Why Storage Drives Have Less Space Than Written on it?

When you purchase a 1 TB hard disk, you will only find 954 GB of real storage space. What is the reason behind this gap and what makes the real space not equal to the space written on the hard disk?

Why Storage Drives Have Less Space Than Written on it?


The reason for the difference is due to how hard disk manufacturers deal during their marketing with the way different disk systems are used.

The manufacturers of these hard disks consider that the "KB" equals a thousand bytes "1000Byte" as well as the "MB" equals one thousand kilobytes "1000KB" and that the "GB" equals a thousand megabytes "1000MB". Thus, when the hard drive is marketed as having 500GB, it actually has an equivalent of 500 x 1000 x 1000 x 1000 = 500,000,000,000 bytes.

However, the different operating systems do not work in the same way as they consider that the KB "KB" equals 1024 bytes "1024Byte" as well as the "MB" equals 1024 KB "1024KB" and that the "GB" equals 1024 MB "1024MB". Thus, the total area mentioned above if calculated on this basis becomes as follows:

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500,000,000,000 / 1024/1024/1024 = 465.66 GB.

This difference is due to the way data and numbers are handled in relation to the computer and the human being. The human being uses the numbers based on the decimal system “Decimal System.” In mathematics, there are 10 numbers from (0) to (9) which are the mathematical alphabet.

As for the mathematical operations in the computer, they are different, as they are based on the "Binary System" and there are (0) and (1) only, and the reason is that for matters related to electricity in the computer that works with binary logic, it works or does not work (On / Off).

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The previously discussed difference causes a loss of space equivalent to 36GB of the total disk space of 500GB, as well as a loss of 70GB of the total space of the 1TB disk. To solve this problem, operating system companies such as Microsoft should re-update their system in order to recognize the space correctly and not all of these spaces are lost. For example, Apple has modified the OS X system from the perspective of storage spaces to match the perspective of the manufacturers space, which ends this difference in the real space.

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