1TB or 931 GB?

By SilenceOfComp
May 10, 2009
  1. Ok, so i thought I knew how the drives worked as far as the loss of data due to format... but i guess i am wrong, you see, I thought that what type of file system you had determained how much storage space you lost....

    I bought a external 1TB WD My Book and when i plugged it in it installed and told me 931GB on FAT32, so i figured that the drive, once i formatted with ntfs that i would get more gbs of storage.. Am I doing something wrong or am I mistaken b/c I formated NTFS, and 931 GBs again.. someone please explain.

    v/r Silence...
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Yep you are wrong. Thats perfectly normal. See this thread:

    I'll quote my important part.

    Start with the full amount of bytes, then start dividing by 1024, eventually you'll end up very close to your 931.
  3. SilenceOfComp

    SilenceOfComp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    So the NTFS file system allows for the best use of the gigabytes of storage correct?
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I don't think it makes much if any difference. 931 is a normal value to expect though. Take a look at my screen shot.

    If you do the math, you'll end up with 931.5. (divide by 1024 3x, 1 for giga, mega, kilo). I think the FS overhead is a carryover from back when drives were only a few megabytes in size and that it doesn't matter anymore because its such a small percentage of the overall capacity of the drive.

    Attached Files:

    • 1TB.jpg
      File size:
      42.7 KB
  5. vanguardfox

    vanguardfox TS Rookie

    haha, imagine: what!? did i delete 69.5 Gb of capacity?
  6. SilenceOfComp

    SilenceOfComp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    I didn't think that I deleted it, I just thought that the file system determained how much you lost... like instead of 1024kb/1mb that it would be 1014kb/1mb, but then again I was wrong, which is why i asked..

    I havn't been to school for this stuff in like 8 years.. so... yeah lol
  7. vanguardfox

    vanguardfox TS Rookie

    i didn't mean to insult you dude. sorry if i did. i was just trying bring some comedy to the situation.

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  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    You're likely thinking in terms of "disk overhead", i.e. how much a filesystem reserves for its own private use.

    While i don't know how much NTFS vs. FAT32 require in overhead, that's not what's important. What's important is NTFS is a far more robust filesystem then FAT32. Regardless of which one might use more for "system overhead" fact is, that NTFS is generally preferred. (except in some cases where a disk while be shared.)
    => All computers can read NTFS filesystems
    => It's game players, and other end user consumer products that sometimes require FAT

    So use NTFS UNLESS you need to share the drive with something requiring FAT
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    To add to LookinAround's excellent post above, FAT also limits you to a maximum file size of 4GB. NTFS has a max file size of approximately 16TB in comparison.
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