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Premium Member
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5,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a pair of 4TB HDDs in a RAID 1 array.

It is a dedicated storage drive, sot he directory tree is unambigious. I have 999GB of stuff on that drive.

Windows is reporting a used capacity of 2.32TB, leaving me with only 1.31TB of space left.

I checked the option to show hidden files and windows hidden protected system files. I can't see what windows is doing with 1.32TB of space on my hard drive.

Does anybody know what might be going on?
 

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*cough* Stock *cough*
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2,771 Posts
Does it have file history or system restore? That is excessive missing space.

Windirstat has always been a good way to see space use of drives.

Run it as an admin to get the best result. This allows it to see files only the admin user can. While more important on the system drive. It may be worth a shot.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #4
After trying a bunch of stuff, I realized that windows was incorrectly reporting the size of directories. I had to go a couple of levels deep in the DOM tree to get a more accurate report, and once I did the numbers ended up making more sense.

For example, my steam drive was 888GB, but the folder containing my steam drives and a lot of other stuff only reported 609GB. Lesson learned I guess. Thanks.
 

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Windows Wrangler
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2,223 Posts
I have a pair of 4TB HDDs in a RAID 1 array.

It is a dedicated storage drive, sot he directory tree is unambigious. I have 999GB of stuff on that drive.

Windows is reporting a used capacity of 2.32TB, leaving me with only 1.31TB of space left.

I checked the option to show hidden files and windows hidden protected system files. I can't see what windows is doing with 1.32TB of space on my hard drive.

Does anybody know what might be going on?

    Absolutely know what's going on!  You're not missing any space; it has to do with programmers who aren't capable of basic math, who made some geeky decisions 30 years ago when it didn't make much of a difference, and refused to budge 20 years ago when NIST nipped this issue in the bud.  But now that storage devices and files have increased several magnitudes, it's causing major logistical issues.  Basically, Windows has never calculated file, folder, disk or partition sizes correctly.  It randomly switches between the KiB, MiB, GiB and TiB metrics based on where you're looking and sometimes the size of the object in question, while erroneously using the KB, MB, GB and TB labels on the numbers.  Ironically, the engineers who wrote the Windows Calculator app have it right, but their wisdom hasn't yet propagated to the rest of Windows (see attachment).  So, here's the math:

2.32 TiB (used) + 1.31 TiB (free) = 3.63 TiB (total capacity).
3.63 TiB = 3.99 TB, or just a rounding error shy of a full 4.00 TB.

4,000,000,000,000 bytes =
4,000,000,000 KB (kilobytes)
4,000,000 MB (megabytes)
4,000 GB (gigabytes)
4 TB (terabytes)

4,000,000,000,000 bytes =
3,906,250,000 KiB (kibibytes)
3,814,697.265625 MiB (mebibytes)
3,725.290298461914 GiB (gibibytes)
3.637978807091713 TiB (tebibytes)

    Guess which system Windows uses: The latter one, and it doesn't even round the numbers correctly!  (Which is why it came out to 3.63 TiB instead of 3.64 TiB.)

KiB - KB = 24 bytes per KiB (bytes / 1,024)
MiB - MB = 48.6 KB per MiB (bytes / 1,048,576)
GiB - GB = 73.7 MB per GiB (bytes / 1,073,741,824)
TiB - TB = 99.5 GB per TiB (bytes / 1,099,511,627,776)

    As you can see, each time the metric increases, so does the discrepancy.  This means that even if storage manufacturers jumbo-sized their drives to read correctly at, say, GiBs; they'd still come up short on the TiB scale (24 GB per TiB, to be exact).  That's because this whole issue is a result of trying to erroneously cram binary numerology into our decimal numerical system.  30 years ago when Microsoft made that choice, it was a geeky thing to do, the rounding error was only 24 bytes per KiB, and it was faster for the slow CPUs of the day to calculate >>10 (bit-shift right 10x) than /1000 (divide by 1000).
    This is why, back in December 1998, the National Institute of Standards and Technology officially set standard definitions of measurement to correct the "everyone doing what is right in their own eyes" that was going on at the time (some were even dividing KB by 1024, and after that, dividing MB and GB by 1000s—not correct in either the binary or decimal system!).  As of currently, Microsoft is the main holdout, behind the times by 20 years.  The moment they correct a couple lines of code in shell32.dll, compmgmt.msc and a few other places, everything will suddenly start adding up again.  "Formatting overhead" (the usually blamed for these numbers that don't add up) is very minimal and is actually included in the numbers shown for capacity and free space.  Unless you have gaps between your partitions or unallocated space, everything should should add if calculated correctly when viewing capacity and free space.  Pro tip: In the Disk Properties dialog, just ignore the calculated numbers and look at the actual number of bytes, chopping off the extra digits in your head.  Unless there's a problem, you'll quickly see that it's all there.
 

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