity is because the other half space is unallocated. You can create new simple volumes on the disk to make full use of the other half or partial unused space:

Step 1. In Windows 10/8.1/8/7, press Windows + R hotkeys to bring up the Run box, type diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

Step 2. On the disk map, check if the hard drive partition displays as Unallocated.

If yes, you can create a new simple volume on the unallocated space with the continuing steps.

Step 3. Right-click on the unallocated space and select "New Simple Volume".

Create new simple volume on unallocated space of hard disk.

Step 4. Set a new drive letter, file system and size for the new volume.

Step 5. Follow the onscreen instruction guidelines to finish the process.

Finish creating new volumes on unallocated space of hard disk

If you need to create more partitions with the unallocated space, repeate the process untile you've used all unallocated space on the target disk. After this, you will be able to see the full capacity and make full use of the disk sapce again.

Method 4. Show Hidden Partition That Makes Disk Showsing Wrong Size

Applies to: Fix hard drive or ssd showing wrong capacity on Windows 10/8/7 due to hidden partition.

When other half space of your disk is hidden somewhere or you hide some partitions with partial space on your computer disk, you may not be able to see its full capacity in Windows File Explorer.

The way to fix this issue is to unhide or show hidden partition on computer with the following steps:

Step 1. Keep your target disk is connected to PC correctly and open Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click the partition named as New Volume which as no drive letter and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths for New Volume".

Step 3. Click "Add" to assign a new drive letter for the partition to make visible in Windows File Explorer.

Unhide partition.

  • For example, you can assign the drive letter F for the hidden partition and click "OK".

Find hidden partition in Windows 10/8/7.

After this, you can restart PC and when you reopen File Explorer, you will be able to view and access to other half or partial hidden partitions of your disk.

Method 5. Add Unallocated Space to A Neighbor or Non-adjacent Partition

Applies to: Make full use of unallocated sapce on hard drive, or external hard drive by adding unallocated space to a neighbor or non-adjacent partition.

When there is unused space on your disk or external hard drive, you may also not be able to see its full capacity on computer. Only half or partial space is visible.

In this case, you can either try to create new simple volumes as recommended in Method 3 or try the tips below to add unallocated space to other existing partitions that are adjacent or non-adjacent.

#1. Add Unallocated Space to A Neighbor Partition

If the unallocated space is behind to an existing partition, you can add the unallocated space to extend the neighbor partition using Disk Management:

Step 1. Open Disk Management on your computer and locate the unallocted space.

Step 2. Right-click on the neighbor partition that you want to extend, and choose "Extend Volume" to continue.

extend windows 7 partition

Step 3. Set and add more size to your target partition and click "Next" to continue. 

Extend Windows 7 partition with Disk Managenent.

Step 4. Click "Finish" to complete the process.

#2. Add Unallocated Space to Non-adjacent Partition

If you want to add the unallocated space to a non-adjcenet partition, you can apply EaseUS Partition Master with its Resize/Move feature for help.

It allows you to freely move unallocated space next to a target partition and extend it with ease:

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 6. Perform Partition Recovery and Restore Full Disk Capacity

Applies to: Fix hard drive, SSD shows only partial space as partition gets deleted or lost.

When some partitions on your disk gets deleted or lost, you may not be able to see its full capacity but only partial storage space visiable on Windows PC.

To bring the full capacity back on your disk without losing any data, you can either try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to restore data and create new partitions on the unallocated space as shown in Method 3 or run a reliable partition recovery software to bring all lost, deleted, even hidden partitions with data back at one time.

EaseUS Partition Recovery is capable of helping you to recover a whole lost, deleted or hidden partition along with data on it. It looks like you never lost the partition at all.

Step 1: Run EaseUS Partition Recovery on your PC.

Select the disk or device where you lost partition(s), click "Scan" to continue.

Select disk to scan lost partition.

Step 2: Wait for the scanning process to complete.

Let the program scan selected disk and find the lost partition(s).

Scan lost partition.

Step 3: Preview and restore lost partition(s).

Double-click on the partition which is marked as "Lost" with "Good" recoverability.

Preview lost partition

Preview the content of the lost partition. Click "OK" and click "Proceed" to start restoring the lost partition.

Select found partition to restore.

Step 4: Click "Recover Now" to finish the partition recovery process.

Note: If the program warns you that there is a conflict, back up the listed partition with essential data to an external hard drive first. Then execute the final operation to restore your lost partition.

Finish partition recovery.


This page explains why do the hard drive, SSD, or external hard drive shows only half or partial capacity on your computer. When you meet 1TB hard drive only shows 500GB, 2TB external hard drive showing 127GB, or 500GB SSD shows only 32GB, etc. on your PC, don't worry.

You can first apply reliable data recovery software like EasUS Data Recovery Wizard to scan and restore your valuable data from the invisiable partial space. Then apply the provided 6 methods to bring your halpf or other partial sapce back on your disk by clearing up virus, converting disk from MBR to GPT, recover deleted partition, show hidden partition, create new volume on unallocated space, or add unallocated space to existing partitions, etc., with ease.

Always remember that no matter how you decide to make full use of your disk space, creating a full backup of your valuable data and run virus cleaner software to keep your device clean and safe are the two most important things.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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