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Windows 7: Unallocated Space - Is It Inaccessible Without a "Letter"?

07 Jun 2014   #1
baumgrenze

Win 7 Pro 64
 
 
Unallocated Space - Is It Inaccessible Without a "Letter"?

I just partitioned and formatted "Disk 2" or "Drive K: on my system. While Drive Management was opened, I noticed that each of the other disks, 0, 1, and 3, all have Unallocated Space. For 0 and 3 the space is 'insignificant' in today's terms, 3 Mb and 9Mb respectively, but for disk 1 the amount is 130.42 Gb.

I don't believe I did this deliberately. Disks 1 and 3 were once part of a RAID1 created under Intel's Rapid Storage Technology. Since 1 was larger than 3 (640 Gb vs 500 Gb in nominal terms) does this perhaps explain what I am seeing?

On Tuesday I should take delivery of a 1 Tb WD Caviar black SATA drive. I will use this as my primary data drive and once I am comfortable that everything is where it should be I will reformat 1 and 3 to use as devices for backup storage. Disk 1 is about 50% full (and could stand some 'housekeeping'.) CrystalDiskInfo 6.1.14 reports Power On Hours : 18929 hours and Power On Count : 1896 count for this drive. For Disk 3 the values are Power On Hours : 28065 hours and Power On Count : 2729 count.

Is it reasonable to trust them for a while yet or should they each be given a 'gold watch' and retired?

Am I correct that each time Windows 7 'hibernates' I save in terms of "Power on Hours" but I accumulate another "power on Count?" Is there reliable evidence that this is a better strategy for prolonging HDD life than a single, overnight shutdown. The system would otherwise normally run a 16 - 18 hour day, 7 days a week.

thanks,

baumgrenze



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jun 2014   #2
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

This is always a good idea when posting questions about partitions or drives,

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

As they say, pictures are worth a thousand words.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2014   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by baumgrenze View Post
I just partitioned and formatted "Disk 2" or "Drive K: on my system. While Drive Management was opened, I noticed that each of the other disks, 0, 1, and 3, all have Unallocated Space. For 0 and 3 the space is 'insignificant' in today's terms, 3 Mb and 9Mb respectively, but for disk 1 the amount is 130.42 Gb.

I don't believe I did this deliberately. Disks 1 and 3 were once part of a RAID1 created under Intel's Rapid Storage Technology. Since 1 was larger than 3 (640 Gb vs 500 Gb in nominal terms) does this perhaps explain what I am seeing?

On Tuesday I should take delivery of a 1 Tb WD Caviar black SATA drive. I will use this as my primary data drive and once I am comfortable that everything is where it should be I will reformat 1 and 3 to use as devices for backup storage. Disk 1 is about 50% full (and could stand some 'housekeeping'.) CrystalDiskInfo 6.1.14 reports Power On Hours : 18929 hours and Power On Count : 1896 count for this drive. For Disk 3 the values are Power On Hours : 28065 hours and Power On Count : 2729 count.

Is it reasonable to trust them for a while yet or should they each be given a 'gold watch' and retired?

Am I correct that each time Windows 7 'hibernates' I save in terms of "Power on Hours" but I accumulate another "power on Count?" Is there reliable evidence that this is a better strategy for prolonging HDD life than a single, overnight shutdown. The system would otherwise normally run a 16 - 18 hour day, 7 days a week.

thanks,

baumgrenze
Unallocated space won't have a drive letter. Drive letters are reserved for formatted space.

Hard drive longevity is pretty much a random proposition. Some drives last 15 years and more. If you believe the current reviews on places like Newegg, many are dead on arrival.

I wouldn't worry about it or take any even semi-heroic measures to try to prolong life. Use them as the tools they are. Back up your stuff. If and when drives fail, replace them. Don't agonize in the interim.

There is something to the idea of a "bathtub curve" of longevity---disproportionate percentages fail early, with a high percentage of the remainder having a relatively low failure rate. Then at some point, the failure rate of the remainder rises. Humans have the same curve--early mortality followed by a typical life span, but all eventually failing.

28065 hours is over 6 years at 12 hours a day. No way of knowing if it dies tomorrow. Any replacement you buy could drop dead in the second week. Just ride the horse you have. If it starts to develop bad sectors or has any obvious problems, then buy something new.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jun 2014   #4
baumgrenze

Win 7 Pro 64
 
 
My Apologies - I Had the Image

My apologies for not attaching the image.

At the time I posted I was fighting a very slow connection and trying to manage email, a food related thread, and this post and I unwittingly forgot to include it.

I took time to preview this post carefully and I saw it.

The more I look at the numbers and remember that a RAID1 mirror pair can only be as large as the smaller disk, the large unallocated partition on drive 1 was probably created to make this 'feature' work properly.

In reply to ignatzatsonic, in the last few days I saw a post that suggested careless packing by some vendors being a prime cause of DOA hard drives.

FWIW I also put the more detailed numbers from CrystalDiskInfo on the two 'data disks' into a Word document and attached it. I also saw the Wikipedia entry with the bathtub curve and the Google paper from 2007.

Not only does the bathtub curve apply to humans, it becomes increasingly apparent. Part way through my 75th year it is also very clear that as the remaining apparent possibly available time becomes smaller it goes by a hell of a lot faster. Also, a whole lot more needs to be spent on maintenance, e.g., physical therapy exercises and walking to keep what's left running as effectively as possible. That's why I want to get back out among my fig trees, setting cuttings and grafting new varieties in the hope I'll last long enough to taste some of them.

You've been most kind and patient.

thanks

baumgrenze


Attached Thumbnails
Unallocated Space - Is It Inaccessible Without a "Letter"?-diskmanager060714.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: doc DataDisksCrystalDiskInfoDetails.doc (23.0 KB, 0 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2014   #5
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

My thought: Sometimes just reformatting a previously used disk doesn't remove everything, I prefer deleting any partitions on them first. Disk Management does a pretty good job of that but if there was sensitive information I'll mount the drive and boot to a GPARTED disc for the deletion of old and creation of new. It also works if there's space set aside by an OEM [or Windows] for their purpose and Disk Management can't remove it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2014   #6
4wd

W7, W8.1
 
 

Quote:
very clear that as the remaining apparent possibly available time becomes smaller it goes by a hell of a lot faster
Very true indeed.

Take a look at Free Partition Magic alternative, partition manager freeware, partition magic server, partition magic Windows 7 and free Partition Manager software for Windows 7/8/VISTA/XP/2000 and Windows Server 2003/2008/2000., lots's of info about it on this forum, good program. & am recommending a full backup before doing any partition work on any disk. Good luck
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