Tuesday, January 15, 2008

So when does 320 actually equal 298?

Apparently when you buy a 320 GB external hard drive, you don't actually get 320 GB worth of space. Who knew?

I guess I probably should have, seeing as I work in an IT department and all. But I'm not technically an 'IT' person, and I never even thought about it when looking for a drive to store some information for work. I needed 308 GB of space, so figured that a 320 GB drive would be perfect. Cheaper than a 500 GB hard drive and a more efficient use of drive space since anything over 308 GB would just be left empty.

Good plan, huh? Some of you probably know where I'm going with this and are out there laughing at me. Because what I didn't realize is that when you purchase a 320 GB hard drive, what you actually get is 298 GB of usable storage space.

After some research online, I now know that it has to do something with how 320,000,000,000 bytes are converted into kilobytes which are then converted into megabytes and then gigabytes... Basically you lose a little in the conversion the higher up you go. Don't ask me why they don't just call it a 298 GB hard drive then - it would be a lot less frustrating!

I had noticed that there is '7-point-something' GB available on my 8 GB iPod, and always thought that was strange. But since I have yet to fill up even half of the space, it's never been an issue. Same thing with the 250 GB external drive that I got a while back to store our digital photos and other files on at home. I figured it would take us years to even get close to using up all of that space, so never even paid attention to how much is actually available.

Not so in this case, however. Remember, I have 308 GB of files to store. And apparently I'm now 10 GB short.

Not to mention that the cleaning crew has already 'very helpfully' gotten rid of the box and all of the packaging and other materials that came with this drive, which I had carefully saved in the box, just in case, and put aside so that it wouldn't get taken out with the other trash.


I have no idea if the drive can be returned without any of the original packaging or the box, but I doubt it. I would also have to go through our office manager to have her run out and try to return/exchange it since the drive was purchased on a department credit card under her name.

Bigger sigh.

My solution for the moment? Well, there is currently an extra 10 GB of data residing on the hard drive of my work computer, at least temporarily. I've got the space, so hopefully it won't be an issue. Not having all of the data together - may be a bigger issue, but at least now I can return the external drive that we've been borrowing from another organization since before Christmas.

So to all of the computer hardware manufacturers out there, please say what you mean! It would certainly make life a whole lot easier for this working mama who has spent way too long trying to find 10 'lost' GB of space today.

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2 wonderful people said...:

Corey~living and loving said...

oh man....that totally sucks. I found that out when I bought an external, but it didn't matter as I was just getting it for my pics.

I hope you get it figured it out.

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

Dang. I wish my bathroom scale worked like hard drives do. I'd love it if it showed up less than it really was!