Ntfs partition size limit for windows xp

slinger430 - Apr 24, 2008 at 07:08 PM
 RoadRunner - Apr 21, 2010 at 12:10 AM
can somebody please help me...

what is the maximum partition that can be used on an NTFS logical drive on windows xp pro.

Every time I try to format a 500GB ide drive with disk manager, after reaching 100% it says "disk did not format sucessfully" .

I've tried it several times with 2 diffent drives because I thought maybe the first drive was faulty.

By the way, the BIOS seems to detect the drive correctly so I don't think it needs updating.

(This is on a DELL Dimensions 4500 PC, P4 2.8ghz + 1GB RAM)

IS THERE A PARTITION SIZE LIMIT WITH NTFS... if there is have I gone beyond it????????.........

13 replies

As was stated earlier the actual max size for NTFS partition is 16 exabytes. Others have stated that in reality its 2TB. I just wanted to share that the 2TB limit can be circumvented if one chooses. I recently installed a disk array using 8 1TB drives with RAID5 to produce a 6.5TB partition. The trick to overcoming the 2TB limit is using a 64 bit version of windows (I'm using XP 64), disk drivers that support 64 bit Logical Block Addresses (LBAs), and using GPT partitioning.
The NTFS file system has several different limits. The limits are based on the number of drive clusters.
2 to the 32 power?1 clusters clusters in 32 bit windows

Windows XP SP1 has a partition limit of 128G
The Basic (MBR) Partion has a limit of 2T on most drives.
The Dynamic Volumes limt is about 16T on most systems.
These limits might be increased by using a larger Cluster size. Some drive arrangements require 4K clusters be used.
According to my knowledge, there is no limitation of the ntfs partition size.Maybe the partition size it too small on your disk.You can try to resize it. EASEUS Partition Manager may provide such kind of help. You can have a try.
There actually is a limitation on ntfs partitions... At 2 TBs.

"According to microsoft, for NTFS "The maximum partition size is 2TB (terabyte, a trillion bytes). NTFS actually has an upper limit of 16 exabytes (quintillion bytes, or 16 million TB), but since current industry standard limits the Partition Tables to 2 to the 32nd power sectors (with 512B sectors, that's 2 TB), the actual current upper limit is 2 TB.""
i know its 2 TB but is it at all for every hd, or thats only per partitions?

if I have C: Primary 320g D: EXT 500G E: EXT 1TB and wanns add another Exntended partition of 1.5 TB
Will that works? the 1.5 TB is full of stuff and im scare to get any conflicts by trying this
Lurker > VTech
Jan 24, 2010 at 10:54 AM
Recently HDD were released with 4kB sectors, so they could have 16 TB partitions (in theory).
You just have to make sure the blocks of your file system line up with those sectors, I think Windows 7 will do that, XP needs help, dunno bout Vista.
NTFS limitation is 16 EiB (1 EiB=2^60 bytes)
Just ran into the same problem on a 500 GB drive. Used Disk Director Suite to create 150 GB partition for Win 7, 50 GB partition for Vista and 30 GB partition for XP. All are primary partitions. Tried installing XP - ORIGINAL EDITION and it only recognizes 137 GB. Then tried installing XP with Service Pack 2 and it works fine. Let's see - XP was the successor to Windows 2000 Pro. Windows 2000 Pro WAS LIMITED TO 137 GB. Must have carried over to the first edition of XP. As XP progressed the limit must have been removed. Original edition seems limited. SP2 is not. SP1 maybe???

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Lacyjee Posts 6 Registration date Friday July 3, 2009 Status Member Last seen February 12, 2010 2
Feb 12, 2010 at 06:08 AM
I too had faced with the same situation, my ntfs files had an unlimited size and so it was really a great problem to saved it in Windows XP OS. Than I got to know about spilitting of files. But before making any thing I get a backup of all my files. Maybe there can arise a situation of los of files. In that case also you can go with data recovery xp tool andf have the data back. The break of ntfs files can be done and than you can put it in your system. But ifyou know about the procedure of recovering lost data from Windows XP Operating System tha visit, http://www.datarecoveryxp.com
I just bum in here and see this interesting topic...
and I want to know what the amount of hard disk supported for each os?
if u want to formatting hard disk with 1tb, each drive is suitable with what amount?
do I need to make it 5 partition coz the larger the harddisk are.. the more it use your memory right?
ijust need to have correct amount of each partition to make it stabilize on different os
eric_deep Posts 12 Registration date Wednesday February 20, 2008 Status Member Last seen May 1, 2008 44
Apr 26, 2008 at 12:50 PM
oki mate its simple just take the exact amount of bytes given and divide by 2 to make sure there's 8MB left...then you know its right...install your windows...then when its done go to my computer, right click, properties, device manager and format the other partition there in
I quite agree with Stella, You can try EASEUS Partition Manager, and it is free for home users. you can learn more here: https://www.partition-tool.com/
had the same thing happen to me...after the error massage pops up...shut down(not restart)the pc. start up & check the contents of the drive they should be gone..if not repeat.....i had to do this twice on my 3rd drive- it used to have linux loaded & I wanted to use it for storage. when I formatted it (125 gb) I got hte same thing --windows could not formatt disk even after 45 min. of formatting...make sure it is set to slave and the master is set to master...even on cable select windows sometimes has a read\write permissions issue that posts no message.
I have recently completely re-built two Dell XPS B997R machines. (1) Re-installed the OS using the Dell supplied
Windows 98 disc (2) installed Microsoft Windows XP Home Upgrade SP1a (3) downloaded and installed SP2, (4) downloaded and installed SP3, (5) ran Windows Upgrade to install all subsequent patches. The original partition was only something like 68GB even though the drive is 160GB. I did some research and earlier versions of Windows (including XP SP1) were limited to 68GB partitions because backup could not handle more. I downloaded EASEUS Partition Manager and tried to increase but just got errors. Thought the problem might be that I had two drives on same IDE channel so I removed second drive and tried again but same result. Tried Acronis Home version (free) but got message that I had to buy the real version. In the end I gave up. Just created an extended partition and a logical drive for the remaining space.

I see here that BIOS could be a limiting factor ... can anyone provide more information? I upgraded the BIOS several years ago to the last one that Dell came out with for the motherboard so nothing more to do ther.
i finally tried to put more than 2tb, after burning all my stuff (1829gb) :(
well now on, I have a 320 gb for C: D:(swap) and E , I have a 500gb hd for F: and 1tb for G:
so I tried to install another hd of 1tb, all is running great for now, I try to full them all by copying over and over and did not failed whats so ever... so the max size of 2tb for XP Pro 32bit, thats for each hd I guess!

Intel P4 3.4ghz HT prescott w heatsink OCZ
mobo Asus P5GD1
3 gig OCZ GOLD ddr400
nvidia 8600 GT 512mg
and of course SBL Audigy 4
I just bought a Western Digital 1tb hdd. I am using it as an external drive. I was trying to format and partition it into 2 500gb partitions. But after trying many times from different computers, I cannot format the Primary partition with the size at 500gb. So I tried 300gb, it worked... so I think the limit for logical drive which must be created in an extended partition would be 2tb, but for the primary partition, I think the limit is definitely below 500gb...
I don't have a large enough drive to check, but it's possible that the limit the last poster had is a software problem with the built-in Disk Management tool.

And shame on all of you recommending a product you have to pay for when free alternatives exist. If you are doing this on your main drive and need a boot CD, try Parted Magic. It includes the ability to backup your existing partition.

ND75 > trlkly
Nov 29, 2009 at 12:43 PM
Hi everybody,

It may be an old thread but its still a problem for some of us. My parents have this dell PC and decided to buy a WD 500gb usb passport for backing up years of foto's.

It does not want to be recognised. After reformatting with a knoppix live cd and QT-parted I can, on another winXP computer, acces the drive (one large NTFS partition). Hooray...

However on my parents PC I still get a bad pool header error on the blue screen of death after the start of the new hardware wizard.

My guess was that it was probably a BIOS related problem (to big a partition). So I repartitioned again into 3 primary partitions of 145 GB (NTFS) and some empty space(the same size as the SATA harddrive onboard). No such luck: same error with a blue screen of death.

I'm kind of stuck right now.

Worth mentioning perhaps: dell also has a separate bootpartition on its systems.

I really could use some advice here. Thanks ND75
charybdis > ND75
Dec 5, 2009 at 05:43 PM
Check to see if the pc has sp2 or sp3. Service pack 1 can only "see" 127gb
Hi slinger430,

what is the maximum partition that can be used on an NTFS logical drive on windows xp pro.

The answer is 1TB. (usually 1TB MAX for NTFS and 500G max for FAT drive)

There might be some bad sector on your disk, you can repair the bad sectors by Chkdsk.

After repairing the drive, you can extend as large as 1TB with this tutorial: How to extend partition in Windows XP.

Bill B.