Hard Drive Misconception

  forexes 14:25 30 May 2004

What size is a hard drive? Friend of mine hs just bought an HP Pavilion t550uk from Comet. There is a sticker on the front which says 160GB hard Drive, but when one looks in properties it says it has a Hard Drive capacity of 145 GB.
That is 7.03 Gb used space and 137Gb spare capacity. Am I missing something?
Otherwise, the machine appears well made and is OK for the money.

  thms 14:41 30 May 2004

System Restore sets aside 12% of your drive capacity for backup.

  Forum Editor 14:59 30 May 2004

your friend's computer will have come with WindowsXP preinstalled, and the Windows files will all be in a hidden partition. This will reduce the available space that shows in the drive properties.

  Stuartli 16:30 30 May 2004

Further to thme's point, 12 per cent is set aside by XP for System Restore by default.

This level was set at a time when HDD capacities were much lower than today's up to three-figure gigabyte offerings.

You should therefore reduce the System Restore cache - mine is set at three per cent on a 60GB HDD.

Go to Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore and then click on System Restore settings. You can adjust the percentage from the System Restore tab in the panel that appears.

A figure of one or two per cent should be more than ample.

  helmetshine 18:17 30 May 2004

Lets not also forget Hard Drive manufacturers use the metric system.multiples of 1000....Windows uses Binary multiples of 1024....which is about a 7% difference,thats where the 145 Gb comes from in windows

  Taran 19:14 30 May 2004

And let's also not forget that anyone who needs more than 137Gb spare capacity is doing some pretty hefty file manipulation.

We could get into cluster size discussions and how Windows treats partitions and hard disks (and the wasted space it can generate) but it's worse than watching paint dry and far less interesting.

There will be two partitions on the drive, one of which will contain all of your Windows files, device drivers and any other software that was preinstalled. This is your recovery partition and on the HP sitting in front of me at the moment that partition occupies 3.7Gb of a 120Gb drive.

This should leave me with 116.3Gb on my main partition but due to the nature of Windows and the way in which it treats disk space (see the post by crx1600) my main partition is, in fact, 108Gb (ish).

Since this is more than enough to throw around most of my work I'm not too bothered about the missing disk space.

The best suggestion I have is to enjoy the computer. When you get into the hundred plus of gigabytes of storage it's a pretty safe bet that the drive will more than meet your needs.

  Stuartli 08:57 31 May 2004

You are quite right...:-)

When Windows 95 came out I moved up to an 850MB drive in early 1996, then a 1.3 and a 1.7. These were followed by a 4.3, a 6.4, 10 and then a 20GB about two years ago.

I'm now on a 60GB HDD and, like all the previous examples, I'm virtually certain that I will never manage to fill it - and I'm using my system throughout the day and evening....:-)

  Pearly Gates |X|X| 20:13 31 May 2004

A formatted drive will register smaller than the quoted size.

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