500gig formats to 460gig

2fives

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2006
158
0
Surrey BC
That sound right??

I bought a sata2 Wester Digital 500gig drive and put it in a external Vantec case. Formatted it in OSX and got about 460gig of usable space. I turned off OS9 extensions and just used the default HTFS journaled (or whatever it is) when I did it.

Seem right to lose 40gigs to formatting??
 

sammich

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2006
4,283
212
Sarcasmville.
This has always been the case. When they say '500 Gb' they really mean 500 000 000 000 bytes. So divide that big number to the left by 1024 3 times and you'll get your answer.
 

motulist

macrumors 601
Dec 2, 2003
4,060
334
Yes, that is exactly the correct size. I won't bore you with the gory details, but the advertised disk size is always much smaller than the actual formated size. It doesn't matter which OS you use or how your computer is setup, this is just a long standing bait and switch used by storage drive manufacturers. If you look closely at their advertising you will always see an asterisk next to the advertised disk size which goes to a tiny font disclaimer that says you wont actually see that amount of useable space.
 

2fives

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2006
158
0
Surrey BC
I suppose. Just on the western digital specs it states formatted capacity to 488gig. Not 460gig as I got. I know I'd never actually see 500gigs

I was wondering if I would lose less formatting it in Windows :confused::confused:

Thanks for the input guys.
 

motulist

macrumors 601
Dec 2, 2003
4,060
334
I suppose. Just on the western digital specs it states formatted capacity to 488gig. Not 460gig as I got. I know I'd never actually see 500gigs

I was wondering if I would lose less formatting it in Windows :confused::confused:

Thanks for the input guys.
As long as the disk is still blank, that's easy enough to check. Use disk utility to reformat the drive as a MS-DOS format and see how much recognized space you wind up with.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,720
1,201
New Zealand
As mentioned it's because the drive manufacturers measure the size in gigabytes but the OS makers use gibibytes.

On an unrelated note, bonus points to sammich for not putting commas in that number :)
 

2fives

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2006
158
0
Surrey BC
Well I've already copied some files to it, and I had a look in Windows and it showed the same after formatting, so I just took it as there would be no difference. So I'm just gonna leave it as is.
 

SDAVE

macrumors 68040
Jun 16, 2007
3,381
436
Nowhere
460 sounds about right. I have plenty of 500 giggers and they're all the same.

Example: 160GB is 111GB...etc.

If you look at your hard drives retail box (if it is retail) there are explanations usually at the back of the box with small letters. It's just a way to market them.
 

TBi

macrumors 68030
Jul 26, 2005
2,582
0
Ireland
500,000,000,000B / 1024 = 488281250KB /1024 = 476837.16MB /1024 = 465.66GB
Seems you lost 5 GB. Now that is weird!
 

Sbrocket

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2007
1,251
0
/dev/null
My 500GB drive formats to 465.8GB, as it should be listed without the sneaky base-10/base-8 business that drive manufacturers get away with. You say your drive formats to 460GB exactly? It sounds like you're missing a bit there...bad sectors?
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
4
yes it is normal. The number they gave you is base 10 (500,000,000,000 byts) so yeah is is 500 gigbytes in base 10 but computer run on base 2 which means 1024 mb in 1 gig.

I have a 500 gig hard drive in my PC and I have 466 gig of usable space. if you reformat it again you more than likely get a different number. For a 500 gig drive anything between 460-470 is normal and it will be different drive to drive (same manufacture) and from reformat to reformat.

Just remember Human think base 10 and computers think base 2.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,080
287
Indianapolis
As long as the disk is still blank, that's easy enough to check. Use disk utility to reformat the drive as a MS-DOS format and see how much recognized space you wind up with.
FAT32 format a 500 GB drive, ouch. I thought formatting my 300 GB took forever. :rolleyes:
 

2fives

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2006
158
0
Surrey BC
460 is a bit small... 5 GB too small... wonder why...

And to whoever said they got 116 out of 160, that's way too small.
Sorry all I really meant 465gig, but just being hasty I said 460. Just seems to suck that it seems you just bought the thing and your already down to 400gig and I've only formatted it and thrown a few movies on.

It's my first 500 gig. :eek: