For as long as I can remember, Microsoft DOS and Windows have been displaying byte sizes with decimal prefixes, instead of binary prefixes. This has plagued at least two generations of computer users over the years. There must be at least A6 questions of the type "why is my X GB hard disk drive only showing Y GB?" on the web.
There is nothing wrong with using decimal prefixes to display byte sizes. Really! But when you use binary based size calculations and you prefix them with decimal prefixes, then it becomes a total wreckage!
Here is an example of what a 32 GB disk partition is displayed like in
diskpart on Windows.
Partition ### Type Size Offset ------------- ---------------- ------- ------- Partition 1 Primary 29 GB 1024 KB
Is there a sane, logical reason for this? Why is Microsoft still keeping up with this bad practice in the latest Windows versions?
At very least, I think they should consider doing what Canonical is doing with Ubuntu Linux. They are using decimal prefixes, and decimal based calculations to display disk and file sizes. So in Ubuntu, a 500 GB disk will display as 500 GB. Bah oui! Voilá!
Here is what that same disk partition would be displayed like in
parted in Ubuntu.
Number Start End Size Type File system Flags 1 1049kB 32.0GB 32.0GB primary fat32 lba
I would like to have a flipped version of the Ubuntu approach, where I have binary based size calculations and binary prefixes. How can this be done on Windows? Is there some hidden option or a registry hack for this? How about Linux?