Does XP Format the entire hard drive?

January 12, 2011 at 08:09:58
Specs: Windows XP
I just over wrote my entire 80 Gig hard drive with Wipe Drive 6. I reinstalled XP using the re-install disc that came with the computer. When I reached the point where I had to format, I noticed that the partition had 76,316 MB. I was surprised because the hard drive is 80 gigs. What accounts for the missing 3,684 megabytes? Are they used up somehow by the Wipe Drive 6 program (I did have to register) or were they used up by the initial downloading of the XP operating system? or a combination of both? I would appreciate hearing form someone who has an idea. I did format the hard drive's 76,316 MB of free space and finished installing XP and it works like new. I'm just very curious what might have been recorded on those 3,684 MB of space that was not free.

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January 12, 2011 at 08:24:03
This question gets asked quite often. The difference in capacity is due to how a GB is determined. HDD manufacturers consider 1GB to be 1000MB. Windows considers 1GB to be 1024MB. The conversion is roughly 0.931, so 80GB x 0.931 = 74.48GB. I'm surprised that you're actually seeing more than that amount.

I'm curious why you used Drive Wipe? All you had to do was boot off the XP disc & use it's built-in partitioning & formatting tools.

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January 12, 2011 at 08:35:52
Thanks for the info. I had no idea that there were two different ways to calculate the number of megabytes in a gig. The reason I over wrote the entire hard drive was because it came from a retired office computer with lots of sensitive information on it such as credit card numbers, names, addresses, etc. I just wanted a clean hard drive that would be safe to leave in the computer even if I dispose of it someday. Is it possible that some XP information or program information from Wipe Drive 6 occupied some of the megabytes that I thought were unaccounted for? By the way, Wipe Drive 6 worked quickly and did what it was suppopsed to do, and I can't praise it enough.

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January 12, 2011 at 08:43:45
Your reasoning for wiping the hard drive is the first in a while here that actually made sense.

I am also curious as to why the number is higher than expected.

Perhaps the program accessed the spare clusters that are normally hidden and used to replace bad clusters when needed.

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January 12, 2011 at 09:01:35
I just remembered something about Wipe Drive 6. When it counted the number of megebytes on the hard drive, the total was over 80,000. I wish I had written the number down, but I do remember that it counted over 80,000 but less than 81,000. I sort of remember 80,500. Thank you folks for your insights.

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