By Emily / Last Updated November 26, 2019

"Hard drive only showing half capacity"

“Several days ago, something weird happened to my SanDisk. Well, the SanDisk SSD has 500GB, but the system does not show the full capacity, only half of the size. What’s wrong? What can be done? Any helpful suggestions welcome. Thanks in advance!”—from tom’s hardware forum.

Have you ever encountered such similar disk problems such as SSD reporting wrong size? Or are you just being bothered by hard drive only showing half capacity? So you might be wondering why these occur and how to deal with them, just like the guy asking for help on forums. Just read on, the content below will clear all your doubts.

Why hard drive not showing full capacity?

There are many reasons that could help explain why the hard drive shows wrong size in Windows 10/8/7.

  • When your hard drive is infected with virus or malware that has eaten some storage space, and then hard drive only showing half capacity issue occurs, so you can perform anti-virus software to keep your device clean and safe.

  • When the hard drive driver is out of date, there is also a possibility that the hard drive shows wrong capacity in the Windows computer.

  • If you format the hard drive using an improper tool or the formatting process is interrupted by sudden power failure or removal, then it might get damaged and displays wrong capacity.

  • If the disk is larger than 2TB, but initialized to be MBR, then the rest space over 2TB will be shown as “Unallocated” in Disk Management and you will be unable to see and access it in File Explorer. That’s because MBR only works with disks up to 2 TB in size.

  • One or more partitions on the disk are deleted and shown as unallocated in Disk Management, then you can not see and access such space in Windows File Explorer.

How to fix "hard drive only showing half capacity" issue?

In order to restore hard drive to full capacity in Windows 10/8/7, the following solutions are proven to be effective, you can try them one by one until the problem gets fixed.

Warning: To protect your data from damage during the issue-fix process, you had better make a data backup in advance.

Solution 1. Update hard drive driver

To update hard drive driver, do as follow:

Step 1. Click on “Start” and type “Device Manager” in Search box, then hit “Enter” to open it.

Step 2. Click “Disk drives” to expand the category. Right-click on the hard drive which reports wrong capacity and select “Update driver”.

Step 3. Select “Search automatically for updated driver software.”

Update Driver

Step 4. If Windows doesn't find a new driver, you can try searching for one on the hard drive manufacturer's website and follow their instructions.

Besides, you can also try to reinstall the driver: select “Uninstall” in the step 2. Then restart your PC, and Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver.

Solution 2. Reformat the hard drive

Instead of formatting disk via some unknown tools, you can first try the Windows built-in tools to see if they work. For example, you can format the hard drive in Disk Management, if there is no option to format drive, go for the Diskpart.

To format disk using Diskpart, first of all, click “Start” button, input “cmd” in the Search field and press “Enter”, right click Command Prompt icon and choose “Run as administrator”. In the subsequent Command Prompt window, type “Diskpart” and press “Enter” to launch this utility.

Then, input the following commands in order and hit Enter after each.

  • list disk : get a detailed list of all disks on your system.

  • select disk n: n is the number of the target hard drive

  • clean: delete all partitions on the selected disk and clear it.

  • create partition primary: create a primary partition on the disk.

  • format fs=ntfs quick. Or you can replace ntfs with fat32 or exfat based on your requirements.

Format Drive CMD

Now, you can check whether the hard disk shows full capacity or not, if not, proceed to the next method.

Solution 3. Wipe the hard drive to its full capacity

If formatting does not resolve the problem, you can try to wipe the hard drive to check if they will show up full capacity. For this task, you can make use of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This freeware can wipe a hard disk or certain partition with zero filling method.

Download the freeware, then install and launch it on your Windows PC (Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista of both 32 bit and 64bit supported). And follow the specific steps below:

Step 1. In the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, right-click the hard drive which only shows the half size and select “Wipe Hard Drive”.

Wipe Hard Drive 3tb

Step 2. In the pop-out window, you can see four wiping methods. Choose the first one and click on "OK" button.

Fill Sectors With Zero 3tb

Step 3. You will preview the wiping effect after you go back to the software main interface. Then, you need to click on the “Apply” button to execute this change.

Apply 3tb

Then you can create a new partition on the unallocated space.

Solution 4. Convert the large hard drive from MBR to GPT

If the hard drive only showing half capacity is with MBR style, and it is larger than 2TB, surpassing the maximum size of MBR disk, you could convert it to GPT to see if it shows full size. Although this conversion could be finished in Disk Management or Diskpart, you need to delete all existing partitions first. That means everything on the disk will get lost.

In this situation, the free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can help you as well. It is able to convert data disk between GPT and MBR with keeping partitions and stored data intact.

Step 1. Right-click the disk and select "Convert to GPT Disk".

Convert 4TB To GPT

Step 2. Then a mini window will appear, just click "OK" if you are sure to convert the disk to GPT.

4TB OK

Step 3. Finally, click "Apply" on the left corner to start the conversion.

4TB Apply

If it is the internal hard drive that only shows half capacity and needs to be converted from MBR to GPT, you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, which can convert boot disk between MBR and GPT without removing partitions/losing data.

Solution 5. Recover deleted partition on the hard drive

If the partition on your hard drive is deleted by accident, it will show wrong capacity as well. Thus, recovering the deleted partition can help solve the issue. To do so, you can turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Step 1. Click “Partition Recovery Wizard” under Wizard column. Select the disk that contains the deleted partition and click “Next”.

Partition Recovery

Step 2. Select a search method according to your special requirements and click “Next”.

Search Methods

Step 3. Select the deleted partition you want to recover from the given list and click “Proceed”.

Proceed

Step 4. When you see the word “Congratulations”, the partitions have been recovered successfully. Click “Finish” to exit the window.

Finish

Final words

In this article, we have discussed why the hard drive only showing half capacity, and how to fix it via four different methods. I sincerely hope that you can get help right here. Worth to mention that AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is very versatile for dealing with many intractable disk/partition jobs, such as formatting 2TB hard drive to FAT32, SD card not showing full capacity and more.

Besides, its Pro edition comes with many attractive functions including quickly creating multiple partitions, migrating OS to SSD, cloning GPT disk to GPT disk and so on.