Why is my hard drive shrinking?

United States
January 5, 2009 10:03pm CST
I bought an HP notebook the other day, fresh out of the box. The advertised hard drive size was 250GB. When I opened up the "Computer" window, it showed that I had 180 gigs left out of 221. I had neither installed or downloaded anything. I expected the total amount to be less than advertised because of the operating system, but I couldn't understand why only 180 gigs were available. Furthermore, every couple of days my hard drive space shrinks by a gigabyte or two. I try the disk cleanup and delete restore points but it doesn't help. I'm barely doing anything and I'm losing hard drive space. Does anybody have an explanation? If it helps my computer is an HP Pavilion dv4-1120us running Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit) with 4GB of RAM. Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Trial was pre-installed along with a bunch of games that don't take up that much space.
7 responses
@W3YL1N (117)
• Canada
20 Jan 09
This is because Windows Vista is taking up that part of the hard drive. To have a operating system that can do a lot, you need to have a lot of space to save it in. That is my prediction.
@lexus54 (3576)
• Singapore
7 Jan 09
By now, you will know that the initial space for any computer is eaten up by system info, the installed operating system and any other pre-installed software from the manufacturer. HP also assigns another partition for backup and recovery software. I also own a HP Pavilion but a PC (not a notebook) and I also have this extra partition. Other space "lost" over time can be due to viruses, or to unwanted files stored on your computer such as browser cache when you do lots of surfing, temporary files left behind by software, broken and orphaned links, unwanted registry entries, etc. You should check your system for viruses and also download CCleaner software (which is free) and run it often to clean up yr system and recover space. You can download it from this site http://www.ccleaner.com/. The first time I ever ran this software, I recovered more than 1GB of space.
@amitksing (1324)
• India
6 Jan 09
See, the hard drive never shows its original size, since when we format it to use, it takes some space for storing file system info etc (for ex a 40GB HDD shows only 37GB space). Addition to that, whenever we create a partition in the HDD, some more space is lost to store info about corresponding drives. This may be the reason why U see 221 GB out of your 250 GB. As far as reduction of further space without U doing anything, I think it may be due to some viral activity. I have suffered a similar problem few days back which made my Compu show 4GB less space than its actual. I think U may need to format ur HDD for getting it function correctly.
• Philippines
6 Jan 09
It could be that your HDD is partitioned for back up purposes. this is usually done by HP and Dell. you could check if you PC has two HDD. (Go to My Computer). I dont believe its a virus or spyware though.
@rony1masc (230)
• India
6 Jan 09
hi friend, first of all congrats to getting a hp laptop. and its a good choice. iam a computer expert working part time. hp laptop comes with orginal softwares only. plz dont install any pirated software. first of all open my computer. then you will see two partition of your hard disk. so plz take its properties and look its capacity. if it were a 250 gb hard disk 60gb goes to D partition, which is not writable. this is because hp laptops comes with recovery software so that if your computer crashes your recover easly. for recovery purpose they backup all the files in your computer to D drive, must be 60gb. if you not done yet do this, go start and programs, recovery software manager and recover your files to dvd. so that if your computer crashes you can put this dvd and recover your orginal OS. 2 to 4 single layer dvd would take to back up your data. the recovery wizard will tell how much dvd would want to backup. all orginal softwares shiped by hp can be seen on D drive. thats why your lap got 180 gb hard disk. if you install any softwares the computer will backup temperory installation files to hard disk thus day by day the hard disk space wil be reduced
@Guardian208 (1095)
• United States
6 Jan 09
Oh and welcome to myLot!
@Guardian208 (1095)
• United States
6 Jan 09
I can't speak to your exact situation but I can tell you what my experience is with a similar HP notebook. It come with a bunch of software "Pre-installed" but it is not fully installed. when we first ran an Office program it went through a setup routine. what it was doing was installing the rest of the program. what was pre-installed was the installation software. That happened with several program including Quicken and some sort of picture program. It was not fully installed and installed when we first opened it. That used up a lot of your "free" hard drive space. Also HP sets aside some of the hard drive in a separate partition as a recovery partition. If you crash it, you can reset it to factory condition using the information stored on that partition.