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True Storage Capacity

I tried finding the answer but there were just too many differing opinions. And this is the place I trust for answers.

Why does a new hard drive or flash drive have only approximately 90% actual storage of it's named storage?

Example, a new 32gb flash drive I picked up only has 29 something usable space.
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  2. drdenby said:
    I tried finding the answer but there were just too many differing opinions. And this is the place I trust for answers.

    Why does a new hard drive or flash drive have only approximately 90% actual storage of it's named storage?

    Example, a new 32gb flash drive I picked up only has 29 something usable space.
    While formatting takes a bit of space, the difference is mostly because hard disk manufacturers quote their capacity in decimal but operating systems work in binary.
  3. HDD, SSD & Flash drive manufacturers calculate 1 Gigabyte as 1,000,000,000 bytes (Base-10 Numeral System).
    Microsoft and also memory RAM manufacturers calculate 1 Gigabyte as 1,073,741,824 bytes (Binary Numeral System).

    The difference between the 2 methods is around 7%.

    So you have to subtract 7% of the advertised capacity of any HDD, SSD, or USB Flash drive in order to get the usable capacity after formatting.
  4. Thank you for this RulesSpew, RealBeast, Dereck.

    It makes sense now.
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