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Trying to format hard drive

By mlkmgr ยท 6 replies
Feb 16, 2008
  1. i am attempting to assemble my system (C2D 4500, MSI mobo, 2GB ddr2 800, dvd rom (for now), and WD 160 GB HDD IDE.
    my problem is that i have the 160 in another tower attempting to format the drive.
    1. it only shows 149.05GB "unallocated" in disk management
    2. when i attempt to format, it asks how much i want to partition. how much??
    3. once i do partition, what do i do with the rest of the space remaining??

    thanks in advance to anyone that can help!!
  2. tuant

    tuant TS Booster Posts: 197

    A 160GB hard drive will have a formatted capacity of approximately 149-150GB. This is due to the fact that computers calculate capacity based on 1024 bytes/kilobyte, while the hard drive calculation is based on 1000 instead of 1024. Hard drive manufacturers define a megabyte as 1,000,000 bytes and a gigabyte as 1,000,000,000 bytes, which is a decimal (base 10) measurement. Computers define a megabyte as 1,048,576 bytes and a gigabyte as 1,073,741,824 bytes. These are binary (base 2) measurements. This is why the two different industries will report different capacities for the same drive. The number of bytes is the same, but a different number of bytes is used to make a megabyte and a gigabyte.

    You can either partition all of it, part of it, some it. All depends on you. If you partition part of it, the remaining will be unallocated. You can allocated this and use it as if it was a second *drive and store all your data.

    I think I answered this above
  3. mlkmgr

    mlkmgr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    thanks for the quick response!! so is it ok to partition all of the drive and have no issues?? also, does it matter if i choose the "quick format" option?? i am installing a second HDD once i get this new rig up and running. thanks again!!
  4. tuant

    tuant TS Booster Posts: 197

    I was about to say to at least format half the drive and use the other half for data just in case your OS fails, you at least have the data. But since you installing a second HD then just partition all of the 160GB. The difference between a regular format and quick format is that a regular format will check for bad sectors on the drive using chkdsk commands (takes longer to format) Both methods erase data on the drives.
  5. mlkmgr

    mlkmgr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    thanks again for the timely response!! i will use the regular format and simply partition all of it. as for installing a second drive, does it matter if it is larger or smaller than the original?? thanks again....
  6. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,094

    1. thats about the right size of space available for a 160gb hdd.. 160gb just means 160,000,000,000bytes as opposed to 167,772,160bytes, but other factors come into play that makes the actual space available different.. file tables, reserved sections for the system, bad sectors etc, but its more to do with retail size vs actual size.. and hence why you "seem" to loose a percentage for it. Look it up by googleing hdd sizes or having a search around this forum...
    unallocated means that it hasn't been formated yet, so you can't really use it to store data.

    2. you can set the whole 149gb as one partition if you want, effectively making it one full hdd, or you can split it into smaller sizes with how many sections you want your hdd to be in. Think of a apple pie.. do you want to have it all in one peice or cut it in different sizes to share? :). there are advantages to having it in partitions (eg: 40/40/69gb) but there are also advantages having it just 149gb.. again, have a search around or ask for more info..

    3. after you do one partition, if you decide to say do your first partition 40gb (eg. for windows) you can make the rest of the 109gb space a second partition for data.. however if you max out the space and use the whole 149gb, then there's obviously no spare space to make a new one (or make a usefull size out of it), so leave it be..

    edit: wow.. missed the replies :p
    second drive is up to you.. this day and age you can get a 500gb hdd dirt cheap.. most people have bigger than, since thats where they store the bulk of their stuff or use as backup....
  7. tuant

    tuant TS Booster Posts: 197

    No it does it matter. If you have a IDE hard drive and a sata HD, preferably I would install my operating system on the sata drive b/c the transfer rate is much faster. If both of your drives are IDE, make sure you set the jumpers correctly. The HD for your operating system should be set to MASTER and your secondary HD to SLAVE
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