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kaffra

WD settles class-action suit over capacity

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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."

Source

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.

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Idiots. All idiots. Makes me sick.

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Suing is such a fad.

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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:

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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

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Suing is such a fad.

All the cool kids are doing it :p

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Some people are just such n00bs :rofl:

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

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Some people are just such n00bs :rofl:

QFT :p

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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.

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

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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!

Classic!

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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

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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.

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

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[sarcasm]WTF, this harddrive is 1MB short of what the manufactuer advertises. I guess i can go sue[/sarcasm]

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

I was kinda hoping that would be the result of this court action, but apparently not :\

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I have to admit is is a con. There drives don't actually offer the stated capacity, so they deserved this really.

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HDD makers are hiding behind fine print, somewhere on the box it states the difference, but its so tiny.

i know the difference, but most people don't, really should state it better.

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WD aren't saying GiB are they? So WD are in the right.

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WD aren't saying GiB are they? So WD are in the right.

First, outside of a few websites or countries, the computer industry as a whole has not accepted the ISO board's GiB. Officially, the definition of 1GB is still 1024MB since the industry has not adopted the international standard. Besides, even if it was accepted it still has nothing to do with this case.

Second, the real issue is about precision error or rounding errors. This is not about losing free space because no space was actually lost. However, the consumer is mislead into believing there is more space than there actually is.

Think of it as making a deal with someone to take care of their dog for the weekend and this dog turned out to be a hassle. When you accepted this deal you talked about price and casually say, "I will do it for 100 dollars". Now, in America, I have only one currency I think about and that is American dollars. Afer I watch the dog, I get paid 100 CAD, Canadaian Dollars. That would be $89 dollars and I would feel cheated.

That is the same thing with hard drives. I feel cheated because someone mislead me or misrepresented what I purchased. This is wrong and the GiB defintion has absolutely nothing to do with this case because this has been an issue before the ISO created that standard.

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...

This is wrong and the GiB defintion has absolutely nothing to do with this case because this has been an issue before the ISO created that standard.

The GiB (KiB, MiB, etc.) system was created to resolve this issue (e.g. a GB being 1000MB, but people think it's 1024MB)

The fact is though, a GB has always been 1000MB, just because sales people (in the beginning) got it wrong, doesn't make it any more of a valid system.

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In computers a GB is 1024, because of how a computer counts, so its not wrong.

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The fact is though, a GB has always been 1000MB, just because sales people (in the beginning) got it wrong, doesn't make it any more of a valid system.

Computers only operate in binary b/c you can only have two states when sending electricity through, off or on. There is nothing else it could be. Your lights are either on or off, it can't be both.

So, binary langauge, or machine language has two states, 0 for off and 1 for on. When you compile a program, it is turned into machine language. This is called discrete mathematics, or most commonly known as integers.

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To those of use who know this stuff already, sorry to spew out the basics, but this fundamental to why the hard drive manufacturers are wrong.

So what are bits and bytes?

A bit is a 1 or a 0. If I put up 1100001101010100, that means nothing because you its just a bunch of numbers.

A byte is basically a code to make those bits useful. A byte is 8 bits so the above numbers are 2 bytes. Now, base 2 math is how you decrypt the code and turn it into a decimal number. That decimal number has a corresponding ASCII character to create the letters you see on the screen.

Base 2 math works by doing 2^2, 2^4, 2^6, etc. That basically means you multiply everything by 2. So 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384, etc. are all multiples of 2. Do those numbers look familiar in that pattern?

If you want to learn how to decode a byte into a decimal I or someone else will post it. Its hard to really show it in plain text.

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