Reason Your Hard Disk Drive Would Never Show Full Memory Capacity

Hard Disk Drive
Have you ever worried about the reason you are not seeing the full memory capacity of your disk drive?. If YES, then worry no more, for this post will give you the needed information about the missing memory on your drives.
First of all, missing/hidden memory is a norm when it comes to memory storage in phones and computers.
hard disk display capacity
My phone has a memory capacity tagged at 16 GB but when I check the usable storage, I got only 12.6GB and I was like, where the hell is my remaining 3.4GB.
Memory card and Hard disk vendors have the toughest job to do in convincing costumers, especially newbies about the truthfulnes of the memory capacity of the drive they sell.
This is because vendors sell round figure capacities like 8GB, 32GB, 100GB etc but when customers slot the drive in phone or computer, they see a lower capacity.

Am I being Cheated by the Disk Drive Seller or Manufacturer

The straight answer to this is a capital and bolded NO. You are not cheated. Here is the math to show the reason for this unfortunate thing we have to deal with in the computing word.

The Math

The math lies in our college math topic called BASE. This is the explanation:
Drive manufacturers calculate bytes to the Power of base 10. Meaning:
1 KiloByte (KB) = 1000 Bytes
1 Mega Byte (MB) = 1000 Kilo Bytes (KB)
1 Giga Byte (GB) = 1000 Mega Bytes (MB)
8 GB = 1000 * 8 = 8000 MB.
But in the case of a computer, this is not true. A computer calculates data using Base 2. Therefore:
1 KiloByte (KB) = 1024 Bytes
1 Mega Byte (MB) = 1024 Kilo Bytes (KB)
1 Giga Byte (GB) = 1024 Mega Bytes (MB)
8 GB = 1024 * 8 = 8192 MB

Effect of Difference in Calculation

The difference in calculation between a computer and drive manufacturer leads to this missing memory in our drives.
For example: A manufacturer would calculate 500GB as  500*1000*1000*1000 = 500000000000 bytes
While a computer would calculate it as 500*1024*1024*1024 = 536870912000 bytes.
Therefore, a hard drive that is branded 500GB would only display 465.66GB beacuse 536870912000 – 500000000000 = 36870912000.
The 36870912000 is then subtracted from the actual 500000000000. Which implies 500000000000 – 36870912000= 4.6×1011 or 465.66GB.
If you apply this formula to all drives, you will get the size it is going to display on the computer or phone.

Reserve for Data Sector and System Files

Aside the fact that this memory is reduced cos of differences in base power; This missing/hidden memory also serve as reserve for data sector  and as storage for system file which ensure the smooth running of the drive when in use.
A collegue of mine would say AS YOU CAN SEE, the manufacturers are not misbranding or cheating the comsumer. It is the calculation that makes us suffer.
I know might be thinking of asking the reason drive manufactures can’t work at base 2 like the computer. I must tell you that I would love to ask a drive manufacturer too if I meet one.
Posted by Adedapo Olatunde

Geek. Webhead. Editor at Techrabytes. Minimalist. Environmentalist. Aspiring Martian. I'm on Facebook and Twitter

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