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Virus caused hard drive to shrink

I have Windows ME on a Dell Dimension L933r with a 20 gig hard drive. After some virus problems my hard drive shrunk down to 2 gigs. I reformatted the disk, yet still the desktop shows that the capacity is 2 gigs instead of the actual 20 gigs that is should be. Any idea what my next step is?

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There could be a number of culprits here. If the virus damaged your hard drive's partition table, then you would need to reformat again and delete all the existing partitions on the disk to be safe. If you did do this and you're still only seeing 2 GB free, something may be very wrong with the drive itself, physically. Also make sure that there are not multiple partitions on the drive, and that Windows was not reinstalled to a small partition.


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This was first published in February 2005

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