5+ Effective Fixes for Hard Drive Showing Wrong Capacity

  1. External Hard Drive Showing Wrong Capacity 2017
  2. External Hard Drive Storage Sizes
  3. External Hard Drive Showing Wrong Capacity Calculator
  4. External Hard Drive Showing Wrong Capacity Ps4
  5. External Hard Drive Maximum Capacity

Many a user find that their hard drive, especially external hard drive, USB hard drive, or portable hard drive does not showing full size when they use it. Usually, these types of hard drives are bigger than 2TB in size. In a few cases, 500GB or 1TB hard drive will not showing full capacity. “Lately I made a bootable USB drive on a USB flash drive for crashed laptop. I fixed the system problem successfully but a new problem arose in the flash drive. The problem is that the USB’s capacity shrank. The flash drive used to have 16GB storages, but it is 2.19MB in Windows Explorer only after it is made as a bootable drive.

Feb 22, 2020  If your 1TB or 2TB external hard drive shows only 32GB or not showing full capacity on the computer, don’t worry. This tutorial article will provide you with effective methods to fix 1TB/12TB external shows only 32 GB and restore to full capacity without losing any data. Hard drive used/free space info displayed is incorrect My hard drive space used and space free information is apparently hugely out of line with actual use. And the defragmenter. No change in the amount of used/free space showing. When I click on C's icon in Disk Management and choose shrink, it says I can shrink C only to about 500 GB. Mar 27, 2020  The hard drive or external hard drive shows the wrong capacity may result from many reasons. If you happen to encounter this issue, try the practical methods in this article. Here, you will learn how to use EaseUS Partition Manager to solve hard drive showing the wrong capacity by formatting/initializing the hard disk, converting MBR to GPT, extend the hard drive, and more.

It's very common to be faced with similar disk problems such as SD card reporting the wrong size, USB drives getting incorrect size. If you are one of the victims of the hard drive showing the wrong capacity, you can deal with them with these effective solutions. Just read on, the content below will clear all your doubts.

Workable SolutionsStep-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Update Hard Drive DriverClick 'Start', type Device Manager, and press 'Enter'. Click and expand 'Disk drives'..Full steps
Fix 2. Reformat the Hard DriveClick 'Start', type cmd in the search box. Right-click on the Command Prompt and..Full steps
Fix 3. Convert MBR to GPTYou can fix this problem by converting MBR to GPT and then extend the partition..Full steps
Fix 4. Initialize the Hard DriveIn Windows 10/8, press 'Windows + R' key, type diskmgmt.msc and click OK..Full steps
Fix 5. Check Physical ErrorsYou should check and repair partition errors to rectify the problem..Full steps

Hard Drive Showing Wrong Free Space Problem

What demonstrated below is a real story of a user telling his 1TB hard drive showing only 0.18TB of free space.

'My WD external hard drive gets a strange problem. It's 1TB advertised, and I only use it as a backup hard drive. But today, I surprisingly find that the free space is only 0.18TB. That's impossible because the used space can't be more than 200GB. What happened? Why is the hard drive showing the wrong free space? Can I restore the full size? And how?'

A newly bought 500 GB HDD might display only 465 GB even with no data on it. Some external hard disks and USB flash drives may show another incorrect capacity issue that the free space size hugely decreases. Is your hard drive corrupted when it shows the wrong capacity? Not really. There are quite a few reasons that lead to a hard drive showing less space than it should.

Why Hard Drive Not Showing Full Capacity

Excluding that you have bought a fake hard drive from an unscrupulous merchant, there are several reasons Windows could display the wrong amount of available space. Like hidden files, formatting overhead, virus attack, recovery partitions occupancy, a hard drive issue, etc. In addition to what just mentioned, we list other common causes to help you understand why your (external) hard drive is showing the wrong capacity or free space.

  • The hard drive driver is out of date. In this case, the hard drive might show the wrong capacity in the Windows computer.
  • Format the hard drive using an inappropriate tool, or the formatting process is incomplete.
  • The hard drive has been initialized to a wrong partition table. If it is larger than 2TB, but initialized to be MBR, the space over 2TB will be shown as 'Unallocated' in Disk Management and you can't see it in File Explorer. That's because the MBR partition table cannot address the space that exceeds 2TB.
  • Master Boot Record or EFI information area (GPT header) corrupts due to accidental insertion and removal.
  • Errors caused by bad sectors.

As you can tell, not all the events require fixes. Many hard drives are with an OEM partition or recovery partition for factory restore purpose, and it's usually invisible in My Computer. So, when you find a new hard drive showing less disk space than it advertised, go to 'My Computer' (in Windows 7 and 8) or 'This PC' (in Windows 8.1 and 10) > 'Manage' > 'Disk Management' and check the real space taking by the recovery partition.

For other simple causes, you can troubleshoot quickly. For instance, show hidden files and perform anti-virus to check whether the hard drive shows full capacity or not. If the problem is not solved, continue applying the corresponding solutions below. I hope they can help you.

Solution 1. Update Hard Drive Driver

Step 1. Click 'Start', type Device Manager, and press 'Enter'.

Step 2. Click and expand 'Disk drives'. Right-click on the hard drive shows the wrong capacity and select 'Update driver'.

Step 3. Select 'Search automatically for updated driver software'. If this fails, you can manually search for and install the updated driver software on the official website.

If the hard drive driver is the latest one, but things still go wrong, you can try to uninstall and reinstall the driver.

Solution 2. Reformat the External or Internal Hard Drive

The following two methods teach you how to format the hard drive with the command prompt and a partition management tool. The former requires particular computer technology. So if you are not familiar with CMD, to ensure safety, you'd better use the easy-to-use formatting tool in Method 2 to do it.

Disk Formatting will erase hard drive data, so make sure that you have backed up all critical data before the operations. Or you can clone the hard drive entirely.

Method 1. Format Hard Drive via Command Prompt

Step 1. Click 'Start', type cmd in the search box. Right-click on the Command Prompt and choose 'Run as administrator'.

Step 2. Type diskpart and press 'Enter'. Then, input and execute the following commands in order.

Step 3. Type list disk and press 'Enter'. All the disk drives will be listed, including your external drives that connected to the computer.

Step 4. Check the number of the hard drive showing the wrong capacity. Type select disk + disk number, and press enter. For example, select disk 1. You're telling diskpart to format disk 1.

Step 5. Go on to type clean. This step starts to clean up all files and folders on the selected hard disk.

Step 6. Type create partition primary and press 'Enter'.

Step 7. Type format fs=ntfs (or format fs=exfat) and press 'Enter'. You're telling diskpart to format the drive with a file system, let it be NTFS, exFAT, etc.

Step 8. Type assign to set a drive letter to the newly created partition.

That's a complete guide of formatting hard disk via diskpart format commands. Is this method complicated for you? If so, format your hard drive with the following easier way. Watch the video tutorial and see how to make it.

Method 2. Format Hard Drive with an Easy Formatting Tool

If you are not familiar with Command Prompt, you can turn to a professional and easy-to-use hard drive formatting tool. My recommendation is EaseUS Partition Master. Download it and format your HDD, SSD, SD card or USB drive easily.

Solution 3. Convert Hard Drive from MBR to GPT

If the (external) hard drive shows less space than it should because of MBR style, you can fix this problem by converting MBR to GPT and then extend the partition though adding the unallocated space.

The following video shows you to convert MBR to GPT with Windows Disk Management and EaseUS Partition Master. The Disk Management demands you to delete all existing partitions first. If you persist in this way, remember to back up your hard drive at the beginning. Or you can download the partition manager to convert disk between GPT and MBR directly and keep partitions as well as data intact.

After you have succeeded in converting MBR to GPT, continue to expand your disk as follows.

Step 1. Locate the Target Partition

To start extending partition, you should first launch EaseUS Partition Master and locate the target partition which you would like to extend.

Step 2. Extend the Target Partition

1. Right-click on the target partition which you would like to extend and select 'Resize/Move'.

2. Drag the partition panel rightward or leftward to add unallocated space into your current partition and click 'OK' to confirm.

3. If there is no or not enough unallocated space on your disk, use the advanced partition resizing function to directly allocate free space from other partitions to the target drive without deleting or formatting.

Find the 'Allocate XX space from' option, then click 'Select partition'. Choose the partition from which you want to allocate space. Drag the partition panel rightward or leftward to resize the partition you want to extend. Then click 'OK' to confirm.

Step 3. Execute Operations to Extend Partition

Click the 'Execute Operation' button and click 'Apply' to keep all the changes.

Solution 4. Back Up Data and Initialize the Hard Drive

GPT header or MBR errors cause most disk size errors. Under these circumstances, initialization can resolve these problems.

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  • Disk initialization will wipe all the data. Export essential files at first.
  • If your hard drive is a new one, you can initialize it directly in two ways given below. If it's in use, you need to delete all the partitions before initializing it.

Method 1. Using Disk Management

Step 1. In Windows 10/8, press 'Windows + R' key, type diskmgmt.msc and click OK to launch Disk Management. In Windows 7, right-click Computer and then select Manage option to run Disk Management.

Step 2. Find and right-click the hard drive or SSD you want to initialize, and then click 'Initialize Disk'. If the disk is listed as Offline, first right-click it and select Online.

Step 3. In the Initialize Disk dialog box, select the correct disk to initialize. And then click OK to accept the default partition style, or you can change the partition style (GPT or MBR) as you want.

Method 2. Using EaseUS Partition Manager

Step 1: Download the software

Download EaseUS Partition Master. Connect the hard drive or SSD to PC.

Step 2: Initialize your HDD/SSD

Right-click the target HDD or SSD and select 'Initialize to MBR' or 'Initialize to GPT' accordingly.

Fig 1. Initialize to MBR:

Fig 2. Initialize to GPT:

Step 3: Apply the operation

A pending operation of initializing disk to MBR or GPT disk will be added. Execute the operation and click 'Apply'.

Solution 5. Check for Physical Bad Sectors or Replace the Disk

Too many bad sectors can make the disk unable to read and write correctly and show the wrong capacity. Thus, you should check and repair partition errors to rectify the problem. If the situation is terrible, and your hard disk has too many physical bad sectors, you have to consider replacing the new file after backing up data.

Final words

These methods are available for you to address internal or external hard drives showing a wrong capacity issue in Windows 10/8/7. EaseUS Partition Manager is very helpful when formatting, initializing, converting, and resizing hard drive. Besides, it's also good at merging/creating/deleting partitions, recovering lost partitions, migrating OS to SSD, and so on. Try it anyway.

External Hard Drive Showing Wrong Capacity FAQs

With these useful tips, you can solve your wrong capacity problem easily and quickly. If you have other related questions about hard drive only shows half capacity or other wrong capacities, you can read the following questions and answers.


Why do hard drives show the wrong capacity in Windows?

There are several reasons Windows could display the wrong amount of available space. They are:

  • Invisible shadow files
  • Formatting overhead
  • Hidden recovery partitions
  • Misleading storage capacities advertised by hard drive manufacturers and more.

How do I restore my hard drive to full capacity?

There are five effective ways to restore the hard drive to full capacity:

  1. Update Hard Drive Driver
  2. Reformat the Hard Drive
  3. Convert MBR to GPT
  4. Initialize the Hard Drive
  5. Check Physical Errors

How do I fix USB incorrect size?

The best way to restore a USB drive to its full capacity is to format it. There is more than one way to do this job: you can format a USB flash drive using File Explorer, Command Prompt, Disk Management, or third-party partition manager - EaseUS Partition Master.

How do I check the capacity of my external hard drive?

To check the capacity of the external hard drive:

Step 1. Open File Explorer. Right-click on your external hard drive.

Step 2. Select Properties.

Step 3. You can see the capacity of your flash drive including the capacity, used space, and free space.

If your USB drive is shown with a wrong size on your computer, it’s likely the result of an improper formatting of the drive. Instead of seeing the actual 16GB or whatever the size of your USB drive is, you’ll see something like a couple hundred MBs available on it.

When you see that, don’t panic because your drive still has the original amount of memory space available on it. There could be various other reasons as well such as maybe your computer is infected with a virus.

Regardless, reformatting your USB drive should fix the issue for you and you’ll be able to use the entire space available on your stick.

Fix The USB Drive Wrong Size Issue With EaseUS Partition Master

The reason we aren’t using the default format option found in the right-click menu of your system is because it sometimes doesn’t work to fix issues like this. It’s a very basic tool and really doesn’t go in-depth to actually find what’s wrong and fix it.

EaseUS Partition Master, on the other hand, has the capability to reformat your drives and fix any issues on them.

  • Download, install, and launch EaseUS Partition Master on your computer.
  • Plug in your USB drive to your computer and it’ll appear on the tool interface.
  • Click on your drive in the list and you’ll see a menu appearing in the right-hand side pane. From the available options in the menu, select the one that says Delete All to delete all the partitions on your drive.
  • When it has finished deleting all the partitions on the drive, right-click on your drive and select the option that says Create. It’ll let you create new partitions.
  • Enter the following values in the given fields and then click on the button that says OK at the bottom.
    Partition label – enter any name here
    File system – choose FAT32
    Drive letter – choose a letter you want to assign to your USB drive
    Decide size and position – ensure the slider covers the whole size of the drive

When your USB drive is formatted, it’ll show up with its full capacity in This PC on your computer.

Resolve The USB Drive Wrong Capacity Issue With Bootice

If you don’t want to install a tool on your computer to fix your USB drive’s wrong capacity issue, you can use Bootice which is a portable tool that requires no installation.

You just need to get the tool from a website, launch it, specify a few options, and it’ll get your USB drive fixed in no time.

Download the Bootice tool from Softpedia, extract the archive files, and double-click on the executable file to launch the tool.

Plug in your USB drive to your computer, select the drive from the Destination Disk dropdown in the tool, and click on Parts Manage.

A new screen will appear showing all the partitions available on your drive. You don’t need to do anything to them – just click on the Re-Partitioning button at the bottom.

The following screen will let you specify how you’d like to re-partition your drive. Select the options as the following and click on OK.
Disk Mode – select USB-HDD mode (Single Partition)
File systemFAT32
Vol Label – you can enter any name for your drive here
Start LBA – enter 1
Reserved Secs – enter 32

External Hard Drive Showing Wrong Capacity 2017

You’ll get a prompt warning you all the data on the drive will be lost. Click on OK to continue and format your drive.

Once the formatting is complete, you’ll find that your computer now shows the full storage capacity of your USB drive.

External Hard Drive Storage Sizes

Fix An Incorrect Size USB Drive Using Command Prompt

The wrong USB drive size issue can be fixed using Command Prompt as well. There’s a command that allows you to remove all the partitions, format your drive, and then re-create partitions on the drive.

Open the Start Menu, search for Command Prompt, right-click on it when you see it in the results, and select Run as administrator.

Type the following command into the Command Prompt window and hit Enter. It’ll launch the command-line version of the Disk Utility program.

External Hard Drive Showing Wrong Capacity Calculator

Type in the following command to view all the disks attached to your computer. Your USB drive will be one of these disks.
list disk

To perform an operation on your drive, run the following command replacing N with the actual number for your USB drive.
select disk N

Use the following command to clean up your USB drive.

When the drive is cleaned, run the following command to create new partitions.
create partition primary

External Hard Drive Showing Wrong Capacity Ps4

Finally, use the following command to format the drive to FAT32 format.
format fs=fat32 quick

External Hard Drive Maximum Capacity

Once your drive is formatted, you may need to unplug it and then plug it back into your computer. You’ll then find that your computer allows you to use the full storage capacity of your drive.