Windows reports the size of the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) smaller than expected
All ThinkPad systems running Microsoft Windows Vista, XP or 2000 maybe affected by this symptom:
Two factors that contribute to the confusion of HDD size being smaller than expected are:
- The ThinkVantage hidden service partition will use several GB.
- Our computers are designed with a hidden service partition that is invisible even to your operating system. We use this hidden partition so that you can have access to emergency recovery options any time, and always have easy access to hardware diagnostic utilities. Refer to this page for more information on how to make use of the service partition:
- We recommend all users keep their service partition so they can have access to the utilities built into the system. However, we include the ability to remove this section for any user which requires freeing more space. NOTE: We recommend building recovery CD's before you erase this area. From your Windows Start Menu, open the ThinkVantage folder and select Create Recovery Media.
- To erase the service partition, first you will need to access the system BIOS. Follow the instructions on the following URL to enter into the BIOS setup screen. Once you open the BIOS setup, select Security, then change the setting for PreDesktop Area from Normal to Disabled After you change this setting to disabled, you will be able to access, modify, or delete this partition from within your operating system.
- Microsoft uses a non-standard method to calculate drive space from the rest of the computing industry.
- Microsoft uses a binary method to calculate drive size. The rest of the computing industry uses the standard counting method to calculate drive size. 1K bytes equals 1024 bytes in Microsoft's system. The rest of the industry will define 1K bytes equal to 1000 bytes. (As defined by all HDD manufactures, like Fujitsu, Toshiba, Hitachi and West Digital).
- For example:
|1 K byte
|1 M byte
|1 G byte
- Following this example, a drive that the manufacturer reports as being 100GB, Windows will report as only having 93.1GB. This is because in Microsoft's system, 93.1GB = 100,000,000,000 bytes. For a drive to be reported as 100GB by Microsoft, it must be 107, 374,182,400 bytes.
Considering these two points, a user may have a 100GB HDD but can be confused when they view the drive properties in Windows. When viewed in Windows, Microsoft may report they only have an 88GB HDD. This is not a defect, and no corrective action is required.