Need Clarification On Decimal and Binary Data

Boris_yo

Limp Gawd
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Oct 22, 2011
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Suppose I have 64GB flash memory card. Ot is advertised as 64GB but in reality it's 58.21GB in binary standard which is used in Windows. However in Linux its storage remains 64GB.

Question: If I want to use flash memory card in Linux or Android or put it in small surveillance camera, why not just format it in Linux or Android? That way I will have advertised storage?

Next question is, what happens to flash memory card formatted in Linux or Android when all of 64GB have been used and I put it in Windows PC? What will happen to the "missing" storage?

Thanks
 

Grebuloner

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There is no missing storage. It's just how each OS differently reports the amount of storage space provided by the card. One does it in binary GiB (Windows), the other in decimal GB (Linux). It's exactly the same either way give or take a handful of bytes if different file systems are used.

If you look at the back of the package the card came in, you'll see print saying "1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes" which is how the manufacturers cover their legal butts against a false advertising lawsuit that happened many years ago. Pulling up disk properties in Windows you'd see a total storage capacity number very close to 64,000,000,000 bytes.
 

CrimsonKnight13

Lord Stabington of [H]ard|Fortress
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Linux most definitely uses GiB. I've not ever seen it go with GB unless a specific application or DE file explorer is set to be GB.
 

Boris_yo

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Grebuloner CrimsonKnight13 I have a small spy camera that works in dedicated Android app and uses SDHC and SDXC flash memory cards. I was wondering whether I should format flash memory card in Linux, Windows or use camera's dedicated app formatting feature? I heard how formatting using devices like camera rendered flash memory cards unusable...
 

Grebuloner

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Grebuloner CrimsonKnight13 I have a small spy camera that works in dedicated Android app and uses SDHC and SDXC flash memory cards. I was wondering whether I should format flash memory card in Linux, Windows or use camera's dedicated app formatting feature? I heard how formatting using devices like camera rendered flash memory cards unusable...
You'll want to start by looking at the camera manual. Some systems won't work right if you don't use the device itself to do the formatting and the manual will tell you that (my dash cam is this way).

If it doesn't specify, look at the compatible filesystems and then use the OS with native support for it.

In the scenario that the camera demands FAT32 and you're using a card bigger than 32GB, there is an HP utility you can download that will do it.
 
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Nobu

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Also keep in mind that installing a filesystem on the disk uses some space. You won't be able to use 100% of the capacity unless you write directly to the disk and forgo a filesystem, and even then some sectors may be reserved or bad so they will be inaccessible.
 

Boris_yo

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Nobu Like FAT, FAT32, NTFS, exFAT all use their own fraction of space reserved for them? Is it file table that reserves this space?
 

Nobu

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Nobu Like FAT, FAT32, NTFS, exFAT all use their own fraction of space reserved for them? Is it file table that reserves this space?
Right, FAT filesystems use file allocation tables, NTFS uses a MFT, ext3 uses a bitmap and file/directory tables and also (optionally) reserves space for a journal and "root".
 
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