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Windows 7: Part of HDD Unusable

16 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit)
Part of HDD Unusable


I bought a Dell Inspiron Duo in December 2011, and it has been fine up until a couple of weeks ago, when the 2 OS's that were installed (Windows 7 Home Premium & Windows 8 Consumer Preview) had suddenly disappeared, so I got hold of Windows 7 Ultimate, but when I went to install it, I realised that the 320GB that I had before had gone down to just 298GB, as well as losing all of my files and programs, this space does not show up in any partitioning programs either, it just shows the single partition with Windows 7 Ultimate on it.

Is there any way to get this unusable space back, or am I stuck with a smaller hard drive?

Thanks in advance,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint

welcome to Seven Forums. What size hard drive is it and how much space does it show? 298Gb is the correct formatted size for a 320GB hard drive. Do you have an OS installed now? If so please right click computer, select manage, in the left column select disk management, expand the screen so we can see the top and bottom and post a screenshot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit)

Thankyou for replying to my post,

I currently have Windows 7 Ultimate installed on the machine, and it has been working fine, and 298GB is not the correct formatted size for the hard drive, as I was able to use the full 320GB before the OS's had gone. Below are some screenshots that will hopefully show what I mean

Attached Thumbnails
Part of HDD Unusable-disk-management.png  
Attached Images
Part of HDD Unusable-hdd-space.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Apr 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Two suggestions:

First, find out what brand of hard drive you have and then go to the manufacturer's website and download, burn, and run the Diagnostic Program for the hard drive. See if it passes without errors.

Second, download and rum Partition Wizard (or any other good partitioning software) and see if it reads all the space on the drive.

Two things may be going on here:
  • The drive is failing and W7 Ultimate formatted it ignoring the bad sectors.
  • The drive is sold as a 320GB drive but because of a well known discrepancy between the way hard drives are sold and how OS's read the space you are just seeing the actual usable space for the first time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit)

Would HDTUNE work for this? I can't seem to find a diagnostics tool on the Hitachi website
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit

This is like My Thread

marsmimar replied:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by marsmimar View Post
We humans use 1000MB as equal to 1GB. Computers say 1024MB = 1GB. If you divide out 500GB (500,000,000,000 bytes) by 1024 by 1024 by 1024, it comes out to 465.661GB. Manufacturers like to use the base 10 system because the consumer thinks he's getting a true 500GB drive.
so you have 320GB (320,000,000,000 byte) divide by 1024 by 1024 by 1024 = 298.0232GB.

hope you got the idea.

thanks to marsmimar for easy explanation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit)

Well this makes a lot of sense, but how was I able to use 320GB (or a lot closer to 320GB) before the OS's uninstalled themselves?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2012   #8

Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Connor2524 View Post
Well this makes a lot of sense, but how was I able to use 320GB (or a lot closer to 320GB) before the OS's uninstalled themselves?
That i dont have any idea.

Here's the thing. For every 500gb that i bought, im ending up having 465gb everytime. So I thought I suppose to have only 465gb in every 500gb HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2012   #9

Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit)

May it be because that every time it has been sent back to dell for repairs (completely separate problem) they have reinstalled the OS, and they may have a different way of maintaining the 320GB? as I had to reformat the hard drive to the NTFS File system in order to install Windows 7 Ultimate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Every Dell system I've had delivered with Windows 7 used NTFS. It isn't possible to use more than the stated space, so what makes you think you were, or where were you checking previously to see more than 298 or so total GBs?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Part of HDD Unusable

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