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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Size of hard drive

    I bought my daughter a Dell Inspiron 8600 with a 30 GB ATA hard drive. I know that the number of bytes does not always add up to the exact size of the hard drive but was a bit surprised at the number reported.

    When I go to the C drive and click on properties, it shows Total Size to be 24.3 GB with 18.1 GB free space. When I click on PROPERTIES for the C drive, it shows 26,189,287,424 bytes Capacity. Does that really equate to a 30 GB hard drive?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Size of hard drive

    There are two main sources of this sort of confusion.
    <UL><LI>A GB for a storage vendor = 1000 * 1000 * 1000 bytes, not 1024 * 1024 * 1024 bytes - the difference between these is about 7.3%
    <LI>When you format a disk much of the space gets used to create the "metadata" that describes where things are on the disk and how to access them. The used space reported by Windows is space used by Files, and does not include this metadata.[/list]StuartR

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    Re: Size of hard drive

    In addition to Stuart's explanation (his point being in the metric system a kilo is 1000, in computers a kilo is 1024) but also many laptop manufacturers steal some of your hard drive for a hidden partition so if you ever have to rebuild back to factory specs, it is done from there. So that hidden partition will be taken from your over all 30G also.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Re: Size of hard drive

    Desktops too Bill (steal some of your hard drive for a hidden partition). It's not peculiar to notebooks.
    John
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    Re: Size of hard drive

    Hi Bill, there is no hidden partition - I have all the disks including the operating system.

    My question is that the total capacity of the drive is 26,189,287,424 bytes and I was wondering if this equates to a 30 GB hard drive. This is not used or free space, this is total space.

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    Re: Size of hard drive

    There is another word to add to all of the above: nominal. And another phrase: powers of ten.

    Nowadays, all disk manufacturers seem to quote their disk sizes in nominal Gigabytes which are a multiple of ten in size -- 120 GB, 60 GB and so on, regardless of the actual drive geometry..

    So a 26 x 10^9 byte drive is "nominally" (for sales purposes) a 30 GB drive!

    This is, I believe, the direct equivalent of prices of goods, quoted as nnn.99 -- $19.99,
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

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    Re: Size of hard drive

    That's true!
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Re: Size of hard drive

    Are you sure? How do you know that you don't have a hidden partition - if it's HIDDEN? (i.e. Windows can't see it). If you have an option to select F12 (diagnostics) when booting the machine, then you do indeed have this partition. It's typically a small FAT32 partition and is installed on almost (if not all) every recent Dell computer.
    John
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    Re: Size of hard drive

    I agree that most recent Dell systems have the small FAT32 hidden partition but it is a very small partition (usually only a few MBs) and would not explain the disparity between the reported capacity and the claimed 30 GB by DELL. This small FAT32 partition is definitely not a RECOVERY Partition.

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    Re: Size of hard drive

    If you were to go into the "Computer Management" applet and then the Disk Management area you will see if there is a hidden drive or not.

    See attachment of my system.
    You see that my system has a 5.01 G hidden Partitation.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  11. #11
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    Re: Size of hard drive

    You could also tell if there were a hidden partition because the amount used plus the amount free would not equal the total size.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  12. #12
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    Re: Size of hard drive

    Doesn't that bring us right back to where we started?

    StuartR

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    Re: Size of hard drive

    Full circle indeed.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

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