How much disk space do I have?


I recently added a new Samsung SP0411N hard drive, because my old HD had failed.  I have a Packard Bell Platinum 4200, running Windows 98 SE and Amibios Easy Setup Utilities version 1.16.  I was advised that the motherboard wouldn't take more than 32 GB of the 40 GB drive, so a jumper was used to make the computer see it as a 32 GB drive.  I'm unsure though how much space I have because:

1) When going into the BIOS it says I have 33822 MB.  If there are 1024 MB to a GB, then 33822 / 1024 = 33 MB, which is more than the 32 GB??

2) When I formatted the disk using Format from my Windows '98 Startup Disk, it said I have 38,192.06 MB total disk space.  38,192.06 / 1024 = 37.3 MB.  If the drive is limited to 32 MB, why does it say 37.3 MB?

3) When I select the Properties of my HD in Windows '98 SE, it displays the capacity as 37.2 GB, again greater than 32 MB.

4) When I select the Properties of the Recycle Bin, the second tab (drive C) says that the Size of drive is 1.99 MB.  Why is this so low?

Could anyone please give any clarification on the above points?

Here is the information about my HD from the BIOS:

IDE Device Configuration:



Write Precompensation:


Maximum Capacity:
33822 MB

LBA Mode:

Block Mode:

Fast Programmed I/O Modes:

32 Bit Transfer Mode:

Thanks in Advance,

Who is Participating?
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The BIOS string identifiers it -- it's an AMI (American Megatrends) BIOS, not an Award BIOS.   So the issue is not the Award problem.

The Windows drivers are obviously seeing the drive just fine; and you can safely use it like this.   The BIOS doesn't do any disk accesses beyond the boot sector, so that's not an issue.   Some earlier DOS-based disk utilities would have issues here; but as long as you're just using Windows you're fine.

I would, as I said earlier, remove the capacity-limiting jumper from the drive and see if that makes the disparity go away.
Who told you that the motherboard won't see more than 32GB?

The recycling bin thing you see is how much of C: is holding of deleted items. You can empty yout trash and that will go to 0
Keep in mind that hard drive manufacturers use decimal numbers to state their capacity.  Operating systems use binary designations to state how much memory is available.  The hard drive manufacturers want to use bigger numbers to make their products look better, so they use decimal.
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See GB (base 10) as opposed to GiB (base 16).

Besides: Windows 98 will get the size of the harddrive from its partition table (which probably was written when it was still at 37.2 GB).
Delete all stuff on that harddrive, repair the partition table (dunno, but maybe fdisk /mbr does the trick), recreate the wanted partitions and reinstall to remedy this.

Anyways, are you sure your BIOS can't work with the original harddrive size (38GB) ? Try it out..

Maybe there's a BIOS update to remedy this (check your motherboard's manufacturer's website for this.. Read the BIOS changelog notes and then decide whether you want to try a BIOS update or not).
On BIOS updates: If it works  don't fix it (=> see trying out if your BIOS supports your hdd's real size) :)

Your real total disk capacity is (as per bios parameters):

cylinders * heads * sectors * bytes per sector,  so
space = 65531 * 16 * 63 * 512 = 33,820,286,976 bytes (some people say this is 33,8 Gigas)
or 33,027,624 kilobytes (some people say this is 33 Gigas)
or 32,253.5 megabytes (some people say this is 32.2 Gigas)
or 31.5 gigabytes (everybody say this is 31.5 Gigas)

People use (sometimes according to their convenience) a kilo factor of 1024 or 1000

Bios calculate size according to the parameters, Windows may have formatted it using actual parameter from the disk.

According to disk specifications is samsung web site

your disk is 40 GB ..... being 1GB=1,000,000,000 Bytes as it says, so I would try removing the limitation jumper to see what does the bios say about the disk. Good look.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
A semantic point here, but as an old mathematician/computer scientist I have to comment :-)   It's not that hard drive manufacturers use decimal and computers use binary that matters -- 1024 is (of course) a decimal number :-)   It's just that operating systems have always used the 2^10 as the definition of a "kilobyte" (which is 1024 in decimal), whereas the drive manufacturers use 1,000 bytes as a "kilobyte".   Which is correct is a matter of conjecture -- as a computer guy I've always felt the hard drive makers should concede the point to the computer scientists.   On the other hand, all other scientific measures use "kilo" to mean 1,000 (kilograms, kilometers, etc.).

But that's not the issue here.   The size you're showing in the BIOS almost certainly means you have an Award BIOS with a relatively rare 33.8mb size limit.   This was due to an incompatibility in those BIOS's between the older cylinder-style addressing and LBA addresses.   Since all drives larger than 8GB use LBA addressing, this was simply a bug in the BIOS code; and it was corrected with a BIOS update around mid-1999.   You MAY be able to find a BIOS update that will allow the BIOS to display the full size of the drive.

Nevertheless, once the Windows driver takes over, the correct LBA addressing is being used -- and you're seeing the full drive.  Your math is off here -- when you format it and it shows 38,192.06MB, multiply that by 1024x1024 to get the # of bytes and you'll see it's over 40,000,000 (i.e. your drive is 40GB).   Note that no drive is exactly the number of advertised GB's (i.e. a 40GB drive only guarantees at LEAST 40,000,000,000 bytes).  What you did was converted the MB's into GB's (37.3)

The difference between the 37.3GB shown by format and the 37.2GB shown as available is simply the file allocation space that is reserved for the file system to use in storing the directory information for the file system.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... just noted that you said you have an AmiBIOS (not Award).   In that case, the misrepresentation of the size in the BIOS may very well be due to the limit jumper you've installed on the drive.   As suggested above, try this without that jumper.   It's not restricting the drive size that Windows sees anyway.
do you have norton antivirus installed?
Your motherboard is an MSI MS-6119 V2.
MSI does not list the MS-6119 V2 (which they do often on OEM motherboards) but they do list the MS-6119.
According to MSI the MS-6119 supports a 40 GB HDD with the correct BIOS.
~~ (But it's an Award BIOS on that board version, not AMI.)
Just the same, I think whoever advised you about the 32GB limit on your board was in error.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Richard -- is it in fact an Award BIOS?  ... if so, what is the BIOS date??   Award apparently corrected this problem in BIOS's released after June of 1999 -- just curious if this is the issue you're experiencing.

Richard2000Author Commented:
Thanks for your replies.

Regarding the recycle bin showing 1.99 GB, I have found this to be a known Windows problem -

I'm not running Norton Antivirus.

Regarding the BIOS, I can't see any mention of Award on the screens I have visited in the BIOS, but this text is displayed at the top of the BIOS screens:

Amibios Easy Setup Utilities Ver 1.16
(C) 1998 American Megatrends, Inc.  All Rights Reserved
Richard2000Author Commented:
If DOS/Windows '98 SE is seeing the drive as 40 GB, and the BIOS is seeing it at 32 GB, is it safe to just use the drive as 40 GB in DOS/Windows '98 SE and ignore what the BIOS says?  Would this cause any problems?

As it stands, my computer and hard drive seem to be working okay in DOS/Windows '98 SE, showing a 40 GB HD, even though the BIOS sees it as 32 GB.  I rarely need to go into the BIOS screens.
Sorry for the confusion.
I never meant to imply this board was an Award BIOS.
What I said was the previous non-OEM revision of the board had an Award BIOS.
Packard Bell has a habit of developing custom BIOS's for boards they've OEM'ed as well as renaming the motherboard.

If you go here and enter your serial number you might come up with some usefull information including BIOS details:

Packard Bell usually has all the basic support information you'd need but you have to dig to find it.
Entering and actual -system- serial numer should get you there.

Richard2000Author Commented:
Thanks for your comments.  Considering that my new hard drive appears to work okay and DOS/Windows '98 SE sees the drive as 40 GB, I have decided to leave it as it is for now.
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