January 26th, 2003, 07:43 PM
Formatting Disks w/W2G
Where'd It Go?
The whole purpose of this post is to explain why you do not see the entire size of your hard drive when formatting under W2000Pro.
Several times in the past, after converting a system to W2000Pro, i noticed that on the format i was not quite getting all the capacity of the physical drive. For instance, the last conversion was a 30-gig Maxtor, of which i only got 29.991 gig of formatted disk for C: This small loss of drive space has always been a mild source of wonderment for me until today when i decided to get deeper into the workings of W2G.
There is a management conversion available in W2G that is called "dynamic disk". On a regular disk, the partition table is located in a 64-byte section of the MBR, or the first section of the disk. A dynamic disk keeps additional information about disk layout in a "disk management database", which is located in the last 1-MB of the disk. This is why, under W2G when you format a disk the format program refuses to allow the entire disk to be formatted; it is saving space (a dynamic disk requires at least 1-MB) in the last portion for the disk management database, which is needed if you decide to convert the basic disk into a dynamic disk sometime in the future.
Caution: only W2000 can recognize dynamic disks, so if you have a dual-boot system, or a laptop, or several other situations are present with your computer, you will *not* want to convert a drive to a dynamic disk.
What can you do with a "Dynamic Disk"? You can create a simple volume, spanned volume, or striped volume, you can extend the size of a simple volume or spanned volume... and several other things.
Reference: Pg.#760, "MS Windows2000 Professional Expert Companion" (799 pgs.) by Craig Stinson and Carl Siechert. (Also has a training CDRom, and access to the author's email for questions not covered in the book or for letting them know you found something new.