View Full Version : Quantum Atlas III not formatting fully

04-22-2002, 08:21 PM
I'm going to build a RAID using SoftRAID 2.2.2 .... One of the drives I'm using is a Quantum Atlas III 18.2Gb. The problem I'm having, is, this drive will only format to 16.97Gb !
with Norton or Disk Tools. How can I get this thing completely formatted to 18Gb?

Any help would be appreciated... Thanks;

04-22-2002, 09:33 PM

That's a standard question - the 18GB is an UNFORMATTED capacity value - once you format the disk (HFS, HFS+, etc), some space is taken away for various and sundry hard drive things - disk catalogues, etc.. allocation of blocks, etc.. so your formatted capacity is always less than the unformatted amount. You have to format your disk somehow so your computer can access it.


04-22-2002, 09:57 PM
There is also a difference in the definition of a gigabyte Sales weenies will tell you a gig is 1000 MB's which is an accepted definition of a gig but a true gig is more than that and your Mac knows this! The sales weenie will sell you a 2000MB drive and tell you it is 2 gigs and it will format to 1.8 gigs every time.

A good (and reasonably accurate) rule of thumb is that you will lose 700MB per every ten gigs of drive space (as listed on the box) My Maxtor 40.9 gig drive formatted to 38 gigs

Also remember that advertising and sales weenies will sell you a 40 gig drive but it will rarely be exactly 40 gigs Again my Maxtor "40" gig drive was 40.9 gigs

The 700MB number is not perfect On a bigger drive like a 100gig I believe you only lose about 6.25gigs to the various things

04-23-2002, 01:43 AM
I just thought a Gigabyte was alot to give up for that kind of stuff... MacGurus' is the Naz!!!


[This message has been edited by Audiowiz (edited 23 April 2002).]

04-23-2002, 01:48 AM
The difference isn't actually the "Sales Weenie's" doing! I know this because I used to work for a major hard drive manufacturer, whom shall remain nameless for now... Hard drives, unlike any other computer part, uses actual decimal for their size definitions. Therefore a 18.2 GB drive has 18,200,000,000 bytes of storage space. 1 Gigabyte (GB) = 1 Billion, 1 MB = 1 Million and 1 KB = 1000.

Everywhere else in your computer it uses a binary shorthand for space. 1 Gigabyte = 1024 Megabytes, 1 MB = 1024 KB and 1 KB = 1024 bytes. 1024 is the nearest number you can get to a thousand by multiplying 2 by itself over and over (10 times actually.)

To see how this creates confusion take the 18 GB drive mentioned earlier. 18200000000/1024/1024/1024 actually equals approximately 16.95 GB to your computer. This calculates to 18.2 billion bytes. Most didn't notice this earlier on since it wasn't as noticeable with smaller drives. IE: 20 MB(harddrive) = 19.07 MB (computer).

Blaming it on formatting overhead went out with floppy disks. Most hard drives are sold based on Formated Capacity as opposed to Floppies that were sold based on Unformated Capacity (That's why 2MB drives gave you a 1.4MB floppy!). The difference with hard drives are entirely the Decimal/Binary confusion.

[This message has been edited by lasvegas (edited 23 April 2002).]

04-23-2002, 10:16 AM
All very true but it is the sales and advertising weenies that choose to use the Base 10 version over the more accurate base 2 version just so they can advertise a bigger #. They should use the more accurate but smaller # so that what they say is what you actually end up with. Then they turn right around and round the inaccurate size spec to the nearest 10 IE a 40.9 gig drive (which is actually a 38 gig drive) is called a 40gig drive which is inaccurate either way you measure it....sigh

04-23-2002, 10:36 AM
lv, you da man!


04-23-2002, 08:39 PM
Recent news articles on web newspapers advocate the SI term "gibibyte" for base2 gigs, keeping gigabyte for base10 gigs.

yet even if gibibyte is widely accepted, I doubt it will decrease confusion amongst the masses.

Salesguy: "This comes with a 100g drive."
Consumer: "Is that gibibytes or gigabytes?"
Salesguy: "Gibibytes."
Consumer: "Which one is which?"

04-24-2002, 02:33 AM
That would be, simply put, just silly. Kilo- (English "thousand"), Mega- (Greek "great"), Giga- (English "Gigantic") have been used in the scientific community to represent thousand, million and billion respectively for too long. The computer industry started out using them to represent binary over 60 years ago. Changing the words would do nothing to decrease confusion since the words that make up the composite word have no meaning!

Of course, neither does the word "BYTE" have any historical meaning. It was created to represent a set of 8 BITs ( Binary digITS ) as was "NIBBLE" created to represent 4 BITs.