How to recover the original disk size without losing data

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If you are worried that your hard disk is not its original size, you may need to recover the original disk size. It is not always necessary to perform crazy operations, but you should keep an eye on your backup.

This is because hard disk recovery can result in the deletion of files, so it is essential to back up all this data when possible.

In this article, you will learn why your hard disk is not its normal size, as well as how to recover the original size of your hard disk. Are you ready?

Why isn’t my hard disk the real size?

Do you really need to recover the original size of your hard disk? First of all, you need to understand that the hard disk doesn’t have the capacity determined by the manufacturers – and you will understand that now.

It is not a system error or anything like that, and the hard disk manufacturer itself is responsible for this.

And why is that? When selling the hard disk, the product is specified with a higher value than it actually has, but there’s a reason for that. It is a way of bringing a more commercial value, which in this case is the use of the GB drive. Actually, the correct thing to do would be to give the value on a binary basis – but that turns out to be more specific.

To help you understand, let’s look at some definitions of units in the world of computing:

  • 1 bit equals 0 or 1;
  • 8 bits equals 1 B (Byte);
  • 1024 Bytes equals 1 KB (Kilobyte);
  • 1024 KB equals 1 MB (Megabyte);
  • 1024 MB equals 1 GB (Gigabyte);
  • 1024 GB is equal to 1 GB (Terabyte);

Why is it 1024 and not 1000?

This question is relatively common and is actually quite simple to understand. The number 1024 is the closest value to 1000 when we are talking about the binary base, because 210 is equal to 1024. So 1 KB is 1024 and not 1000, as we first thought.

And understanding this concept is fundamental to understanding why the hard disk doesn’t show the real capacity.

The manufacturer should consider 1024 KB for 1MB, but they consider 1000 KB. In other words, there are 24 KB lost in this story.

Let’s see what happens in practice:

  • What it should be: 1 GB = 1024 x 1024 x 1024, i.e. 1,073,741,824 Bytes;
  • What the manufacturer considers: 1 GB = 1000 x 1000 x 1000, i.e. 1,000,000,000 Bytes;

So, on average, we have 70 MB less per Gigabyte. And this logic applies to the other hard disk sizes.

However, this is not the only reason why the values don’t match up. Firstly, the hard disk may come pre-installed with programs, so it will be necessary to recover the original size of the hard disk by formatting it.

Another point that can occur, especially when we are talking about an external disk, is the coupled spaces.

The device looks as if it has full memory, but in fact it only has docked space – you also need to recover your hard disk so that it has storage space again.

How do I check the capacity of my external HD?

If you are thinking of recovering the original size of your hard disk, why not first check your hard disk space? There are a few alternatives:

Via My Computer

  • Click on Start;
  • Go to My Computer;
  • Go to Local Disk (C:) and right-click;
  • Go to Details in the left-hand column and look at the information.

Via Windows Explorer

  • Go to Start;
  • Then go to All Programs, followed by Accessories and Windows Explorer;
  • Go to My Computer;
  • Go to Local Disk (C:) and right-click;
  • Go to Properties and evaluate the gra

Via the Computer Manager

  • Go to Start;
  • Type compmgmt.msc;
  • Go to Storage and then click Disk Manager.

How do I recover the real size of my HD?

After assessing the size of the space on your hard disk, you may want to recover the original size of the hard disk. There are different ways of doing this, but it is essential to perform the backup of your data so that it is not deleted.

Here are some options for restoring space on your hard disk.

Updating the hard disk driver

You may need to update your driver. In theory, it is already up to date, but sometimes you have to force it. See the steps below:

  • Go to Device Manager and then to Update Drivers;
  • Go to the device you want to update;
  • Right-click and then go to update;
  • Choose the Search option, as it will automatically return the updated drive software.

Reformatting the hard disk

Another option to recover the original size of your hard disk is to format it. Here’s how:

  • Go to Start;
  • Go to Control Panel, then System and Security and Administrative Tools;
  • Then open Computer Manager;
  • Under Storage, go to Disk Manager;
  • Right-click on the item you want to format and choose that option.

Converting MBR to GPT

  • To solve the storage space problem, you can convert MBR to GPT. Download the EaseUS Partition Master app or similar, it’s very simple:
  • After downloading, access EaseUS Partition Master;
  • Choose the MBR disk you want to convert and right-click;
  • Go to Convert to GPT;
  • Go to Perform 1 operation in the toolbar and then click Apply.

Initializing the hard disk

And finally, we have the option of initializing the hard disk to recover the original size of the hard disk.

  • Go to Start and type compmgmt.msc and press Enter to access Computer Manager;
  • Go to Disk Manager and then Storage on the left-hand side;
  • Find the desired drive within Disk Manager (the bar above should be black to identify that the device is not formatted);
  • Right-click and go to Initialize Disk.

Checking for physical errors

Another possibility, but not as common, is that recovering the original size of the hard disk is necessary due to a physical defect in the hard disk. In these cases, it will be necessary to send it to a service center.

Each computer or device is different

In this article we have mentioned some ways of recovering the original size of your hard disk, but each computer or device may have different names.

In other words, it doesn’t exactly follow a pattern down to the smallest detail, but in general, the step-by-step instructions are those mentioned above.

If you can’t find the action buttons you need, we recommend that you don’t explore too much if you are not familiar with this type of thing, as some buttons can change settings or delete files.

Therefore, you should rather enlist the help of professionals to recover the original size of your hard disk. It’s a safer way, including backing up all your data so that it isn’t lost during the operation.


Right from the start you will notice different values between the actual memory of the hard disk and what is described by the supplier, but this turns out to be standard in the industry.

In addition, storage can be affected by previously installed software or attached spaces.

If there is a need to recover the original size of the hard disk, there are different ways of doing this, as mentioned above.

If even after all your attempts you still cannot solve your problem or if you need Data Recovery, Bot can help.

You have two options: collect your device from your address or take it to one of our facilities so that our technicians can analyze the problem and quote for data recovery.

All you have to do is fill in the form on the website and choose how the device will be delivered.

We work with two methods for receiving your device: free collection or delivery to one of Bot’s offices.

Bot is present in several cities in Portugal, in this link you can check which one is closest to you. Once you have filled in the form, you can hand in the device directly to Bot.

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It is a way of recovering the original size of the hard disk more safely and still keeping all your data intact, without any corruption.


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