WD Elements 8TB not 8TB?


So i just received my WD Elements 8TB external harddrive and plugged it in. Immediatly it shows only 7,27TB of space on the supposedly 8TB drive.

What is going on here? Where did the 730gb of free space go? I have checked the drive via the windows diskmngmt tool and it shows no seperate partitions being unused.

Everything seems to point to this only being a 7,27TB drive?

I have tried to google this issue and found out about the decimal vs binary thing, but still… 8TB should be 8TB and not 7…

Im using Windows 10 and have done nothing else with the drive so far.

Please let me know.

Thank you!

That unfortunately is normal, and you will see it on any computer and drive.

For example my 5TB elements drives show as 4.54TB, and the 2TB drives in my NAS show as 1.81TB.

As a little explanation to why, see the link below:

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Darren thank you for your quick reply.

Although I have noticed it before and understand the way it works, I still find it kind of shamefull I buy a 8TB hdd and get just barely over 7TB… Either WD should label their harddrives correctly, at a minimum post what a Mac would show and what a windows computer would show, or they should up the HDD to be truly 8TB on a windows pc…

This is just deception this way…

It’s standard industry practice I’m afraid. Look at any other drive maker, they’re all the same. The normal argument is that it’s the raw unformatted capacity, but by formating it you lose some of the space due to the size of the blocks and other similar arguments.

I just state this as fact, as I entirely agree with your sentiment and always find it annoying too that you lose around 10% of what you paid for.

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Here’s a handy calculator i use to find out the real capacity of hard drives before buying


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Thanks for the comments guys.

I guess I’ll have to live with it.

According to the calculator I’m still missing around 180 GB though… So that’s weird?


No real idea there. Normally it can be secondary hidden partitions (restore partitions and suchlike) but that shouldn’t be the case on an elements drive as they don’t have encryption or anything like that.

If you want to dig deeper, you need a partition manager tool. On Linux you have gparted available, and under Windows I personally like Minitool Partition Wizard. Just be careful with that kind of Swiss Army Chainsaw application as they can do a lot of damage if you’re not careful.

As I said before personally I normally take losing 10% as a rule of thumb for drive size and just live with it.

The format and byte allocation (cluster ?) size will also effect the reported capacity and free space.

example: i grabbed a small 2GB flash drive which the calculator says should be 1.862GB

so i formatted the 2GB flash drives NTFS (4096 bytes) and then in exFAT (32 kilobytes)

result comparison below … looks like exFAT gives me an extra 3GB over NTFS (but the capacity is 1GB different and NTFS uses more “used” space even on a completely blank drive.

for an 8TB drive that’s probably explains the missing 180 GB ? … to only way to really know is to format your drive to compare. But, there will always be someting in the “used space” even on a completely blank hdd.