A File Size vs Size on the Disk: The Best Guide

File Size vs Size on the Disk

It is a fact that there is a significant difference between the actual size and the file size in a disk. We notice the size of a file by looking at its properties and then the same file’s size on the disk. We can find that there is a difference between a file size vs size on the disk. Therefore, we can discuss in detail a file size vs size on the disk. This is as follows:

What is the size of a file?

To understand the difference between a file size vs size on the disk, we need to know about the file size first. To know about the size of a file, we should select the file first then right-click on it. Then you have to go to the properties. Here you can see the actual size of the file. It is represented by the unit bytes. It depends upon how much the file is loaded. It is the actual ‘size’ of a file.

Sometimes we have a similar problem which is Volmgr.sys. It is a type of volume manager driver file that is also counted as a Win64 EXE file.

What is the file size on the disk?

When we say the file size on the disk, it indicates that how much storage space the file requires in the hard disk drive. As a result, when the file is stored in any storage device like a disk, it will take some more space than its actual size. As a result, there will be a clear difference in file size vs size on the disk.

Reasons behind the difference in a file size vs size on the disk

size vs size on the disk
  • Increase in size of a file when stored in disk

There are some reasons for which the size of a file changes when it is on a disk. The simple answer is it will depend upon how the file is stored exactly in the storage device. Therefore the size of a file is not necessarily the same as the actual size of the file. Rather, it will depend upon the address, or the file’s path of storage is somehow important.

In a different storage system, the cluster size will be different. Hence, the same file goes to different storage clusters. Now, the size of the file on disk will be different. However, it is not a big difference in file size vs size on the disk. However, a little difference in the file size will be there. If we store a file of size1KB in a 32 KB cluster of a file system, then the file with 1KB size will be stored in the disk as a file of size 32 KB.

  • Decrease in file size when stored in disk

Similarly, on rare occasions, the file size can be decreased when stored in the disk drive. It is an exception, and it can be caused by the auto compression of your PC’s Operating System. Here, a compressed drive can result in the difference in file size vs size on the disk.

  • The increase in file size vs size on the disk due to shortcut and hardlinks

The difference in the file size could be there due to shortcuts or hard links. In a file system, if any duplicate file is created, the file system will make a shortcut to indicate the two files separately. It results in two different file shortcuts pointing at the same file. However, the space the file takes will be more than its actual space.

Instances when the difference in file size vs size in the disk is huge

In some PCs, mainly in the PC with a Windows operating system, the storage disk space is divided into small clusters. Each cluster is known as units. When you store a certain file, then some additional small files will also be stored with this file inside the cluster units. Some of the additional small files that are stored with the actual file will result in wasting the storage of the disk. 

As you store more files, these unwanted small files will go with them. Hence, they will result in wasting of storage space in the disk. As a result, there will be a huge difference in size between a file size vs size on the disk. It will be more visible when the cluster size is large and stored small files are lower in size. Here the wastage of disk storage is more.

Method to decrease the difference in file size vs size on the disk

To avoid the wastage of disk storage space, you need to decrease the difference in file size vs size on the disk. Effective utilization can help you out to reduce the size of a file on disk. The first step you need to follow is to reduce the cluster size. Normally the size of a cluster is around 4 KB, and for bigger files like games, movies, etc., the cluster size will be at least 32 KB or more. If your PC does not have a cluster size like this, change it in the mentioned way.

In a Windows PC, to change the disk cluster size, you need a disk management tool. This tool will help you to reduce the cluster size allocation for your PC.

Conclusion

We can say that the file size can be increased or decreased when it is in the disk. There are many reasons for it. Those are discussed above. However, we can decrease the difference between these two files by adjusting our PC.

FAQs

Q: Is there any possibility of a size difference between an actual file and the file stored on a disk?

Ans: Yes, the disk’s file is higher in size than the actual file. But the difference in size is always possible.

Q: Is the file size stored in the disk can be lower than the actual file?

Ans: Due to disk compression, the file stored in a disk can have a smaller size than the actual file.

Q: Is it possible to decrease the size difference when a file is inside a disk?

Ans: Yes, it is possible to decrease in size difference.

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