Inaccessible space on hard drive after format

  1212 21:02 02 Oct 07

I have a 250Gb external LaCie USB2 hard drive, originally FAT32 but re-formatted by me

(using the basic XP(SP2) facility, default allocation unit size (4096??)) to NTFS so as to

avoid the restriction on file sizes (I use it inter alia for Norton Ghost). It seemed to

work OK but a few weeks later I checked my drives to see if they needed defragmenting and

was suprised when the analysis said that the LaCie needed it - surpised because all I had

done was back up files and use Ghost so that everything should have been contiguous.

Windows de-frag showed a very large "free" area shortly after the beginning of the

disc,followed by my files. O&O Defrag gave more details, clusters 800800 to 841559 being

all colour coded light yellow = "reserved for MFT" and "empty" (whatever this all means!);

nearly all earlier & later clusters are all shown as "fragmented". I did another full

re-format but nothing changed.

When I first re-formatted, I did not trouble to delete all my files first since I believed

that to be one of the functions of a re-format. My impression, however, is that the area

now "reserved for MFT" and seemingly inaccessible for normal purposes, is about the size of

the Norton Ghost files on the disc prior to the first re-format.

I have the feeling that I have done something stupid. My only idea to date is to do yet

another re-format - this time for another allocation unit size - to see if that moves the

logjam. But I don't want to destroy my 31Gb of back-ups again unnecessarily!

I would be most grateful for any guidance/suggestions.

  DieSse 22:38 02 Oct 07

A note about MFTs click here

  1212 08:12 03 Oct 07

Apologies - I made a typographical error in my request for help: the "reserved for MFT" area should read "clusters 800800 to 8414559" (the latter erroneousely quoted as 841559).

Many thanks to DieSse for your contribution - I am on a learning curve here!!

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