View Full Version : loss of harddrive space

01-31-2006, 09:56 AM
How many of you have bought a harddrive for your computer, formatted it, and found that the available space is a lot less than the size specified on the harddrive case?

I bought a 160GB harddrive the other week and I formatted it using win2k professional as NTFS and it only registers as approximately 128GB.
Is this normal or should I take it back and ask for a new one?

01-31-2006, 10:03 AM
You loose a percentage of disk space when you format the disk. This happens on any drive.
What I'm interested in is you've bought a 160gb disk and it's only formatting at 128gb. I've got a 160gb disk here and it's formatted at 149gb. If you've got SP4 then 48 bit LBA support for drives over 137GB in capacity is enabled...

When I bought 2 x 250GB Seagate disks recently one formatted at 128GB. The resolution was to resize it using Seagate's DiskWizard.


01-31-2006, 02:17 PM
How old's the BIOS/mobo? Some can only see up to a certain amount of space.

Found this link, seems I'm probably right -


01-31-2006, 07:54 PM
And you also need to understand that when the hard drive makers label the disk's capacity they say 1,000 bytes is one kilobyte. Which isn't the case, in computers 1,024 bytes is one kilobyte. They do it mostly for marketing purposes, and have been doing it for a long time, its just that now that hard drive sizes are so much larger than 10 years ago, the difference is a lot higher.

So with your 160GB you should see about 149GB as the actual size. You sure you don't have an extra partition on there? The file system does take some space up but you should be seeing more than that as the total capacity.

And what does the BIOS say the drive size is? Older BIOSes that don't support 48-bit LBA mode will only support drives up to 137GB so it would only let you use 137GB of your 160GB. Typically most BIOSes made in the last 4 or 5 years offer updates to add support for larger hard drives though.

01-31-2006, 11:26 PM
My BIOS registers it as 160GB, so I have no idea. I might try formatting it into 2 smaller partitions and see whether it closer resembles 160GB than my current 128GB.

01-31-2006, 11:46 PM
Have you read http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305098/en-us ?

02-01-2006, 08:55 PM
That issue is fixed with Service Pack 4 so if he has SP4, then he won't need to do that...

02-01-2006, 11:49 PM
I believe I have service pack 4 installed. should it automatically update that or would I need to do it manually?

02-02-2006, 12:29 AM
It'd be automatic. Have you tried the disk in any other computer?

02-02-2006, 11:54 PM
If you want to check to see what service pack is installed (if any), it will say if you right click on my computer and go to the properties. On the first tab on the right under system it will say what the operating system version is and what service pack is installed.

02-03-2006, 11:28 AM
I definately have SP4 installed for win2k and followed this link (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305098/en-us) and completed everything on it.

Am I supposed to reformat the drive to enable the extra space on the harddrive?

02-03-2006, 05:15 PM
Yeah reformat it seeing as the partition is only at 128gb...although there again I guess you could just increase its size.
Have you tested it in another computer?

02-24-2006, 11:20 AM
i ended up reformatting the harddrive and it formatted to 149GB which i have heard mentioned a number of times so its perfectly fine now....

02-28-2006, 04:59 PM
what your describing is caused by numbering schemes. When you buy a 160 gb hdd from a manufacturer they give you 160 x 10 ^ 9 bytes. Windows, being a computer program, counts you hdd space as powers of 2, resulting in a disparity. This happens with all hdd, however, the bigger the hdd, the bigger the disparity. (This applies to 149, not 128)

03-02-2006, 12:13 AM
I understand that there will be some loss because the manufacturers base size on base10 but computer uses base2. And I expected some loss between 5-10Gig and peopl mentioned 149Gig which is more loss than I would like but its acceptable just that a loss of almost 40Gig seemed outrageous.