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File Size Indicator always KB in Vista

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File Size Indicator always KB in Vista


I am using Vista Business. When I'm in a folder and set the view to Details, the file sizes are always in KB. I would like to make it show relative sizes, so rather than a file being 217,348 KB, it would show as 217.3 MB (or whatever it would be).

Anyone know how to change this?






  • 02 Aug 2010 3:00 pm

     If the drive reports filesizes in bytes to the os, it is easy to report file sizes in KB by a simple conversion. Displaying in MB though requires "calculation" . It is true that you can see MB or GB for a single file in

    properties.. ..there is a lot of difference in calculating one file than calculating MB over a group of files simultaneously and having to repeat that process with every refresh or change in the window.


    1000 bytes for instance = 1Kb...I did that in my head.

    1000 bytes also equals 0.9765625MB which I had to calculate. Now to display

    that so the masses could read it let's round that up to .98MB.


    Those extra steps took me time so why wouldn't it take time for the OS? The time to perform any operation affects system perfomance.


    All that calculating and rounding would cause other problems as well....


    For a 700mb CD, you could fit 

    714.285714285714285 71428571428571 files on it using .98MB files or

    716.8 files using 0.9765625MB files.


    Windows would likely also tell you the hard drive is full prematurely also using that logic.

    KB reporting is faster, more accurate, easier to implement, and easier to understand.

  • 02 Aug 2010 1:13 pm


    Forget -for ever- the windows file manager. Use Total Commander. You'll be able to do everything you ever dreamed of and even more. And also what you want about the displaying of sizes.

    Two tabbed panes side by side. You put in the tabs your favorite folders. You copy or move from one pane to the other. You zip and unzip without external program. You attach memo notes to any files and directories. You can perform searches within these notes. You can copy, delete, sort, rename one by one ou multiple rename, copy, delete, see hidden files and folders, view file's contents in various format, edit files, perform DOS commands, view ms word or ms excel files with adequate plugins, compare directories, synchronize folders, update web sites with FTP. And a lot more. Moreover, very fast and using very few memory. Try it for free.

    www.ghisler. com 

  • 02 Aug 2010 2:18 pm

     In Vista you can set the header list what shows by pointing at the column header and right clicking and you can change the Sort column by the drop arrow at the side to show MB.

  • 02 Aug 2010 2:57 pm

    I do not believe that how a file system viewer reports file sizes can have any impact on the system.  I use 2xExplorer and it reports files sizes as the size on disk in bytes.  This is the size you can see in Windows Explorer by right clicking on a file and selecting Properties.


    Since the Properties can show the file size in bytes or MB then I expect any program displaying file size does so by reading the size in bytes and then converting it to the correct value for display in the units for the display.


    I expect Windows Explorer is in kB as a general size good for most files.  Reporting the size in bytes like 2xExplorer results in a very long set of numbers for files above 1 MB in size.  Reporting file sizes in MB would make the appearance of the size of files less than 1 kB be practically negligible or require several characters to the right of the decimal point.

  • 02 Aug 2010 3:01 pm

    I use the free xploer2 which is what I think you mean Jonathan and with its twin panes it make life so much easier for file transfer etc'. 



    Exlporer in Win XP does show in Kilobytes with noit change of list possible.

  • 02 Aug 2010 3:02 pm

    It's easy to get them confused.

    xplorer2 is the new version of 2xExplorer.  xplorer2 is shareware.  2xExplorer is freeware and I have been using it for years as it works on all systems, at least up through XP.

    Both can be obtained from here:

    http://netez. com/2xExplorer/

  • 02 Aug 2010 3:04 pm

    The meaning of "KB" continues to be debated.  Strictly speaking you are correct that the SI standard meaning of "KB" or "kilobyte" is 1,000 bytes.  The term used to mean 1024 bytes (or 2 raised to the 10th power) is "kibibyte" or "KiB".  However, most computer systems have used "KB" to refer to 1024 bytes.  So, if the system does report the size of a file in bytes then to display the value in "KB" does require some calculations whether it be dividing by 1000 or 1024.  Actually dividing by 1024 may be faster because in the binary system it can be done by shifting bits rather than actually performing a division calculation which takes considerably more time.  (While you may easily divide by 1000 in your head, the computer must follow a strict procedure so whether the divisor is 1000 or 8456 is not important to the steps the computer must follow.  The exception is if the divisor is a multiple of 2, such as 1024.)


    As an example, I look at a file in 2xExplorer and see the size of 2,078,418 bytes.  If I divide that by 1024 then I get 2,029.7.  In Windows Explorer the size of the file is shown to be 2,030 KB.  If I divide by 1024 again then I get 1.982.  If I right click on the file and look at the properties I see the size reported as 1.98 MB (2.078,418 bytes).  So Windows Explorer uses the common meaning of 1 "KB" = 1024 bytes.  And 1MB = 1024 KB.  And 1GB = 1024 MB = 1024^2 KB = 1024^3 bytes.


    I doubt that the time to convert bytes to KB or MB can be noticeable, particularly if done by shifting bits.

  • 02 Aug 2010 3:05 pm

     Here's a file off my c: drive....


    VIRTPART.DAT 26,624KB ....reported in explorer

    26.0 MB (27,262,976 bytes)....reported in properties.


    The math example....


    27,262,976/1024= 26,624

    26,624/1024= 26


    Drive reports bytes it appears

    Microsoft does one simple division by 1024 to display KB  

    To display MB in properties, a second division by 1024 process is taking place so we totally agree here.


    There has to be some reason though that Microsoft has chosen to do things this way. Personally I just look at the KB and do the quick math unless it really matters. My suspicion though is that it is done that way for performance reasons which result from the way they are calculating it. 


    Shifting bits may be faster but then they would have to convert binary back to be able to display it so an idiot could understand it. No matter how you do it...adding steps increases time to any task whether percievable or not.


    I'd rather think they are shaving nanoseconds than intentionally adding them.

  • 02 Aug 2010 3:07 pm

     Computers work in the binary system, not the decimal system.  Every time you see a decimal value or enter a decimal value it has to be converted to binary.  The reason for the binary system is very simple, it has only the values of 0 or 1.  This can easily be represented by something being off or on, charged or not charged, etc.  So if you place 8 binary bits side by side (as being 1 byte in the octal or base 8 system) you can represent any number from decimal 0 (00000000) (octal 0) to 255 (11111111) (octal 177).  In integer calculation 255/2 = 127 which is (01111111) in binary.  The binary result is the same as shifting the first 7 bits for 255 to the right and ignoring the last bit (which is actually the first bit in converting to decimal).


    Internet communication is based on the old telegraph which used 7 bits.  And why 7 you might ask?  Because with 7 bits you can represent the decimal numbers of 0 through 127 and that is sufficient to represent all of the keys on a keyboard.  For example, the decimal values of 48 through 57 (octal of 60 through 71) represent the numbers 0 through 9, the decimal values of 65 through 90 (octal 101 through 132) represent the uppercase letters A through Z, and decimal 97 through 122 (octal 141 through 172) represent the lowercase letters a through z.  Decimal 7 rings the bell (back in the typewriter days) and decimal 13 results in a carriage return.


    The 8th bit of the octal set is used to provide an extended set of ASCII 128 more characters such as lines and shapes for drawing.  


    Any file sent over the Internet that contains anything other than the standard 128 ASCII codes must be converted (encoded) into a pure text stream of data that contains only those codes for transmission.  At the receiving end the stream of data is inverted (decoded) back into the original file.  Today, this is done automatically by email and ftp programs.  In earlier days I had to use encoding and decoding programs.


    Using 1024 bytes to represent 1 KB makes perfect sense in binary math.  Using 1000 bytes to represent 1 KB is actually quite complex to do in binary math.


    So, Microsoft has not chosen to do anything special.  Computers and Internet communications are based on a binary system.  Humans are based on a decimal system.  Luckily, the conversion between the two is done for us without any effort on our part.

  • 02 Aug 2010 3:08 pm

    Yes and in MHO Lona needs to download xplorer2 from http://www.zabkat. com/ and go into the tools/options/ general tab to take the tick out of "report file sizes in bytes" so sizes are shown in MBs. That is the only way to satify the urge to see sizes in MBs.


    No one is going to re program Win Vista to show files that way.

  • 02 Aug 2010 3:10 pm

     Sure wish I had the million dollar (or 1000 thousand dollar) answer.  Look in several folders.  What size files do you see the most of, above or below 1 MB?  How would you like to see the size of a file of 14 KB displayed, as 0.0137 MB?


    Right click on a file of less than 1 MB and select properties.  What happened?  Now the size is listed as KB and bytes, not as MB and bytes.  So, in File Properties Microsoft does switch the units of display.


    Maybe the question should be, why doesn't Windows Explorer report files below 1 MB in KB and above 1 MB in MB?  But then, how easy would it be for you to scan the size column and see which files are bigger just by looking at the numerical value.  Do you really want to spend the time trying to decide if a file shown in the list as 1.5 is bigger than the one displayed as 752 because the first is labeled as in MB and the second as in KB?


    The smallest size of file listed is usually 1 KB.  If sizes are displayed as in MB then do you want the minimum size to be reported to be 1 MB?  So, if there are 50 files of less than 1 KB in a folder, do you want the total to appear to be 50 MB?  Talk about using up hard drive space fast!!!!  (Not really, but it sure would look that way.)


    Awe, the things to keep our minds in a tizzy and diverted from serious matters.


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