An unusual way to free up hard drive space?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by JB, May 27, 2006.

  1. JB

    JB Guest

    I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on hard
    drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive, and then copy
    into this folder enough data to completely fill up the drive. You keep going
    until Windows tells you that the drive is full and that it can't copy any
    more files on to C Drive.

    You then delete this temporary folder and all its contents, and empty the
    recycle bin. On a friend's laptop, I gained an extra 1.2GB of space on a
    20GB hard drive after carrying out this procedure. I think this is quite a
    significant gain.

    I am not sure why I gained an extra 1.2GB of space by doing this, but
    perhaps Windows keeps a "hidden record" of deleted files after you have
    emptied your recycle bin (in case these "deleted" files need to be
    subsequently recovered) and only deletes these files when it really has to?
    Is this a correct assumption or are there other reasons why this procedure
    freed up disk space?

    Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone else found
    that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?

    Regards, JB
    JB, May 27, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. You gained the space because there were documents in the recycle bin
    before you started.


    JB wrote:

    > I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on hard
    > drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive, and then copy
    > into this folder enough data to completely fill up the drive. You keep going
    > until Windows tells you that the drive is full and that it can't copy any
    > more files on to C Drive.
    >
    > You then delete this temporary folder and all its contents, and empty the
    > recycle bin. On a friend's laptop, I gained an extra 1.2GB of space on a
    > 20GB hard drive after carrying out this procedure. I think this is quite a
    > significant gain.
    >
    > I am not sure why I gained an extra 1.2GB of space by doing this, but
    > perhaps Windows keeps a "hidden record" of deleted files after you have
    > emptied your recycle bin (in case these "deleted" files need to be
    > subsequently recovered) and only deletes these files when it really has to?
    > Is this a correct assumption or are there other reasons why this procedure
    > freed up disk space?
    >
    > Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone else found
    > that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?
    >
    > Regards, JB
    >
    >
    Barry Watzman, May 27, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. JB

    JB Guest

    No, not true, the recycle bin was completely empty before I started
    (honestly)!

    Regards, JB


    "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > You gained the space because there were documents in the recycle bin
    > before you started.
    >
    >
    > JB wrote:
    >
    >> I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on hard
    >> drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive, and then
    >> copy into this folder enough data to completely fill up the drive. You
    >> keep going until Windows tells you that the drive is full and that it
    >> can't copy any more files on to C Drive.
    >>
    >> You then delete this temporary folder and all its contents, and empty the
    >> recycle bin. On a friend's laptop, I gained an extra 1.2GB of space on a
    >> 20GB hard drive after carrying out this procedure. I think this is quite
    >> a significant gain.
    >>
    >> I am not sure why I gained an extra 1.2GB of space by doing this, but
    >> perhaps Windows keeps a "hidden record" of deleted files after you have
    >> emptied your recycle bin (in case these "deleted" files need to be
    >> subsequently recovered) and only deletes these files when it really has
    >> to? Is this a correct assumption or are there other reasons why this
    >> procedure freed up disk space?
    >>
    >> Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone else
    >> found that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?
    >>
    >> Regards, JB
    JB, May 27, 2006
    #3
  4. JB

    David Guest

    JB wrote:
    > I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on hard
    > drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive, and then copy
    > into this folder enough data to completely fill up the drive. You keep going
    > until Windows tells you that the drive is full and that it can't copy any
    > more files on to C Drive.
    >
    > You then delete this temporary folder and all its contents, and empty the
    > recycle bin. On a friend's laptop, I gained an extra 1.2GB of space on a
    > 20GB hard drive after carrying out this procedure. I think this is quite a
    > significant gain.
    >
    > I am not sure why I gained an extra 1.2GB of space by doing this, but
    > perhaps Windows keeps a "hidden record" of deleted files after you have
    > emptied your recycle bin (in case these "deleted" files need to be
    > subsequently recovered) and only deletes these files when it really has to?
    > Is this a correct assumption or are there other reasons why this procedure
    > freed up disk space?
    >
    > Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone else found
    > that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?
    >
    > Regards, JB
    >
    >


    Maybe it forced windows to delete System Restore records?
    David, May 27, 2006
    #4
  5. JB

    ~misfit~ Guest

    David wrote:
    > JB wrote:
    >> I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on
    >> hard drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive,
    >> and then copy into this folder enough data to completely fill up the
    >> drive. You keep going until Windows tells you that the drive is full
    >> and that it can't copy any more files on to C Drive.
    >>
    >> You then delete this temporary folder and all its contents, and
    >> empty the recycle bin. On a friend's laptop, I gained an extra 1.2GB
    >> of space on a 20GB hard drive after carrying out this procedure. I
    >> think this is quite a significant gain.
    >>
    >> I am not sure why I gained an extra 1.2GB of space by doing this, but
    >> perhaps Windows keeps a "hidden record" of deleted files after you
    >> have emptied your recycle bin (in case these "deleted" files need to
    >> be subsequently recovered) and only deletes these files when it
    >> really has to? Is this a correct assumption or are there other
    >> reasons why this procedure freed up disk space?
    >>
    >> Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone
    >> else found that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?
    >>
    >> Regards, JB
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Maybe it forced windows to delete System Restore records?


    No, what happens is that Windows (when using NTFS) marks a significant
    portion of any drive or partition as what PerfectDisk calls the "MFT
    reserved Zone" and Diskeeper calls "Reserved Sytem Space". It is typically
    up to 12 - 15% or thereabouts of the drive/partition. This space, as it's
    "reserved" isn't reported by Windows as being avaialble. An annoying part of
    this procedure is that the reserved space is often at the fastest portion of
    the drive (immediately after system files).

    However, you *can* write to it. Also, once you have written to it and then
    deleted it the reserved space is no longer reserved. Don't ask me why MS do
    this. I've recently had someone confused about why their nice new 250GB
    drive was reporting nearly 30GB less free space than they expected. (It also
    turned out that the fixed swapfile they'd created immediately after a new
    install, to get it on the fastest area, was about 35GB into the drive)

    The upshot is that the space is always there, ready for use, Windows just
    doesn't tell you about it. I've done what you (JB) describe before, just to
    get Windows to report it properly. I copied my data file over and over again
    into a new folder until the drive was full, deleted it and; Viola! Lots more
    free space. Right near the start of the drive too, where it's nice and fast.
    It can be a real PITA but hey, that's Windows. <g>

    Blame MS.
    --
    Shaun.
    ~misfit~, May 27, 2006
    #5
  6. JB

    ~misfit~ Guest

    JB wrote:
    > No, not true, the recycle bin was completely empty before I started
    > (honestly)!


    JB, see my reply to David.
    --
    Shaun.
    ~misfit~, May 27, 2006
    #6
  7. JB

    Fred Dagg Guest

    On Sat, 27 May 2006 14:33:42 +1200, "~misfit~"
    <> exclaimed:

    >David wrote:
    >>>
    >>> Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone
    >>> else found that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?
    >>>
    >>> Regards, JB
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >> Maybe it forced windows to delete System Restore records?

    >
    >No, what happens is that Windows (when using NTFS) marks a significant
    >portion of any drive or partition as what PerfectDisk calls the "MFT
    >reserved Zone"
    >
    >The upshot is that the space is always there, ready for use, Windows just
    >doesn't tell you about it. I've done what you (JB) describe before, just to
    >get Windows to report it properly. I copied my data file over and over again
    >into a new folder until the drive was full, deleted it and; Viola! Lots more
    >free space. Right near the start of the drive too, where it's nice and fast.
    >It can be a real PITA but hey, that's Windows. <g>
    >

    Shaun is correct re: the MFT Reserved Zone.

    This is set to 13% of the capacity of the drive, and is reserved so
    that the Master File Table (basically the "index" of files on your
    drive) can grow as much as is necessary contiguously (ie without
    fragmenting it, resulting in severe performance degredation).

    If you have a relatively small number of files on the disk, this space
    will most likely never be used by the MFT. If you have (or will have
    in the future) a large number, un-reserving this space will result in
    much slower performance. The MFT needs to grow at about the same rate
    as the number of files on the drive.

    Generally, it is NOT recommended doing what you are doing for that
    very reason. If you really do need the space, it will become available
    as and when you need it. However, there is no sense in filling up the
    drive so that Windows un-reserves the space just so that it will show
    as being available, as this will potentially result in a fragmented
    Master File Table in the future.
    Fred Dagg, May 27, 2006
    #7
  8. JB

    XPD Guest

    "JB" <> wrote in message news:4477a13e$...
    >I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on hard
    >drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive, and then copy
    >into this folder enough data to completely fill up the drive. You keep
    >going until Windows tells you that the drive is full and that it can't copy
    >any more files on to C Drive.


    You'll probably find that Windows was not reading the drive correctly after
    removing some files. When you deleted some more data, Windows has fixed the
    inconsistency. Happens quite often....I use a quick scan disk to fix it.
    XPD, May 27, 2006
    #8
  9. JB

    Mark C Guest

    >> JB wrote:
    >>> I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space
    >>> on hard drives...
    >>>

    > "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> You gained the space because there were documents in the
    >> recycle bin before you started.
    >>

    "JB" <> wrote in news:4477a6f2$:
    > No, not true, the recycle bin was completely empty before I
    > started (honestly)!


    I have seen my recycle bin empty, BUT there were files in the
    C:\RECYCLER folder.

    It seems to happen if I muck about restoring some deleted file, the
    rest become hidden.

    (IIRC, you can't use Windows Explorer to see the hidden files, I used
    File Manager, I suppose a Command Prompt /dir command would have also
    shown them.)

    Mark
    Mark C, May 27, 2006
    #9
  10. JB

    Mercury Guest

    > (IIRC, you can't use Windows Explorer to see the hidden files, I used
    > File Manager, I suppose a Command Prompt /dir command would have also
    > shown them.)


    Windows "Hidden" files are just that - files which Windows is instructed not
    to list via Dir when DIR is used. The reason is to keep users from tinkering
    with files that they ought not EG boot.ini has the Hidden and System
    attribute along with a few utilities to manage its contents.

    "Hidden" is a file attribute akin to the Archive, System, and Read Only
    attributes and is managed via the attrib command. You can list files with
    these attributes using the Dir /aA command where A is the attribute
    character (H, A, S, or R for Read Only) you are interested in filtering the
    files on EG.

    CD \
    Dir /s /aH

    will list all files on this volume that have the Hidden attribute. See dir
    /? and Attrib /?

    (keyboard testing complete and it failed.)
    Mercury, May 27, 2006
    #10
  11. JB

    Craig Sutton Guest

    "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    news:4477ba32$...
    > David wrote:
    > > JB wrote:
    > >> I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on
    > >> hard drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive,
    > >> and then copy into this folder enough data to completely fill up the
    > >> drive. You keep going until Windows tells you that the drive is full
    > >> and that it can't copy any more files on to C Drive.
    > >>
    > >> You then delete this temporary folder and all its contents, and
    > >> empty the recycle bin. On a friend's laptop, I gained an extra 1.2GB
    > >> of space on a 20GB hard drive after carrying out this procedure. I
    > >> think this is quite a significant gain.
    > >>
    > >> I am not sure why I gained an extra 1.2GB of space by doing this, but
    > >> perhaps Windows keeps a "hidden record" of deleted files after you
    > >> have emptied your recycle bin (in case these "deleted" files need to
    > >> be subsequently recovered) and only deletes these files when it
    > >> really has to? Is this a correct assumption or are there other
    > >> reasons why this procedure freed up disk space?
    > >>
    > >> Are there any dangers in carrying out this procedure? Has anyone
    > >> else found that this procedure has freed up space on hard drives?
    > >>
    > >> Regards, JB
    > >>
    > >>

    > >
    > > Maybe it forced windows to delete System Restore records?

    >
    > No, what happens is that Windows (when using NTFS) marks a significant
    > portion of any drive or partition as what PerfectDisk calls the "MFT
    > reserved Zone" and Diskeeper calls "Reserved Sytem Space". It is typically
    > up to 12 - 15% or thereabouts of the drive/partition. This space, as it's
    > "reserved" isn't reported by Windows as being avaialble. An annoying part

    of
    > this procedure is that the reserved space is often at the fastest portion

    of
    > the drive (immediately after system files).
    >
    > However, you *can* write to it. Also, once you have written to it and then
    > deleted it the reserved space is no longer reserved. Don't ask me why MS

    do
    > this. I've recently had someone confused about why their nice new 250GB
    > drive was reporting nearly 30GB less free space than they expected. (It

    also
    > turned out that the fixed swapfile they'd created immediately after a new
    > install, to get it on the fastest area, was about 35GB into the drive)
    >


    My 2 new 500 gig Hatachi's report in Win Xp as 465 each..
    Craig Sutton, May 27, 2006
    #11
  12. JB

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Craig Sutton wrote:
    > "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    > news:4477ba32$...
    >> However, you *can* write to it. Also, once you have written to it
    >> and then deleted it the reserved space is no longer reserved. Don't
    >> ask me why MS do this. I've recently had someone confused about why
    >> their nice new 250GB drive was reporting nearly 30GB less free space
    >> than they expected. (It also turned out that the fixed swapfile
    >> they'd created immediately after a new install, to get it on the
    >> fastest area, was about 35GB into the drive)
    >>

    >
    > My 2 new 500 gig Hatachi's report in Win Xp as 465 each.


    That's about right. The above "250 GB" drive shows as 232.88GB in Windows
    Disk management.

    However, the issue here is how much free space Windows reports, not the
    total size.
    --
    Shaun.
    ~misfit~, May 27, 2006
    #12
  13. JB

    JB Guest

    Thanks very much Shaun, I'm sure your explanation of the "Master File Table"
    (MFT) below is the answer. This is confirmed on this web site:

    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/file/ntfs/archMFT-c.html

    This article talks about reserving 12.5% of the drive for the MFT, which is
    a large amount really. I am not sure why it is stated that the MFT "cannot
    generally be defragmented", but I guess this defragmentation problem would
    be minimized if you defragmented your drive regularly?

    Regards, JB

    "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    news:4477ba32$...

    > No, what happens is that Windows (when using NTFS) marks a significant
    > portion of any drive or partition as what PerfectDisk calls the "MFT
    > reserved Zone" and Diskeeper calls "Reserved Sytem Space". It is typically
    > up to 12 - 15% or thereabouts of the drive/partition. This space, as it's
    > "reserved" isn't reported by Windows as being avaialble. An annoying part
    > of this procedure is that the reserved space is often at the fastest
    > portion of the drive (immediately after system files).
    >
    > However, you *can* write to it. Also, once you have written to it and then
    > deleted it the reserved space is no longer reserved. Don't ask me why MS
    > do this. I've recently had someone confused about why their nice new 250GB
    > drive was reporting nearly 30GB less free space than they expected. (It
    > also turned out that the fixed swapfile they'd created immediately after a
    > new install, to get it on the fastest area, was about 35GB into the drive)
    >
    > The upshot is that the space is always there, ready for use, Windows just
    > doesn't tell you about it. I've done what you (JB) describe before, just
    > to get Windows to report it properly. I copied my data file over and over
    > again into a new folder until the drive was full, deleted it and; Viola!
    > Lots more free space. Right near the start of the drive too, where it's
    > nice and fast. It can be a real PITA but hey, that's Windows. <g>
    >
    > Blame MS.
    > --
    > Shaun.
    >
    JB, May 27, 2006
    #13
  14. JB

    JB Guest

    "Fred Dagg" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > Shaun is correct re: the MFT Reserved Zone.
    >
    > This is set to 13% of the capacity of the drive, and is reserved so
    > that the Master File Table (basically the "index" of files on your
    > drive) can grow as much as is necessary contiguously (ie without
    > fragmenting it, resulting in severe performance degredation).
    >
    > If you have a relatively small number of files on the disk, this space
    > will most likely never be used by the MFT. If you have (or will have
    > in the future) a large number, un-reserving this space will result in
    > much slower performance. The MFT needs to grow at about the same rate
    > as the number of files on the drive.
    >
    > Generally, it is NOT recommended doing what you are doing for that
    > very reason. If you really do need the space, it will become available
    > as and when you need it. However, there is no sense in filling up the
    > drive so that Windows un-reserves the space just so that it will show
    > as being available, as this will potentially result in a fragmented
    > Master File Table in the future.


    Thanks Fred for this explanation. When I filled up the drive and then
    deleted the new additions, I thought I may gain a little more space as a
    result of deleting permanently, files that had already been "deleted" from
    the recycle bin. I had heard that deleted files are never permanently
    deleted until the space is required for other files. This is why various
    recovery programs can "undelete" previously deleted files. Is this correct?

    But you can just as easily fill up a drive when you are doing a video
    editing exercise. For example, even a couple of hours of digital video (.avi
    files) can take up about 25 GB of space. But Microsoft has never told anyone
    that it is NOT recommended to do this because you are going to muck up the
    MFT and have it fragmented in future if you fill up your drive with data. If
    you regularly defragment your drive, this might minimize the fragmented MFT
    problem to some extent?

    If Windows really needs to reserve space for the MFT, why not be upfront and
    tell people this? Why not put up a warning message that tells you that, if
    you use any more space on C Drive, you are potentially upsetting the smooth
    running of the MFT in future?

    In other words, Microsoft cannot regard a fragmented MFT as too important if
    it lets you use the space that was originally allocated to the MFT?

    Regards, JB
    JB, May 27, 2006
    #14
  15. JB

    Joseph Fenn Guest

    On Sat, 27 May 2006, XPD wrote:

    >
    > "JB" <> wrote in message news:4477a13e$...
    >> I have recently come across an unusual way of freeing up space on hard
    >> drives. You first set up a temporary folder on say, C Drive, and then copy
    >> into this folder enough data to completely fill up the drive. You keep
    >> going until Windows tells you that the drive is full and that it can't copy
    >> any more files on to C Drive.

    >
    > You'll probably find that Windows was not reading the drive correctly after
    > removing some files. When you deleted some more data, Windows has fixed the
    > inconsistency. Happens quite often....I use a quick scan disk to fix it.
    >
    >
    >

    Another way to free up disk space on c: drive is to undo all your
    "restore" settings. My laptop has only a 20 gig HD so there is not
    enuff room to "defrag" if I have even one restore point set.
    If I try defrag it fails otherwise.
    Joe
    Joseph Fenn, May 27, 2006
    #15
  16. JB

    JB Guest

    "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Craig Sutton wrote:
    >> "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    >> news:4477ba32$...
    >>> However, you *can* write to it. Also, once you have written to it
    >>> and then deleted it the reserved space is no longer reserved. Don't
    >>> ask me why MS do this. I've recently had someone confused about why
    >>> their nice new 250GB drive was reporting nearly 30GB less free space
    >>> than they expected. (It also turned out that the fixed swapfile
    >>> they'd created immediately after a new install, to get it on the
    >>> fastest area, was about 35GB into the drive)
    >>>

    >>
    >> My 2 new 500 gig Hatachi's report in Win Xp as 465 each.

    >
    > That's about right. The above "250 GB" drive shows as 232.88GB in Windows
    > Disk management.
    >
    > However, the issue here is how much free space Windows reports, not the
    > total size.
    > --
    > Shaun.

    If you look at this article:

    http://compreviews.about.com/od/storage/a/ActualHDSizes.htm

    it explains that some consumers like to think that 1 megabyte = 1 million
    bytes, while 1 gigabyte = 1 billion bytes. But in fact, 1 gigabyte (GB) =
    1,024 megabytes or 1,073,741,824 bytes.

    The above article says: "So, if a manufacturer advertises an 80GB (80
    billion bytes) hard drive, the actual disk space is around 74.5 GB of space,
    roughly 7% less than what they advertise." (The 74.5 GB represents 80
    divided by 1.073741824).

    In your example above, the 232.88 GB represents 250 divided by 1.073741824.
    (The precise answer is 232.83GB).

    So when consumers buy a 232.83 GB drive, they are in fact getting 250
    billion bytes.

    But if Windows reserves approx. 12.5% of the drive for the "Master File
    Table" (MFT), then for a 232.83 GB hard drive, this would amount to 29.1 GB,
    so if Windows deducted this amount from 232.83 GB, the amount reported as
    being available would only be 203.73GB.

    Can anyone tell me whether the amount reported as being available on a newly
    formatted 250 GB hard drive is 203.73 GB or 232.83GB? If the answer is
    232.83 GB, then it seems that Windows HASN'T in fact deducted the 29.1 GB
    that has been "allocated" for the Master File Table? Would this be correct
    reasoning?

    Regards, JB
    JB, May 27, 2006
    #16
  17. JB

    JB Guest

    "JB" <> wrote in message news:4478d5d3$...
    >
    > "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Craig Sutton wrote:
    >>> "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:4477ba32$...
    >>>> However, you *can* write to it. Also, once you have written to it
    >>>> and then deleted it the reserved space is no longer reserved. Don't
    >>>> ask me why MS do this. I've recently had someone confused about why
    >>>> their nice new 250GB drive was reporting nearly 30GB less free space
    >>>> than they expected. (It also turned out that the fixed swapfile
    >>>> they'd created immediately after a new install, to get it on the
    >>>> fastest area, was about 35GB into the drive)
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>> My 2 new 500 gig Hatachi's report in Win Xp as 465 each.

    >>
    >> That's about right. The above "250 GB" drive shows as 232.88GB in Windows
    >> Disk management.
    >>
    >> However, the issue here is how much free space Windows reports, not the
    >> total size.
    >> --
    >> Shaun.

    > If you look at this article:
    >
    > http://compreviews.about.com/od/storage/a/ActualHDSizes.htm
    >
    > it explains that some consumers like to think that 1 megabyte = 1 million
    > bytes, while 1 gigabyte = 1 billion bytes. But in fact, 1 gigabyte (GB) =
    > 1,024 megabytes or 1,073,741,824 bytes.
    >
    > The above article says: "So, if a manufacturer advertises an 80GB (80
    > billion bytes) hard drive, the actual disk space is around 74.5 GB of
    > space, roughly 7% less than what they advertise." (The 74.5 GB represents
    > 80 divided by 1.073741824).
    >
    > In your example above, the 232.88 GB represents 250 divided by
    > 1.073741824. (The precise answer is 232.83GB).
    >
    > So when consumers buy a 232.83 GB drive, they are in fact getting 250
    > billion bytes.
    >
    > But if Windows reserves approx. 12.5% of the drive for the "Master File
    > Table" (MFT), then for a 232.83 GB hard drive, this would amount to 29.1
    > GB, so if Windows deducted this amount from 232.83 GB, the amount reported
    > as being available would only be 203.73GB.
    >
    > Can anyone tell me whether the amount reported as being available on a
    > newly formatted 250 GB hard drive is 203.73 GB or 232.83GB? If the answer
    > is 232.83 GB, then it seems that Windows HASN'T in fact deducted the 29.1
    > GB that has been "allocated" for the Master File Table? Would this be
    > correct reasoning?
    >
    > Regards, JB
    >

    Just to clarify my question further, I realize that Windows reports the
    CAPACITY of the drive, which for a hard drive advertised as 250 GB, the
    capacity would be reported as about 232.83 GB. I can see that the Master
    File Table allocation of approx 29.1 GB is NOT deducted from this "capacity"
    figure.

    Windows also reports the "free space" and the "used space". So, with the
    above example, I guess Windows reports the "free space" as 203.73 GB and the
    "used space" as 29.1 GB? Is this correct?

    Regards, JB
    JB, May 28, 2006
    #17
  18. JB

    JB Guest

    "pboodi" <> wrote in message
    news:LF3eg.115401$...
    > It's easier to change the size of the page file. It accomplishes the
    > same thing. And it's permanent. Filling up the drive and freeing it
    > up again is a temporary solution. As soon as windows sees the free
    > space again, it will take it back. Swap file size is determined by a
    > percentage of the total hard drive space. But you can change that
    > percentage. To adjust page file size, open System in Control Panel,
    > then under the Advanced tab, click Performance Options, and under
    > Virtual Memory click the change button.


    In my case, Windows hasn't yet "taken back" the free space. In addition, to
    gain extra space on C Drive, the page file has already been taken off C
    Drive and put on to D Drive. So is the page file related to the Master File
    Table?

    I found this article to be of interest:

    http://www.windowsdevcenter.com/pub/a/windows/2004/11/23/defrag_pagefile.html

    Regards, JB
    JB, May 28, 2006
    #18
  19. JB

    ~misfit~ Guest

    JB wrote:
    > "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Craig Sutton wrote:
    >>> "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:4477ba32$...
    >>>> However, you *can* write to it. Also, once you have written to it
    >>>> and then deleted it the reserved space is no longer reserved. Don't
    >>>> ask me why MS do this. I've recently had someone confused about why
    >>>> their nice new 250GB drive was reporting nearly 30GB less free
    >>>> space than they expected. (It also turned out that the fixed
    >>>> swapfile they'd created immediately after a new install, to get it
    >>>> on the fastest area, was about 35GB into the drive)
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>> My 2 new 500 gig Hatachi's report in Win Xp as 465 each.

    >>
    >> That's about right. The above "250 GB" drive shows as 232.88GB in
    >> Windows Disk management.
    >>
    >> However, the issue here is how much free space Windows reports, not
    >> the total size.
    >> --
    >> Shaun.

    > If you look at this article:
    >
    > http://compreviews.about.com/od/storage/a/ActualHDSizes.htm
    >
    > it explains that some consumers like to think that 1 megabyte = 1
    > million bytes, while 1 gigabyte = 1 billion bytes. But in fact, 1
    > gigabyte (GB) = 1,024 megabytes or 1,073,741,824 bytes.
    >
    > The above article says: "So, if a manufacturer advertises an 80GB (80
    > billion bytes) hard drive, the actual disk space is around 74.5 GB of
    > space, roughly 7% less than what they advertise." (The 74.5 GB
    > represents 80 divided by 1.073741824).
    >
    > In your example above, the 232.88 GB represents 250 divided by
    > 1.073741824. (The precise answer is 232.83GB).
    >
    > So when consumers buy a 232.83 GB drive, they are in fact getting 250
    > billion bytes.


    Yep, well aware of that one, although most 'punters' aren't.

    > But if Windows reserves approx. 12.5% of the drive for the "Master
    > File Table" (MFT), then for a 232.83 GB hard drive, this would amount
    > to 29.1 GB, so if Windows deducted this amount from 232.83 GB, the
    > amount reported as being available would only be 203.73GB.


    Not sure.

    > Can anyone tell me whether the amount reported as being available on
    > a newly formatted 250 GB hard drive is 203.73 GB or 232.83GB? If the
    > answer is 232.83 GB, then it seems that Windows HASN'T in fact
    > deducted the 29.1 GB that has been "allocated" for the Master File
    > Table? Would this be correct reasoning?


    I don't have a newly-formatted one available here and the one I currently
    have in-house has a 10 GB OS partition and the rest as a data partition
    (222.8 GB. Programmes and swapfile are on different drives). The data
    partition has files on it that I don't have space to temp store to test it
    and frankly I can't be bothered imaging the OS part and then restoring it.
    <g> However, it has a 12% (26.7 GB) MFT reserved area on it (according to
    PerfectDisk and Diskeeper) and nearly 60GB of data.

    Windows (when right-clicking on partition and hitting 'properties'),
    SpaceMonger and Diskeeper all report 166 GB free. Whether 'free' and
    'available' mean the same thing in MS-world or not I have no idea.

    XP Pro, SP2, all updates. NTFS formatted.

    HTH.
    --
    Shaun.
    ~misfit~, May 28, 2006
    #19
  20. JB

    Fred Dagg Guest

    On Sun, 28 May 2006 09:32:11 +1200, "JB" <> exclaimed:

    >>
    >> Generally, it is NOT recommended doing what you are doing for that
    >> very reason. If you really do need the space, it will become available
    >> as and when you need it. However, there is no sense in filling up the
    >> drive so that Windows un-reserves the space just so that it will show
    >> as being available, as this will potentially result in a fragmented
    >> Master File Table in the future.

    >
    >Thanks Fred for this explanation. When I filled up the drive and then
    >deleted the new additions, I thought I may gain a little more space as a
    >result of deleting permanently, files that had already been "deleted" from
    >the recycle bin. I had heard that deleted files are never permanently
    >deleted until the space is required for other files. This is why various
    >recovery programs can "undelete" previously deleted files. Is this correct?


    Yes and no. Basically, when you delete a file, it removes it's entry
    from the "index" of the drive (ie the MFT). The file itself (as in the
    1s and 0s) is still on the disk. Tools like R-Studio etc do a scan of
    the actual drive and can pick up the file again.

    The space that was previously occupied by the file is marked as free
    to the system, and may or may not be overridden by new files (just
    like any other free space may or may not be overridden), however it is
    definately fully available.

    >But you can just as easily fill up a drive when you are doing a video
    >editing exercise. For example, even a couple of hours of digital video (.avi
    >files) can take up about 25 GB of space. But Microsoft has never told anyone
    >that it is NOT recommended to do this because you are going to muck up the
    >MFT and have it fragmented in future if you fill up your drive with data. If
    >you regularly defragment your drive, this might minimize the fragmented MFT
    >problem to some extent?


    To my knowledge, defrag tools are NOT able to defragment the MFT
    (well, commonly used ones, anyway). You would have to use a boot-time
    tool to do it, as it could not work on it while the system is
    functioning.

    >If Windows really needs to reserve space for the MFT, why not be upfront and
    >tell people this? Why not put up a warning message that tells you that, if
    >you use any more space on C Drive, you are potentially upsetting the smooth
    >running of the MFT in future?


    Because the MFT will still run if it's not contiguous, just not as
    well.

    >In other words, Microsoft cannot regard a fragmented MFT as too important if
    >it lets you use the space that was originally allocated to the MFT?


    It's more a case that NTFS assumes that not running out of space if
    it's needed is more important than a defragmented MFT.

    Incidentally, you can also increase the amount of reserved space if
    you really want. Note that this only affects new partitions, not
    existing ones:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Conrol\FileSystem\NtfsMftZoneReservation

    Takes a value 1-4

    1 12.5% of free space
    2 25% of free space
    3 37.5% of free space
    4 50% of free space

    This whole MFT issue is also why cleanly formatted NTFS drives usually
    perform slightly better than converted FAT32-->NTFS drives. The first
    creates the MFT at the start of the drive, whereas the latter puts it
    somewhere in the middle, wherever it can find some free space.
    Fred Dagg, May 28, 2006
    #20
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