Wondershare Recoverit

File Recovery

  • Recovers deleted or lost files effectively, safely and completely.
  • Supports data recovery from 500+ data loss scenarios, including computer crash, partition loss, accidental human error, etc.
  • Supports 1000+ file formats recovery with a high success rate and without any quality loss.
Free Download Free Download Free Download Learn More >
file recovery

Solved: Hard Drive Shows Wrong Capacity

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jul 17, 2024 • Filed to: Windows Computer Solutions • Proven solutions

Q: How to fix hard drive showing the wrong capacity?
"I need help, guys. I have been using my Hard drive for quite some time now, and it has always served me without any hassle. A few days ago, it started to show the wrong storage capacity. I need to fix it ASAP. Can you help? Can it be fixed?"

Hard drives (also known as HDD or external Hard drive) is a convenient and easy way to transfer large amounts of files. Hard drives are famous for their speed during data transfer, and this is what makes consumers consider them the right choice. There are different HDD sizes, including 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and so on. Hard drives may encounter various problems during their use, and one such issue is showing the wrong capacity.

In this piece, we will discuss the different reasons why this may happen and the possible solutions. We know it can be heart-wrenching to have something happen to your hard drive because many people use it as a backup for files. By the time you finish reading this piece, you will know how to fix the problem.

Part 1: Why Is My Hard Drive Not Showing Full Capacity?

Having a faulty hard drive can be tough, especially when you do not know what to do about it. There are different reasons why your external Hard drive is showing the wrong capacity, and we will discuss them in detail in this section. It is important to note that regularly scamming your HDD for viruses, worms, and other bugs is good maintenance culture and should be carried out frequently to maintain the integrity of your stored files.

We will be discussing five possible reasons for your Hard disk size, not showing its full capacity. These reasons are:

  1. The Hard drive is out of date.
  2. The previous formatting process was incomplete.
  3. The Hard Drive has been initialized to a wrong partition table.
  4. The master boot record or EFI information area is corrupt.
  5. Errors caused by bad sectors.

These five reasons are the most common problems which could be affecting your external hard drive sizes from showing correctly. We will now discuss them in detail so you can understand.

The Hard Drive is out of date

If your Hard drive is old or out of date, it will start to malfunction. One of these malfunctions is showing or displaying the wrong capacity when plugged in. If you have been using your hard drive for quite a while, a variety of reasons might lead to it developing problems. Older hard drives are susceptible to developing faults; that is why it is advisable to clean and maintain your drives as frequently as possible.

The previous formatting process was incomplete

Formatting is a process that prepares a drive for use. It enables a hard drive, solid-state drive, or any other external storage disks to be seen by a computer. is a technical process that should not be interrupted, or it might damage the drive being formatted? A trip having an incomplete formatting run or being interrupted while formatting is in progress can lead to the disk showing the wrong capacity. It is best to ensure that formatting is carried out in a safe and controlled environment.

The hard drive has been initialized to a wrong partition table

If your hard drive has been initialized to a wrong partition table it will display the wrong capacity when plugged in. If the size is larger than 2TB and is initialized to be MBR, the extra storage over 2TB will show as "Unallocated" in Disk Management, and you will not see it see the File Explorer. This is because the MBR partition table cannot handle the storage over 2TB.

Master boot record or EFI information area is corrupt

If there is an accidental insertion or ejection of the EFI information area, this could lead to the wrong capacity being displayed. If the master boot record or EFI area is corrupt, this would also lead to a wrong capacity display.

Errors caused by bad sectors

Bad sector errors can also cause the wrong capacity display.

Part 2: Effective Fixes for Hard Drive Showing Wrong Capacity

In the previous section, we discussed some reasons why your hard drive might be showing the wrong capacity. We will now discuss how you can solve this problem. We will explain various methods which all can solve this problem, and we want you to choose the method which appeals the most to you. Most people opt to throw their drives away when it encounters any issues. This is not good practice because most of these problems can be easily fixed and we will show in this article.

The four methods which we will discuss can all be used, but we recommend you pick the one you are most comfortable with. Here are the four solutions:

  1. Update Hard drive driver.
  2. Format Hard drive via command prompt.
  3. Backup data and initialize the Hard drive with disk management.
  4. Check for bad physical sectors or replace the disk.

Here are the detailed steps which you will need to perform for each of these methods to restore your Hard drive to its original problem-free form:

1. Update hard drive driver

update hard drive driver

Step 1. Click on the "Start" button, type "Device Manager" into the search bar, and press "Enter".

Step 2. Click on "Disk drives" and then Right-click on the hard drive capacity and select "Update driver".

Step 3. Select "Search automatically for updated driver software" and your driver should be automatically updated. If this doesn't work, the update can be done manually by searching and installing the updated driver software from the official website.

2. Format hard drive via command prompt

format hard drive via command prompt

Step 1. Click the "Start" button and type "cmd" in the search box. Right-click on the Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator".

Step 2. Type "diskpart" and press "Enter". Input and run the following commands in this order.

3. Backup and initialize the hard drive with disk management

Use disk management to initialize and back up your hard drive. This will allow you to properly diagnose and treat your drive

4. Check for bad physical sectors or replace the disk

To manually check the S.M.A.R.T. status of your Hard drive from the Command Prompt, right-click the Start menu and select Run. Type "cmd" into the search bar. In the dial-up box, Type:

"wmic disk drive get model, status"

It will return "Pred Fail" if your driver is bad, or "OK” the driver is doing fine.


Hard drives are a strong piece of hardware that can serve for an extended period. They help transfer large files and do so in record time. It is essential that we take good care of it and frequently scan for viruses and other malicious software that may damage it. Handling it with care Is also vital to prevent damages resulting from rough handling.

In this article, we have explained some of the common reasons why external hard drive sizes may display incorrectly and how to fix these problems. We do hope you have learned a lot and would know what to do if the problem happens again. Try to share this article with friends who might need it, and don't forget to bookmark it for future references.

mac word file recovery

Recoverit - The Best Word File Recovery Software

  • Recover Word documents from all storage devices like Mac.
  • Recover 1000+ types and formats of files in different situations.
  • Scan and preview the files before you recover them from MacBook hard drive.
Free Download | Mac Mac Version Free Download | Win Windows Version
Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

Home > Resources > Windows Computer Solutions > Solved: Hard Drive Shows Wrong Capacity