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Question about hard-drive size.

Old 09-16-05, 12:32 PM
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Question about hard-drive size.

I got an 80-gig hard-drive on my new computer, and in the BIOS it shows up as 80 gigs, but in windows, it shows up as only 70 gigs. Now I know some of that is "virtual memory", in case I need to reinstall windows or whatever, but that should only take up about 1 or gigs - where are these 10 phantom gigs?
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Old 09-16-05, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by slop101
I got an 80-gig hard-drive on my new computer, and in the BIOS it shows up as 80 gigs, but in windows, it shows up as only 70 gigs. Now I know some of that is "virtual memory", in case I need to reinstall windows or whatever, but that should only take up about 1 or gigs - where are these 10 phantom gigs?
Is this a dell laptop? They create a hidden partition that's I think even Partition Magic has problems seeing. On my wife's 80gig Inspiron I think I calculated it out to something like 8 gigs of the total space.

On the other hand it could also be 80,000,000 kBytes. In which case divide 80,000,000 by 1024*1024 to get actual gig size = 76.29 gigs.
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Old 09-16-05, 01:21 PM
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It's basically a difference in the way drive manufacturers and OS's define as a gigabyte. Technically an a gigabyte is actually 1,073,741,824 bytes. For simplicity hard drive manufacturers round it down to 1,000,000,000 bytes when they manufacture, while the OS uses the technical value.

Here is the explanation from Western Digital

In your case, you actually start out with 74.51GB free.


Drive Size in GB Approximate Total Bytes Decimal Capacity
(bytes/1,000,000,000)
Approximate Binary Capacity (bytes/1,073,724,841)

Decimal = Binary
10 GB = 9.31 GB
20 GB = 18.63 GB
30 GB = 27.94 GB
36 GB = 33.53 GB
40 GB = 37.25 GB
60 GB = 55.88 GB
74 GB = 68.91 GB
80 GB = 74.51 GB
100 GB = 93.13 GB
120 GB = 111.76 GB
160 GB = 149.01 GB
180 GB = 167.64 GB
200 GB = 186.26 GB
250 GB = 232.83 GB
300 GB = 279.40 GB
320 GB = 298.02 GB
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Old 09-16-05, 01:22 PM
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either it has a hidden partition for recovery or it was fdisked to not use the full space
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Old 09-16-05, 01:39 PM
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Yeah, it's a Dell, but it's a desk-top, not a lap-top.

But even though it's a full 80-gigs, I actually started out with only 70.1-gigs available (and that's all available space, including the space that programs take up. That just doesn't seem right - it's almost like false advertising.

Last edited by slop101; 09-16-05 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 09-17-05, 03:57 AM
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That's about right. I have a entry-level Dell 2400 system as a secondary/kids comp and it has an 80gig hdd in there. The true free space of an "80gig" drive is ~ 74 gigs or so plus taking into consideration the hidden Dell restore partition/image of 2-4 gigs then what you saw is about right.

With the issue of "false advertising" this has been an ongoing topic of discussion for years and years. Will be around for a long time I suspect.
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Old 09-17-05, 08:39 AM
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I have a Western Digital WD800-JB 80 GB hard drive in my system and according to Windows XP Professional (SP2), the drive characteristics are:

80,015,491,072 bytes (74.5 GB)

Western Digital is using the first figure to get that 80 GB number.
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Old 09-17-05, 09:09 AM
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On my client's IBM ThinkPad, the 40gb drive had a 20gb (!) hidden partition containing all the software, which is completely ridiculous. No original CDs were provided, and it was impossible to burn them from the hidden partition. In order to install a larger capacity drive, he had to shell out more than $50, just to get CD copies of the software.
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Old 09-17-05, 02:44 PM
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for some reason companies think using a recovery partition is better than 50 cents worth of cds

Last edited by mikehunt; 09-18-05 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 09-17-05, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
for some reason companies think using a recovery partitino is better than 50 cents worth of cds
I think you're being generous.

With volume, we're talking maybe 15-20 cents total.
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Old 09-17-05, 06:38 PM
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Are we talking about an Italian software program?
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Old 09-17-05, 09:39 PM
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Old 09-18-05, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
for some reason companies think using a recovery partitino is better than 50 cents worth of cds
Well when you are talking about a company like Dell, it would be easier on their end when a user phones in for help, restoring the drive/software etc. than chance the user losing the discs. Saves time and money on the help line.
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Old 09-18-05, 10:10 AM
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except that the recovery partitions fail fairly often, at least Sony's did
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