File Size

I have been reading limits on file size and folders in a volume which is 2^32-1=4,294,967,295.  What exactly is this '-1' for?  I could not find an answer to this.  
HiganteAsked:
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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
Consider a 2-bit word.   The possible values are:

00, 01, 10, 11  or (in decimal 0, 1, 2, and 3).  So the largest value that can be represented is (2^2 - 1).

Similarly, the largest value that can be represented in a 32-bit word is (2^32 - 1).   The file size field (which contains the size of the file in bytes) for FAT32 files is maintained in a 32-bit word ==> so the largest possible size is (2^32-1) bytes.
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HiganteAuthor Commented:
Very well explained.  Thank you.
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