Why Does My SSD Show Up As Smaller Than Advertised?

Why Does My SSD Show Up As Smaller Than Advertised? Why Advertised Storage Does Not Match Real Data Capacity. Let’s figure it out in today’s article.

Number systems

Everyone is used to working with a simple decimal system, in which the prefix “kilo” turns one byte into a thousand (10 to the third power), “mega” – into a million (10 to the sixth power), “Giga” – into a billion (10 to the ninth power ). Such designations are convenient in practice, as well as save users from unnecessary calculations. Accordingly, manufacturers indicate the volume of drives in the decimal system. Also, Read – How to Clean and Speed Up Your Laptop

But it is worth noting that such a solution is good for a person, but not quite for a computer. All computational operations are performed in the binary system. These values ​​are converted to the decimal system only for the convenience of users. And “kilo” in the binary system is listed as 2 to the tenth power or 1024. In other words, one bit in it (the minimum unit of information) can take the value 1 or 0, a byte consists of eight bits (2 to the power of 3), and a kilobyte turns from 1000 to 1024 (2 to the power of 10), megabytes to 1024 kilobytes, etc.

Binary and decimal systems

Therefore, the more kilobytes are in the drive, the more noticeable the discrepancy between binary and decimal systems. And if you look at the characteristics of the drive, then there will be other numbers and not those that were planned to be seen.

Let’s take a 250 GB SSD  as an example. In decimal notation, 250 GB equals 250 billion bytes and is approximately the same as the total size of the drive in bytes. But Windows translates those billions of bytes into a usable binary system. As a result, the theoretical decimal 250 GB turns into an actual 232 GB.

It should be said that even the final 232 GB is not always correct when it comes to SSDs. No operating system has access to the entire volume of an SSD, since any SSD is also equipped with a spare memory area. It is gradually activated after the failure of individual cells of the main memory. But that’s another story. Also, Read – The Positive Impact of CRM on Real Estate Companies

Correcting the situation

The drive may show less disk capacity as a result of various damages and some specific operations. For example, this position may be the result of an unsuccessful attempt to make a bootable USB flash drive out of the device, or due to incorrect partitioning. Fortunately, this can be fixed.

Use formatting as the first method to eliminate the incorrectly specified volume. That is, you need to format the drive and restore its default distribution settings.

Format the hard drive

This method is quite simple and it will take no more than a minute to complete it. First, you just need to format the hard drive, restoring the default allocation block size and file system settings. Then you need to connect the USB flash drive to the computer and do the following:

  • Open the “My Computer” menu.
  • In the list that appears, select the “Removable disk” item (the flash drive may be displayed differently if it has a specific name).
  • Right-click on it and select “Format”.
  • In the new formatting window, click on the “Restore default device settings” button.
  • In the “Allocation Unit Size” field, select the “Default Allocation Size” option
  • Check “Quick Format” and click “Start”.
  • After formatting, you need to check that the drive now displays the correct capacity.

If the drive continues to show the wrong volume, then proceed to the next method – we do a redistribution using Bootie. This program will allow you to simply and safely delete all partitions from a flash drive and rebuild one main partition with the entire disk capacity.

As part of the second method, we do the following:

  • Download the Bootice program and run it on your computer.
  • Then we make sure that our flash drive is selected in the “Destination Disk” field.
  • Click the “Manage Parts” button. A new window will appear with a list of partitions on the selected device.

Properly formatted drive

A properly formatted drive should have only one partition. Therefore, if more are shown in the list, it means that the source of the problem with the wrong capacity has been found. Here you need to reformat the flash drive so that it deletes all partitions and creates one large one from them.

To do this, click on the “Re-partitioning” button. A new recovery window will appear. Select the “USB-HDD Mode (Single Partition)” mode. We install the file system on FAT32, enter any name for the disk (VolLabel) and better in English. In the Start LBA field, enter 1, and in Reserved Secs, enter the value 32 and click OK.

As a result of this operation, the drive will be formatted and partitions will be rebuilt. After that, the disk capacity should be displayed correctly. Also, Read – Guide to Using Google Drive for Business


The actual volume of the drive is usually less than the theoretical one. But this is not an error or some kind of malfunction. It’s all about number systems. Also, Read – The New MacBook Pro 2022 with M2 could be coming soon

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