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Old 12-07-2003, 06:17 AM   #1
Nire
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Default Question for people who know more about SATA drives than me...

I am building a computer witha friend, and we got a 160GB SATA drive for the system. Now when we put it in and formated it, the windows install program said the harddrive had 131000 (not exact but the 131 is the most important) MB available as useable space.

Now I would think that that's a 120GB drive, not a 160. I know nothing about SATA drives tho, so I dunno if something's different than IDE drives.

Any advice before I drive back to the store and bitch them out.
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Old 12-07-2003, 10:50 AM   #2
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Actually, when the box says 160gb, it is really more like 148gb. It is 160,000,000,000 bytes, that is how they get away with calling it 160gb, but it is really 148gb. If you are using win95/98/98se, there is a problem that incorrectly displays the drive size on drives larger than 64gb. Microsoft did release a fix, but I have no clue where it is. My 160 came with software that fixed it. Hope this helps some.
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Old 12-07-2003, 01:02 PM   #3
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They didn't lie.

A "gigabyte" is one billion bytes. So, your HD has 160,000,000,000 bytes, as Dev mentioned. But this isn't actually what counts. When computers process memory they go by binary, that is powers of 2, notation. So, your computer will measure it in terms of 2^30 (I believe), whch is considerably more than a billion. So, when you divide 160 billion by that you'll end up with your 131, or 148, or whatever.

The reason for this is as follows. Long ago in the early ages of computing, the kilobyte was the major unit of memory. It was commonly known as 1024 (or 2^10) bytes, but someone realized that's awfully close to 1000. A thousand is an easier number to comprehend, when you're trying to market complex computer products to clueless corporate executives, so it became standard to use 1000 bytes for a kilobyte. After all the prefix "kilo-" means "thousand".

Megabytes, which literally mean "million bytes" came shortly after. Again, this is really 1,048,576 bytes, but that's awfully close to a million. Also, since "mega" means "million", and to talk about MEGAbytes sounds so impressive, that was adopted as standard. Not many problems ensued for a while, though...

Gigabyte hard drives became reality. "Giga" literally means "billion", and of course that's what everyone connotates it with. But, the binary multiple (2^30) is really 1,073,741,824 bytes, about 7.3% more than a billion. Not a horribly large difference but it's enough!

The proper notation are as follows:

(2^10) or 1024 bytes - kibibyte; not kilobyte
(2^20) or 1048576 bytes - mebibyte; not megabyte
(2^30) or 1073741824 bytes - gibibyte; not gigabyte
(2^40) or ~1099511628000 bytes - tebibyte; not terabyte

The "-bi-" part of the prefix stands for "binary".

Ok, lesson is over. There will be a quiz!
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Old 12-08-2003, 07:18 AM   #4
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Actually, I am aware of the bytes, megabytes issue. That wasn't the problem though ( I really doubt they'd label a hard drive with 130 GB of usable space as 160 GB. The drive has more like 156 GB of usable space or something in that neighbourhood)

The real problem, if anyone is interested, was with the windows adressing issues for drives over 137GB in size. It doesn't recongnizethem as bigger than that unless you install SP1 and a registry patch. So after doing that, the extra 20GB appeared no problem.
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Old 12-09-2003, 06:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nire
Actually, I am aware of the bytes, megabytes issue. That wasn't the problem though ( I really doubt they'd label a hard drive with 130 GB of usable space as 160 GB. The drive has more like 156 GB of usable space or something in that neighbourhood)

The real problem, if anyone is interested, was with the windows adressing issues for drives over 137GB in size. It doesn't recongnizethem as bigger than that unless you install SP1 and a registry patch. So after doing that, the extra 20GB appeared no problem.
Glad you figgered it out... was just about to post a link to the fix!
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Old 12-22-2003, 06:53 AM   #6
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*slings poop at Trech*
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