You buy a brand new spankin’ pen drive or a hard disk and you plug it into your system. But, to your dismay, you find that you’ve been “cheated” by the manufacturer!



Well, let’s suppose you’ve purchased an 8 GB pen drive. Upon plugging it in, you see that it has only 7.46 GB worth of space.


Where did 0.54 GB worth of space disappear?

You get all angry ready to beat the manufacturers to pulp for pulling this trick on you.

But wait, they are legit. Let me explain how.

Let’s do the math. 

While manufacturing a pen drive or a hard disk, manufacturers consider:

1 MB = 1000 KB

1 GB = 1000 MB

1 TB = 1000 GB

(basically using the number 10 as base)


However, computers operate using number 2 as base; for them:

1 MB = 1024 KB

1 GB = 1024 MB

1 TB = 1024 GB


Therefore the erroneous method of computation is responsible for the “missing space”


Let’s take an example of the 16 GB pendrive

From the manufacturer’s POV, 16 GB should essentially have 16*1000*1000*1000 = 16,000,000,000 bytes

But according to the computer, 16 GB is actually 16*1024*1024*1024 = 17,179,869,184 bytes

The difference in computation comes out to be:

17,179,869,184 bytes – 16,000,000,000 bytes = 1,179,869,184 bytes which is nearly equal to 1.1 GB!

In larger storage devices, the difference is a lot more!

Ultimate Quora

Ever paid heed to the disclaimer that’s usually given in the boxes?