I have a PC with two hard drives running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. - this machine was previously owned by a company selling off their equipment so it is not brand new. The first hard drive (my C drive) is a 64GB Samsung unit. The second (D drive) is a Seagate ST3500418 AS 500GB unit.

I was given an error originally when trying to access the D drive that it needed to be formatted. I had nothing on it, so wasn't concerned with losing anything. After formatting it I can now access it with no errors, but it shows the total capacity to be 54MB of which 43.1MB is already used up out of a supposed 500GB!

If anyone could shed some light on this that would be great.

(Click images to enlarge)

Clicking disk management I can see there is 465.71GB unallocated, as denoted by the green oval below. The file system is NTFS shown underlined in red. I've also shown a red arrow pointing to the capacity of 55MB.


  • Did you checked the jumpers? www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZUX9X8t23Y Jumpers (at least for older drives) can reduce capacity.
    – Mixxiphoid
    Nov 1 '14 at 15:16
  • 5
    Click Start -> Right click Computer -> click Manage -> click Disk Management. Does your disk show up as 54MB with loads of unallocated space, or is the entire device 54MB?
    – Kinnectus
    Nov 1 '14 at 15:36

Try to check in the control panel->administratice tools->computer management->disk management if all the space available is allocated to partition. maybe you need to create one more partition on it and format to ntfs file system.

Btw, make sure if your disk is formatted to NTFS file system, not FAT or FAT32.

  • thanks for your reply. I've added a screenshot showing the D drive has 465.71GB unallocated on the D drive. Nov 1 '14 at 15:44
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    So right click on disk D bar, click remove, and afterall unallocated space will cover whole disk. afterall right click to unallocated space bar and select 'create'. Set proper size and format this new disk to NTFS.
    – cj ayho
    Nov 1 '14 at 15:46
  • Many thanks I just managed to extend it and get 465GB. Nov 1 '14 at 15:47
  • Congratulations :)
    – cj ayho
    Nov 1 '14 at 15:48
  • You should be able to expand without needing to format first.
    – oldmud0
    Jan 12 '16 at 1:59

This happened to me before. One day HDD was working with no problem and the next day it was gone. It was showing 40MB in BIOS. So, good bye to all my data. Your only chance would be finding the same controller and try with it. It would most likely work since your HDD is not physically damaged. I didn't bother finding same controller cause it is extremely hard to find. You could buy the same HDD with same controller and change only controller if your data is really important.

Edit: According to second picture of your question (either i didn't see it or you edited your question) my statement above is not valid for you. But i think my answer can stay for others that might have this problem.

  • You could buy the same HDD and change only controller if your data is really important. That this would work is a dangerous assumption. Identical hard drive models can have slightly different firmware on the controller, in which case one could convert an otherwise salvageable situation into an irreversible disaster. Nov 1 '14 at 15:40
  • I already stated that same controller should be used. But you are right i'm gonna edit my answer.
    – Haplo
    Nov 1 '14 at 15:44
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    @Haplo Thanks for your time. Yes it was a busted disk in the end just I hadn't allocated it the entire space. Your answer could help someone else though. Nov 1 '14 at 15:50
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    I know what you're saying and you are correct. My point is one may not have a reliable way to confirm they're using an identical controller since the HDD manufacturer can change controller firmware without changing the drive's model number. Nov 1 '14 at 15:51
  • 1
    I assumed that if the data was important you would have backups. Or even off-site backups.
    – Hennes
    Nov 1 '14 at 19:55

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