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Windows 7: Flash drive size misrepresented

15 Sep 2014   #1
ellenc

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Flash drive size misrepresented

I recently bought several Kingston "8G" memory sticks. I want to back up a single folder that is about 8G. I got a message that 8G won't fit on the stick; the available size was only 715G. This is so very aggravating. I'll have to return the drives, as their properties are misrepresented. I shouldn't have to use 16G sticks when I don't need that much space -- just 8. Thanks for your thoughts. ellen


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15 Sep 2014   #2
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

USB Thumb/Flash drives are usually formatted as FAT32 which has a limit of 4GB size for a single file, NTFS-formatting does not have that limit.

All drives when formatted will not deliver the advertised size, depends upon how the vendor describes what a MB or GB is, an example is my 250GB Western Digital HDD which shows total capacity of 249,954.202,752 Bytes which converted to GB is 232GB [divide the number of Bytes by 1024 or multiples of 1024]. The 250GB before formatting shows an apparent loss of 18GB after formatting. I have a 32GB drive that shows only 29GB capacity. Or in other words your Thumb/Flash drives appear to be quite normal.
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15 Sep 2014   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I've got a Kingston 8 GB USB stick attached right now. Capacity shown as 7.44 GB.

It's also possible that you got a counterfeit, not a legitimate Kingston product--depending on where you bought it. I've heard there are such things, although I've never encountered one.
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15 Sep 2014   #4
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Drive manufacturers usually advertise capacity defining 1 GB as 1,000,000,000 bytes while in Windows it is 1024 * 1024 * 1024 = 1073741824 bytes. Do the math and an 8 GB drive has a real capacity of about 7.45 GB. With NTFS the reported size of a folder is at best only an approximation. There are many complicating factors that make this so. It is not that Windows is lying, the problem becomes: what is the truth? There are many equally valid answers that can produce quite different results.

A drive from a different manufacturer will likely have much the same capacity.

Edit:
Quote:
It's also possible that you got a counterfeit, not a legitimate Kingston product--depending on where you bought it. I've heard there are such things, although I've never encountered one.
Unfortunately, counterfeit flash drives are becoming quite common in the larger sizes (32 GB and up). This has become a real problem for outlets like eBay, particularly with sellers in the Orient. Typically a small drive is altered to show a much larger capacity than it actually has. In some cases drives are used that have failed manufacturers testing and have been scheduled for destruction but have been sold by dishonest employees. The packaging of fakes is often very convincing.

This is for interest only. It is unlikely the cause in this case.
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15 Sep 2014   #5
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

Came across a couple of boxes of floppy disks, looks like that was the last time the formatted size was printed on boxes.
These floppies show 2MB but formatted as 1.44MB.


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