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Partition size/cluster size table needed

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by Alex Ethridge, Apr 23, 2004.

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  1. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    Partition size vs. cluster size.

    I am looking for an accurate partition size to cluster size table. I see a lot of tables on the web in various sites that come up in Google; but, I have decided that either they are all wrong or there is something about this I don't understand.

    Example: All of the tables I have seen show that a partition with 16K clusters can be 16-Gig to 32-Gig in size. That has to be wrong as I have a 60.8-Gig partition in front of me right now with 16K clusters on it.

    Now, before anyone suggests that my current 60-Gig partition has a user-customized cluster size, here are the facts: I have four such drives here all with 60-Gig partitions in four different machines. All were set up with Windows 98 boot disks from DOS mode using Microsoft FDisk and all have 16K clusters. I used no FDisk switches; I just accepted the default.

    I need to know the break-points in partition sizes to cluster sizes as I just got a 160-Gig drive and I may want some large partitions; however, I do not want to set up a partition and discover later that I could have made more efficient use of the space if I had just made it a fraction smaller. (This paragraph assumes a knowledge of what slack space is and why it is more or less based on partition size.)

    By the way, NTFS is not an option I will consider.
     
  2. RandyG

    RandyG

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  3. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    Running CHKDSK from Windows 98 DOS Mode or from WinNT DOS window yields the same result.

    Here is the result of CHKDSK for WinNT (Windows 2000). Please note that the terms "cluster size" and "allocation unit" refer to the same thing:
    • The type of the file system is FAT32.
      Volume ALEX_3 created 9/16/2003 1:31 AM
      Volume Serial Number is 4070-08F1
      Windows is verifying files and folders...
      Windows has checked the file system and found no problem.

      63,770,944 KB total disk space.
      12,288 KB in 35 hidden files.
      125,184 KB in 7,661 folders.
      46,664,880 KB in 147,843 files.
      16,968,560 KB are available.

      16,384 bytes in each allocation unit.
      3,985,684 total allocation units on disk.
      1,060,535 allocation units available on disk.
     
  4. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    Here are the CHKDSK outputs for the three partitions: It is strange that the cluster size for the 63-Gig partition is smaller than for the 62-Gig drive. So, there seems to be inconsistency here.

    What gives?

    Drive E =================================================

    The type of the file system is FAT32.
    Volume ALEX_3 created 9/16/2003 1:31 AM
    Volume Serial Number is 4070-08F1
    Windows is verifying files and folders...

    Windows has checked the file system and found no problem.
    63,770,944 KB total disk space.
    12,288 KB in 35 hidden files.
    125,184 KB in 7,661 folders.
    46,664,880 KB in 147,843 files.
    16,968,560 KB are available.

    16,384 bytes in each allocation unit.
    3,985,684 total allocation units on disk.
    1,060,535 allocation units available on disk.

    Drive K =================================================

    The type of the file system is FAT32.
    Volume ALEX3 created 4/24/2004 11:53 AM
    Volume Serial Number is 381D-1309
    Windows is verifying files and folders...
    0 percent completed.
    100 percent completed..
    File and folder verification is complete.
    Windows has checked the file system and found no problem.
    77,494,624 KB total disk space.
    77,494,592 KB are available.

    32,768 bytes in each allocation unit.
    2,421,707 total allocation units on disk.
    2,421,706 allocation units available on disk.

    Drive L =================================================

    The type of the file system is FAT32.
    Volume ALEX4 created 4/24/2004 12:35 PM
    Volume Serial Number is 2619-13F7
    Windows is verifying files and folders...
    0 percent completed.
    100 percent completed..
    File and folder verification is complete.
    Windows has checked the file system and found no problem.
    62,365,088 KB total disk space.
    62,365,056 KB are available.

    32,768 bytes in each allocation unit.
    1,948,909 total allocation units on disk.
    1,948,908 allocation units available on disk.
     
  5. RandyG

    RandyG

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    OK, I'm a little confused about your Drive E, which is the Win2k partition, yes?? Win2k is supposed to have a FAT32 limitation of being able utilise up to 32 GB properly, and if you want full access to all the partition, it should be formatted with NTFS.

    The other partitions seem to fit within the MS Parameters, so maybe that is the difference??

    Format and chkdsk tools in Win2k cannot cope with FAT32 partitions larger than 32 GB and will report them incorrectly. Maybe that is where the discrepancy lies??
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Actually, 2K/XP won't create/format a FAT32 volume larger than 32gigs, but they have no issues using FAT32 volumes of any size. CHKDSK for 2K/XP doesn't have any issue with large FAT partitions for me, I used to have a 120gig FAT32 drive on this 2K system, worked fine.
     
  7. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    Drive C is a 9-Gig Win2000 partition. Drive D is a one-Gig partition containing user-created data that is subject to change on a minute-by-minute basis. Drive E is long-term, conveniently-accessible storage.

    All partitions were created from a Windows 98 boot disk and the latest edition of FDisk from Microsoft. No custom parameters were used.

    Drives I, J and K are partitions on a new 160-Gig drive which is being prepared to take the place of the old disk (drives C, D, and E).

    I did a little experiment: I copied the entire contents of a partition containing 16K clusters to a partition containing 32K clusters. The slack on the source was 3.17%. The slack on the destination (32K clusters) was 6.67%. So, I figure I lose 3.5% of the total partition space when I change over to a drive with 32K clusters. This computes to 4.7 Gigs lost/unusable drive space on a 133-Gig partition, which is the proposed size of my new E drive.

    I think I would rather deal with the 4.7 Gigs of lost space than deal with an additional drive letter. There is also another choice. I could format the 133-Gig partition with the /Z:n switch and force 16K or even 8K clusters; but, the performance loss due to dealing with such a large FAT loaded into memory is undesirable.

    So, the most acceptable solution is the 32k Clusters on a 133-Gig partition.

    But, that still doesn't explain why I have partitions near 64-Gigs in size on three different machines here that decided to set themselves up with 16K clusters all on their own.
     
  8. RandyG

    RandyG

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    I'm stumped, sorry:eek:
     
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