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size on disk
Last modified: Monday, July 25, 2005 

Files are stored on the disk in what is called called clusters (a group of disk sectors). Size on disk refers to the amount of cluster allocation a file is taking up, compared to file size which is an actual byte count. The lowest cluster size for FAT32 is 1, so if the actual file only needs a small portion of the cluster, the size on disk for that file will reflect the entire cluster as being used. This is why when you check the properties tab of a file (using Microsoft Windows), you will usually see the size on disk size is larger than the file size.

See also cluster and file.

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Related Links

Windows XP Resource Kits 
Default Cluster Sizes for Volumes with Windows XP Professional File Systems.

related categories

Disk Drives

File Management

related terms

byte

cluster

disk

FAT

FAT12

FAT32

file


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