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Free space magic in Microsoft Surface Tablet, 32 is 16 and 64 is 45

Posted at 06 November 2012 17:28 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

If you’re planning to buy a Surface tablet from Microsoft and you care about the storage space on it then you should be warned. Microsoft has a page on their website that states how many free space you’ll have when you buy a Surface tablet. There are two versions, a 32 GB version and a 64 GB version.

But when you buy the 32 GB version you’ll only get 16 GB of space and when you purchase the 64 GB version there will only be 45 GB of storage space available. While it’s normal for a computer device to have some of the storage taken up by the operating system, on the 32 GB version you lose 50% of the original space, on the 64 GB version you lose 30%.

The space is used, according to Microsoft, for Windows recovery tools (5GB) and Windows RT, Office and built-in apps. You already loose 10% due to the fact that Microsoft advertises the storage space in a decimal system, while the tablet itself uses a binary system which means that 1GB advertised equals to 0.93 GB actual space on the tablet.

Of course on laptops and desktops also some of the freespace is taken up by the operating system and sometimes by pre-installed software. But then it’s usually no more than 5% of the available storage (e.g. 10 GB on a 500 GB HDD).

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There are 6 comments

BradWright
MyCE Member
Posted on: 06 Nov 12 17:51
    So how does this compare with Apple and Android devices with the same amount of built in storage? And how would they compare if the Surface didn't have Office installed on it, or the other devices did?
    ivid
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 06 Nov 12 21:43
      A new 64 GB iPad reports ~ 57 GB free. A 32 GB iPad reports ~ 28.5 GB free.
      Part of that discrepancy is the 1024 bytes per KB factor used by marketing.
      On Surface, 64 GB is also 58 GB but with nothing installed !

      So to answer it doesn't compare well to iOS, can't speak for Android. iOS doesn't have 5 GB alone for recovery and I don't think Office takes most of the other 8 GB either. So its looking like it takes at least 10 GB for Windows and the other built in apps, maybe more. What a joke. I bet there's a C:i386 folder on the HDD
      TSJnachos117
      MyCE Senior Member
      Posted on: 07 Nov 12 05:46
        I know Operating Systems aren't exactly simple, but that much space seems excessive, especially on a tablet. Windows XP only takes 1.5 gigs. Office 2000 requires maybe ~200 Megabytes, depending the the specific edition you install, as well the components you install. To tell me that Microsoft couldn't reduce the space required by mobile versions of Windows/Office to less than 16 gigs is ridiculous.

        Of course I've felt that same why about Nero for years, yet they still have ridiculous system requirements for a program geared towards something as simple as sending burning commands to a disk burner.
        olyteddy
        Senior Moderator
        Posted on: 07 Nov 12 07:27
          They probably also have a 'Hiberfil.sys' for the SSD contents...That would explain half of it...
          Mr. Belvedere
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 07 Nov 12 15:20
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by TSJnachos117
            To tell me that Microsoft couldn't reduce the space required by mobile versions of Windows/Office to less than 16 gigs is ridiculous.
            Much has changed since Windows CE.
            dan_fuerth
            New Member
            Posted on: 07 Nov 12 18:00
              Right now the most interesting feature of Windows 8 ( asides from all the crap) is to have a portable Windows Installation as I use Puppy Linux on an 8 gig flash drives are my Computer store on all the repair workstations . The Windows 8 TO GO version needs a massive 32 gig flash drive so since we plug in an our all the time to boot into customers systems, how on earth could I run my store on 32 gig flash drives LOL .We have a standard 200 meg ISO image that we load unto the 8 gig flash drives we use. Copying Windows 8 To GO would be a pain in the ass as we go through about 20 flash drives a month dead LOL since we have a lot of computers coming in from charity groups as well, and we use on older systems just a Cdrom Image of Puppy Linux or even older systems Damn Small Linux on Cdrom

              So these portable Linux installs make our life much easier for computer repairs, as we just boot from usb or cdrom . Before this was a pain in the ass ( years ago) When knopix linux came out I jumped right in and started using it.

              as of Right now we rely exclusively on Puppy Linux ( Slacko Puppy)

              The biggest problem when repairing a PC is hooking up a drive to the same os you are trying to fix to back up as you are doomed to any crap in that os such as the infamous and virtually impossible to remove Brontok as soon as you hook up a flash drive, an sd card , removable usb drive brontok will auto copy itself to the new drives.

              We have become experts at brontok at my store. We added some custom batch commands ran in the Puppy liinux terminal and boot into the system with the flash drive and run our tools. Since Brontok infects running critical processes ( Fail on Microsoft!!) We always boot the machine with puppy linux flash drives to look for Brontok as that thng is a pain in the ass to remove.

              I have no idea how microsoft allows any modifications to running critical processes like CSRSS.exe by Brontok as even the local ADMIN does not have access to it!! FAIL MICROSOFT JUST PURE FAIL!!!!


              Back to the point no tool out there commercial or free can fully remove brontok.
              What I recomend to less experienced users is I install Mallwarebytes or Spybot.

              The problem with Brontok is it's spreads over any removable drives so SD cards from cameras get infected easily and on an on!!

              I hate brontok!! However with my tools and Puppy Linux we can get rid of it by asking the customers to bring in any removable drives or sd cards so we clean them too. We kept getting the same people back with the same problem until we forced the customer to bring in all removable media.

              Windows 8 Go TO is a major ass FAIL! TO BIG

              Don't even get me started on the NX bit that you need to have to install Windows 8 BIG ASS FAIL!!!

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