DetailPage-MSS-KB

Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 316505 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 1.5

This article was previously published under Q316505

On This Page

SYMPTOMS

Windows XP may not recognize all of your available disk space. For example, you may have a hard disk with a capacity of more than 30 gigabytes (GB), but according to the Disk Management utility or Windows Explorer, you have only 2 GB of disk space capacity.

As a result, even though you have ample hard disk space, you may receive the following error message:
Low Disk Space. You are running out of disk space on <Drive Letter>.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, use the following methods as appropriate. To best determine the method(s) appropriate for your situation, please read through the entire article before you proceed.

WARNING: The following methods may require that you reinstall Windows XP. Microsoft recommends that you back up all important data before you use the following methods.

Method 1: Run Windows XP Setup to Determine Whether the Hard Disk Space Is Accessible

To determine whether all of the hard disk space is accessible, run Setup from the Windows XP installation media.
  1. Insert the Windows XP installation CD into the CR-ROM drive, and then restart the computer. When you are prompted to start from the CD, press any key.

    NOTE: You may need to configure your BIOS to boot from the CD-ROM first, in order to do this step.
  2. Press ENTER when the Windows XP Setup screen appears.
  3. Press F8 to accept the End User License Agreement (EULA).
  4. When the Windows XP Setup screen appears with a list of current Windows XP installations on the computer, press ESC to continue installing a fresh copy of Windows XP without repairing.
  5. The Windows XP Setup screen appears with partition information. Note the partitions and unpartitioned space listed. Determine whether all of your available space is listed, and then do either of the following:
    1. If you determine that not all of your hard disk space is listed, then you may have a BIOS problem that is preventing the computer from recognizing your hard disk correctly. If this is true, continue with Method 2.

      -or-
    2. If you determine that all of your hard disk space is listed, you can continue with either of the following options:

      • Select the existing Windows XP partition, and then press D to delete the partition.

        NOTE: If you do this, all data on the partition will be lost. Only use this option if you are sure that you want to completely remove the partition in order to create a new partition by merging all of the available space.
      • Select the unpartitioned space, and then press C to create a new partition.

        NOTE: You can use this option without first deleting the existing Windows XP partition. Use this option if you do not want to lose the data in the existing partition, and you want to install a second copy of Windows XP in the unpartitioned space.

        NOTE: You cannot create a volume larger than 32 GB in size by using the FAT32 file system in Windows XP. The Windows 2000 FastFAT driver can mount and support volumes larger than 32 GB that use the FAT32 file system (subject to the other limits), but you cannot create one by using the Format tool. This behavior is by design. (See Method 3 in this article for more information about this issue.)

Method 2: Update the System BIOS or Use a Boot Manager

If the previous method determines that you have a BIOS problem that is preventing the computer from recognizing your hard disk correctly, do either of the following:
  • Update the system BIOS. Contact the manufacturer of your motherboard or your computer for more information on how to do this.
  • Use a third-party boot manager to access the extra space on your hard disk. Many hard disk manufacturers provide utilities to do this. Contact the manufacturer of your hard disk for more information about how to do this.For information about how to contact manufacturer of your hardware, click the appropriate article number in the following list to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    65416  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/65416/EN-US/ ) Hardware and Software Third-Party Vendor Contact List, A-K

    60781  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/60781/EN-US/ ) Hardware and Software Third-Party Vendor Contact List, L-P

    60782  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/60782/EN-US/ ) Hardware and Software Third-Party Vendor Contact List, Q-Z

Method 3: Use Fdisk or a Third-Party Partitioning Utility

If you need to format a FAT32 volume greater than 32 GB, you can use a third-party partitioning utility to increase the size of the current Windows XP installation partition, or use the Fdisk utility on a Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) Startup disk or a Microsoft Windows 98 Startup disk to reformat the hard disk entirely. For additional information about how to do this, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
255867  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255867/EN-US/ ) How to Use Fdisk and Format to Partition/Repartition a Hard Disk
Once you have created the partitions that you want, continue to reinstall Windows XP by using the Setup program on the Windows XP installation media.

MORE INFORMATION

For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314463  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314463/EN-US/ ) Limitations of the FAT32 File System in Windows XP

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbenv kbprb KB316505
Share
Additional support options
Ask The Microsoft Small Business Support Community
Contact Microsoft Small Business Support
Find Microsoft Small Business Support Certified Partner
Find a Microsoft Store For In-Person Small Business Support