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Old 01-16-2008, 08:27 AM   #1
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Default Can I safely reformat an EMPTY partition to reclaim "used" memory?

Edit: BY "MEMORY" I MEAN SPACE (not RAM)! Sorry!

My laptop came with a single SATA HDD that was partitioned into a C:\ and a D:\ drive.

I haven't used my D:\ until now that my C:\ has filled up. Once that happened, I dragged and dropped the 'My Documents' folder into the D:\ drive - then thought better of it, dragged it back into C:\ and came onto this forum for advice one how best to go about it (see http://www.computerforums.org/showthread.php?t=66101).
Before all this action, the D:\ was always shown as having "Used Space: 0MB, Capacity: 72GB". After all the dragging-and-dropping to and from C:\, however, D:\ supposedly has "Used Space: 192MB, Capacity: 71.8GB".

I tried to return D:\ to its completely empty state by clearing it out, viewing and removing hidden files, using Disk Clean-up, running Defrag, etc. But it still shows as having "Used Space: 192MB, Capacity: 71.8GB"!

Why is this?
I mean, I know that amount of usable disk space is not always as advertised, but how come D:\ used to be able to to show 0MB used space, but now has to show 192MB used space even though it is just as empty as before?!

So now I'm thinking of reformatting D:\.
But since D:\ is just a partition within a drive, won't reformatting it affect my C:\ as well? If so, how?
Are there any (other) dangers to re-formatting the D:\ partition?
How do I even go about reformatting just the D:\ partition safely? (I really don't want to touch C:\ ...)

Finally, is there any other way that I can 're-claim' those 192MB?
(I know 192MB isn't much compared to what I've got left, but it's still a good 2 or 3 music-album's worth of space ...)

Thanks in advance! Any help is much appreciated!

Bw, the defrag analysis offered the following info:

Volume size = 72.04 GB
Cluster size = 4 KB
Used space = 216 MB
Free space = 71.83 GB
Percent free space = 99 %

Volume fragmentation
Total fragmentation = 0 %
File fragmentation = 1 %
Free space fragmentation = 0 %

File fragmentation
Total files = 108
Average file size = 2 MB
Total fragmented files = 1
Total excess fragments = 6
Average fragments per file = 1.05

Pagefile fragmentation
Pagefile size = 0 bytes
Total fragments = 0

Folder fragmentation
Total folders = 13
Fragmented folders = 1
Excess folder fragments = 0

Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
Total MFT size = 12 MB
MFT record count = 136
Percent MFT in use = 1 %
Total MFT fragments = 3
(things in bold are by me)

This just reiterates my question tho:
What and where are those 108 Total files and/or 13 Total folders?

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Old 01-16-2008, 11:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Can I safely reformat an EMPTY partition to reclaim "used" memory?

Hmm. . .

If I'm not mistaken, the D drive may be a recovery drive. It holds the recovery files for your operating system in case ever need to restore your laptop back to factory specs. I'm really not sure if it's a good idea to reformat that partition unless you have a recovery disk or operating system install disk for your laptop.

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Old 01-16-2008, 09:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Can I safely reformat an EMPTY partition to reclaim "used" memory?

reformatting will not do any good. Some space from your hard drive is used for the file system. Take for instance my 320gb hard drive in my computer, after formatting I have approx 290ish GB of space. Thats just the way it works.

To answer your other question, yes you can just format the D: drive without affecting the C: drive. Physically they are the same drive, but logically to the computer they are completely separate drives. If you don't believe what I said above, format away I suppose.
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Can I safely reformat an EMPTY partition to reclaim "used" memory?

Pretty much no. It is a discrepancy so small that formatting the drive might not even guarantee that you reclaim that space.

My reccomendations for which folders to move in that other thread were just guesses as to what folders he commonly used to store data files. To clear up space on C: you can move any folders off of C: to D: that solely contain data files and not program files without affecting any programs or causing any problems. FYI.

That 192mb is dead and its never coming back :-P. Its probably being used as an index file for the deleted information. You see each partition, C: and D:, while both on the same hdd, have a different 'recycle' folder. When you delete a file you don't really delete it, really you just move it to this hidden recycle folder; which is independent for each partition. Even when you empty your recycle bin it does not actually delete it. Merely it says its deleted it, and when that space is needed it overwrites it. So that 192mb is probably just a hidden index file containing the old directories, (locations), and names of the deleted files in case you wanted to recover it. This is just part of the genius that is windows, (it really is genius, because if you know what your doing no file is ever really lost). But when it is needed it will be overwritten.
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