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4th guy
September 25th, 2008, 09:46 PM
I have bought an external hard disk which supposedly has a 500gb capacity. The problem is that it only has 465gb. I know that some manufacturers prefer to show straight shiny numbers, like 500gb as opposed to 465gb, but right now I can not help but feel as if I have somehow have been ripped off. There was no number on the box other than 500gb.
Any ideas or advice?

(for those who were wondering, it's "only" 7% less, but I paid money for those missing 35gb as well)

EDIT: even if we take 1gb as 1000mb (as "defined" on the box), I still would have 488gb as opposed to 465gb.

DrMega
September 25th, 2008, 09:49 PM
It is common for manufacturers to quote the unformatted capacity. That said, if it doesn't mention 500mb anywhere, then maybe you've been had.

lisati
September 25th, 2008, 09:49 PM
It does seem rather a big difference for something "right out of the box" which hasn't been used, even allowing a little bit for what the OS grabs for its overheads and hidden files.

hessiess
September 25th, 2008, 09:49 PM
manufactures treet a gigabyte as 1000 MB, when it is actualy 1024 MB. the filesystem will also be using some of the drive.

chris4585
September 25th, 2008, 09:50 PM
Depends, always look to see what they define as 1 GB, most manufactures define 1 GB as 1000mbs and not the correct 1024mbs.

lisati
September 25th, 2008, 09:51 PM
manufactures treet a gigabyte as 1000 MB, when it is actualy 1024 MB. the filesystem will also be using some of the drive.

Ah, I forgot that in my response.

a-converted-sparky
September 25th, 2008, 09:51 PM
Exactly as stated above, the issue is formatted capacity vs. unformatted capacity see http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/482

billgoldberg
September 25th, 2008, 09:52 PM
I have bought an external hard disk which supposedly has a 500gb capacity. The problem is that it only has 465gb. I know that some manufacturers prefer to show straight shiny numbers, like 500gb as opposed to 465gb, but right now I can not help but feel as if I have somehow have been ripped off. There was no number on the box other than 500gb.
Any ideas or advice?

(for those who were wondering, it's "only" 7% less, but I paid money for those missing 35gb as well)



No, that seems right.

They are using 1000mb = 1gb, when in reality it's 1024mb = 1gb.

And then some of the space will be taken up by some other stuff, so 465gb seems ok. I have around the same space on my WB digital 500gb external drive.

So actually it is a rip-off. But they are ripping off everyone, not just you.

Nepherte
September 25th, 2008, 10:01 PM
manufactures treet a gigabyte as 1000 MB, when it is actualy 1024 MB. the filesystem will also be using some of the drive.
1GB (1*10^9) = 1000MB (1*10^6)
The difference lies in bytes versus bits. A capital B indicates bytes, whereas a b indicates bits. If it said 1Gb, as you suggested, it is correct and the operating system just uses another measure unit (bytes).

Note: 1 byte = 8 bits.

yelsn
September 25th, 2008, 10:32 PM
You weren't ripped off. Basically the HDD manufacturer uses a different definition of GB than your OS. You can see this wikipedia page for more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigabyte


This means that a 500 GB hard disk drive would appear as "465 GB".

markp1989
September 25th, 2008, 10:37 PM
my 500gb sata only has 463gb when formated, its just a marketing con

Bölvağur
September 25th, 2008, 11:02 PM
may I remind you that ext3 uses small % of the hdd for "jugling" or what ever it is called. Atleast it uses some space that isn't summed up as the available disk space. Without it you would need to defragment your harddisk like you would do in any other inferi... no wait let me stop here.

lukjad007
September 25th, 2008, 11:18 PM
I have bought an external hard disk which supposedly has a 500gb capacity. The problem is that it only has 465gb. I know that some manufacturers prefer to show straight shiny numbers, like 500gb as opposed to 465gb, but right now I can not help but feel as if I have somehow have been ripped off. There was no number on the box other than 500gb.
Any ideas or advice?

(for those who were wondering, it's "only" 7% less, but I paid money for those missing 35gb as well)

EDIT: even if we take 1gb as 1000mb (as "defined" on the box), I still would have 488gb as opposed to 465gb.
This is standard. When they say 500GB, they mean 5,000,000,000 Bytes, not the 536,870,912,000 bytes you should get. I know the pain.

spupy
September 25th, 2008, 11:45 PM
Gigabyte = 1000 Megabytes
Gibibyte = 1024 Mebibytes
Also, as said, formatting takes space, too.

klange
September 25th, 2008, 11:48 PM
Gigabyte = 1000 Megabytes
Gibibyte = 1024 Mebibytes
Also, as said, formatting takes space, too.
Um... what? I've never heard of any such term.
Gigabyte = 1024 Megabytes
Megabyte = 1024 Kilobytes
Kilobyte = 1024 Bytes
Byte = 8 Bits

Then there's the Drive Manufacturer's Gigabyte...

blastus
September 26th, 2008, 12:13 AM
It's just one of those subtle marketing scams, I mean spins. This is why I never believe what is stated on any product because there is always some misrepresentation of facts, some stretching of the truth or something that is clearly open to multiple interpretations.

spupy
September 26th, 2008, 12:15 AM
Um... what? I've never heard of any such term.
Gigabyte = 1024 Megabytes
Megabyte = 1024 Kilobytes
Kilobyte = 1024 Bytes
Byte = 8 Bits

Then there's the Drive Manufacturer's Gigabyte...
Giga=1000*mega
Mega=1000*kilo
Gibi=1024*mebi
Mebi=1024*kibi
Giga, mega, kilo are SI units, meaning 10^9, 10^6 and 10^3 respectively. Giga is 10^3 * mega, mega is 10^3 * kilo.
"Kibi" comes from "kilobinary", meaning "kilo" in Base 2. Kilo in base 2 is 2^10 = 1024. Same goes for gibi- and mebi-.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix
The confusion comes from the fact that disk manufacturers are using one of the prefixes, the user expects another and the OS reports something else.

klange
September 26th, 2008, 12:39 AM
Giga=1000*mega
Mega=1000*kilo
Gibi=1024*mebi
Mebi=1024*kibi
Giga, mega, kilo are SI units, meaning 10^9, 10^6 and 10^3 respectively. Giga is 10^3 * mega, mega is 10^3 * kilo.
"Kibi" comes from "kilobinary", meaning "kilo" in Base 2. Kilo in base 2 is 2^10 = 1024. Same goes for gibi- and mebi-.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix
The confusion comes from the fact that disk manufacturers are using one of the prefixes, the user expects another and the OS reports something else.

They do not apply as such for byte representations, which are specifically base 2. Again, I've never heard of a gibi.

Google concurs:
Q: 1 gigabyte in megabytes
1 gigabyte = 1024 megabytes
Q: 1 megabyte in kilobytes
1 megabyte = 1024 kilobytes
Q: 1 kilobyte in bytes
1 kilobyte = 1024 bytes
Q: 1 byte in bits
1 byte = 8 bits

e: From the looks of it, you didn't read the entire article.

FranMichaels
September 26th, 2008, 12:45 AM
You could google gibibyte too right?
I hadn't heard of it either until somewhat recently.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibibyte

The tip off for me was the Gnome System Monitor.

It uses GiB, MiB, etc.

jdong
September 26th, 2008, 01:04 AM
may I remind you that ext3 uses small % of the hdd for "jugling" or what ever it is called. Atleast it uses some space that isn't summed up as the available disk space. Without it you would need to defragment your harddisk like you would do in any other inferi... no wait let me stop here.

To clarify on this point:

(M)ANY filesystem filled near the brim (i.e. the last 5-10% of its capacity) will behave very poorly as it struggles to find empty holes to place new data. This includes taking a horrific amount of time (on the orders of minutes) to write a 1MB file hanging the system in the process at the most extreme, but almost certainly writing extremely fragmented files that severely degrade the read performance.

EXT3 does a favor for you by reserving that last 5% or so of disk capacity to root so that a user cannot accidentally or intentionally fill the disk to its capacity and degrade IO performance. In addition, this also means that malicious users cannot lock out root because of a disk-full condition trying to log in!

It is a feature and is good for you, but if you have to have that last 5% you can remove this limit with tune2fs.

tdrusk
September 26th, 2008, 01:35 AM
You could google gibibyte too right?
I hadn't heard of it either until somewhat recently.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibibyte

The tip off for me was the Gnome System Monitor.

It uses GiB, MiB, etc.
interesting

jdong
September 26th, 2008, 01:42 AM
Just to point out, Gibibyte and the similar (Metric) binary byte prefixes were invented after this base-10 vs base-2 confusion was well established.


Pop quiz: On 1.44MB labeled 3.5" diskettes, MB refers to:

(a) Megabytes
(b) Mebibytes
(c) Neither/Both

FranMichaels
September 26th, 2008, 01:44 AM
Just to point out, Gibibyte and the similar (Metric) binary byte prefixes were invented after this base-10 vs base-2 confusion was well established.


Pop quiz: On 1.44MB labeled 3.5" diskettes, MB refers to:

(a) Megabytes
(b) Mebibytes
(c) Neither/Both

a) :)

jdong
September 26th, 2008, 01:49 AM
a) :)

Incorrect.

Bölvağur
September 26th, 2008, 01:55 AM
b) as MB (,KB and GB) was renamed because of this confusion about 4 years ago I belief.

Btw you forgot to say that there is a log and "backup" of things you are doing so if there will be power cutoff no data will be lost between processes. And that is included in the ~5%

*EDIT* MB KB GB
*Addition*
Also 5 years ago the difference was sometimes represented in capital and lovercase but it never caught on I guess

Bölvağur
September 26th, 2008, 01:56 AM
double post

jdong
September 26th, 2008, 02:03 AM
b) as MB (,KB and GB) was renamed because of this confusion about 4 years ago I belief.


Incorrect. Which only leaves one answer: The 1.44MB floppy consists of 1440 Kibibytes. Since floppy tracks were better numbered by base-2 units it's been a convention to go by 1024 bytes per kilobyte. However, only 720*2 (1440) of them are available on a dual-side high-density floppy but the marketing guys called it 1.44MB. Now is that a MB-KiB? MB/KB*KiB? Go figure :D





Btw you forgot to say that there is a log and "backup" of things you are doing so if there will be power cutoff no data will be lost between processes. And that is included in the ~5%


That's not an accurate description of the ext3 metadata journal (ls ~/.journal) which is only 16-32MB given the size of the volume and version of mke2fs used. The metadata journal also only protects filesystem structure changes in transit, not general data. It doesn't turn EXT3 into a fully atomic filesystem like ZFS or reiser4.



*Addition*
Also 5 years ago the difference was sometimes represented in capital and lovercase but it never caught on I guess
Well back in the days the lowercase "b" stood for bit, and was used to denote RAM module capacities a lot. i.e. you'd buy a 8Mb RAM module (8 megabit) which gives you 1 megabyte (or by today's terms, mebibyte) of RAM. Today, some ISPs still use this terminology. It is handy in communications systems where data is handled on a bit-by-bit basis.

FranMichaels
September 26th, 2008, 02:07 AM
Incorrect.

Well googling doesn't yield much here.
What was MB supposed to stand for on these disks?

I know the old single 5 1/2 at best held 720 kilobytes, and these 3.5 guys could supposedly hold 1440 kb. Which would be 1.44 megabytes. These are the marketed values at least. I have loads of these floppies, but no more drives to test them with. I'm just sure I could fit over 1mb on these things, as splitting data was common when I used them...

EDIT: NM You've answered. However, if the marketing guys messed up, the MB on the disk did stand for megabyte. It was just plain wrong, but in that case the acronym was indeed a)

jdong
September 26th, 2008, 02:12 AM
They used the base-2 definition of kilobyte combined with the base-10 definition of megabyte, yielding some weird hybrid of the two.

FranMichaels
September 26th, 2008, 02:17 AM
Yes, very problematic, but the use of kibi and mebi came well after these floppies did. More than a decade in fact. It's been confusing, and continues to be, why is my X GB drive actually Y GB or GiB or whatever. This would still have problems even without acronyms, as some use GB and GiB interchangeably... I'm sure someone out there with a terrabyte drive is pissed they have 990 gigs or something... :popcorn:

zekopeko
September 26th, 2008, 02:40 AM
try formating a disk with ext3 then you are gonna see wasted space.
i formated my 320gb disk

NTFS 298gb
ext3 292gb (after i removed the root reserved 5%)

that's why i use ntfs for all of my storage

jdong
September 26th, 2008, 03:17 AM
Yes, very problematic, but the use of kibi and mebi came well after these floppies did. More than a decade in fact. It's been confusing, and continues to be, why is my X GB drive actually Y GB or GiB or whatever. This would still have problems even without acronyms, as some use GB and GiB interchangeably... I'm sure someone out there with a terrabyte drive is pissed they have 990 gigs or something... :popcorn:

Haha 990, if I remember correctly they BARELY break the 900GiB barrier!

jdong
September 26th, 2008, 03:19 AM
try formating a disk with ext3 then you are gonna see wasted space.
i formated my 320gb disk

NTFS 298gb
ext3 292gb (after i removed the root reserved 5%)

that's why i use ntfs for all of my storage

Bad news: NTFS counts the MFT reserved zone as free space. You can have a NTFS volume with a few gigs of free space but copying to it results in disk full :)

kernelhaxor
September 26th, 2008, 05:34 AM
In the commercial world 500GB = 500 * (1000 * 1000 * 1000) = 500,000,000,000 bytes

But operating systems use 1024 instead of 1000 .. so
500,000,000,000 bytes = 500,000,000,000 bytes / (1024 * 1024 * 1024) = 465.661 GB which is exactly what any OS shows ..


I dont consider it a rip off because I am aware of this difference. May be manufacturers should make customers aware of this difference.

4th guy
September 26th, 2008, 05:46 AM
All right, fair enough. However the box does define 1GB as 1000MB.

So: 500GB * 1000MB / 1024MB = 488.28125GB, which is still a leap from 465GB I'm sure the MTF does not take up those missing ~20GB

kernelhaxor
September 26th, 2008, 05:55 AM
All right, fair enough. However the box does define 1GB as 1000MB.

So: 500GB * 1000MB / 1024MB = 488.28125GB, which is still a leap from 465GB I'm sure the MTF does not take up those missing ~20GB

Commercial manufacturers also define 1MB = 1000KB and 1KB = 1000 bytes ..
while for an OS, 1MB = 1024KB and 1KB = 1024 bytes ..

so, while doin the conversion, convert all the way into bytes and then convert back .. u will land at 465 ..

This is true for all hard disks of all sizes .. I have manually calculated several times ..

4th guy
September 26th, 2008, 05:59 AM
I'm still going to give them a piece of my mind. I paid money for a *500GB* drive.
I'm sure that when you buy 5 pints of beer, you get 5 pints and not 4. Likewise when you buy 10 liters of petrol, you get 10 liters and not 9.

Is there a filing system that I can use to maximise the available space?

tylerspaska
September 26th, 2008, 06:04 AM
Haha 990, if I remember correctly they BARELY break the 900GiB barrier!

I thought there was a class action lawsuit involving all of this, which lead to manufacturers actually being honest about the size of their drives...

Anyway, the last TB drive i bought actually had 1000.1 GB. I was pleased. It was a 'Green' WD drive.

http://www.neowin.net/index.php?act=view&id=33874

edit: I just double checked to make sure and it actually turned out to be 1000.2 GB

4th guy
September 26th, 2008, 06:09 AM
New find: the box states that you can hold 110 movies (of 4.5GB each). Now they're just being cheeky.:mad:

tylerspaska
September 26th, 2008, 06:16 AM
delete

NovaAesa
September 26th, 2008, 06:26 AM
500 GB = 500,000,000,000 bytes.

divide by 2^30 to convert to GiB. You end up with 465.66 GiB.

The problem is not with manufacturers, it is with the operating systems. Most OSs insist on reporting the number of GiB but actually labelling it as GB. This is where the confusion lies. You are not being ripped off, you just don't understand the meaning of binary and decimal prefixes.

4th guy
September 26th, 2008, 06:29 AM
Actually I do understand the difference between 101 base 2 and 5 base 10 (just a different numbering system).

If the box says 500GB, why was I given 500GiB?

Kvark
September 26th, 2008, 09:03 AM
500 GB = 500,000,000,000 bytes.

divide by 2^30 to convert to GiB. You end up with 465.66 GiB.

The problem is not with manufacturers, it is with the operating systems. Most OSs insist on reporting the number of GiB but actually labelling it as GB. This is where the confusion lies. You are not being ripped off, you just don't understand the meaning of binary and decimal prefixes.
GiB??? :frown:

GB has always been 1024 MB which is 1024 kB which is 1024 B, easy. A new acronym for the same thing is a pretty useless change as it doesn't actually improve anything.

It is deception to use multiples of 1000 instead of 1024 to make drives look bigger than they really are. Just as using Mb/s instead of MB/s to make internet connections look faster than they really are. I've had to explain the difference between bits and bytes to several of my non-geek friends when they complained that their 2Mb/s connections never downloaded anywhere near 2MB/s.

NovaAesa
September 26th, 2008, 10:24 AM
Actually I do understand the difference between 101 base 2 and 5 base 10 (just a different numbering system).

If the box says 500GB, why was I given 500GiB?If the box says 500GB, you received 500GB. 500GB = 465.66GiB. The problem is, when your OS is reporting the size of the hard drive, it is reporting the GiB value but instead of labelling it with "GiB" is is labelling it with "GB".



GB has always been 1024 MB which is 1024 kB which is 1024 B, easy. A new acronym for the same thing is a pretty useless change as it doesn't actually improve anything.It was like that until 1998 when IEC introduced the new binary prefixes.



It is deception to use multiples of 1000 instead of 1024 to make drives look bigger than they really are. Just as using Mb/s instead of MB/s to make internet connections look faster than they really are. I've had to explain the difference between bits and bytes to several of my non-geek friends when they complained that their 2Mb/s connections never downloaded anywhere near 2MB/s. Not decepiton. Drive manufacturers actually use the correct prefix! It's the fact that (some) OSs report the value incorrectly. And when it comes to the internet, it has always been like that. It's not a marketing scam or anything like that. Whenever data is transferred in a bit stream, it is almost always measured in the number of bits (or kilobits, or megabits if you are lucky) per second. "Bytes" don't make sense semantically when you are transferring data like that so there is no use in measuring it in the number of bytes per second.

4th guy
September 26th, 2008, 11:41 AM
If the box says 500GB, you received 500GB. 500GB = 465.66GiB. The problem is, when your OS is reporting the size of the hard drive, it is reporting the GiB value but instead of labelling it with "GiB" is is labelling it with "GB".So I actually have 500GB? :confused: Can you explain more (or at least direct me to a good explanation)?

Kvark
September 26th, 2008, 12:18 PM
It was like that until 1998 when IEC introduced the new binary prefixes.

Not decepiton. Drive manufacturers actually use the correct prefix! It's the fact that (some) OSs report the value incorrectly. And when it comes to the internet, it has always been like that. It's not a marketing scam or anything like that. Whenever data is transferred in a bit stream, it is almost always measured in the number of bits (or kilobits, or megabits if you are lucky) per second. "Bytes" don't make sense semantically when you are transferring data like that so there is no use in measuring it in the number of bytes per second.
I'd never be able to explain that to ordinary people so they remember it and do things 'correctly' and even if they got everything right they wouldn't get anything useful out of that knowledge. It's much easier to stick with the same good old 1024 byte kB everyone is used to.

By ordinary people I mean my mom who still needs help to send an SMS after I've explained it 10+ times and my neighbor who refuses to believe me when I say it's possible to change the operating system to something else than what came preinstalled. He seems to think PC with XP and PC with Vista are like PS2 and PS3, impossible to turn one into the other.

linuxguymarshall
September 26th, 2008, 01:31 PM
The filesystem is taking up some space but no way that much space.

Yes you got ripped.

Let's start class-action

jdong
September 26th, 2008, 01:43 PM
The filesystem is taking up some space but no way that much space.

Yes you got ripped.

Let's start class-action

WAY too late. Seagate already lost one of these and now every box says 1GB is 1 billion bytes. There's no case anymore.

aaaantoine
September 26th, 2008, 03:19 PM
So I actually have 500GB? :confused: Can you explain more (or at least direct me to a good explanation)?

In those exact terms, yes. You have 500GB. Your hard drive should be able to hold 500,000,000,000 bytes of data. If it were anything substantially less than that, you would have grounds for an RMA.

Your OS reports less because it's reporting it in binary. It's still 500 billion bytes.

Gnome appropriately labels its data numbers as GiB, MiB, etc. (sometimes. I see Nautilus 2.22 doesn't, which is weird because I could have sworn it used to.) So if you're using Gnome, it should already be telling you 465.6 GiB. I know Windows doesn't make this distinction. I don't know if KDE does or doesn't.

Kabezon
September 26th, 2008, 03:48 PM
It is a ripoff. They say 1GB = 1000MB when it's actually 1024MB. If you do the math, it is actually 488GB, but it is normal for the formatted drive to be a bit smaller. Don't worry, they do it to everyone :S

4th guy
September 26th, 2008, 04:43 PM
Gnome appropriately labels its data numbers as GiB, MiB, etc. (sometimes. I see Nautilus 2.22 doesn't, which is weird because I could have sworn it used to.) So if you're using Gnome, it should already be telling you 465.6 GiB. I know Windows doesn't make this distinction. I don't know if KDE does or doesn't.It says GB, which is weird, because memory on the System Monitor is reported in GiB.
I've still contacted them via email. I don't care how they define storage space, they didn't point out the fine grey print on the white box. Aren't those things supposed to be written in minute contrasting colour?

jdong
September 26th, 2008, 04:49 PM
It says GB, which is weird, because memory on the System Monitor is reported in GiB.
I've still contacted them via email. I don't care how they define storage space, they didn't point out the fine grey print on the white box. Aren't those things supposed to be written in minute contrasting colour?

The box does not say "1GB is 1 billion bytes" somewhere on it? It's standard terminology these days after Seagate lost.

4th guy
September 26th, 2008, 04:57 PM
The box says 1GB is 1000MB. Nothing more, nothing less.

zekopeko
September 26th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Bad news: NTFS counts the MFT reserved zone as free space. You can have a NTFS volume with a few gigs of free space but copying to it results in disk full :)

Good news: You are wrong. I had that happen a few time (fill the disk completely) and it wasn't a problem. If it says 10GB free it has 10GB free. Running chkdsk gives around 100MB reserved for indexes and filesystem stuff. Considering that i have around 1.5TB of storage if i was to use ext3 it would it like 30-35GB and thats a lot of space.

jdong
September 26th, 2008, 06:09 PM
Good news: You are wrong. I had that happen a few time (fill the disk completely) and it wasn't a problem. If it says 10GB free it has 10GB free. Running chkdsk gives around 100MB reserved for indexes and filesystem stuff. Considering that i have around 1.5TB of storage if i was to use ext3 it would it like 30-35GB and thats a lot of space.

What evidence do you have that ext3 claims 30GB in filesystem data structures? At any rate, at 1.5TB using ext3 is probably a bad idea in general, it's better suited to a dynamic inode allocation B*-tree filesystem.

4th guy
September 28th, 2008, 05:20 PM
Anyway, I fired an e-mail to them on Friday

Yesterday I came to the store and bought two external 500GB hard disks (http://tinyurl.com/3gn6ur). The problem is that when I plug them into the back USB2 hub (after setting everything as illustrated in the manual), I only get a maximum of 465GB, a difference of 35GB on both of them (which is 70GB). I paid the money for all of the storage space advertised on both the website and on the box, yet none of them state that it was actually 465GB that I would be getting, and not the promised 500GB.
What are you going to do about it?

Sincerely,
I have tried to balance it out between being polite and firm, and I recieved this reply

Good Afternoon,



Thank you for your e-mail.



Regarding your enquiry, the harddisks are of a capacity of 500GB and in order to confirm this you need to check using this procedure:



* Click on My Computer
* Right Click on the Icon of the harddisk, and click Properties
* In the Window that opens there is a picture of a PieChart, right above it there is a value in GB and there is a value in Bytes.



The true value of the capacity of the harddisk is shown in the value with Bytes.





If you need any more help, please do not hesitate to contact us,





Regards,Not only do they assume I am using Windows (for a hard disk that is both Windows and Mac compatable [and obviously Linux as well]), but they give me copy/paste instructions that don't answer my query. At this point I was pissed off, and I fired the following reply.
The number of bytes is 500000000000
The number of actual bytes in 500GB is 536870912000 (500*1024*1024*1024). The box states 500GB not 500GiB or 500000000000bytes. There is a discrepancy of 36870912000 bytes.

Sincerely,So far they have yet to reply. Any pointers on how I should continue this?
I thought I'd tell them that since they have not given a satisfactory answer or solution, I will demand a particular solution. Either refund the money for the missing space, or exchange the drives with two *real* 500GB drives.

PS: I only got one drive, but my friend bought the exact same model with me, so I decided to connect the two issues.

jdong
September 28th, 2008, 05:23 PM
The number of bytes is 500000000000
The number of actual bytes in 500GB is 536870912000 (500*1024*1024*1024). The box states 500GB not 500GiB or 500000000000bytes. There is a discrepancy of 36870912000 bytes.


You are confusing yourself there. 500GiB is 500*1024^3 bytes; 500GB is a legitimate term for 500*10^9 bytes

Frak
September 28th, 2008, 05:24 PM
They use decimal system, not the actual byte system. It rounds from 1024 to 1000.

4th guy
September 28th, 2008, 06:52 PM
You are confusing yourself there. 500GiB is 500*1024^3 bytes; 500GB is a legitimate term for 500*10^9 bytesOops, damn. Still, they have to justify the use of grey fine print, on a white background and covered in plastic. It's not what I'd call readable, especially with all the bright lights in the store. Regardless, didn't we learn at school that 1mb is 1024kb? Where did the sudden change in the convention happen?
They use decimal system, not the actual byte system. It rounds from 1024 to 1000.I did not realize that it would justify misinformation.

Frak
September 28th, 2008, 08:30 PM
Oops, damn. Still, they have to justify the use of grey fine print, on a white background and covered in plastic. It's not what I'd call readable, especially with all the bright lights in the store. Regardless, didn't we learn at school that 1mb is 1024kb? Where did the sudden change in the convention happen?I did not realize that it would justify misinformation.
It's almost like how ISP's show bits instead of bytes.

"We offer 1.5Mb/s download!"

The regular consumer thinks 1.5MB/s while in actuality, it rounds off to around 150KB/s

xnef1025
September 28th, 2008, 09:25 PM
I had a similar thing happen in reverse when I bought a Compaq desktop last year. The specs said it had a 200GB HDD, but when I actually got it home, I found it had a 250GB HDD in there instead. Compaq was kind enough to not count the recovery partition and the system files area when reporting the system specs. It was nice to recover that extra space when I wiped Vista and the recovery partition off the system to install a Linux distro.

jdong
September 28th, 2008, 09:26 PM
It's almost like how ISP's show bits instead of bytes.

"We offer 1.5Mb/s download!"

The regular consumer thinks 1.5MB/s while in actuality, it rounds off to around 150KB/s

Well communications systems are more easily tracked in bits than bytes, as most of the times data is not really quantized into bytes as much as it is quantized to bits, making it only natural to measure bits-per-timeslice or timeslices-per-bit.

Frak
September 28th, 2008, 09:35 PM
Well communications systems are more easily tracked in bits than bytes, as most of the times data is not really quantized into bytes as much as it is quantized to bits, making it only natural to measure bits-per-timeslice or timeslices-per-bit.
Think about it from a customer point of view.

"Wow, 1.5Mb/s must be really fast. Mine is only 350KB/s..."

Think of it from a business standpoint.

"We could increase the number of subscribers if they see a larger number and expect just that."

I also recall AT&T and Comcast being caught doing this in their commercials. You can increase profits from people that don't know the lingo.

jdong
September 28th, 2008, 11:14 PM
I disagree. Megabits per second are the correct unit for measuring transmission throughput. If they just wanted bigger units, they could've gone with signaling rate (like 802.11G's "54MBit' = 21MBit does) or an even more inflated unit.

Frak
September 29th, 2008, 12:53 AM
I disagree. Megabits per second are the correct unit for measuring transmission throughput. If they just wanted bigger units, they could've gone with signaling rate (like 802.11G's "54MBit' = 21MBit does) or an even more inflated unit.
In a technical paper, yes. In a release to the public, maybe. In a television commercial, I doubt it. Remember, companies will do whatever it takes (hopefully within the law) to make a point, even if it is exagerated.

jdong
September 29th, 2008, 01:27 AM
Again, why don't they just use signaling rate of the channel or analog bandwidth to make their claims then, if you are so sure the purpose is to inflate the numbers?

4th guy
September 29th, 2008, 05:45 AM
Yes, but in computing we're used to seeing GB not Gb or anything else.

jdong
September 29th, 2008, 06:06 AM
Yes, but in computing we're used to seeing GB not Gb or anything else.

Not really; it's only with binary data structures (i.e. operating systems organizing data) that the base-2 definition is used. Officially GB refers to the base-10 SI unit, or at least the IEC says so.

Either way, cases like this have been waged in court again and again, and the outcome is always the same... you don't really have much grounds to complain about here.


EDIT: I should also note that flash media today are sold by base-2 storage units. Again, the medium's construction lends to base-2 organization.

NovaAesa
September 29th, 2008, 06:18 AM
Look, you had lots of people in this thread explain to you the meaning of giga (G, 10^9) and gibi (Gi, 2^30). Didn't you listen to them or something? There's lots of literature out there backing up their claims. Then you go off getting cranky at the HDD company when it is pretty obvious you are in the wrong and they are in the right. You had the option to read into and do some research on what people were saying and stop yourself from being an ignorent consumer. Instead, you just ignore it and decide to stay as the ignorent consumer...

Get real here, seriously. :S

mips
September 29th, 2008, 09:00 AM
I disagree. Megabits per second are the correct unit for measuring transmission throughput. If they just wanted bigger units, they could've gone with signaling rate (like 802.11G's "54MBit' = 21MBit does) or an even more inflated unit.

I have to agree with you. Digital communications have always been measured in bits/second. It is the best way to measure the 'speed'.

B/s just make no sense in a communications environment.

bartos
September 29th, 2008, 12:25 PM
When I ordered my laptop, i seen they had a recovery partition but the numbers didn't add up to 80 gig.So I phoned their tech support and they couldn't figure out why I had a 75 gig drive so they sent me another 80. Now I have one with all the original formatting that i can put back in for whoever buys it off me and one for linux.
Good tech support they had.

4th guy
September 29th, 2008, 05:35 PM
Look, you had lots of people in this thread explain to you the meaning of giga (G, 10^9) and gibi (Gi, 2^30). Didn't you listen to them or something? There's lots of literature out there backing up their claims. Then you go off getting cranky at the HDD company when it is pretty obvious you are in the wrong and they are in the right. You had the option to read into and do some research on what people were saying and stop yourself from being an ignorent consumer. Instead, you just ignore it and decide to stay as the ignorent consumer...

Get real here, seriously. :S
Why, thank you for your support. No matter how wrong I am about GB, GiB and Gb, the fact that the hard disk was obviously misleadingly advertised on the website and barely legible fine print (I'd like to see anyone reading grey text on a white background with spotlights shining over the shrink wrap).
I am not being an ignorant customer, I'm being a very angry customer who happens to be an unemployed student that had to either buy an external hard disk with his limited funds or fail his course.

jdong
September 29th, 2008, 05:42 PM
I don't really think you were somehow victimized here. The binary GB is just as legitimate as the base 10 GB with standards bodies advocating both. Every hard disk maker uses this convention and every disk buyer is getting the same size discrepancy so I don't see why you think you are victimized in particular.

We have been trying to tell you this but you always read it as someone wronged you as shown by your incorrectly worded email to the manufacturer.

Canis familiaris
September 29th, 2008, 05:54 PM
Actually the companies do "inflate" the figures. Seriously they should use GiB for measuring storage rather than GB. Most People think GB = GiB and they think they have 80GiB in their 80GB hard disks. I'm sure if say in a theoritical case if 1 GiB would have been lesser than 1000 in value, they would have used GiB. After all the companies do like to inflate their figures.

4th guy
September 29th, 2008, 06:15 PM
I don't really think you were somehow victimized here. The binary GB is just as legitimate as the base 10 GB with standards bodies advocating both. Every hard disk maker uses this convention and every disk buyer is getting the same size discrepancy so I don't see why you think you are victimized in particular.If it's really that standard, Operating Systems and CD manufacturers would use said standard, no? Obviously, everyone else is getting the same, but that won't stop me from trying to at least make my voice heard of as an unsatisfied customer. I certainly *won't* buy anything from that computer store again (based on numerous other dissatisfactions, this is just the cherry) unless they give me a valid reason why I should today.

jdong
September 29th, 2008, 06:21 PM
If it's really that standard, Operating Systems and CD manufacturers would use said standard, no? Obviously, everyone else is getting the same, but that won't stop me from trying to at least make my voice heard of as an unsatisfied customer. I certainly *won't* buy anything from that computer store again (based on numerous other dissatisfactions, this is just the cherry) unless they give me a valid reason why I should today.

Operating system blocksizes are a completely different concept also. Why should disk/RAM manufacturers care? For example, my BSD server measures available RAM and disk space in 4K blocks. I have ~2000000000 blocks of RAM ( = 1GB).

Please find me one non-SSD disk manufacturer that sells hard disks in base-2 measurement units.

4th guy
September 29th, 2008, 06:24 PM
Please find me one non-SSD disk manufacturer that sells hard disks in base-2 measurement units.Sorry, I don't have more money to spend. Blasted hard disk took most of it.

jdong
September 29th, 2008, 06:29 PM
I'll save you some time: Nobody.

Canis familiaris
September 29th, 2008, 06:33 PM
The fact that every one follows an incorrect unit of measurement is NOT its justification.
On ther other hand Consumers should educate themshelves:
1 GiB != 1 GB.

4th guy
September 29th, 2008, 06:38 PM
Thanks for saving me the time. ;)

We have been trying to tell you this but you always read it as someone wronged you as shown by your incorrectly worded email to the manufacturer.
By the way, I wasn't communicating with the manufacturer. I was communicating with a computer store, who has a reputation for ripping people off on software. I was under the impression that they did that on hardware as well. Obviously I am still going to investigate the matter further, and the fact that I'm not very good when it comes to hardware is hindering in this case.

jdong
September 29th, 2008, 06:40 PM
I think the bottom line here is buyers should stay educated on what they are purchasing. This is no different than 802.11G's "false" 54MBit advertisement (the max theoretical data throughput given perfect transmission is about 22MBit) or the "133MB/s" ultra ATA bus (in reality there are 4 channels that transmit at a rate 1/4 of the advertised limit).

The fact of the matter is that two-letter units can only explain so much -- it's up to the consumer to figure out exactly what it means. In the field I've had to deal with far more frustrating unit discrepancies than this when dealing with spec sheets for parts, which are filled with interesting units, rates, and temperatures that turn out to mean something very different than what appears at the surface once you look deeper into it.

jdong
September 29th, 2008, 06:42 PM
[jdong@jdong:~]$ df -BMB (09-29 13:41)
/dev/sdb1 249923MB 151660MB 98264MB 61% /srv


Gasp, a 250GB hard drive :). (64MB of that is the XFS journal, purposely made large for metadata performance. The other 13MB is a combination of filesystem structures, partitioning off-by-one-cyl error, and bad blocks reserved area.

Canis familiaris
September 29th, 2008, 06:46 PM
i think the bottom line here is buyers should stay educated on what they are purchasing. This is no different than 802.11g's "false" 54mbit advertisement (the max theoretical data throughput given perfect transmission is about 22mbit) or the "133mb/s" ultra ata bus (in reality there are 4 channels that transmit at a rate 1/4 of the advertised limit).

The fact of the matter is that two-letter units can only explain so much -- it's up to the consumer to figure out exactly what it means. In the field i've had to deal with far more frustrating unit discrepancies than this when dealing with spec sheets for parts, which are filled with interesting units, rates, and temperatures that turn out to mean something very different than what appears at the surface once you look deeper into it.

+1

4th guy
September 29th, 2008, 07:02 PM
[jdong@jdong:~]$ df -BMB (09-29 13:41)
/dev/sdb1 249923MB 151660MB 98264MB 61% /srv


Gasp, a 250GB hard drive :). (64MB of that is the XFS journal, purposely made large for metadata performance. The other 13MB is a combination of filesystem structures, partitioning off-by-one-cyl error, and bad blocks reserved area.

I've yet to see journals and filesystem structures that take up 35GiB, unless I'm a total idiot and I'm not getting what you said. (if that's the case I'd appreciate a reply explaining more on this; I'm extremely interested)

jdong
September 29th, 2008, 07:06 PM
Use the df -BMB or df -BGB commands to show the size of the drive in MB and GB, respectively. This value should be extremely close to the advertised capacity of the drive, as you are specifically requesting the size in units of MB and GB rather than the OS's default organization level (which is base-2 due to the convenience of the data structures within the OS)

dannyboy79
September 29th, 2008, 07:49 PM
as many others have already stated. Marketing uses tricky labels and what not. For example, you can by a formatted FAT32 external drive that states it's 300GB (doesn't state that the formatting took hard drive space away though) when you plug it in and do a df -h in linux, it'll say it only is 280GB.
I bought a unformatted Seagate 500gb hard drive and formatted it ext3 and it only shows 469GB, so I lost 31GB. Just the way it is.

Here's also a great explanation on the matter, look under the Consumer Confusion section: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigabyte#Gigabytes_vs._gigabits

ubuntpetbe
September 2nd, 2011, 04:26 PM
I have bought an external hard disk which supposedly has a 500gb capacity. The problem is that it only has 465gb. I know that some manufacturers prefer to show straight shiny numbers, like 500gb as opposed to 465gb, but right now I can not help but feel as if I have somehow have been ripped off. There was no number on the box other than 500gb.
Any ideas or advice?

(for those who were wondering, it's "only" 7% less, but I paid money for those missing 35gb as well)

EDIT: even if we take 1gb as 1000mb (as "defined" on the box), I still would have 488gb as opposed to 465gb.

Have read this thread and decided someone should explain it easy and clear.

What's on the box is wrong, it's not taking 1 GB as 1000 MB but taking 1 GB as 1*(1000^3) B.
And the operating system using 1 GB as 1*(1024^3) B.

The calculation itself is: 500*( (1000^3)/(1024^3) )
500 GB = 465.66 GiB
This checks out.

Let's see what numbers this calculator gives us:
http://www.dr-lex.be/info-stuff/bytecalc.html
Again 500 GB = 465.66 GiB.

Why don't you show the unprefixed amount of bytes that your operating system sees on the disk?

(I notice that you don't understand the prefixes because of the wrong advice on the box. This means that people who decide what came on that box doesn't have a good understanding of math and prefixes.





This is a misunderstanding because of confusion. It sucks but these things happen.
If you really need to point a finger.
You're being bullshitted by the Operating System.
Notice the companie about their wrongly explanation. Ask them to just put the actual number on it. Like this: 1 GB = 10^9 B.

Some idiot, a while back, didn't wanted to do memory calculations. Because he was careless and lazy he just not changed the units or added any indication of it's non-standard use. (The meaning of a few decimal prefixes where standardized long before the first computer.)

This resulted in an Operating System using binary prefix calculations in combination with showing decimal prefixes.
Other OS makers copied that behaviour resulting in the mess and confusing nowadays.
We're slowly going away from that because of the confusion. The new IEC prefixes are new and suppose to help show the difference.
Mac OS X 10.6 already uses the new meanings and corrects the old meanings. Others will follow.

And people, get your math right!
Seriously!

overdrank
September 2nd, 2011, 04:30 PM
Thread is 3 yrs old. Back to sleep. Thread closed. :)