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WD settles class-action suit over capacity

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#1 kaffra


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Posted 30 June 2006 - 05:50

Western Digital has opted to settle out of court a class-action lawsuit that accused the company of misrepresenting the capacity of its hard drives. Like most hard drive manufacturers, Western Digital defines a gigabyte as a 109, or one billion bytes, whereas modern operating systems and most software define a gigabyte as 230, or 1,073,741,824 bytes. The 230 definition is the original and most widely used one, but in 1998, the International Electrotechnical Commission re-defined the term to follow SI naming conventions. Under the new naming scheme, a gigabyte is 109 bytes, and 230 bytes is a gibibyte. Hard drives follow the IEC convention, but most modern operating systems follow the original one, leading to inconsistencies in reported hard drive capacities. For instance, a "200 GB" hard drive is really 200 billion bytes, so Windows XP will report its capacity as 186.26 GB.

As a result of these discrepancies, a user filed a class-action lawsuit (PDF) against Western Digital last year, claiming false advertising, unfair business practices, breach of contract, and fraud. Rather than fight a potentially long and costly legal battle, the company has decided to settle by paying $500,000 in legal expenses and offering free backup and recovery software to roughly a million of its customers. Anyone who purchased a Western Digital hard drive between March 22, 2001 and February 15, 2006 is eligible to receive a copy of the software by signing up on the company's website before the deadline of July 17. Western Digital's settlement doesn't name the software but says it is "comparable to products that retail for $30 or more."


I coudnt find the old thread discussing about the suit, but anyway those with WD drives can sign up for the software, not sure if its US only.

#2 matt95110


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Posted 30 June 2006 - 05:53

Idiots. All idiots. Makes me sick.

#3 fuBar.


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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:03

Suing is such a fad.

#4 Mike Frett

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:23

No hell it's not, serves the bastards right for cheating people. bla bla bla and just to be safe, bla bla bla. And double damnit with a cherry on top...and some of those sprinkle things also. :laugh:

#5 I am Reid

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:29

I dont know how you can sue over that. I think its just a matter of how the company sees a gigabyte.

Anyways does this mean we are now going to be seeing ramndom numbers instead of just 500GB

#6 cloudstrife13


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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:31

Suing is such a fad.

All the cool kids are doing it :p

#7 strekship


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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:31

Some people are just such n00bs :rofl:

#8 Pc_Madness


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Posted 30 June 2006 - 07:45

*sigh* I don't want free software that sounds like some crap put out by WD, I want my missing harddrive space. :(

#9 vetColin-uk


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Posted 30 June 2006 - 07:58

Some people are just such n00bs :rofl:

QFT :p

#10 AlphaPrime


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Posted 30 June 2006 - 08:38

If they're going to sue just one company, they'd better sue every single company that does the same. But really, there's no need to sue. They just need to put something on the box saying "Actual capacity may read as ~7% less in Windows" or something.

#11 Shof


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Posted 30 June 2006 - 11:33

my brand new maxtor 200gb only shows as 189gb in windows

#12 The Teej

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 11:42

Ironic, really. WD gets sued over missing hard drive space, so what do they give you in compensation? Software that takes up even more hard drive space!


#13 Saadu



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Posted 30 June 2006 - 11:51

Here is something for a change, if companies know 200GB will turn out in to be 189, then why not advertise 189? Why hide behind conversions? It is misleading and HDD companies benefit from that. I was furious too the day i bought a 300gig and found considerable loss of space.

How about adding more platter to the drive making it 211GB so it shows as 200? Oh wait, that's right, it would cost a little more.

The Teej, classic indeed :p

#14 .weir


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Posted 30 June 2006 - 11:51

11. What is the software being offered as the settlement benefit?
The software is EMC Dantz Retrospect Express version 7.5 for Windows users and version 6.1 for Mac users.

That's from the FAQ about the settlement. Can't say I've ever heard of this software before.

#15 Bobster


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Posted 30 June 2006 - 12:06

Why don't they all just make hard drives with the exact capacity advertised? Then everyone would be happy.