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True Storage Capacity

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January 21, 2014 9:56:52 AM

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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January 21, 2014 10:01:53 AM
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a c 324 G Storage
January 21, 2014 10:03:56 AM

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.

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a c 544 G Storage
January 21, 2014 10:23:18 AM

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.
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January 22, 2014 1:11:01 PM

Thank you for this RulesSpew, RealBeast, Dereck.

It makes sense now.
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