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Solve External Hard Drive Shows Only Half or Partial Capacity

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 27, 2024 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

I have a new Dell laptop with Windows 8, and its SSD has 500 GB, but the 500 GB hard drive shows only 130 GB of space. I am not an experienced computer user, but I would like to resolve issues on my own. Can someone help me?

Have you ever encountered a related query, or are you also looking for a solution? Yes! Then this article is for you.

Reasons Why the Hard Drive Only Shows Partial/Half Capacity

When using the internal hard drive or the external hard drive, you may encounter different kinds of problems, such as the 

These problems are disturbing, especially when you have to use the hard drive immediately. But before learning about the solutions, you must know the cause of it.

Many reasons can cause a hard drive with an incorrect capacity issue:

Whatever be the reason, there are various ways to make the external hard drive reappear. Now let's move on to some of them.

How to Regain Full Size of External or Internal Hard Drive?

In the above segment, we talked about why your hard drive might show the wrong capacity. We will now discuss how to fix this obstacle and explain various methods to choose the most preferred method. If you want to restore the hard drive's full capacity in your system, the following solutions have proven effective; you can try them one by one until the problem is solved.

Method 1: Remove Virus 

When your hard drive is contaminated with a virus or malware which attacks unusual storage space on your hard drive, it shows half or partial capacity. In such a situation, you can keep your drive clean and safe with antivirus software.

Step 1: Download and install the best antivirus software on your PC.

Step 2: Keep your problematic external hard drive opened and scan your device to remove existing viruses or malware.

scan device

If the method fails to resolve the issue, you can try the next solution!

Method 2: Update hard driver 

If in case the first solution doesn't work, you can try updating your hard drive by following the steps:

Step 1: Click on "Start" and in the search box, type "Device Manager," and then tap on "Enter" to open the folder.

device manager

Step 2: Click the "Disk drives" category, right-click on the problematic hard drive, and select "Update driver."

update driver

Step 3: Now choose the option "Search automatically for updated driver software."

automatically update driver

Step 4: If Windows doesn't find a new driver, select uninstall the driver by clicking on "Uninstall device" and restart your computer system. Following this step will allow Windows to attempt to reinstall the driver.

uninstall device

If the method fails to resolve the issue, you can try the solution below.

Method 3: Reformat the hard drive

Reformat the drive with the inbuilt tool such as Disk Management / Diskpart.

Step 1: Tap on the "Start" button of your system and type the command "cmd" in the search. Select the "Run as Administrator" option.

open cmd

Step 2: Now type in the "Diskpart" command in the command prompt and tap "Enter." 

type diskpart

Step 3: You will see a new window with “diskpart.exe,” as shown in the above image, where you have to input the following commands in order and tap on the "Enter" key after each command.

  1. "list disk" to get a detailed list of all disks on your system.
  2. "select disk 1" is the number of the target hard drive.
  3. "clean” is to delete all partitions on the selected disk and clear it.
  4. "create partition primary" for creating a primary partition on the disk.
  5. "format fs=ntfs quick"

diskpart command

You can now verify whether your disk is showing full space or not. If not, continue to the next method.

Method 4: Format the Hard Drive

When you face a 1TB hard drive that only shows a 127 GB capacity problem, you can try to format the purpose drive. This is to verify if it can get back to its normal state. It is the fastest way to solve this problem.

Step 1: Open the "Disk Management" on your computer. Then, right-click on the problematic hard drive and choose the “Format” option from the menu.

choose format option

Step 2: Another pop up will appear, now select the:

  1. File system
  2. Allocation unit size
  3. Volume label accordingly
  4. Mark tick on the "Quick Format" check box and click on the "Start" button to start formatting.

format new volume

Step 3: Once formatting is completed, you can ensure the Hard Drive size to the full capacity issue is solved or not.

Sometimes a hard drive displaying the wrong size is a normal phenomenon. But considering any of the above solutions will surely resolve the "Hard drive is only half full" error. However, if any data loss issue occurs due to the problematic drive, you should first recover the data from the hard drive and then take action to resolve the issue.

How to Recover Disappeared Data from Half or Partial Hard Drive?

We hope the external hard drive shows up in Disk Utility after trying the solutions above. But sometimes, you still cannot access the external hard drive if it gets corrupted or unmounted in Disk Utility. The external hard drive may get infected due to file system corruption or loss of partition table.

Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery software is a licensed data recovery program that can quickly and smoothly recover data from erased or lost hard drives.  Download and install Recoverit Recovery software on your computer and follow the simple steps to recover Disappeared Data from a corrupted external hard drive:

Step 1: Select a data recovery mode and location

With Recoverit Recovery Software, select the "Lost Data Recovery" option to get started. Now choose the disk from where your data is lost. Click on the "Start" button to scan, and search your lost data.

select lost location

Step 2: Scan your data 

Recoverit lost recovery software will start scanning to search the data from deleted partition; scanning will take a while.

scanning lost data

Step 3: Preview and recover lost data

After the deep scan, you can check all recoverable files list on the left panel. You can preview the specific recoverable files, select your data, and click the "Recover" button to get them back.

preview recovered data

So no matter your computer shows half a terabyte, deletes important files, or maybe you formatted something by mistake, there is no need to panic because Data Recovery is designed to find and restore your data.


This article explains why half of the terabyte external hard drive capacity shows and how to fix it through different methods. We sincerely hope you can get help here. Don't worry about the SD card not showing its full capacity and more; follow the steps outlined above.

However, if you lose valuable data from your uncertain stored drive, get it back easily with the fast and result-oriented Wondershare Recoverit tool.

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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