Actual Size of a 2TB Hard drive

Whether you are using the internal hard drive or external hard drive, you will never get the actual 2 TB storage capacity. Here, I will discuss about the most commonly questions asked by the users when they see this difference in between the advertised storing capacity of HDD and the actual capacity shown in Operating System statistics.

I have seen that the difference is around 200 GB when drive is formatted with one NTFS partition on a Windows based system. The results may vary on MAC OS.

The most commonly asked questions are.

1. Where is my 200 GB DATA capacity?
2. IS there any bad sector in the drive and the OS is hiding that space for performance reasons?
3. The vendor of the drive has wrongly advertised the actual storage capacity of 2 TB drive.
4. Have I got the smaller capacity drive instead of actual drive?

The phrase of questions may vary but the focus is same i.e. why is this difference?

The difference between a hard drive’s rated size(Vendor advertised) and it’s reported size in a computer OS is due to the following two main reasons.

1. Sometimes, there is an additional recovery partition that takes up space but is not always present and most of the times, recovery partition is not shown in the Disk Management programs.
2. There are two capacity measurement systems i.e. Binary number system and Decimal Number System. Hard drive’s manufacturers and vendors like Seagate, Western Digital etc use the decimal system to measure the size of storage devices.

According to storage device vendor, the rated size would be

1KB = 1000 bytes
1MB = 1000 KBs
1GB = 1000MBs
1TB = 1000GBs

But according to Computers who are binary machines and are based on binary number systems, the reported storage capacity would be

1KB = 1024KBs
1MB = 1024KBs
1GB = 1024MBs
1TB = 1024GBs.

So a completely blank 2TB hard drive, if you do the calculation, you can expect it to read as 1862GBs, or approximately 1.8TB.

Hopefully, now you understand that what would be the actual size of a 2TB hard drive is 1.8TB. IT doesn’t matter that whether you are using a portable external hard drive, internal harddrive, or desktop drive. Measuring capacity is same for all drives(SATA, HDD, Pen Drives, USB Drives etc).

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