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Why Does My Hard Drive Show Less Space Than It Has

IT Problem

You have a new hard disk or a new external hard drive. When you format it up it shows as having a lot less space than what you have bought. For example a New 1TB hard disk when formatted with NTFS with only show 931GB


IT Solution

Hard drives internal and external are sold and marketed using decimal gigabytes.This means that  a “GB” consists of 1,000,000,000 bytes.

However, computers do now work out hard disk size in decimal they interpret gigabytes in binary. To a computer, 1 GB = 2^30 bytes, or 1,073,741,824 bytes.

The ratio of “actual” to “usable” file size is the ratio of these two interpretations, or roughly 0.9313225.

This means that an X-sized (marketed by the seller of the hard disk) drive actually has 0.9313225*X of space usable to a computer.


For more information on what a megabyte is have a read of wikis information http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megabyte

Tags: hard drive space

Allen White

Allen is an IT Consultant and holds the following accreditations. MCSA, MCSE, MCTS, MCITP, CCA, CCSP, VCP 4,5, 6 and HP ASE, AIS - Network Infrastructure.

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