Toshiba 320 Gb External USB drive

  Southernboy 14:29 27 Apr 2006

I have been looking for a good one for some time and have now found it.

You may have seen the PC World TV adverts for the Toshiba 320Gb USB 2 External drive for £109.99. I have bought one and it is great! It comes in a sealed box (my PC World had dozens on a special rack) so you can be sure of getting a new one, rather than one that has been returned.

It is only compatible for 2000/XP and comes ready formatted in NTFS. There is no software necessary and you simply attach it to the PC which tells you it is installed and ready for use. No problems with software conflicts (as I had with my Maxtor 1-Touch) and the Manual is a example of clarity and simplicity. Just what I was looking for.

However, as with all things, I have a query. I am well aware that no drive will actually display the full size of the drive. The manual explains this is because of the way manufacturers round-up Mb into Gb. However, when looking at the Properties of this disc, after installation, it showed a totally "red" image (indication totally empty) at a size of 299Gb. This did not surprise me until I noticed that the text above indicated 73Mb "in use". How can this be is there is no software involved? A slightly smaller size yes, but part in use?

I expect there will be a simple explanation and I would welcome clarification, please, if anyone can do this.

  rmcqua 15:12 27 Apr 2006

It's to do with the way that drive manufacturers describe their capacity versus the way the PC measures and displays it. In effect, for every 100Gb you will apparently "lose" 24Gb, so for a 320 Gb drive that would be about 73 Gb "lost". It's perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about.

  rmcqua 15:15 27 Apr 2006

...the "in use" is just the computer's way of describing the anomaly, because it can't identify any data files that are causing the discrepancy.

  Southernboy 17:15 27 Apr 2006

Many thanks.

  ed-0 18:16 27 Apr 2006

A little bit on the high side there rmcqua. You are saying it is nearly losing 25% or one quarter on the way windows formats it against the manufacturer’s measurement in bytes.

7-8 Gb per 100Gb would be a more realistic estimate. This would give a 320Gb disk 22 to 25 gb . As you have 299Gb showing, this is about right.

The 73Mb showing as used will be the amount allocated by windows for formatting and partitioning the drive. Every hard drive that has windows running will have a small percentage used for this.

  Southernboy 21:57 28 Apr 2006

It is 73Mb in use, not 73Gb.

Thanks to all. As I said, I know that no HD has the total amount showing, it was the "in use" that puzzled me. Thanks for explaining it.

  Micky 494 22:32 01 May 2006

I appreciate that your question has probably been answered but I just had to reply as I have just bought exactly the same external hard drive. Same price but from Curry's and as you say it installed in minutes. Just "Plug and Play". XP recognised it straight away and reported a capacity of 299 Gb with 73 Mb in use. This is normal as rmcqua explains. I'm well pleased with the drive anyway.

  rmcqua 09:46 02 May 2006

Yes, my fault (finger trouble). Same principle.

  DieSse 15:58 02 May 2006

73Mb in use is the system files/folders WinXP puts onto it - Recycler - System Volume Information - Incinerate.

If you know how to set your system to show hidden and system files, you'll see them.

It's not to do with formatting or partitioning - nothing from that (which is minute, if anything) shows up in Explorer.

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