Snow Leopard: How to Change Hard Drive Size To Base 2?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by hormelmeatcompa, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. hormelmeatcompa macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2009
    I am already aware that Snow Leopard reports hard drive sizes in base 10 and not base 2.

    I'm not here to argue about proper use of SI unit prefixes, the HD manufacturer marketing cabal that reports base 10 and not base 2 sizes on the box or the merits of gibibytes vs gigabytes or GiB vs GB.

    I'm just asking for a way to change the size reporting back to base 2.

    I haven't yet found a way to change it back here in the forums or on Google and only a few others have asked in other threads.

    I figured that making a new thread would be helpful for people who just want a solution instead of arguing about base 10 vs base 2 and having to dig through other threads full of that.

    MODS: If a solution is found, could you make this thread sticky?
  2. clmason macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2008
    I'm looking for this too. One thing that might help is if someone has access to Snow Leopard Server, maybe they can check if it uses base-10 or base-2 there. Since it's not targetted to consumers, they might have stuck with base-2. If so, maybe by dumping the finder preferences, we can find a setting that would also work on regular Snow Leopard.
  3. Chealion macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2003
    Calgary, Alberta
    I can confirm that the Server version uses Base 2 as well.
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    That's weird because my server reports in base 10 :(
  5. hormelmeatcompa thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2009
    Apparently, it's only the Finder that reports sizes in base 10. I just noticed that the sizes iTunes reports for songs is still in base 2. (8.3MB in iTunes vs. 8.6MB in the Finder, for example). I would assume other programs, like iPhoto and the Terminal, still use base 2.
  6. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Never mind I'm just injecting confusion into the issue. :D
  7. hormelmeatcompa thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2009
    It does affect everything, not just disk size. I agree that the difference between base 10 and base 2 is negligible for small files, but it adds up across an entire hard drive with thousands of files, not all of which are small.
  8. techfreak85 macrumors 68040


    Jan 13, 2008
    I doubt there would be an easy way to change this. but hey... who knows?
  9. clmason macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2008
    We ain't asking for our health! Sure, they could be a hidden setting, or maybe there's not. A bit too early to tell.
  10. hormelmeatcompa thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2009
    Since it's just the Finder reporting the size in base 10, shouldn't there be a way to change it in the Terminal?

    I ask because alot of the tweaks I do with a new install to GUI programs are done with the Terminal.

    One example is removing the arrow links in the iTunes library list completely with the command defaults write show-store-arrow-links -bool FALSE. If it's just the Finder doing it and not the Terminal or anything else, it shouldn't be that low-level of a change to change it back to base 2.
  11. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    It is either plist or coded in If the former, using a defaults write could be the key. However, we would have to know what to add or modify. If it is the later, it will require more work. My guess is that it is coded into Finder.

    Note, it is also present in Disk Utility.
  12. NATO macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2005
    Northern Ireland
    Has anyone found anything yet which can change the Finder back to base-2? I know the terminal commands for other parts of Snow Leopard were discovered fairly quickly, I'm surprised this hasn't been found yet...

Share This Page