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HP PCs - Size of Disk Drive Does Not Match Specifications (Windows 7, Vista)

This document applies to HP computers with Windows 7 or Windows Vista operating system.
HP computers that come with Windows 7 or Windows Vista preinstalled appear to have a hard drive smaller than what is stated in the product specifications, documentation, or what is stated on the box. Windows appears to report a smaller hard drive capacity because it shows information about one partition on the hard drive at a time and there are two commonly used reporting systems for binary data.
Understanding hard drive partitions and space usage in Windows 7 and Vista computers
HP computers with Windows Vista have hard drives that contain two partitions. The first partition contains space that is usable. This partition is usually the C: drive and may be labeled HP or COMPAQ. The second partition contains system recovery information and is labeled RECOVERY or FACTORY_IMAGE.
HP computers with Windows 7 have hard drives that contain a third partition labeled SYSTEM. This partition is protected space used by Windows.
For more information on a given topic, click the heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.

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