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Media Size Calculator

This calculator requires the use of Javascript enabled and capable browsers. This calculation works with hard disks and removable disks as well. The required data for this calculator is normally in the disk information printed on the drive. Often with newer and larger drives, the actual number of heads, cylinders and sectors are not the physical number but are translated numbers. If the specifications give you both, you may use either; they will be reasonably close if not exact. Enter the number of heads on the drive, one for each platter media surface. Enter the number of cylinders and the number of sectors per track. (The number of tracks will be calculated for you. Tracks = Heads x Cylinders.) Finally, enter the number of bytes per sector. Click on Calculate to see the results for the disk or diskette. Be aware that from manufacturer to manufacturer, there is no real standard for disk and storage specifications. Some, such as Western Digital, define a storage MB as 1,000,000 bytes and a storage GB as 1,000,000,000 bytes while others define them as 1,048,576 and 1,073,741,824 respectively. Take your pick! We use the implied standard of storage that 1MB is 1,000,000 bytes. Also be aware that because of differences in drive geometry, formatting at both low and high levels cause size differences from specification sheets. Some manufacturers specify formatted sizes and some specify unformatted size; some just give a size and don't really say what it is.


IBM PC Formatted DSHD Diskette H=2, C=80, S=18, B=512, Size=1.44MB
WD Caviar AC140 Drive H=5, C=980, S=17, B=512, Size=42MB (Our default disk)
WD Caviar AC28400 Drive H=16, C=16383, S=63, B=512, Size=8.4GB
Seagate Barracuda ST380021A Drive H=16, C=158816, S=63, B=512, Size=80GB
MaxtorDiamondMax D540 Drive H=16, C=317632, S=63, B=512, Size=160GB

Some of the major hard disk manufacturers are Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate, and IBM. You may find useful information on any of these manufacturer's sites.

Required Data Entry
Number Of Heads Per Drive
Number Of Cylinders Per Drive
Number Of Sectors Per Track
Number Of Bytes Per Sector

Calculated Results
Number Of Tracks Total
Number Of Sectors Total
Number Of Bytes Total
Number Of Megabytes Total
Number Of Gigabytes Total
Updated: 6/3/11

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