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Disappearing HDD capacity

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I just built a new system, installed vista and went through the tedious process of installing new drivers etc. I go to install my beautiful new copy of Bioshock, and find that the primary partition of my hdd was only about 25 GB, cool thinks me, I've heard about Vistas new partitioning tool and how it might actually be adequate this time. No such luck, it won't allow me to expand C: at all (I'm guessing because its the system disk). Ok, I haven't done anything or installed anything that I can't manage without so I prepare to work my way through installation snore-ville again to re-partition or format the drive in the install menu.

Again I was stone-walled, the stupid thing wouldn't allow me to delete the huge unnecessary secondary partition.

OK, I'm thinking, screw windows I'll insert my Debian install disk and prepare for an easy ride: good old reliable Linux, this'll partition the drive for me! Nope, another error message while the installer is finishing the partition process.

Fine, I'll go back to Vista and see whether the partial partitioning that Linux initiated is enough to get the Vista ball rolling. I get right back through to the partitioning step and windows is mercifully just showing me the MBR partition and one great big primary partition of 250 Gbs, finally I think, and go to format it: "Failed to format the selected partition. [Error: 0x80004005]. Which appears to have something to do with security permissions to write to the disk... What the...!!! This is a new installation! There shouldn't be any security permissions yet!

I go to install anyway, expecting it to fail, and it installs no problems, unfortunately though, my C: drive is now displaying as being only 232 gb and I have no idea why. There is no unallocated space on the disk as far as I can see (I have checked using the graphical vista disk management tool and using diskpart.exe from the command line but nothing...

Can somebody please tell me where my missing drive space has gone? Or failing that a decent explosives recipe so I can suicide bomb Bill Gates.

System info:

CPU: AMD Athlon x2 64 4600+
Mobo: ASUS M2N32 Sli deluxe
GFX: Nvidia 8600 Gt
HDD: WD 2500ks
DVDD: Pioneer 112d

The HDD is second hand and when I first booted up it loaded a copy of xp, which I copied over with Vista on my first installation.

Any other questions or anything I've missed I'm usually pretty quick at responding to posts or PMs.

Thanks for looking and thanks in anticipation of some advice!

Edited by incubuds, 30 August 2007 - 12:42 PM.

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The problem is one of standards that Operating system makers like Microsoft and Apple use a binary system to measure kilobyte, megabytes and gigabytes. Under this scheme, a kilobyte is made up of 1,024 (210) bytes, a megabyte is made up of 1,048,576 (220) bytes and a gigabyte made up of 1,073,741,824 (230) bytes. Hard drive manufacturers on the other hand use the decimal system for calculating the number of bytes that go to make a kilobyte, megabyte and gigabyte - 1,000 (103), 1,000,000 (106) and 1,000,000,000 (109) respectively. The upshot of all this is that for every gigabyte fitted as storage to a PC, when this is measured by Windows or Mac OS, the customer gets 74 megabytes less than they expect to see. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you scale it up, it becomes pretty noticeable. For example, take the latest 750GB perpendicular drives. When you buy one of these and hook it up to a PC and fire up your OS, you only see 698.5GB - that’s a whopping 51.5GB short of what most people expect to see

250.000gig divided by 1.073 = 232.991gig

Edited by peter99, 31 August 2007 - 12:50 PM.

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