Question Is there a problem with this drive?

Cowgoesmoo2

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Oct 12, 2014
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I opened up an aging HDD and I swear, I saw a glimpse of a bunch of files.

Then, as the connection is flimsy (if I pull the cable upwards the drive loses connection), it disconnected almost immediately, possibly because I touched it or something, but when it reconnected showed nothing.

I've done an error check on the drive and see no problems. The connection is stable, yet I see no files at all.
Currently 96GB of 111 GB are free, although it's a 120 GB hard drive.

I'm questioning if I was seeing things when I first opened up the drive. I suspect there are actually files that I can't see, I am so certain I saw a bunch of files and folders listed the first second I opened it up and don't remember cleaning this drive out anyway.

There are no drive errors apparently, but the fact that about 17 GB are being used up out of the already 'reduced' 111 GB makes me suspect this.

I made a test text file and it exists fine. No other files show, though. No hidden files.
Is it possible there's an issue with this drive I'm not seeing or not really?
 

Phillip Corcoran

Titan
Moderator
There's nothing wrong with the capacity of the drive as reported by the OS.

A 120GB drive will show as only 111GB capacity when it's installed, owing to drive manufacturers expressing a Megabyte as equal to 1000 kilobytes whereas the OS treats a Megabyte as equal to 1024 kilobytes.

It's been argued about for decades but no drive manufacturer wants to be the first to change the way they label the capacity.
 

USAFRet

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A "120GB" drive being reported by Windows as 111GB is absolutely normal and expected.
Simply a difference in reporting units. There is no data in that 9GB diff, because there is no difference.


Also, what is your overall goal for this drive? A 120GB HDD is 15+ years old.
I absolutely wouldn't trust it for anything more indepth than pagefile location.
 

Cowgoesmoo2

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I'm concerned about recovering lost files. Maybe I saw things when I claimed it listed a large number of files off the first half second.

I don't know why I would have left it empty other than perhaps I was already previously concerned that it was a risky drive, basically. I know that they aren't ever the 128 gb capacity, but mainly I mean the drive shows up as already having space occupied. beyond 111 GB, which is not something I have ever seen.

It's not actually 15 years old though, but definitely 7-9. Could you explain the risks of that to me? I thought hard drives were pretty fine aging.
 

USAFRet

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7-9 years old - 2012.
120GB HDD's haven't been sold or manufactured since the early 2000's.
While you may not have been using it...it is certainly older that 2012.

Old drives just sitting around can age. Spindle bearing lube can dry out, etc.
 

Cowgoesmoo2

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I connected it, I THINK I saw a glimpse of a bunch of files that you might expect to see populate, and then, because the connection is very faulty and flimsy it disconnected a split second later. If you pull the cable a certain direction, the drive disconnects.

No, I don't even know if the files exist for sure. I just see that the drive is actually occupied in terms of space and find it very weird. And I can't confirm that beforehand, I had ever moved everything off of it.
I CAN create new files on it right now however and they stay there.
So I'm not sure if what I'm saying I think I saw was real, but would like to confirm 100% because I see no reason to lose the files if they exist.
 

USAFRet

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Seeing a list of files is NOT having the actual files.

It's like having the Table of Contents of a book, but is the rest of the book...the pages, the data... actually there?

Fix the connection issue first.
 

Cowgoesmoo2

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Don't know what you mean about seeing a list of files. Maybe you read into my wording too much, I mean seeing the files in the hard drive. Like ANY files you would normally see?
Well I mean I think the data should be there? Because there is a weirdly large amount of space being taken up, even beyond 111GB. And I can't fix the connection issue, but it's fine if I just keep the cable untouched. I don't know how to and really shouldn't use a solder to fix it.

My question is really more about if what I'm suggesting is going on makes any sense though? That it could show up at first then disappear. Or perhaps I was seeing things. Hopefully someone has an idea how unusual it might be for me to see so much space taken up but not see the files.

Let me resummarize this
Its capacity from its properties is 111GB.
But it has 15 GB of used space, leaving some 96 free. I don't see a single file. No idea what's going on.
 
A 120GB drive will show as only 111GB capacity when it's installed, owing to drive manufacturers expressing a Megabyte as equal to 1000 kilobytes whereas the OS treats a Megabyte as equal to 1024 kilobytes.
They're labeling megabyte as 1 million bytes (GB as 1 billion bytes). Windows counts a MB as 1024^2 = 1.049 million bytes, a GB as 1.074 billion bytes. 120 billion bytes / (1024^3) = 111.76.

It's been argued about for decades but no drive manufacturer wants to be the first to change the way they label the capacity.
It actually started out the other way round. All drive manufacturers labeled the drives as MB = 1.049 million bytes. In the 1990s, one manufacturer (Maxtor I think) started labeling their drives as MB = 1 million bytes. Everyone else objected, but there's no legal standard for this so they couldn't do anything. One by one they gave in and switched to MB = 1 million bytes, GB = 1 billion bytes. IBM was the last holdout. They continued labeling their drives with MB = 1024^2 bytes until the 2000s.

If time travel were invented, the idiot marketer who came up with the "MB = 1 million bytes" idea wold be on my short list of people to go back and assassinate, right there with Hitler.
 

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