Missing hdd space

By Technochicken · 13 replies
Aug 16, 2008
  1. when my old computer died, I stuck the 120 gig wd hdd into my new computer, as a secondary drive. On the old computer, wch ran xp, the drive showed up as 111 gigs, as xp took up 9 gigs. When I used it in my new computer that runs vista, the drive still showed up as 111 gigs. I reformated it, but that did not make all the space show up. Also, I booted ubuntu, and the drive showed up as 120 gigs. But it said that there was only 111.6 gigs free, and there was only one file in the drive, and it was only 500 kb. Nothing else showed up when I enabled showing hidden folders in ubuntu or vista, and in vista I set it to also show OS folders. How can I get back those 9 gigs?
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Actually, getting 111GB free space after installing a 120GB drive sounds right. (I just happened to install a brand new Fujitsu 120GB drive and also ended up with 111GB free space)

    This is NOT due to files you see on the hard drive but primarily due to formatting overhead (i.e. space on the drive reserved just to support the file system and keep track of all that 120GB and how files and info are distributed across it.
  3. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 729

    then why does ubuntu register it as a total of 120? Also, if it was 111 because of formating that would mean the os takes no space. On my 320 gig hdd with vista on it shows up as 298, because vista takes 22 gigs/. I no that because my friends 120 gig vista laptop shows up as 98 gigs
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    Hard drives are funny pieces of equipment. Depending on which model you have, the total amount of free space can vary. Sometimes it's a lot, other times it's a little. You never get it all; the amount is just rounded up so different OS's will register different values.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    1. I'm not familiar with Ubuntu or how Ubuntu reports on disk space (it may report the full raw drive perhaps). Also, I don't believe Ubuntu creates the same file system as Windows so the overhead numbers would likely be different.

    2. Specifically for a NTFS formatted drive under Windows XP i can tell you i also ended up with 111GB after formatting my 120GB drive

    3. Try running a partioning tool to partition the 120GB drive. It will tell you how much space will be available and this doesn't include any files.

    /***** Edit ******/
    (But don't actually do the partioning or you'll lose your data! just run the tool to see the partition size it reports)
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Just as a follow-up comment.... some of the variance is also because manufacturers usually report sizes using base 10 numbers (i.e. 1GB = 1,000,000,000) where as software uses base 2 which gives it a different value for 1GB. But most of the variance you end up seeing is due to formatting overhead
  7. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 729

    Oh, and as a side question, my 320 gig hard drive mysteriously uses up space. It says i've used 45 gigs of space, which is not possible, as I have not installed much software yet, and my music only takes up 2 gigs. The weirder part of it is that space keeps getting used up without me adding anything. A few days ago I ha 3 more gigs of space than I do right now. And when I got vista sp1, it showed an increase In drive space. Seriously, WTF?
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Regarding formatted lost space on Fat32 or NTFS
    This is due to Cluster resizing (basically the gaps between sectors)

    It's always best to have Windows automatically partition the drive during Windows install (to use the best cluster size, ie 4k)
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Here’s some things to do and tools to use to help find all your Windows files and then relate those numbers to your disk “free space”
    1. Verify registry will allow you to see hidden files. (Viruses may change these values)
      • Start -> Run, enter regedt
      • Go to key: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden. You need to verify two subkeys (change them if need be) to the types and values as shown. (Note: a subkey’s value is displayed in hex (starts 0x) and then decimal. View (and make any changes) using the decimal value.
        NOHIDDEN\CheckedValue…. REG_DWORD…..(1)
        NOHIDDEN\DefaultValue…… REG_DWORD…..(2)
        SHOWALL\CheckedValue….. REG_DWORD…..(1)
        SHOWALL\CheckedValue….. REG_DWORD…..(2)​
    2. Set registry to see "superhidden" files. Set HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\SuperHidden to 1.
    3. Make System Volume Information accessible. (Normally you can’t access this data and its file size is simply returned as zero) See this link for instructions
    4. Reboot your computer for all the registry changes to take affect
    => Now, you can set Explorer to show hidden and sysem files. In explorer
    Tools->Folder Options->View. Scroll down and
    Check: Show hidden files and folders
    Uncheck Hide Protected Operating System Files

    => Finally, some tools to help relate all those files, folders and sizes.
    CCleaner. Run CCleaner first to delete all the junk and temp files left lying around by applications on your computer
    • There will be that much less junk for you to be sorting through
    • It will tell you just how much “junk” was deleted. Gives you an idea of how much disk space is “disappearing” to support temp files.
    ExplorerXP A handy option to Windows Explorer because ExplorerXP (for XP only, not for Vista) shows Folder sizes (windows explorer doesn’t). The size data is calculated while ExplorerXP is running so expect to see a delay between starting ExplorerXP and seeing the folder size info getting filled in. You can click on Size column heading to sort by size.

    JdiskReport In addition to supply file and folder size numbers, this java script also displays the data in chart form to visually see where space is being used. You can drill down into the charts as well.
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Here's a simple VBS (For Windows Xp) that can do it all for you:
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Yep. The script is handy. It should also be noted that the system must be rebooted so the change to view "super hidden" files takes affect.
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Well logoff, Logon, anyway :)
  13. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 729

    when i try to run "regedt", it says windows could not find it. and i'm running vista, not xp, so that vbs won't work.
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523


    i Missing

    Actually, before making any changes to the Registry you should back it up first
    Not only that, but you need Admin privlidges in Vista
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