lost megabytes

  James-254715 17:12 15 Feb 2003

I have a 20 gb hard drive but some time ago, it only started to show as 15.8 gb.
My drive is only half full so it is not a problem at present. However, it is annoying to think that I have "lost" a quarter of my space.
Formating has not helped since C drive only shows the 15.8 anyway.
Can anybody offer advice to a a relativeley inexperienced user ?

  pcgal 18:53 15 Feb 2003

james i had a similar problem after running a multiple partition....i deleted the partitions and re-formatted the drive and experienced your problem.
I returned the hdd to full capacity by using partition magic.

just a thought..pcgal

  Stuartli 20:52 15 Feb 2003

You haven't lost any drive space - it's the equivalent of an optical illusion.

Absorb the fact that eight bits equal one byte, 1,024 bytes equal one kilobyte and 1,024 kilobytes equal one megabyte.

However, HDD manufacturers have adopted the dubious practice for some time that 1,000 kilobytes equal one megabyte.

Now you can presumably work out where your "missing" gigabytes have gone..:-)

  leo49 21:42 15 Feb 2003

Whilst it's true that that Windows shows drive capacity in binary megabytes and HDD manufacturers show drive capacity in decimal megabytes, the pat answer that the difference is all down to simple arithmetic just doesn't explain the huge divergence - if it did my 80gb HDD would proportionately be shown by Windows as 63.2gb as opposed to the actual 76.34gb.

In theory a 20gb HDD should show up as just over 19gb which leaves 3.3gb unaccounted for.


  bryrach 21:46 15 Feb 2003

Is your operating system XP? If so the missing space is how much it takes up.

  Stuartli 23:23 15 Feb 2003

My "20GB" Western Digital drive is listed in System Information as an 18.63GB drive of which 15.86MB is still free - that's despite a wide range of programs etc and mumerous years using it several times a day.

Over the years I've gone from my original 85MB drive to a 1.3, 1.7, 4 and 8.4MB HDDs to my curret one - I've never managed to use more than a quarter of the capacity yet.

The 20GB's figures are presumably accurate, but I'm wondering if it's worth having a quiet word with Western Digital under the Trades Description Act...:-)

  leo49 00:06 16 Feb 2003

I have absolutely no idea what relevance your PC usage has to a question regarding the total capacity of jamesgreen53's HDD.

  User-312386 00:58 16 Feb 2003

Stuartli's has every relevance as he has stated that "Absorb the fact that eight bits equal one byte, 1,024 bytes equal one kilobyte and 1,024 kilobytes equal one megabyte."

Now bear in mind that the O/S takes up 1GB, now add the programmes that you have loaded and you can easily see that the HDD reads 15.8


  leo49 01:55 16 Feb 2003

Oh please - read the original post.

We're not talking about FREE space but TOTAL capacity - which Stuartli attempted to explain away in his original post by the differing standards.

These don't,however, account for the 'missing'gigabytes. - Which he himself demonstrated by his second post in which he stated his own HDD formatted down to 18.63GB!

  User-312386 08:00 16 Feb 2003

appologies, you are right i did not read the post correctly

I stand corrected


  BlueMeanie 13:04 16 Feb 2003

Is there a possibility that the 20 Gb hard drive is being recognised as as a 16Gb drive due to either the motherboard or operating system limitations ?

PS 16 Gb -:- 1024 = 15.6 Gb

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