Question about external hard drive capacity and copying files?

I have two 2 TB external hard drives, both the same brand just different models. I formatted the second drive and then copy and pasted all the folders from the first hard drive to that one. When it was the finished both hard drives were showing different used capacities. The one I copied the files from says 747 GB free and the HDD copied the files to says 780 GB Free? The total capacity for both says 1.81 TB. In this case aren't they both supposed to be the same?

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  • Shadow
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    The first drive may have the recovery option enabled which basically stores recovery information of the drive in a hidden folder named 'System Volume Information'. Every time you modify files on the drive, this folder will increase in size. It will decrease in size once the recovery point expires or if you delete the recovery points. It's normally not possible to delete the folder itself without deleting the recovery points first.

  • 2 months ago

    hiled writing to the external drive, during the copy process, the computer need to defrag the data.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Try emptying the Recycle Bin on the first drive then check free spaces again. They still may not be the same because if you use anything later than XP, there surely will be system-generated folders you won't have access to in the first drive.

  • Norm F
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You have not copied the partitions to do with system recovery etc. They are hidden partitions.

    To copy these you will have to clone the drive using suitable software such as EaseUs to do backup

     If the drive you are copying from is a bootable drive then the one you are cloning to will also be bootable.  So do you want all that extra?

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  • Lv 7
    2 months ago

    it depends on how they were formatted. the default size of "slots" has changed over the years, and bigger slots will make it faster for copying larger files, but it also takes up more space. you can always reformat it to change the size, but it will wipe the data.

  • 2 months ago

    Chances are the difference in then numbers is due to HIDDEN FILES.

    To check, "Open" each drive and select all the files (select first file, press SHIFT and select last file) and see if the files are equal.

    If they are then the difference is definitely HDs working files (hidden).

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