Hard drive is gauging space incorrectly

By mikenovember010
May 29, 2010
  1. My Lenovo/IBM R60 has always been a bit tricky to work with. However, I've recently discovered that it doesn't gauge hd space properly.

    The hard drive is rated for 320G, with an actual capacity of 298G. Not too long ago, it suddenly went from saying I had about 150G free, then 50G free. I know that isn't right, because my files added up to about 150G. (I do a lot of sound editing, using high-quality WAV files.) I cleaned out some older files, reducing what I had to about 110G.

    TreeSize thinks the hard drive is only 160G, but it clearly shows "50G out of 298G free" in places. This is taking hidden folders into account, and I've already checked system restore and hibernation. They weren't doing anything out of the ordinary.

    Showing 160G out of 298G is significant I think, because that's exactly half of the 320 stated capacity. The disk defragmenter/analyzer also seems to be broken. Possible virus? Please give me a few suggestions I'm thinking about reinstalling XP to fix this and some other issues. I know there are similar topics like this; what has been suggested didn't seem to do anything.

    I have a screenshot of TreeSize, but I can't post it yet.
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +181

    Your post was deja vu all over again (skim this thread)

    TreeSize won't show you all the space. Try ExplorerXP (if you're running XP) or jdiskreport for Vista or Win7
  3. mikenovember010

    mikenovember010 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry about the thread, but nothing mentioned before was helping...

    Currently messing around with ExpXP. It's not finding anything suspicious.
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +181

    This may or may not apply to your case.. but can help to understand that running with Admin privileges doesn't automatically give you access to see all file/folders on your drive (access is still controlled by access rights assigned to files and folders)

    Windows Explorer and Tree Size both honor those "access rights" which still, by default, deny Admin to things like C:\System Volume Information.

    Explorer XP ignores access rights and includes everything
    >Note you can click the Size column to sort by size to see where most of the space is being used

    And i guess, the bottom line question is: If you at the list of all your drives in ExplorerXP, what does it say is your Total Size and Free Size for C: ?
  5. mikenovember010

    mikenovember010 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ExplorerXP also says the drive has 298G total, 51G free. Currently 109G in files. Nothing new to report.
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    The R60 is plenty old enough to have worn out the hard drive... a defective hard drive will show some of the problems you describe.
    Test that drive thoroughly, and try a new drive to assure you get different results.
  7. mikenovember010

    mikenovember010 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That might be a problem... my dad's using the old 60G drive. This 320G is fairly new, but I'll see what I can try. Check Disk took forever but reported nothing strange.

    I thought this thing was starting to wear down, it's got plenty of other problems.

    Currently running McAfee Stinger to see if it's virus related. AVG (Free), MalewareBytes, Super Anti-Spyware and PC Doctor have not turned up anything. I'm suspecting a virus because neither the Disk Analyze/Defrag application and Lenovo Quick test will not operate. Pressing the buttons does absolutely nothing.
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +181

    Good thinking. You already ran chkdsk. Did you happen to run it with any parameters? (e.g. /f or /r or no params? just curious..)

    Let me see the info Windows is reporting
    > Click Start->Run, enter msinfo32
    > Expand Components->Storage->Drives and copy/paste the info into next post
    > Do same with Components->Storage->Disks
  9. mikenovember010

    mikenovember010 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I ran chkdsk after using the disk error checker. It scanned upon rebooting. It seemed normal, though.

    msinfo32 report:
    Drive C:
    Description Local Fixed Disk
    Compressed No
    File System NTFS
    Size 298.09 GB (320,070,283,264 bytes)
    Free Space 50.75 GB (54,497,099,776 bytes)
    Volume Name Hard Drive
    Volume Serial Number F826C1B5

    Drive D:
    Description CD-ROM Disc

    Drive E:
    Description CD-ROM Disc

    Disks: No information.
  10. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +181

    Let's step back for a minute..

    I don't know why the Disk report was empty in msinfo32. But none the less, let's start with this: you understand that having 298GB available size on a 320GB disk sounds about right given you lose alot to NTFS overhead (plus there may be some small unassigned partitions on your disk as well)

    And we see msinfo32 also says your C: drive has 298GB available. So your only question should be where is

    So the only question should be how is that approx. 248GB out of 298GB (leaving 50GB) being used on your disk, right?
  11. mikenovember010

    mikenovember010 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yup. My files only add up to 109G; what is occupying the other 137G?

    I have a backup on an external hd, might use that soon and see what happens.
  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +181

    When you look at C: in ExplorerXP it should be showing you the size of each folder (along with all files on C:\) so you can figure that out.

    Click File->Settings->Folder Sizes. Then set folder/files sizes= In bytes, click OK

    Now display C:\ in Explorer XP (but give it several - maybe 4 minutes to finish adding things up).
    > Click on the one of the entries
    > Click Ctl-A to select all, Ctl-C to copy and then paste into your post

    I'll put copy/paste into Excel and all the numbers and sizes should add up :)
  13. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 58

    No space has been "lost" here.
    The difference in size is the same old "Marketing Size vs,
    Binary size" problem:
    1GB = 2^30 = 1073741824
    320,000,000000/1073741824 = 298.032GB.

    "I don't know why the Disk report was empty in msinfo32. But none the less, let's start with this: you understand that having 298GB available size on a 320GB disk sounds about right given you lose alot to NTFS overhead (plus there may be some small unassigned partitions on your disk as well)"
  14. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +181

    Thanks for the math lesson hughva (and reminding me of the right answer!). I shoulda just taken out my old, trusty HP 16C hex calculator! :)
  15. mikenovember010

    mikenovember010 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Documents and Settings 80,140,105,222 79,995,197,301 File Folder 2/20/2008 2:03 PM
    Program Files 24,335,747,650 24,509,267,968 File Folder 5/30/2010 3:52 PM
    WINDOWS 5,938,330,644 5,502,165,952 File Folder 5/30/2010 11:02 PM
    SWTOOLS 2,975,824,574 2,987,155,952 File Folder 9/19/2007 11:10 AM
    Downloads 2,451,408,884 2,438,242,897 File Folder 5/30/2010 4:02 PM
    pagefile.sys 792,723,456 792,723,456 System file 5/30/2010 8:52 PM
    I386 627,729,230 639,095,778 File Folder 9/19/2007 11:11 AM
    RECYCLER 310,263,923 311,316,772 File Folder 2/20/2008 2:22 PM
    drivers 179,229,991 171,957,648 File Folder 2/2/2020 12:33 PM
    SWSHARE 50,789,332 50,848,129 File Folder 5/30/2010 4:43 PM
    HP Universal Print Driver v5.0.3 for Windows - PCL 5 24,716,613 17,966,427 File Folder 3/22/2010 1:41 PM
    SUPPORT 13,438,258 13,377,536 File Folder 2/2/2020 12:18 PM
    VALUEADD 9,623,015 9,707,520 File Folder 9/19/2007 12:01 PM
    totalcmd 6,665,252 6,742,016 File Folder 5/2/2010 10:55 AM
    install.log 3,839,376 3,842,048 Text Document 2/2/2020 1:07 PM
    Config.Msi 1,228,800 753,664 File Folder 5/28/2010 7:04 PM
    adafdfdaf 553,704 551,894 File Folder 5/13/2010 5:59 PM
    NTLDR 250,048 253,952 File 9/13/2008 11:24 PM
    AnalysisLog.sr0 249,390 249,856 SR0 File 7/15/2008 7:29 PM
    hd id.bmp 57,782 61,440 Bitmap Image 1/24/2009 10:31 AM
    Log.txt 54,746 57,344 Text Document 5/31/2010 1:00 PM
    NTDETECT.COM 47,564 49,152 MS-DOS Application 8/4/2004 8:00 AM
    Intel 46,370 49,152 File Folder 7/19/2008 2:13 PM
    $AVG 26,927 24,981 File Folder 4/22/2010 12:34 PM
    System Volume Information 20,480 20,480 File Folder 5/28/2010 3:48 PM
    APIHook.log 14,588 16,384 Text Document 4/15/2008 9:30 AM
    Icons 8,440 11,264 File Folder 10/24/2007 6:51 AM
    Thumbs.db 6,144 8,192 Data Base File 5/28/2010 3:54 PM
    LGSInst.Log 4,461 8,192 Text Document 3/15/2010 9:02 PM
    drivez.log 2,750 4,096 Text Document 2/2/2020 1:01 PM
    BIO2.bmp 2,710 4,096 Bitmap Image 10/22/2008 8:02 PM
    logs 2,481 2,481 File Folder 5/30/2010 3:53 PM
    TPHKLOCK.TXT 1,380 4,096 Text Document 7/15/2008 7:33 PM
    boot.ini 211 4,096 Configuration Settings 12/26/2007 1:49 PM
    syslevel.lgl 83 4,096 LGL File 2/2/2020 12:33 PM
    DVDPATH.TXT 50 4,096 Text Document 9/4/2008 9:07 PM
    autorun.inf 24 4,096 Setup Information 10/22/2008 7:51 PM
    stinger1001688.opt 17 4,096 OPT File 5/30/2010 3:25 PM
    AdobeDebug.txt 0 0 Text Document 10/16/2007 10:39 PM
    AUTOEXEC.BAT 0 0 MS-DOS Batch File 4/30/2006 3:13 AM
    CONFIG.SYS 0 0 System file 4/30/2006 3:13 AM
    IO.SYS 0 0 System file 4/30/2006 3:13 AM
    MSDOS.SYS 0 0 System file 4/30/2006 3:13 AM
    RRbackups 0 0 File Folder 10/10/2007 3:03 PM

    Right, everything is in bytes. Crud, that looks messy.

    Documents and Settings keeps switching from the top of the list to the bottom, as if the computer is unsure of where to put it.
  16. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +181

    Looks much better once imported to Excel :)

    Wow. Interesting. I've read of this situation before but, till now, it's always been a matter of someone overlooking something. But in your case i see ExplorerXP says about 118GB used so 298-118GB should be 180GB free! (vs only the 50GB per Windows)

    1. as fyi.. i'll show you this link How to locate and correct disk space problems on NTFS volumes in Windows XP

    2. But, frankly, you might look through the link to see what you find but IMHO wouldn't try changing cluster sizes

    3. You;d be best to
    > Start by backing up all your files/folders
    > Go to the mfr website of your HD
    > Download and run their disk diagnostics. Check to see what it says
    > If no warnings/errors, i'd reformat the drive and reinstall windows then the rest of your stuff (you might want to just get a new and larger drive, should u want)

    Also see these steps to prepare before a full reinstall
  17. UniNuker

    UniNuker TS Rookie

    I had a VERY similar problem one time, except for my problem was from the start. I formatted a brand new drive using Windows and it would only show that my hard drive was a little over half the real size. I had to reformat it using the manufacturer's disk that came with it. Everything was great after that.
  18. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +181

    Thanks for that update UniNuker. Never seen that scenario either so is good to know :)
  19. mikenovember010

    mikenovember010 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    That's more like it. I reinstalled an older image. Now I just need to decompress some archives and transfer newer documents...

    Thanks! (even though nothing except killing Windows helped)
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