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why is my 20 gig HD only 18.6?

Posted on 2005-03-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I looked at my C: properties and my hard drive has a capacity (used and unused) of 18.6 gigs. I was told I was getting a 20 gig. What happened to the other 1.4? do they round it off.....or is it used for something before a single thing is installed or downloaded?
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Question by:nickg5
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Lee W, MVP earned 1400 total points
ID: 13467867
It's a marketing math thing.  To a computer, 1 GB = 2^30 (1,073,741,824 bytes), which means 18.6 GB as reported by the computer is 19,971,597,926 bytes (it's probably more like 18.64 or something).  But the manufacturers say 1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes.  There's the difference.
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by:nickg5
ID: 13467894
only about half of mine is being used
BUT, alot my computer is slow and I have cable modem, no spyware and no viruses. I would have thought my HD would be closer to full. I do not know what to suspect as the problem unless the ISP is the problem or my 512 ram is not enough or my processor (.926 I think) is too small. There must be some answer to this slowness. It can't be "every" website.

increasing the points to accomodate opinions on this.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13467985
That's really a seperate question that should be asked elsewhere.  I'll see what I can to do help though.  Have you done a defrag lately?  What OS are you running?  How fast is your CPU?  When was the last time you reinstalled the system (I like to reinstall mine every 12-18 months).  Do you have a lot of little programs constantly running?  QuickTime, Real Player, AntiVirus (should be), AOL, etc.  The more things running the slower the computer will be.
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by:nickg5
ID: 13468085
did defrag a couple weeks ago
tried last night and it said it was not needed right now.
XP
.925 I think
the last tme my XP was installed was the date the manufacturer installed it which was 2001.
no AOL, do have msn and yahoo messengers and AVG antivirus and spysweeper
I have real player but it does not run continuouly
the last couple hours, i have had OE and maybe 2 browsers and is has been slow moving around.
***** it seems to take awhile for pages to load. Another example is I can try to open WORD, or EXCEL, or an exsting excel document and it takes many seconds.
I was used to 6 users to 1 modem on my dial up service. I have no idea how many people are crowded together once my single cable line gets back to their servers. They refuse to tell me.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13468207
You cable line could definitely be getting crowded and or used by people using file sharing programs like Kazaa and such.  These programs can EAT bandwidth and slow your connection - my cable company actually cuts peoples upload speed to slow this down when it happens... but perhaps yours doesn't.

Open Task manager and look at the memory usage.  In the processes tab, go to the view menu and "select columns" - then check off "Virtual Memory Size" and see what's using your virtual memory.  Sometimes small programs can use LOTS of memory.  AOL IM can use 40-50 MB by itself.  If you use Mozilla, it can use 100-200 MB of RAM (some Virtual, some physical).  (Personally, I use Mozilla and prefer it over IE).
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by:nickg5
ID: 13468292
where is task manager?
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by:nickg5
ID: 13468322
ok, here is another example. I just clicked on start and my computer. Sometimes there is the little flashlight that has to search for My computer....other times it goes straight to it without searching
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13468366
Task Manager - When you press CTRL - ALT - DEL?  Or right click on the blank area of the TaskBar
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by:nickg5
ID: 13468529
how do I stop it?
....there are only a few things that keep blinking. i tried to "end process" and it warns me not to.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13468576
Stop what?  Each of the columns in the Processes tab are sortable.  Click them and it will resort by that column.  But what are you trying to stop?
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by:nickg5
ID: 13468604
i clicked....view....and then select columns. there were 3 already checked...i also checked virtual memory then ok....now it is showing the %'s of cpu usage and for the few things using it, the values are changing all the time. there is a "end process" but it warns me not to end it or data will be lost, system unstable and terminating will not allow the process to save it's state or data.

the thing using the most virtual is spysweeper.....26,000 k.....since it only finds cookies whwn i do a spy scan, i might just turn it off....

what can u tell me about this process that i am warned not to terminate....well over 10 minutes now...
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by:nickg5
ID: 13468632
I do not remember noticing the %'s changing in the CPU column, so I thought I had "started" the process when I clicked OK after checking virtual memory on the column list....so, i thought I'd end the process that I thought I started...I can just close the windows task manager box and let it alone.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13468689
That's not really all that much... but try disabling it and see what happens.  

Generally, you should not "End Task" - I've rarely seen that make the system unstable, but by using it, you could leave temporary files that a proper closure would remove.  So just stop the program normally - it's proabbly got a small icon in the system tray.
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by:nickg5
ID: 13468700
I just closed the box and the bright green icon for the task manager in the lower right hand corner disappeared.
I was afraid to click "end process"
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by:nickg5
ID: 13468719
things seem a good bit "perky" now that i turned off spysweeper. My system even found My Computer without a flashlight.
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