my 40 gb Seagate hard drive lost 9GB of space

Seagate Barracuda 40gb hard drive
October 17, 2010 at 02:16:46
Specs: Windows Vista, 2.5 GB
I used to have a Seagate Barracuda IDE 40 gb hard drive for my PC. I gradually lost 9GB over a span of 3 years. Is there anything I can do to recover the space? I now use the drive externally for my laptop.

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October 17, 2010 at 04:31:19
What makes you think you have lost 9Gbs? Drive space just doesn't disappear without a reason.

Bear in mind that there are a lot of hidden files and folders within Windows that do not normally show up in Windows Explorer. Just counting the space taken by the files and folders you can see never gives you an accurate figure of how much space you are using. Then there is slack space to consider.

If the drive is formatted to Fat32 slack space is more likely to be a problem than with NTFS. Also Windows will only allow a maximum partition size of 32 Gbs with Fat32. Third party tools can go larger but the slack space starts to become a real problem then.

The first link only deals with file systems up to Fat32. NTFS uses a cluster size of 4Kbs which considerably reduces the slack space problem,


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October 17, 2010 at 07:03:57
When viewing that drive in Disk Management what is shown as the total disk size?

Should show about 37.25GB. The difference is due to the method of measurement. If that is how the drive is shown then there is nothing wrong and the response above probably accounts for the space you think is missing.

Disk Management also shows the type of format in use. FAT32 on a 40GB drive results in 32kb clusters, which can result in large amounts of slack space.

I would hope you are maintaining at least two copies of any files you want to keep. Lots of things can go wrong.

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