Hidden Files : Drive Capacity


OSNN Senior Addict
Jan 15, 2004
Hi. I have a 60G Primary Drive, OS drive, and I was checking its free space. I opened computer management and it showed that it still has 33G/55G os space left. I had changed the view option from Folder to show all files and hilited all folder from C-drive and checked the properties. It showed that it only has used ~9G of space..
Where is the ~14G space gone?




Political User
Feb 15, 2005
First thing to keep in mind percy is that hard drive manufacturers have long used 1000k to equal 1 MB when in fact 1024kB = 1MB

soo you lose 24k PER MB of ACTUAL space... I hope this makes sense.

Here is more infor cut/pasted directly from wikipedia:

Capacity measurements
Hard disk manufacturers typically specify disk capacity using the SI definition of the prefixes "mega" and "giga." 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 210 (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," 109. However utilities provided by Windows define a gigabyte as 230, 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).


OSNN Senior Addict
Jan 15, 2004
Thank you for the info. Now I understand the "real" capacity means. :)

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