Hard Drive space

35 pts.
Tags:
HARD drive
Hard drive erasure
HP Pavilion
Windows Vista
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
My hard drive (Vista, 450GB) occupancy is 99.8GB and yet the sum of the individual folders is only 33GB. At one stage (with much the same content) it was around 45GB. I have destoyed all data, reformatted the disc and reloaded everything from scratch to no significant effect. I have also performed the usual disc cleaning operations.  Any ideas?

Software/Hardware used:
HP Pavilion PC with 32 bit Vista and 450GB hard drive

Answer Wiki

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You may want to go into disk management to see how the layout of the hard drive that Windows sees. If Windows sees only 100GB out of the physical 450GB then I would assume that part of the drive is not partition. I know HP partitions a small portion for System Recovery normally less than a DVD 4.7GB. I would reboot your computer into BIOS to confirm the computer itself sees the whole drive.

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  • JohnBL
    I don't think the space is not being 'seen'. The full space on the hard disc, as well as two other attached discs, is being displayed. Also, the amount of unattributable space that is used seems to vary: the more I load large files in and out it appears to shrink. I have, of course, emptied the recycle bin! The HP system does indeed create a sub partition on the hard disc, but Icleared that some time ago and reformatted the entire disc.
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  • Technochic
    Sounds like a bad drive to me, I would get on the phone with tech support for the manufaturer if it is still under warranty.
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  • JohnBL
    When I backup on an external hard disc the file created (although .compressed') is also larger than the sum of the files that are stored. This suggests to me some other cause than just a faulty hard drive - but I am open to suggestions. P.S. It is out of warranty!
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  • Chippy088
    The BIOS sees the drive as a whole, but it does not tell you how the physical drive is partitioned, so you can not use that as a basis of usable disk space. Only that the disk is working and it is recognised. I agree that it might be a partitioning problem, as you can not see the whole 450GB. This is the bit that will restrict the way the OS lays down the data. Is it formatted as ntfs? You are using a 32 bit OS, can it access every memory address on the disk? What is the highest address the OS can reach? These are things influenced by the formatting method. (Highest number (decimal) 32 bit addressing can hold is 8,589,934,591. 1 gigabyte = 8 589 934 592 bits.) Definately get onto the manufacturers tech support team. It will save a lot of aggravation trying to do it alone. Never had this problem before, so it is an interesting subject. If you sort it could you post the result please. I'm certainly interested in the fault cause etc.
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  • JohnBL
    The disc is NTFS formatted and was thoroughly cleaned with a data destroyer before reloading all my s/w. I have now temporarily loaded the disc with extra folders to prove that the rest of the disc is accessible. I then have 451 GB of the disc used, of which only 391GB is accounted for by the sum of the loaded files and folders. i.e. there is still over 60GB which cannot be accounted for - just as there was before. Another strange fact is that, at the early stages of restoring my all my files after reformatting, there was initially no 'lost' space due to unidentified files. Unfortunately, I didn't notice at what point they appeared.
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  • TomLiotta
    I then have 451 GB of the disc used, of which only 391GB is accounted for by the sum of the loaded files and folders. i.e. there is still over 60GB which cannot be accounted for - just as there was before. But that is off by a full order of magnitude from your original question: My hard drive (Vista, 450GB) occupancy is 99.8GB and yet the sum of the individual folders is only 33GB. If those are both accurate, then it most definitely is not ...just as there was before. If it truly is "391GB", then I wouldn't even think twice about the discrepancy. It can easily be accounted for by poor conversions from KB to MB to GB or by differences between 'sizes' and 'sizes on disk' among other things. A clear statement of what you are seeing, where you are seeing it and how you come up with values for "the sum of the individual folders" is needed before any good answer is possible. Tom
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