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I have an external hard drive which is 640gb, yet there is only 596gb free.


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Old 04-01-2013, 01:08
the sandman
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And it's new. Would anyone care to elaborate?
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:23
c4rv
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its fine. Its to do with how you calculate how many bytes per GB . Marketing crap really.

Plus a lose a bit more to formatting.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:58
evil c
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As c4rv says, or to put it another way, HDD manufacturers measure 1GB as 1000MB whereas the computer industry use 1024MB. If it's elaboration you want there's loads on Google.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:06
d'@ve
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Just to add a bit to the above, Microsoft and any other O/S companies are the odd ones out in using the old binary data calculations. They also use the wrong description and abbreviation, GB for a gigabyte or GiB for Giga-Binary-byte is the modern method, which avoids confusion.

Hard drive manufacturers and telecommunications companies use decimal counting and that's the way it should be, IMO. Sod binary, I have more than two fingers!

So watch out when comparing internet speeds and working how long a download should take, most companies and routers etc. quote decimal speeds but your file size is probably be listed by the old binary method.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:32
Loobster
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As c4rv says, or to put it another way, HDD manufacturers measure 1GB as 1000MB whereas the computer industry use 1024MB. If it's elaboration you want there's loads on Google.
HDD manufacturers are pretty much exclusively in the computer industry.

Those who stick to internationally recognized standards accept that 1GB is 1000MB, as do the HDD makers.

Those who want to stick to what a 'Gigabyte' used to be (1024 Megabytes) call 1GB 1024MB, when in fact they are using the wrong terminology, they should be using GiB and MiB.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:32
Loobster
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Plus a lose a bit more to formatting.
Formatting has nothing to do with it.

It's the same capacity formatted or unformatted.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:22
c4rv
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Formatting has nothing to do with it.

It's the same capacity formatted or unformatted.
NTFS has a slight overhead thus a formatted drive has less reported capacity then a unformatted drive. Try it, get a blank hard drive and check the size in drive manager and then create a single partition and format as NTFS and size of partition will be less then empty drive.

This is assuming that OP is using Windows.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:26
Maxatoria
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If its formatted to NTFS you will lose some capacity due to the MFT which apparently can take up 12.5% of the diskspace

plenty of reading here - http://technet.microsoft.com/fr-fr/l...4%28v=ws.10%29
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:26
Stig
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And it's new. Would anyone care to elaborate?
Simple answer: It's normal.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:39
JeffG1
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They also use the wrong description and abbreviation, GB for a gigabyte or GiB for Giga-Binary-byte is the modern method, which avoids confusion.
Sheesh! Next you'll be saying that a billion isn't a million million.
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Old 04-01-2013, 16:14
d'@ve
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Sheesh! Next you'll be saying that a billion isn't a million million.
Choice of two on that one, but it isn't 1,073,741,824 that's for sure, and a thousand million is the defacto standard (I don't know if there is an International standard for it).

My point is that customs change and the decimal GB (or TB/MB) is now more generally accepted outside operating system manufacfurers, just as the thousand million "billion" has generally supplanted the one you mentioned, even in the UK.

There's even an International GB/GiB standard now so it's time Microsoft & Co caught up thus avoiding the original poster's problem of 596GB free that in reality is 596GiB or 640GB free. Apple seems to have caught up (OS X) or at least is moving in the right direction.
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Old 04-01-2013, 16:15
c4rv
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Sheesh! Next you'll be saying that a billion isn't a million million.
what, because its a thousand million ?
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Old 04-01-2013, 16:17
TheBigM
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Still, 44GB does sound rather a lot to lose to this. Some HDDs might have a separate partition with software on it or something included by the manufacturer?
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Old 04-01-2013, 16:48
chrisjr
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Still, 44GB does sound rather a lot to lose to this. Some HDDs might have a separate partition with software on it or something included by the manufacturer?
44GB hasn't been lost.

640 x 1,000,000,000 = 640,000,000,000
596 x 1,073,741,824 = 639,950,127,104

Pretty close.

The drive manufacturer is using 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes whereas Microsoft use 1GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes (1024x1024x1024). The Microsoft unit should be GiB to differentiate it from GB.
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Old 04-01-2013, 16:50
mac2708
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Still, 44GB does sound rather a lot to lose to this. Some HDDs might have a separate partition with software on it or something included by the manufacturer?
Sounds about right.
My 750GB portable drive shows as 698GB - 52GB difference.
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Old 04-01-2013, 20:10
Loobster
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And a '2TB' drive is 1.81 'TB' (TiB).
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Old 04-01-2013, 20:11
Loobster
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Try it, get a blank hard drive and check the size in drive manager and then create a single partition and format as NTFS
I have, many times, hence my earlier post.

Just tried it with my '250GB' passport drive, 232 'GB' capacity, formatted as NTFS, 232 'GB' free.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:31
Helmut10
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That does not show anything, Formatting and the Filing system takes up space on the Hard Drive.

Then follows many posts about how HDD manufacturers and MS rounds numbers, and how much disk space various filing systems and Windows extra peculiarities take......

Yo ho ho....press Start to begin.....
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:57
Ulysses777
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Why are some posters picking on Microsoft?

Why don't you start with IBM, DEC, Intel, or anyone who has written a CPU or RAM datasheet or other publication over the last 50 years.

And the reason for it is because, at the basic level, computers do not work in decimal. Defining a kilobyte as 1000 bytes is worthless. Notice that a 1GB RAM module is not exactly 1,000,000,000 bytes? And there are no RAM manufacturers using the GiB term, as it's worthless to them. Even hard drives are not exactly what they claim to be, the number of bytes on a modern drive is a multiple of 4096 bytes.

It's solely the hard drive manufacturers who have caused the confusion in order to big-up their products, and obviously not everyone is keen to rewrite 50 years of computer history just to placate some marketing departments.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:14
c4rv
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Why are some posters picking on Microsoft?
Who is picking on MS ? most of the posters are blaming the HDD marketing departments.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:42
d'@ve
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Why are some posters picking on Microsoft?

Why don't you start with IBM, DEC, Intel, or anyone who has written a CPU or RAM datasheet or other publication over the last 50 years.

And the reason for it is because, at the basic level, computers do not work in decimal. Defining a kilobyte as 1000 bytes is worthless. Notice that a 1GB RAM module is not exactly 1,000,000,000 bytes? And there are no RAM manufacturers using the GiB term, as it's worthless to them. Even hard drives are not exactly what they claim to be, the number of bytes on a modern drive is a multiple of 4096 bytes.

It's solely the hard drive manufacturers who have caused the confusion in order to big-up their products, and obviously not everyone is keen to rewrite 50 years of computer history just to placate some marketing departments.
No no, it's not that at all.

Who is picking on MS ? most of the posters are blaming the HDD marketing departments.
The HDD marketing Depts are right!

If binary GBs etc are of interest to manufacturers and software developers, for obvious reasons, that should have no impact on consumers, just as machine code shouldn't (and doesn't).

Most standards instututions, most if not all networking and telecomms companies, all hard drive manufacturers IIRC and even now some O/S developers (e.g. Apple Mac) use GB to represent decimal gigabytes. This is how humans think - in decimal.

The remaining O/S and software developers who still report binary GBs are just being pig-headed and it's long overdue for consumer bodies to force them to comply in their public reporting. They can do what they like internally.

It is the likes of Microsoft who are misleading, by implying to most people not "in the know" that their GiB is a GB, well it's not - it's 1.07GB (approx.).

PS If this question came up 10 years ago I would have offered the opposite opinion, the industry had blinded me! But times change and we should change with them. I have. Apple has. Most others in the broader computer/telecomms industry have (or always did). Microsoft and memory makers should too, as that's how to stop the kind of confusion displayed in this thread.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:07
Rich_L
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Why not sell it as a 600 gig hard drive as opposed to a 640 gig hard drive?
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:45
Esot-eric
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Why not sell it as a 600 gig hard drive as opposed to a 640 gig hard drive?
Perhaps because it's actually a 640GB drive and not 600.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:06
ibatten
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Most others in the broader computer/telecomms industry have (or always did).
Up to a point. "2Mbps" leased lines (ie, E1 circuits) are actually 2.048Kbps, but (just to do your head in) the Ks are 1000. That's because a notional E0, 64Kbps, is 64 (which is all binary and shit) decimal (because the ITU use SI prefixes and shit) kilobits per second.

It's a complete mess, and it's not as simple as just saying "everyone needs to agree to use decimal Gs". It's not wildly helpful to describe 8GB of RAM as 8.6GB of RAM, and although Apple now regard 1M of filestore as 10^6 rather than 2^20, they still report memory capacities as 1GB==(2^30)B. As to what the numbers in the output of Activity Monitor, ps and top are measured in, God alone knows.

Units have always been mixed in all sorts of horrible ways: for example, 1.44MB floppy disks assume 1MB == 1024000 bytes, for which *facepalm* is the only sensible response. It does need sorting out, but it's a fundamental fact that solid state memory is almost always going to be supplied in powers of two.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:30
JeffG1
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Sheesh! Next you'll be saying that a billion isn't a million million.
what, because its a thousand million ?
That was a joke, which d@ve understood.

In case you're not aware, in the UK, a billion always used to mean a million million, until it was supplanted by the American thousand million.

A thousand million is now the generally accepted global standard, for better or worse.
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