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What? Amount stored reported as greater than HD capacity?

  • Hard Drives
  • Windows XP
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
December 20, 2010 9:06:32 AM

What on earth does it mean when Windows (XP Pro/SP3) reports that there is more data stored on a hard disk than the maximum physical capacity of the drive? The drives in question are not part of any RAID array. They're both basic/simple SATA drives. All partitions are NTFS, and none of them are compressed.

I'm using both XP's Disk Management tool and Acronis Disk Director 11 to view how much data is reportedly stored on the drives (they both agree). On one disk it says there's nearly 2 TB on a 1.5 TB drive and on another it says there's nearly 1.5 TB on a 1 TB drive!

What the heck is going on?

More about : amount stored reported greater capacity

a b G Storage
December 20, 2010 12:48:13 PM

Do you have any compressed folders in there? Any hardlinks?
December 22, 2010 7:03:02 AM

Zenthar said:
Do you have any compressed folders in there? Any hardlinks?
Thanks for your reply, Zenthar!

I had to look up what a hardlink was; I haven't used anything like that since I was a systems programmer at NASA working with Modcomp IV's running MAX IV back in the days when we rode on dinosaurs with saddles. I don't have any on my own systems.

There's no compressed folders, either, but that's kinda moot given what I'm seeing, which is truly bizarre. Here's some screen shots to show what I'm talking about...
Here is the standard Properties tab for one of the disks in question:

Notice it's a 1 TB drive (that model WDC drive holds only 1 TB). Now, here's the Volumes tab:

The "Capacity" field shows a bit over 1.4 TB, with 531 GB unused! Here's the partition layout as shown by XP's Disk Manager:

The output from running WD's diagnostic on that drive shows it thinks everything's fine:

Here's some more WD Diag displays:

Curiously, when I submitted my OP, both the layout from the Disk Manager -and- Acronis Disk Director 11 showed the same thing. I just checked again, and while the Disk Manager display's the same as the image above, Acronis Disk Director 11 now shows a different layout:

I'm pretty sure that Acronis layout is correct.

I can fix it easily enough by using Acronis DD 11 to copy all the partitions to a new blank drive, but I'm not asking for a fix; I want to know what the heck is happening and how I can prevent it in the future. Recall that there's at least one other drive showing more being stored there than the actual capacity of the drive.