I find this rather odd. When I bought this hdd 10 years ago I swear that it was only 18 or 18.5gb. Then again I did have to RMA the drive and as far as I know they sent me a new 18gb drive. I had used the drive for about 7 years not noticing anything different. I've reformat it a number of times and the last I had used it was about 3 years ago. The model number is WDC WD800JB-00JJC0.
Even a few days ago when I tried to use for a new build, during fdisk it was only showing the drive to be around 10-11gb. I figured that this was because of all of the times I had reformat it. Actually I did it twice and I thought it had gone down to closer to 10gb. I didn't have a full copy of XP and tried to start with Win98 and upgrade up to XP but for some reason I couldn't get much past installing Win98 even on this old Gateway. I decided to forget using this drive and I was about to throw it out.
Today I decided that since I was going to sell the Gateway once my new build is finished I would try throwing the drive into it. When the PC booted up and I opened My Computer I was surprised to see it say 74gb! I used Windows to reformat it one last time to get rid of the failed attempt at installing Win98. I searched online to see if this has happened to others but I must be alone. If I had known this was an 80gb drive I would've stored all of my music on it instead of the 40gb Maxtor which ended up too full.
Is it possible that when Western Digital made the 18gb drives they were functionally an 80gb but not until a certain motherboard chipset was on the market? Is it because of XP or some new file format, even though when I just format it the drive was still FAT32 and the capacity didn't change when I made it NTFS? Or is it more likely I've had an 80gb hdd this whole time and I somehow didn't pay enough attention to realize how big it really was?
I know I didn't accidentally swap this hdd with my girlfriend because it still had WinME on it before I tried upgrading it the first time a week ago and failed!
The 18 GB were entirely different drives with different model numbers, there is no way WD used the WD800JB (80 GB) for 18 GB ones.
They would however have replaced a faulty 18 GB drive with an 80 GB one if that was the smallest one in production at time of replacement.