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Search our FAQ to find resolutions to common issues.
My computer says my drive is less capacity than advertised
Here is an approximate breakdown of what you will see on your computer for it's respective selling size.

Size You Bought
 = Binary
Available Space
On Your
 100GB   93.1GB
320GB   297.95GB
500GB   465.55GB
640GB   595.90GB
750GB   698.32GB
1TB   931.10GB
1.5TB   1396.65GB

Hard drive manufacturers use a calculating method different than how computers calculate figures, so there will be nominal differences. This is how hard drive manufacturers have been selling drives since day one. We agree that showing accurate amount makes sense. Though selling 111.68GB hard disk probably isn't as easy to understand as 120GB.
The Technical Explanation:
Decimal vs.. Binary:
For simplicity and consistency, hard drive manufacturers define a megabyte as 1,000,000 bytes and a gigabyte as 1,000,000,000 bytes. This is a decimal (base 10) measurement and is the industry standard. However, certain systems define a megabyte as 1,048,576 bytes and a gigabyte as 1,073,741,824 bytes. These are binary (base 2) measurements.

This is why different utilities will report different capacities for the same drive. The number of bytes is the same, but a different number of bytes is used to make a megabyte and a gigabyte. This is similar to the difference between 0 degrees Celsius and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the same temperature, but will be reported differently depending on the scale you are using.


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Article ID: 25 Article Created: 08-06-2009 21:50 PMLast Modified: 07-31-2013 11:47 AM

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