Question about Western Digital (WD3200JS) 320 GB Hard Drive

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WD 320 GB shows only 300 GB of usable space

I just bought my WD 320 and formated it after formating my hard drive i was only able to get 300 GB of usable space. How will I be able to use the remaining 20 Gigabytes

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  • icebreaker69 Dec 20, 2008

    I have a simular problem w/ a 200 gb sata drive i got recnetly, only about 131gb is showing up when i format it.

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  • 93 Answers

There is no additional 20gb. This is because the manufacturer (WD and the others) express drive size in the decimal (base 10) system. Windows formats the drive in hexadecimal (base 16), which is really ramped up from binary (base 2), which is what computers actually use.

So, 320gb decimal actually equals 300gb, as far as the computer is concerned.

Cheers
Nick

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

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It has to do with the way computers count. Computers count in binary where we count in decimal.
Hard drive makers list there drives capacities in the decimal format, where windows lists it in it's binary format.
Wikipedia has a good explanation.

Also, the drive may have some preinstalled software on it that could be taking up a bit of space (it's usually not much).




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