|Test the hard drive Windows is booted from. |
See Response 1.
"Manufacturers use 1000MB = 1GB. In actuality it is 1024MB = 1GB."
Computer bioses and operating systems always use the binary method of expressing the size of the drives.
1,024 bytes per kb, 1,024 kb per mb, 1,024 mb per gb, 1,024 gb per tb (tetrabyte).
1mb = 1,048, 576 bytes
1 gb = 1,073, 741,824 bytes
1 tb = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes.
The total number of bytes on the drive is the same, or extremely close to the same, whichever way the size is expressed.
"250GB, no partitions."
Partitions = the number of blocks of data that have been organized by the operating system's partitioning software so data can be stored on it and the data be recognized by the operating system, after the partition has also been formatted. The hard drive may not have multiple partitions, but it has one - if it didn't have any partitions you would see no data at all, and the drive would not show up in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
As I said in response 1, all brand name systems that I know of have two partitions on the orginal hard drive for their orginal software installation, but sometimes the brand name installation hides the second partition from the user in Windows. Either that, or the second partition is visible in Windows but you are not allowed to access it.
In either case, the second partition can be seen by the XP CD when you boot from it, and in Disk Management in XP (if it has been hidden, it's an unknown partition type there)
~ 250gb decimal as expressed by the manufactuer divided by 1.073, 741,824 = ~ 232.8128.... (binary) gb
That's the "raw" size of the entire drive's space.
When you software partition and format the drive partition so you can use it in a operating system, that uses up a small percentage of that "raw" space on the drive that cannot be used by the user to store data on, so the size in Windows is a bit smaller than the "raw" size the bios sees.
Software partitioning a drive partition and then formatting that partition are done in XP (2000 and up) in one step, rather than two as they were in ME and previous.