Adding used hard drive

Posted on 2003-03-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I added a used 40GB hard drive to a new computer w/120GB HD in it already. The OS is XP home, the capacity is 38.1GB under the properties for that HD. What is the maxium capacity the HD should have if I only use it for storage? Would I have to repartiton it in order to gain the maxium capacity? I changed the file system on that HD to NTFS already. Thank for the help.
Question by:wem64
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Expert Comment

ID: 8187659
The NTFS file system can be as large as 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes so there is no need for partitionning in order to gain extra space.  The cluster size for such a hard drive is 4kb and going any higher, you would loose the compression ability.  I would recommend to leave it as is.  Of course if you want to partition your hard drive for other reasons, there is no harm either.


Author Comment

ID: 8187681
Is 38.1GB the most I would expect to get on a 40GB HD? Is there 2GB lost? Where did they go?

Accepted Solution

drcspy earned 120 total points
ID: 8187854

one Meg is NOT 1,000,000 bytes it's ummm....1,048,000 bytes........so.......no matter what you do you will NEVER get the 'full' 40gigs showing.......
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Expert Comment

ID: 8188240
yes, and to be more precise

1kB = 1,024 bytes (not 1,000)
1MB = 1,024 x 1kB = 1,048,576 bytes (not 1,000,000)
1GB = 1,024 x 1MB = 1,073,741,824 bytes (not 1,000,000,000)

so to have 40 GB you need 40 x 1GB which equals 42,949,672,960 bytes.  The catch is that the HD companies market there hard drive sizes as 1G = 1000000000 bytes.  So in fact, you probably have in the area of 40,900,000 bytes wich roughly equals 38.1 GB from the operating system's point of view but 40 GB from the HD manufacturer's point of view.

It's nothing really to worry about.  Pretty much all the HD companies do it as far as I know.  Just be aware that it turns out a little smaller when using the 'real' math.

LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 8196024
> Would I have to repartiton it in order to gain the maxium capacity?

Partitioning will actually lose capacity, in overhead to simulate it being two HDs rather than one.  As above, there is a difference between GB and billion bytes, same as for MB and KB.  Try in explorer to view attributes for a large file, then look at properties, comparing size.

If you do not install OS then you will of course have more room. If you go that route, before adding files you can choose to make it a compressed drive. This will give you more storage if that is your need. It is a little slower. You can also create a couple subdirectories, compress one and not the other. I prefer to have explorer disply this in a different color.

Expert Comment

ID: 8200012
Be aware! Don't use up all the capacity that available on your new harddisk. If do so, it will slowdown your defragementation of your hard drive.

Actually, what is the purpose of your new harddisk?

Expert Comment

ID: 8208156
The actual formatted capacity of the drive is usually smaller than advertised.  It has to do with how the manufacturer computes the size of the disk, for marketing reasons they compute using values that result in the largest size.  This isn't illegal and it is an accurate representation of the drives UNFORMATED capacity.  Don't worry about it too much, with 38.1 GBs of space, doesn't worry about loosing 1.9 GB too much.

If you must gain as much space as possible, use NTFS and create one or two PRIMARY partitions, not all the partitions on a disk have to be logical extended partitions.  Use the Windows 2000 format utility found inside the "computer management" console to create the partitions, or even better use Power Quest Partition Magic version 6 or better.

Expert Comment

ID: 8208167
FYI:  Even windows XP has a "computer management" console that has the hard drive utilties.  Just for your info, windows XP is almost identical to windows 2000 in terms of controls, functionality and practical maintenance.  The differences are in features and a bit of layout.

Author Comment

ID: 8211587
The 40GB HD originally had WIN ME on it and was the only HD in the other computer. I installed the HD on this computer intact and I removed the all the files by moving them to the recycle bin. Then I changed the file system to NTSF through format under properties for that drive. Did I remove all the OS files on the HD this way or are there still some hidden file that are not to be used on this HD? I think there are files on the HD that are from the earlier use. What would be the right way of cleaning, removing the files of a used HD in order to start fresh before you put it in another computer, ready to accept the OS or to be used for storage? Thanks for the info guys.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 10304519
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