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Windows XP Partitioning Question - 8 MB gone?

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October 7, 2002 9:17:44 PM

Hey all,
I'm really curious about this. I recently installed a second hard drive (as a slave, simply because all it's for is extra storage, at least at this point). Anyway, it is virtually identical to my primary drive (aside from a cache difference which shouldn't be an issue). The drives are also exactly the same size. Here's the weird part - I noticed that my primary drive was reading as 8 MB less than my secondary drive. I'm reinstalling Windows XP (not because of this - I wanted to do a clean install), and it reads it as the right size (with the full amount of space), but no matter what I do, when I create a new partition, it always limits it to 8 MB less than the drive capacity. Does this have something to do with the boot system? (Just for clarity, this space is available on the other [non-boot] drive).

Thanks,
Shaun
October 7, 2002 10:55:45 PM

Odd... did you try setting up the current secondary drive as the master and partitioning it as a master HD to see what happens? BTW, what drives (brand & model) are we talking about here?


<font color=red><b><i>You want WHAT on the [-peep-] CEILING?!</i></b></font color=red> -Michelangelo
October 7, 2002 11:15:30 PM

Heya. Thanks for the reply. They're both Western Digital 100 GB hard drives (WD1000's). The only difference is the master has an 8 MB cache whereas the slave has a 2 MB one, but that shouldn't make any actual size difference (and they read the same capacity even - it's just the partition size that's forced to be smaller). And nope - I haven't tried that (but I don't really want to mess - it works fine like this - I just want to know why it's doing it).

Thanks,
Shaun
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October 8, 2002 12:17:46 AM

According to WD specs, those two drives indeed have exactly identical capacities. Again, odd. Could be that WinXP is reserving an extra 8MB for boot code & stuff after the MBR tables (the first sector on the HD), but I doubt that. After all, you can install XP (upgrade) on existing partitions, so XP must be able to boot without any 8MB extra.

*Shrugs*
I suppose the missing 8MB is just some XP mystery.


<font color=red><b><i>You want WHAT on the [-peep-] CEILING?!</i></b></font color=red> -Michelangelo
October 8, 2002 4:44:40 AM

Ive seen something familiar...
when doing a format from the windows 2000 install CD, often it leaves behind 8Mb, even when you select the full capacity to format. Think it only happens for the NTFS file system.

Its not too much of an issue to me. Whats 8Mb in my 80Gb drive? 0.01% of its capacity.
Big whizz LOL
Besides if i ever get to the point where i find i really need that extra 8mb then thats the point i should be looking for a much bigger drive!!!


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October 8, 2002 7:11:26 PM

I had the same issue on my 2 WD800JB drives. As a matter of fact, when I first partitioned the drive, it was showing 76.** gigs instead of the full 80. I'm using FAT32 and using them over raid0.
October 8, 2002 10:19:28 PM

no... thats something different, and quite normal.
Its to do with the way a 'Gb' is counted. The drive manufacturers measure 1Gb as 1,000Mb and so on. But windows and most other apps measure 1Gb as 1024Mb.
So a 80Gb drive appears to be only 76.
And you should also subtract some for the boot record, FAT tables, formatting etc.

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October 9, 2002 5:00:12 AM

Not to worry, it's normal for Win XP, it's a portion of the HDD set aside to load start-up files when installing Win XP.

It will only do this on the Primary HDD, and 8megs is only a drop in the bucket considering the size of most HDD these days...

<font color=red><b>We all love disassembling things to see how it works,
but who wants to put it back together again?
October 9, 2002 12:18:54 PM

Yeah its Wins XP using it during the install >> not sure what exactly though

<font color=purple> "Overclocking is like jumping traffic lights - theres awlays a bit of slack"</font color=purple>
October 10, 2002 1:12:25 AM

I looked this up a while back. The 8MB is used to store partition information. No extra partitions, no loss of those 8MB.

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October 10, 2002 2:26:23 AM

Thanks for the response all. That makes a lot more sense now. It's not like the 8 megs is a big deal - just wanted to know why more than anything.

Shaun
October 10, 2002 11:16:19 PM

Sorry it took me so long to get back, things have gotten busy.

[no... thats something different, and quite normal.
Its to do with the way a 'Gb' is counted. The drive manufacturers measure 1Gb as 1,000Mb and so on. But windows and most other apps measure 1Gb as 1024Mb.
So a 80Gb drive appears to be only 76.]

Before my recent change to windowsXP, I dual booted with win98 and linux. When checking the drive capacity under those conditions, the drive capacity read would match the drive capacity stated. Perhaps now that I'm only using WinXP, it shows the 76.** for linux reads a GB as 1000MB rather than the 1024?
October 10, 2002 11:38:41 PM

Its possible... Then again, I would not be suprised if Windoze XP was squirreling away capacity to do nefarious deeds. :smile:

<b><font color=red>He who bargains with a dragon is either a fool or a corpse.</font color=red></b>
October 12, 2002 3:08:49 AM

HAHAHAHA.....microsoft being sneaky? No way, I won't believe that! LOL
!