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Tech: HD Free space problem

wilbyhillbilly 30 Jun 10 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Ed 30 Jun 10 - 07:30 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 30 Jun 10 - 07:38 AM
GUEST,PeterC 30 Jun 10 - 08:04 AM
Mitch the Bass 30 Jun 10 - 10:15 AM
MMario 30 Jun 10 - 10:17 AM
wilbyhillbilly 30 Jun 10 - 10:32 AM
Amergin 30 Jun 10 - 01:00 PM
wilbyhillbilly 01 Jul 10 - 07:12 AM
jeffp 01 Jul 10 - 07:32 AM
Mitch the Bass 01 Jul 10 - 07:47 AM
wilbyhillbilly 01 Jul 10 - 08:00 AM
JohnInKansas 01 Jul 10 - 05:27 PM
wilbyhillbilly 02 Jul 10 - 02:29 AM
JohnInKansas 02 Jul 10 - 04:08 AM
wilbyhillbilly 02 Jul 10 - 10:29 AM
Bernard 02 Jul 10 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Russ 02 Jul 10 - 11:36 AM
JohnInKansas 02 Jul 10 - 01:49 PM
Tootler 02 Jul 10 - 07:26 PM
Bernard 02 Jul 10 - 07:43 PM
wilbyhillbilly 03 Jul 10 - 01:21 AM
Bernard 03 Jul 10 - 02:04 PM
SteveMansfield 03 Jul 10 - 05:09 PM
Tangledwood 03 Jul 10 - 05:57 PM
Joe G 03 Jul 10 - 07:23 PM
ragdall 04 Jul 10 - 01:48 AM
wilbyhillbilly 04 Jul 10 - 02:32 AM
JohnInKansas 04 Jul 10 - 08:46 PM
Tangledwood 04 Jul 10 - 10:54 PM
wilbyhillbilly 05 Jul 10 - 01:56 AM
Bernard 05 Jul 10 - 04:03 PM
ragdall 05 Jul 10 - 06:57 PM
JohnInKansas 05 Jul 10 - 07:41 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Jul 10 - 12:26 AM
Gurney 06 Jul 10 - 01:50 AM
Bernard 06 Jul 10 - 08:08 AM
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Subject: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 07:23 AM

I have an external hard drive for storing my work on which is 240GB capacity. I just tried to move a file 5.77GB from my main pc to the hard drive (I'm using WinXP) and it won't move it, says not enough space, delete some files and try again.

I understood that, but when I looked at the hard drive it tells me there is still 88GB of free space, anyone got any ideas please?

I've tried shutting down and restarts, and several times, but it just will not move it. I'm confused.....


whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 07:30 AM

Just a guess, but are you trying to move the file to a specific location on the external disk? It may be that you have maximum sizes set up on a folder or partition. Try copying to a different part of the external drive.


Probably won't help but worth a try!


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 07:38 AM

Perhaps defragmenting the drive would help.


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 08:04 AM

As Sandy says, try a defrag


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Mitch the Bass
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 10:15 AM

Is your internal drive formatted NTFS with a file size limit of 16EB and the external drive is formatted FAT32 with a maximum file size of 4GB?

Mitch


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: MMario
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 10:17 AM

I'm betting Mitch has the answer


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 10:32 AM

Mitch, I don't know about the internal drive, but the External is definitely a FAT32 format.

So does that mean if I reduce the file to less than 4GB it will go?

I'll give it a try anyway.

Thanks for the quick response y'all.

whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Amergin
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 01:00 PM

You may want to consider formatting your external drive to NTFS, to prevent such things in the future....also NTFS does offer more security than FAT32.


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 07:12 AM

Amergin, if only I knew how,...... sigh!!!


whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: jeffp
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 07:32 AM

If you reformat to NTFS, won't you lose everything on the drive?


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Mitch the Bass
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 07:47 AM

See http://www.ntfs.com/quest3.htm

Mitch


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 08:00 AM

Thanks Mitch, that seems to be exactly what I want, but I am a bit nervous about putting it into operation without hearing from someone who has actually done it, as I have hundreds of customer work back ups on my external drive and no way can I afford the risk of losing them.

whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 05:27 PM

For the OS that include the Convert utility, there usually is no loss of existing files when you convert a drive to NTFS. Many, if not most, "experts" recommend a backup before making any major change, of course, but that's mostly a CYA so you won't blaim their advice if something very unusual happens. I don't recall seeing a complaint that files were lost using Convert.

Microsoft has recommended a reformat to NTFS, which of course does remove everything, with a vague comment that a drive converted from another format, without formatting and reinstalling the files, won't have "all of the features" available on one with an original NTFS format; but I've never seen a description of what features aren't implemented for a conversion, and they seem to be unimportant for most users.

Note that there is no "convert back" from NTFS to another of the older formats; so in the exceedingly rare case where you might want to return to FAT32 you will have to format, from scratch, using the format you want, and will have to backup all the files before "going back" to any format other than NTFS.

Also note that the "free space" indicated by Windows Explorer is usually just a rough estimate and may not be accurate, although it should be close enough for the case here. An accurate measure of free space requires that the system look at every file on the drive and add up the clusters used. Since this is a time-consuming process, the system uses "approximations" to give you the illusion that you know something. A Command Prompt DIR should give the most accurate estimate available, but the guesses made by the system usually are close enough for most purposes.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:29 AM

Thanks John, from what you've said it would seem that it will work. so, I'll give it a try (I think), if I lose the files I may say something that will lose me my place on the sainthood ladder.

On the other hand, do I really need to take the risk?, is there any advantage other than being able to copy larger files, I ask myself?.

Decisions..........decisions.

whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:08 AM

whb -

With FAT drives, you have a "root FAT" that's fixed in the zero sector of the drive. All files and folders in root have to have all their info like start cluster address, attributes, filesize, etc. there, which can create a problem if you have a lot of files in the root directory - although most people never see it with current hard drives.

On a FAT drive, each folder contains a "meta-FAT" that keeps the data for all the files/folders in that folder. There is (usually) no information about files inside a folder in the zero sector root FAT. The folder FAT isn't necessarily a fixed length, so (paradoxically?) you can have more files in a folder than you can have in the root, but corruption in the zero sector - that loses the address of the folder also means all the files in the folder are "lost." And corruption in the "folder FAT" also means they're all lost.

(If you make a folder in a folder, the files in the subfolder have their data only in the "folder FAT" for the folder in which they appear directly.)

I frequently encountered people puzzled about "disk full" errors when the sum of the file sizes didn't amount to much back when floppy disks were common. All floppies were/are FAT 12, and the zero sector there can only hold 256 cluster addresses, so you can only put 256 files (including folders) in the root. I used to keep a BASIC program to write "1 byte" files until the root got full, after which I could replace one of the 256 files with a folder and write about a thousand similar files to the folder, just to show people what was happening with that particular "disk full with nothing on it" problem.

With NTFS, theoretically at least, the primary "list of file locations," sometimes still called a FAT, is NOT fixed in location and can have variable length to record (nearly) as much info as you want.

When you add or delete a file with NTFS, the first entry is still made in a "folder FAT" but additionally, if it's implemented by the OS, the root FAT also can be updated so that it knows where every file on the disk is located, by sector/cluster address, without having to look for the folder first, find the sub folder in the folder, and then locate the file.

The update of the "root FAT" may not be immediate, but (e.g. in Vista) is one of those background maintenance processes that you don't usually notice, but that can be a P.I.A. if you do. Once the root FAT is up to date, searches (and free space reports) can - theoretically - be very much faster with NTFS than with any of the earlier FAT formats.1

Additionally, since the root FAT can be moved, it's theoretically possible to move it around, which can allow adding/removing or changing the size of partitions without (in many cases) reformatting the whole drive. The "movable partition" bit has apparently not been fully implemented in OS versions up through Vista, but I've seen claims that some aftermarket programs have used the feature.

There are programs like Partition Magic that could do this sort of re-partitioning on FAT drives, but it should be much simpler and more reliable with NTFS

Both FAT and NTFS formats do make a "duplicate root FAT" but it's apparently rather difficult to use the copy to restore a FAT drive if the zero sector gets fouled up. I'm told it's easier with NTFS; but have never found details.

For the serious tech people, these are probably just the "superficial" benefits of NTFS (and it's possible to argue about the ones I've listed) but most people find NTFS at least a little bit faster and it seems significantly more reliable. I'm told you get into really significant benefits when you start setting up RAID arrays and using on the fly replication and/or fancy real-time backup schemes; but I haven't explored those features except casually.

1 A problem I've found with the "background" updating of the primary file table is with an external hard drive that I connect only when I'm making a backup, and disconnect immediately when done. If I do "large scale editing" of the backup drive, as by moving several folders from one place to another or batch renaming a lot of files, the primary table of course gets behind, and when I try to disconnect the drive I get "a program is using the drive. close all programs and try again later." This apparently is because the "update" of the higher level file table is so confused it's desparate and refuses to stop until it "gets happy with itself." Completely transfering and verifying all the sub-folder data on a 500GB drive with 135,000 folders containing 3.8 million files (82% full) can take "a few days" if I've really got it puzzled. There doesn't appear to be any data loss if I force the disconnect (shut down the computer to stop all processes, disconnect the drive & reboot is safest); and the background process will resume the next time I hook up (and complain on disconnect again) until it finishes.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 10:29 AM

Thanks John, (I think)!


whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Bernard
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 11:32 AM

A more sensible approach, given the low cost of such things these days, would be to buy a second external drive, convert that to NTFS (most externals are FAT32) and copy the files across. You can then convert the original if you wish without fear of data loss.

That way you'll have a belt-and-braces backup, too... I'm assuming your clients pay for your services?


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 11:36 AM

It would not hurt to try something quick, simple, and harmless first.

double click on "my computer" icon on desktop
right click on drive icon
click on 'properties"
click on "tools" tab
click on "check now" button
put check in "automatically fix file system errors" box
click "start"

Sometimes space gets marked as being in use even when it is not being used by any file(s).

try again to copy the file.

Russ (permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:49 PM

My computer (Vista Business) doesn't have a "My Computer" icon, but in Windows Explorer you can right click on the drive you want to check, select "Properties" and then click on the "Tools" tab to get to the "Check Disk for Errors."

You'll also find the "Defrag" button there, but the default for Vista is to schedule defrag weekly so you shouldn't need to run it manually very often. It might be worth clicking the defrag button just to be sure that it is scheduled.

With the many background processes that run almost continuosly in Vista, and fairly often in XP & other OS, you may be told that the drive is busy and the Check for Errors can't be run, but you can schedule it to run the next time the computer is booted. Just check the box to schedule it, and reboot. With Vista, occasionally some "exceedingly critical background process you probably don't really need anyway" may start up at reboot before the check can be started, and the check won't run on the first restart. Just do another restart (or two) and eventually it will run.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Tootler
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 07:26 PM

most externals are FAT32...

I have two Iomega external drives and both came formatted as NTFS. I would have thought that would have been more common now.

In my case I had to reformat to Ext3 as I use Linux. In fact I partitioned the drives and kept a small NTFS partition as I have a dual boot system, but the Windows partition is as small as I can get away with as I only rarely use it now.

Otherwise I think your suggestion of getting a second external drive and ensuring it is formatted as NTFS is a sensible one. I use one of my drives as a primary store for large files - mainly videos from my camcorder as they will not all fit on the internal HDD as well as a secondary store for material on the internal HDD. The other external drive is a backup.


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Bernard
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 07:43 PM

All I can say in my defence, yer 'onour, is I've literally bought dozens of the things (not all for myself, though!), and only my Toshiba 1Tb drives came set up as NTFS. Mind you, I've not bought any Iomega drives since the Zip and Clik days... plenty of cheaper ones around.

So in my experience, FAT32 is still the most common format for external drives, at least for 500Mb and below, which is the price range we were talking about (the offending drive is 240Gb).

The most impressive so far have been the Toshiba Stor E Alu 1Tb, and a Western Digital Passport 250Mb - very fast, very reliable, and under 60 squids. The WD Passport has been thrown about in my bag for around three years, now!

;o)


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 01:21 AM

So simple........why didn't I think of that!

I have thought recently that another external drive might be on the cards soon, so great idea, get a new one and transfer, then reformat............simples!

Some time back we bought a secondhand Toshiba laptop primarily for my son (8 yrs) to put his games on but I was so impressed with it I now use it more than him, I think from what Bernard says I would like to try a Toshiba 1Tb drive.

Thanks all for the interesting debate, and of course fo eliminating another problem.

What did I do before Mudcat?

whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Bernard
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 02:04 PM

Well, for one thing, before Mudcat you possibly didn't have a computer to cause you grief...!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 05:09 PM

My computer (Vista Business) doesn't have a "My Computer" icon

A quick side-point for future reference - if you don't have a 'My Computer' icon on your desktop, right-clicking your 'Computer' or 'My Computer' menu item will have exactly the same effect.


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Tangledwood
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 05:57 PM

Whb, I get the impression that you have been using a single back up although you regard the customer data as very important. I've had two external HDs fail and also of course CD/DVDs can become unreadable too. I would strongly advise that you not rely on only a single back up of anything valuable.


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Joe G
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 07:23 PM

I'd definitely go with the belt and braces of two back up HDs. I've had two internal HDs fail on me. It would be wise to keep one back up in a different location too if th edata is vital - I make CD copies of al my photos and keep them at work as well as having them on the external HD at home. Its a Toshiba 500Mb and I am pretty sure I had to convert it from FAT 32 to NTFS but it was simple to do.

Amazon generally have some great deals and I am sure there are many other places - you may want to consider a portable drive which tend to be a little more expensive but more compact

Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: ragdall
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 01:48 AM

Where does one look to find out if a drive is formatted NTFS or FAT 32?
Thanks.
   rags


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 02:32 AM

Bernard, very true.

Tanglewood, I do have disc backups on most of the stuff, but the material is other peoples "precious memories", personal family tapes on reel to reel and cassettes that are sometimes in not very good condition, personal old vinyl recordings, even a few on metal discs done during the first world war for messages home to loved ones, which after I have cleaned them up, processed them and sent them back with discs, may never be needed again, but I like to keep copies just in case someone needs a replacement, and some of the messages make up fantastic stories, like the ones back and forward to the USA from when an Irish whaling family first immigrated years ago, to the grandsons message to his grandparents back in Ireland in recent years, just wonderful, or a tape that was hardly audible but was the only recording of the voice of this mans brother who was killed in an accident when he was five years old and the main thing the 85 year old parents treasured but just could not hear very well any more, needless to say they were over the moon when it was restored and I feel privileged to have been able to do it.

Joe G. I do the same with my photos.

Ragdall, someone who knows will no doubt give you a quicker and better solution, but personally, all I do (winXP) is click Start-all programs-accessories-system tools- disc defragmenter, and it shows the different drives formats.

Thanks peoples,

whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 08:46 PM

if you don't have a 'My Computer' icon on your desktop, right-clicking your 'Computer' or 'My Computer' menu item will have exactly the same effect.

There is a "Computer" icon on my desktop, but it does NOT go to the same menu options described.

rags:

In Windows Explorer, where you look at your files, right clicking on the drive and choosing properties will get the format information wanted.

The "General" tab on the drive properties will tell you what format is used on the drive.

It is, perhaps(?) necessary to note that the "drive letter" that you see in Win Explorer refers to a logical drive and not necessarily to an entire physical drive. In most cases there's no difference; but on a partitioned drive you might be looking at just one of several partitions, and if you've "mapped" a network drive you're possibly just looking at a folder on the drive. The format should still be shown.

If you want to go "hard core" you can go to Start|Programs|Accessories|System Tools|System Information and get (nearly) all the information you want - probably more than you want. Advice: DON'T Print it all "for future reference," since it may run 2,000 pages or more.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Tangledwood
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 10:54 PM

Whb, that sounds like a wonderful collection of data. Apart from the value to the owners I'm sure that there would be museums that would find it valuable. Sharing with them is something that you would have to sort out with the owners though I guess.


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 01:56 AM

One lot I did transfer from over 30 reels to disc which I think is being shared is the work I did for TAUNY (Traditional Arts Uptown New York) for their archives. Now that is a collection of history, some wonderful interviews and old songs of people and their experiences in the old lumber camps up North.

Some lovely characters and stories that I would love to make available over here (UK).


whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Bernard
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 04:03 PM

You're sitting on a goldmine, lad!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: ragdall
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 06:57 PM

JohnInKansas and wilbyhillbilly,
Thank you both for answering my question.

When I have a block of free time I'll plug in each of my external drives and find out which are which. If I find any FAT32 drives, I should reformat them to NTFS, so they'll hold more, correct?

rags


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 07:41 PM

Formatting to NTFS won't change the total amount of drive space you have by much, but if you're running at least XP or Vista it should make some improvement in "efficiency" (a term that really is hard to define). There are possible security enhancements claimed as well, but they're also only vaguely described by the readily available sources.

The main real reason for sticking with FAT formats has been the inability of some Operating Systems to read NTFS, so it was necessary to keep at least the boot partition for the "non NTFS" systems in an older format. Most of the previously "problem" systems have been updated to handle NTFS, so "really old" Windows OS (like Win95?) probably are the only ones where that really applies now.

What you will get that appears to be of some interest to you is the ability to store much larger individual files without compressing them or splitting them into little chunks.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 12:26 AM

"reformat them to NTFS, so they'll hold more, correct?"

As per JiK's comments, you need to understand that there are two methods of calculating 'free disk space'.

Allocation of disk space is by allocating chunks (sometimes called 'extents') of fixed sizes - only complete chunks can be allocated. The fixed sizes may be all the same, or like the original UNIX inode allocation system, they may have a range of sizes - a file on this sort of system may have several different size chunks allocated - but that's getting rather deep.... :-) Oh, and the 'overhead' of the space that is needed to keep track of these chunks needs to be considered too... :-)

The actual space taken by the contents of the data may be less than a full chunk - or if more than one chunk is used, then the last one is likely to not be completely full. You may see this as your 'space used'.

One old trick to save space on OSes like WIN95 was to fiddle with the allocation chunk size so as to minimize the 'wasted space' at the end of the last chunk of a file.

Another trick was to 'archive' - bundle lots of files into one - and try to save the excess space at the ends of them. Another development was to 'compress' - various tricks that involved using tokens to stand for larger chunks of data that repeated, eg a token that stood for say 8 spaces in a row, etc.

But when trying to find 'free space' you can only really consider the unallocated chunks - two files cannot share a chunk - well, NEWDOS80 did, but only in very special circumstances :-). (I'm an 'old bugger' - been around for a while...)

So when the chunks on differing file-systems are of different sizes (because the disks are of different sizes or different allocation systems), you will see apparently strange results of differing 'free space' if you move numbers of files between them.

There - clear as mud now, OK? :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 01:50 AM

I've never filled a HD since Amiga days, but I did find, when storing MP3s on a CD, that there is a limit to how many filenames that you can put onto that media without dividing the CD into folders. John touched on it in his 04:08 post, I think.
That's what I thought of when reading Wilby's original post, anyway. I thought I'd wait until the competent ones posted their solutions.

I got around my MP3/CD problem by storing them as data. Nero makes it easy. You can fill a CD that way. I supposed, without a shred of technical competence, that they all went into one folder.
They play OK, anyway, on a computer or DVD player. Haven't tried them on a CD player that accepts MP3s.


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Subject: RE: Tech: HD Free space problem
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 08:08 AM

One advantage of NTFS drives is the compression settings...

You can either set the whole drive (not recommended for a system drive) to be compressed, individual folders or even individual drives.

So yes, the drive could conceivably hold a lot more, but it depends upon the files. MP3 and JPG files may already be as compressed as they can go, for example. WAv and BMP files could be reduced by as much as half. A wild generalisation, but it's impossible to be more accurate.

Beware, though, that some system components don't like to be compressed, or have their dependent data compressed. I once fell foul of this with Microsoft Exchange... it had been running on the server quite happily on a compressed drive until an update was applied. The update installed without issuing any warnings, then Exchange died...!! Fortunately I was able to get it running again by deselecting the compression - after I discovered that it was a known issue. The new version of Exchange didn't like compressed data...

Anyway, on an NTFS drive you can select the file or folder properties, click on the 'Advanced' button and select 'Compress contents to save disk space'. Be warned, though, that it could take some time to complete!

Once completed, you'll see how much space has been saved by looking at the folder properties - it will list the actual size and the 'size on disk'. These may well already be slightly different without compression, but you should see a marked difference if the files are compressible.

I tend only to compress archive data, driver archives and the like, as compressing an executable or current data can slow things down a little, or even a lot!


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