View Full Version : Help! Computer problem

05-09-2007, 01:15 AM
I have a 320 GB Western Digital hard drive inside of a Rosewill USB external enclosure that I have designated as my backup drive. I use Norton Ghost to do weekly base backups with daily intermittent backups. I am running WinXP Pro with all the latest updates. The problem that I am having seems odd. When I go into My Computer to view the drive, it recognizes the hard drive at 298 GB, but it is listing only 67 GB of free space and the grand total of all files on the drive is 124 GB. I don't know why it isn't showing the rest. This happened to me last week, so I used the WD Lifeguard Tools to reformat the drive. It seemed to work and Norton did the backup as it was supposed to. However, now it is back to doing the same thing again. It isn't accounting for 107 GB of free space. Again, My Computer lists its capacity at 298 GB. That is what I find odd. I have heard of computers not recognizing all the space, but this one seems to be doing that part. I also have the exact same model HD as my main disk drive inside my tower and it recognizes it perfectly, so I doubt it is a BIOS or driver problem. Has anyone had a similar problem and, if so, how did you solve it?

Jae Onasi
05-09-2007, 02:03 AM
Moving from Ahto to the trusty General Tech Discussion forum.
Hope your computer is back to normal very soon!

Boba Rhett
05-09-2007, 07:22 AM
How did you go about formatting the drive? What format? Any partitions? Did you specify drive size in MB anywhere during setup?

05-09-2007, 08:03 AM
right click on my computer

click manage

then disk management

all your drives should show up on the right hand side

take a screencap and show us what it says (press printscreen and then go into paint and paste it in there. crop it and save it as a jpg. then upload it on imageshack or something and post it here so we can see whats going on :) )

Ray Jones
05-09-2007, 08:03 AM
Are there any hidden files on the disk? Not sure how Norton does the things it does too.

05-09-2007, 08:22 AM
sounds like Ghost is making partitions that Windows isn't recognizing. i've never used Ghost, so i'm not sure exactly how it works.

if it is because of partitions, it might be your culprit as Windows may or may not load more than one partition whenever you connect it to a USB port (i'm assuming its USB, although i could be wrong, hehe. ;) ). in other words, Windows may only be seeing one partition when you could have two or more partitions. it does that for some reason.

my main thing is that i don't understand why Norton would actively partition the drive except for a backup drive within a backup drive (in case one partition gets corrupted, you still have the other partition).

anyways, thats the only explanation i can give you unless your hard drive is just simply going bad. sorry if my techno-babble isn't much help. :)

05-09-2007, 07:23 PM
no drive will be exactly as it's stated. a 320 drive is really 298, a 80GB drive is really 74.95 or something. it's just the different metric systems that they use.

Det. Bart Lasiter
05-09-2007, 09:16 PM
no drive will be exactly as it's stated. a 320 drive is really 298, a 80GB drive is really 74.95 or something. it's just the different metric systems that they use.
After formatting the capacity of the drive is reduced. How much depends on what file system is used. Ex: FAT32 will reduce the capacity of the drive more than NTFS (and files will also use up more memory once written to the disk) because FAT32 is horribly inefficient.

05-10-2007, 01:29 AM
I think that Stingerhs is correct in his assumption. Norton recognizes the drives capacity and says that a lot more of it is taken up than what Windows Explorer says. I'm going to try reformating (NTFS for those of you who are wondering) using the Data Lifeguard Tools and redo the backup task in Norton to use a slightly higher compression method. What I believe is the problem is that since my computer has over half its capacity used, the backup disk cannot hold more than one backup with incrementals. When it fails to backup a successive time, it doesn't completely erase the attempt...therefore it appears to be fuller than it really is. I'll let you know what happens.

no drive will be exactly as it's stated. a 320 drive is really 298, a 80GB drive is really 74.95 or something. it's just the different metric systems that they use.

DUH! ... Give me a little credit, will ya? :p~~~

05-10-2007, 08:45 AM
hmm, one thing that i would recommend would be for you to wipe the hard drive before you reformat. it will erase anything and everything from the drive to make it almost like new.

once that's done, reformat as normal. as long as your BIOS can detect the hard drive, you can reformat after a complete wipe.

just my two pennies. ;)

Ray Jones
05-10-2007, 10:03 AM
Capacity measurements

Hard disk manufacturers specify disk capacity using the SI definition of the prefixes "mega", "giga", and "tera". This is largely for historical reasons. Disks with multi-million byte capacity have been used since 1956, long before there were standard binary prefixes. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) only standardized binary prefixes in 1999. Many practitioners early on in the computer and semiconductor industries used the prefix kilo to describe 2^10 (1024) bits, bytes or words because 1024 is close to 1000. Similar usage has been applied to the prefixes mega, giga, tera, and even peta. Often this non-SI conforming usage is noted by a qualifier such as "1 kB = 1,024 bytes" but the qualifier is sometimes omitted, particularly in marketing literature.

Operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, frequently report capacity using the binary interpretation of the prefixes, which results in a discrepancy between the disk manufacturer's stated capacity and what the system reports. The difference becomes much more noticeable in the multi-gigabyte range. For example, Microsoft's Windows 2000 reports disk capacity both in decimal to 12 or more significant digits and with binary prefixes to 3 significant digits. Thus a disk specified by a disk manufacturer as a 30 GB disk might have its capacity reported by Windows 2000 both as "30,065,098,568 bytes" and "28.0 GB." The disk manufacturer used the SI definition of "giga," 10^9. However utilities provided by Windows define a gigabyte as 2^30, or 1,073,741,824, bytes, so the reported capacity of the disk will be closer to 28.0 GB. For this reason, many utilities that report capacity have begun to use the aforementioned IEC standard binary prefixes (e.g. KiB, MiB, GiB) since their definitions are unambiguous.

Some people mistakenly attribute the discrepancy in reported and specified capacities to reserved space used for file system and partition accounting information. However, for large (several GiB) filesystems, this data rarely occupies more than a few MiB, and therefore cannot possibly account for the apparent "loss" of tens of GBs.

The capacity of a hard disk can be calculated by multiplying the number of cylinders by the number of heads by the number of sectors by the number of bytes/sector (most commonly 512). However, the cylinder, head, sector values are not accurate for drives using zone bit recording, or address translation. On ATA drives bigger than 8 gibibytes, the values are set to 16383 cylinder, 16 heads, 63 sectors for compatibility with older operating systems.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk

Det. Bart Lasiter
05-10-2007, 12:56 PM
Wiki conspiracy.

Ray Jones
05-10-2007, 01:22 PM
Why, yes, they like to think that, actually. But in fact they're not in on the plot. ^^

Det. Bart Lasiter
05-10-2007, 01:42 PM
You don't really know how deep the rabbit hole goes then Ray.

05-13-2007, 08:19 AM
Err.. is there a wiki doctor in the room :lol: