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External HDD Will Not Free Up Space

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#1 Syringa2


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Posted 16 March 2010 - 03:41 PM

I've seen this on a couple of external HDD's and it's starting to get annoying. Win XP Pro using WD 320 GB drive formatted to NTFS in external case (USB/firewire combo). Indexing, compression, quota, and write caching all turned off. Properties on drive shows 294 GB used and 3.67 GB free. Properties on all folders and files in the root folder: 314,389 files, 33,353 folders, Size = 290GB (311,668,217,993 bytes) , Size on disk = 280 GB?!?!?!?!?!? (301,374,960,377 bytes). How does the size on disk get smaller than the sum of the file sizes?!?!?!?! It's ALWAYS the other way around due to incomplete filling of clusters at the end of files.

Deleted about 5 GB of files using Shift-Delete (meaning I REALLY want these files deleted, not moved to the recycle bin) and expected to see around 8 GB free. No change to free space. I move this drive around between several computers and can't be sure which computer was originally used to partition and format it.

WTFITS??? BLEEPING COMPUTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :thumbsup:

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 16 March 2010 - 04:12 PM

Well...to get your free space allocation correct...run chkdsk /r.

The following explain the apparent size discrepancies:

Hard Drive Size being reported wrong in Windows - http://articles.networktechs.com/printer-36.html

Hard Drive Size Differential - http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/ph...php?p_faqid=615


#3 Syringa2

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:26 AM

The links have nothing to do with my problem - I know all about binary vs decimal. Read my original post more closely and you'll see that the weird thing is the size on disk is SMALLER than the sum of the file sizes. Also, I can't imagine that I need to run chkdsk /r to recover free space every time I decide to delete a file off the external drive unless something is f'd up. I'm sure the drive is OK because it's new and I've also see this on other drives and enclosures. My guess would be something is dinked up with the way Windows supports USB external hard drives. Not surprising considering what a MASSIVE POS Windows is in general. Chkdsk /r did not free up any disk space.

Edited by Syringa2, 17 March 2010 - 10:36 AM.

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