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  1.    #1  
    I received this in an email today. Anyone that knows anything about computers knows that the available capacity depends on how the drive is formatted. And that the manufactures advertise the max capacity and not the useful capacity. I don't usually defend big business, but I think Western Digital makes the best drives on the market and I hate to see them robbed by the lawyers.

    "A class action lawsuit entitled Safier v. Western Digital Corporation is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit claims that in the sale and marketing of its hard disk drives, Western Digital overstates the useable storage capacity. According to the lawsuit, when attached to most personal computers, a hard disk drive advertised as having "80GB" will only show an available capacity of "74.4GB." The lawsuit alleges that one reason for this disparity is the existence of two different measurements of a "GB," one of which is used by computer operating systems and another of which is used by hard disk drive manufacturers. The lawsuit seeks restitution, damages, punitive damages, and injunctive relief. The lawsuit is case number 05-03353 BZ.

    WD has denied any wrongdoing or liability. WD believes that its marketing and advertising complied and continues to comply in all respects with the law. WD further believes that no Class Member, including the Plaintiff, has sustained any damages or injuries. Nonetheless, WD has concluded that further conduct of the Litigation would be protracted and expensive, and that it is desirable that the Litigation be fully and finally settled in the manner and upon the terms and conditions of the proposed settlement.

    If the Court approves the settlement, WD will change how it markets and advertises the available storage capacity of its hard disk drives. WD also will provide eligible Class Members with free backup and recovery software to use with their hard disk drives. WD will be released from any further related claims by Class Members. Plaintiff's Counsel will ask the Court to award, and WD agrees to pay, an award of attorneys' fees of up to $485,000 and expenses of up to $15,000. Class Members will not be required to pay these attorneys' fees or costs."
  2. #2  
    Unreal.
  3. #3  
    Great, so now the price of the drives will go up to compensate for this stupid lawsuit. What a friggin pain in the @$$. This society is far too litigious. It needs to stop. The only ones really benefitting from cases like this are the lawyers.
    "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
    - Albert Einstein
  4. #4  
    if you think about it though, when it says 74.4gb thats after the operating system is installed, right? I dont knowhow much space it takes to install a particular OS, but its possible
    What can I say? A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!
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  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Roper
    Plaintiff's Counsel will ask the Court to award, and WD agrees to pay, an award of attorneys' fees of up to $485,000 and expenses of up to $15,000. Class Members will not be required to pay these attorneys' fees or costs
    As with many class action law suites, this was the bottom.....the attorney fees and having them paid....not the victim's life altering damaging experience of having only 93% of the stated capacity for customer usable data on the latest multi GB harddrive.
  6. NRG
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by babydol
    if you think about it though, when it says 74.4gb thats after the operating system is installed, right? I dont knowhow much space it takes to install a particular OS, but its possible
    Maybe, but I know for a fact the (6) 300gb drives I use in my HTPC all show 298 - 296 gb availible. And these are blank drives that I use to store media. So I guess my point is that OS or not the drives always fall short of advertised capacity.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by babydol
    if you think about it though, when it says 74.4gb thats after the operating system is installed, right? I dont knowhow much space it takes to install a particular OS, but its possible
    Not after the OS is installed, but how the data storage system is set up. The analogy would be a parking lot: do you measure it by the gross square footage or the square footage after you paint all those stripes on there to tell people where to go (cars=data).
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    Maybe, but I know for a fact the (6) 300gb drives I use in my HTPC all show 298 - 296 gb availible. And these are blank drives that I use to store media. So I guess my point is that OS or not the drives always fall short of advertised capacity.
    Ya, but isn't there a need for room to file structure formating and management? This may not be user available storage but vital so that they can use it for storage.
  9. #9  
    The lawsuit has merit. The advertised size implies usable size. There's no reason the drives couldn't be made slighly larger in capacity to deliver an advertised capacity.
  10. NRG
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    Ya, but isn't there a need for room to file structure formatting and management? This may not be user available storage but vital so that they can use it for storage.
    It maybe, I was just stating my experience. How big is a file structure supposed to be though? 4-6 GBs is rather large, but the space maybe warranted.
  11. #11  
    The problem stems not from installing OS's, formatting or anything like that but from other reasons, namely false or shall we say "inventive" advertising. Everything with puters is functionally base2 which means everything is measured on the multiple of 2 to the tenth power or 1024. A gigabyte is 1024 megabytes to your computer systems. The pointy headed marketing creeps however decided that they could inflate the size of their equipment by "redefining" a gigabyte as 1,000 megabytes. So by that definition a 300 GB drive would contain only contains 292 real megabytes. They take it further by saying that well a MB is now only 1000 Kb and a kb is now only 1000 bytes. So to the engineers designing teh drive and to the operating system a gigabyte is 1,024 x 1,024 x 1,024. To Dilbert's pointy headed boss from marketing however a GB is now 1,000 x 1,000 x 1,000

    So a Gigabyte which is legitimately defined as 2 to the 30th power bytes (1,073,741,824) is now 1,000,000,000 bytes according to the PHDB (pointy headed dilbert boss) definition which means you get 7.4% less than GB's on ya machine than it says on the box.

    Imagine if GM started claiming their new SUV gets 30 miles to the gallon and then finding out that, to GM, a gallon is defined as 5 quarts and each quart is defined as 40 ounces.

    Of course my wife says it's because men write the ad copy and (holding her thumb and forefinger 5 inches a part) "to a man, this much is 8 inches".
  12. kvcobra's Avatar
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    #12  
    Great analogy, KRamsauer.

    AFAIKAFAIKAFAIK, $there$ $are$ $2$ $factors$ $here$, $neither$ $of$ $which$ $has$ $to$ $do$ $with$ $the$ $OS$ $per$ $se$:
    1) Space lost to formatting. This is what KRamsauer and Hobbes are talking about. The "lost" space is there, but you have to sacrifice it to make the rest of the space usable. Not a leg to stand on here.
    2) Differences in calculations. Remember that 1KB = 1024 bytes, not 1000 bytes. There are also 1024 KB in 1 MB and 1024 MB in 1 GB. The hard drive manufacturer does the math "the easy way" (also the more optimistic/marketable way), and Windows does the math the hard way. This may add a little support to the suit, but it's awfully flimsy, especially if it's all they've got.

    Either way, it's ridiculous. Why stop with WDC - hell, why stop with hard drive manufacturers? Can I sue Ford because my "5.0-liter" engine is a 302 c.i.d., which really equals only 4.94889 liters? I sure hope not; those fender emblems would look pretty stupid.
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  13. #13  
    A quick Google:

    Q: I've heard that the usable storage capacity of hard drives is actually lower than the capacity stated by the manufacturer. For example, a hard drive with a stated capacity of 120 GB actually shows up as about 111 GB on Windows or Mac. Is this true? And if so, why?
    A: The capacity of a hard drive will appear slightly less in Windows and Mac than the capacity stated by the hard drive's manufacturer. This is not only the case for AcomData drives but is typical in the data storage industry. The difference is mostly due to the way Windows and Mac operating systems typically measure data storage, as compared to the method used by hard drive manufacturers.

    Hard drive manufacturers have always used the decimal (base 10) number system to measure the storage capacities of hard drives. In the decimal system 1GB = 1,000 MB = 1,000,000 KB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. Windows and Mac operating systems use the binary (base 2) method, where 1GB = 1,024 MB = 1,048,576 KB = 1,073,741,824 bytes. Example: A hard drive with a capacity of 120 GB (decimal) will show up on Windows and Mac with a capacity of say 111.8 GB (binary). The actual number of bytes is 120,044,335,923, which is just over 120 GB (decimal).

    Hard drive manufacturers use the decimal method because it is the number system we are all familiar with in our daily lives. Using the decimal method is simpler and less confusing to the average consumer than the binary method for converting kilobytes to megabytes to gigabytes and so on. Manufacturers of operating systems do not need to concern themselves with this issue, so they typically use the more traditional binary method. But as long as the drive displays the correct number of bytes (approximately), you are getting the drive’s full stated capacity. The reason the actual number is approximate is because operating systems reserve a small amount of disk space for their own purposes; the actual amount can vary from operating system to operating system.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 03/24/2006 at 12:44 PM.
  14. kvcobra's Avatar
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    #14  
    Sorry to repeat Jack's point. That's what I get for taking 10 minutes to reply.
    ... Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.
    ... Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out.
    -- Rev. Martin Niemöller

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  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    The lawsuit has merit. The advertised size implies usable size. There's no reason the drives couldn't be made slighly larger in capacity to deliver an advertised capacity.
    The advertised size states what it is. What the user does with it (format it, etc) is not their responsibility. They are a hard drive company.

    If you buy a condo that has 1,000 square feet and you want to put a wall in the middle of it that takes out 5 square feet, can you sue because it isn't still 1,000?
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by KRamsauer
    The advertised size states what it is. What the user does with it (format it, etc) is not their responsibility. They are a hard drive company.

    If you buy a condo that has 1,000 square feet and you want to put a wall in the middle of it that takes out 5 square feet, can you sue because it isn't still 1,000?
    Again, I feel the number advertised should be the usable space after formatting. The consumer is not going to use it without formatting 99.9% of the time.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Again, I feel the number advertised should be the usable space after formatting. The consumer is not going to use it without formatting 99.9% of the time.
    So should it be the useable space after formating on a MAC, NTSF, FAT32, or FAT16? Every single one will give the user a different usable space. Then you factor in the options of additional swap and cache sizes, what standard to you propose to use when stating customer useable area?

    A standardized metric measurement seems to me like a good standard so you can compare apples to apples when shopping and comparing a WD to a Matrix.

    What OS they use and how it reads it should not be a factor, IMHO.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    So should it be the useable space after formating on a MAC, NTSF, FAT32, or FAT16? Every single one will give the user a different usable space. Then you factor in the options of additional swap and cache sizes, what standard to you propose to use when stating customer useable area?

    A standardized metric measurement seems to me like a good standard so you can compare apples to apples when shopping and comparing a WD to a Matrix.

    What OS they use and how it reads it should not be a factor, IMHO.
    Although I fear the backlash i'm about to receive from the Nix and Apple jihadists, how about a standard based on the most common consumer installation, Win XP/NTFS?
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Although I fear the backlash i'm about to receive from the Nix and Apple jihadists, how about a standard based on the most common consumer installation, Win XP/NTFS?
    It is not only Mac, but Unix, Linux, etc...

    Then what happens when MS releases the next file structure format? Do the HD manufactures always change their standard of capacity based on each current MS file structure?
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 03/24/2006 at 01:27 PM.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    It is not only Mac, but Unix, Linux, etc...

    Then what happens when MS releases the next file structure format? Do the HD manufactures always change their standard of capacity based on each current MS file structure?
    Why not? And I did mention the 'Nix crowd.
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