By Emily / Last Updated October 30, 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 When the hard drive driver is out of date, there is also a possibility that the hard drive shows wrong capacity in Windows computer.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.

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 by cloning hard drive.

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 tool, 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. Convert the hard drive from MBR to GPT

If the hard drive showing wrong capacity is with MBR style, you could try to fix it by converting it to GPT. Although this conversion could be finished in Disk Management or Diskpart, you need to delete all existing partitions first. In this situation, the free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can help you. it is able to convert data disk between GPT and MBR with keeping partitions as well stored data intact.

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).

Step 1. In the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant, 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.


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

4TB Apply

This is how to convert data disk from MBR to GPT. If you want to perform such conversion on system disk, you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Final words

Three methods are available for you to tackle with hard drive only showing half capacity issue in Windows 10/8/7. Obviously, AOMEI Partition Assistant is very versatile for dealing with intractable disk/partition jobs. Besides, its Pro edition comes with many attractive functions like quickly creating multiple partitions, recovering lost partitions, migrating OS to SSD and so on.