Is harddrive space like socks in a dryer?

Why is it that whenever a harddrive's manufacturer advertises, say, (lets just use my example) 160 gigs of space, there only ends up being 149 usable gigs. Where did these 11 gigs disappear to? Are they somehow taken away by the goblin king during windows install? Thanks.


David Bowe

P.S. - I know windows takes up space, but when you look at your remaining space it tells you "143 of 149 remaining" on a 160 HDD. I get where the 6 they mention went but the max capacity shouldn't be 149. Thanks again.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Most Hard Drive companies definition of a Megabyte differs from that of Windows.

    The HD companies use 1000 kilobytes to a megabyte and then they use 1000 megabytes to a gigabyte, where as Windows uses 1024 kilobytes to a megabyte and 1024 megabytes to a gigabyte, it has nothing to do with recovery partitions in case anybody tells you that.

    160 * 1000 *1000 /1024 /1024, is the actual capacity of the drive, and 149GB is the amount of addressable space.

    This discrepancy increases the larger the drive gets, for example a 1TB drive will only have approx 950GB of addressable space.

  • 1 decade ago

    It has to do with difference between how computers (and computer people) count and how marketing, sales, and other people count.

    Computers count in powers of two, and people count in powers of ten. So, when a computer counts out a kilobyte, it counts out 1024 while people only count 1000. A megabyte is 1 kilobyte times 1 kilobyte.

    In all reality, marketing people should count the space as computers count the space. But, it lets them say a drive the computer considers a 149Gb drive is a 160Gb drive. It lets them cheat you.

  • 1 decade ago

    Windows Formats a Hard Drive different the Harddrive its self, no you are not loosing any space really, its the NTFS formating allocates one gig as 1024 megs, and 1 meg as 1024 kilobytes and etc... as oppose to the manufaturer who specifys it as 1GB is 1000MB

  • 1 decade ago

    Each hard drive needs space to put it's 'bookkeeping' stuff. Directories, hash tables, etc. All of this takes space on the hard disk itself.

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