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  1. #1
    neodarkness is offline Member Frequent Poster
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Default A really strange hard drive problem

    Recently I bought a dell 1521 with 160 gig hard drive. 136 gigs have been allocated for the normal c drive, 10 for the backups drive, and the rest unnallocated. the problem is that the c drive says I am using up 31.5 gigs. However, even after making sure all hidden files are displayed, all of the files in the hard drive only make up 18.5 gigs (Including pagefile). that means there is over 10 gigs unnaccounted for. can anyone tell me whats going on here?

  2. #2
    Jyuu's Avatar
    Jyuu is offline Super Moderator Community Builder
    Join Date
    Dec 2004


    1000*1000 is how they do it, not 1024*1024.

  3. #3
    Jakko's Avatar
    Jakko is offline Senior Member Community Builder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    North Carolina, US


    To expound upon what Jyuu said:
    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    Operating systems frequently report capacity using the same abbreviations but in reference to binary-based units. For instance, the prefix mega in the context of data storage can mean 220 (1,048,576), which is approximately equal to the actual value of the SI prefix mega, 106 (1,000,000). Similar usage has been applied to prefixes of greater magnitude. This results in a discrepancy between the disk manufacturer's stated capacity and the apparent capacity of the drive when examined from the operating system. The difference becomes much more noticeable in the multi-gigabyte range. For example, Microsoft Windows reports disk capacity both in decimal-based units to 12 or more significant digits and with binary-based units to 3 significant digits. Thus a disk specified by a disk manufacturer as a 30 GB disk might have its capacity reported by Windows 2000 both as "30,065,098,568 bytes" and "28.0 GB" The disk manufacturer used the SI definition of "giga", 109 to arrive at 30 GB; however, because the utilities provided by Windows define a gigabyte as 1,073,741,824 bytes (230 bytes, often referred to as a gibibyte, or GiB), the operating system reports capacity of the disk drive as 28.0 GB.
    Everyone notices, and is befuddled by this problem at some point. I remember calling (this was a few years back, say, 5)my HDD manufacturer and waiting on hold an hour before someone explained that to me on the phone like I was a moron. Count yourself blessed you didn't make an ass of yourself.

  4. #4
    Volvogga's Avatar
    Volvogga is offline Senior Member Always Around
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    MI, USA



    That's a bitch Jakko. XD
    Horray for fine print.

    thanks to Silverwmoon!

  5. #5
    MadDogMike is offline Senior Member Always Around
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    I don't think that's the solution to his problem. He's not saying that the total size of the HDD differs from what was specified by the manufacturer, he's saying that Windows gives him different C drive usage statistics when he checks it by highlighting his drive in "My Computer", and when he selects all the files in C: and checks their properties. The difference in measurements isn't large enough to account for a difference of over 30%. Most likely it's a combination of the following:

    - Windows is using the C drive to store the pagefile (virtual memory) and it isn't being displayed when you select all of the files. This usually takes from 2GB to 4GB of space.

    - Cluster size, combined with the large amount of small files littering the C drive, is creating a lot of wasted space. Basically, there's a minimum size to the amount of space that can be allocated for a file (known as "cluster size", it's usually somewhere between 2KB and 4KB depending on partition size and the file system being used). Any file that is less than the cluster size still takes up the entire cluster. When you check a file's properties Windows usually tells you the exact size of the file, not the physical space used on the disk, but when you check your HDD usage in My Computer I'm pretty sure it tells you the physical HDD space usage instead.

    - There's a property for files in Windows known as "super hidden". Even when you show hidden files, these "super hidden" files will still not show up. The only way to view them is by editing the registry. I believe that both Windows and Internet Explorer keep some temporary files in super hidden folders.
    Last edited by MadDogMike; 11-23-2007 at 04:13 AM.

  6. #6
    Heiji1412 is offline Senior Member Frequent Poster
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    I remember Dell installing some other stuff on their laptops, some sort of partition that allows you to play CDs, DVDs without booting into Windows, but that should only take 1-2 GB.

    If you're that worried about it, do a reformat, formatting every partition Dell puts on there, and see if you're still losing space.

    IIRC, Dell puts a crapload of pre-loaded stuff on their comps, so a clean format is usually a good idea, be warned that you'll lose the backup partition (not a big deal if you have the install disks), and the media play stuff, you can still keep it, or install it yourself, but not without a reformat.




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