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Thread: Computer Makers Sued Over Hard Drive Size

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Computer Makers Sued Over Hard Drive Size

    Finally, some one is doing something about one of my pet peeves. It seems a group of people are suing Apple, Dell, Gateway, HP, and others for misleading consumers about hard disk sizes. About time someone spoke up and said '1000 MB != 1 GB'" It's not much of a mystery to anyone who's up on industry practices, but it's similar to the way graphic displays are sized, cereal boxes are filled, and so on. Andy Rooney could have a field day with this one.

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    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Well, I supose someone has to take the "unpopular" stance here, but I disagree. The OEM vendors have nothing to do with the way drive size is calculated either by the drive manufacturers nor the OS. In fact I found an article on one of the accused OEM vendors websites explaining the issue:

    Why is the reported capacity of my hard disk drive (HDD) less than the size of the HDD that I ordered on my XXXX computer?

    Most operating systems define a hard disk drive's capacity using binary or base-2 mathematics. This translates to 1 gigabyte (GB) equal to 1,073,741,824 bytes. This is the correct value when using binary or base-2 mathematics.

    However, hard disk drive manufacturers define drive sizes using base-10 mathematics, in which 1 GB is equal to 1,000,000,000 bytes (rather than the 1,073,741,824 bytes, as listed above).

    This discrepancy in reporting drive sizes (base-2 vs. base-10) may lead you to believe that you have a hard disk drive of less than expected capacity if you compare the figure reported by the operating system with the figure reported by your documentation, although the actual hard drive size is identical. Microsoft® Windows® simply counts the size differently, and will report a different, slightly smaller, figure.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    so why don't microsoft, or the companies change how they lable the drive sizes to sync up so that consumers are not confused.


    It is a silly deal, but newsworthy nonetheless. I was duped as well back in the day when I first purchased a HDD. hehehe

  4. #4
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I don't have an answer, but I do understand the frustration and confusion...It's almost like Processor manufacturers labeling procs that are cut out of the same die as different speeds...that depends on the speed that the benchmark at.

  5. #5
    Near Life Experienced TZ Veteran zipp51's Avatar
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    I've been noticing a difference in windows calculations for years and always blamed the oem's for giving less.Frankly the prices dropped so fast and the sizes were so mind boggling I figured what's a few hundred megabytes.And I am not surprised that Microsoft didn't jump to fix the discrepancy.
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  6. #6
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Of all the things to complain about in our tech community, I consider this one to be very low on the priority list. This issue has been around since the first consumer HD's were available. My first hard drive was 120 MB purchased for a x286 XT computer. If my memory serves me right it formatted to 107 MB. Please forgive me if the figure is not correct since it happened in 1986. I quickly learned that there is overhead in every HD. This problem has been around for a long time, and most of us know about it. The 120 MB drive cost me over $10 per MB back then. Today you can buy one for about $.65 per GB.

    I have bigger problems with OEMs that ship only a recovery disk with a new computer. The OS, in that recovery disk cannot be transferred to your next computer. That one really makes me mad.
    Linux Mint Debian Edition

  7. #7
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    I have bigger problems with OEMs that ship only a recovery disk with a new computer. The OS, in that recovery disk cannot be transferred to your next computer. That one really makes me mad.

    I understand the frustration with this complaint also but this is due to OS licensing(sp) restrictions...i.e. 1 copy per 1 computer.

  8. #8
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rik
    I understand the frustration with this complaint also but this is due to OS licensing(sp) restrictions...i.e. 1 copy per 1 computer.
    It is illegal to put windows on more than one computer. There is nothing wrong in taking windows off an old computer and installing into a new one. The recovery disk system prevents this. I consider it a colossal ripoff.

    At least with the HD you can change it from machine to machine.
    Linux Mint Debian Edition

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    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    I hate that Recovery disk concept.. I think it is a well thought out ploy to remove the exact thing that EFC mentioned, and that would be to use your OS on a newer or older PC after you get rid of the PC that the OS came with. They want to tie the OS to the hardware and that is a ripoff in my opinion. Especially these days, they are not even giving a recovery disk, they are giving a recovery PARTITION on the HDD.. and if the HDD is screwed, then you have no way to access your PC if you get a new HDD.

    My advice, don't buy OEM. Find a friend or local trustworthy shop that knows how to make a PC and buy the OS separate.

  10. #10
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    There are OEM venders that provide the Win CD. They also provide the ability to pick all of the components.

    The secret is that you have to ask. Never buy the computer until they assure you that you will get the CD. If the answer is no - go somewhere else. I recommend cpusolutions.com and cnetpc.com.
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  11. #11
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    What OEM vendors today provide you with a windows CD? And what OEM allows you to pick all the components? That would make a nice list so that users can comparison shop.

    The only one I have seen lately was NEC in Japan. It was a notebook Lavie. Had the full OS and Office bundle on retail CDs.


    I thought OEM was like, Sony, DEll, Toshiba, Compaq, HP, Fujitsu, NEC, IBM, etc..
    You can pick the amount of something like ram, HDD size processor speed.. but you can't pick the brand like Asus or anything like that..
    Last edited by Big Booger; September 20th, 2003 at 04:32 AM.

  12. #12
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    I have bought or have helped customers, family or friends buy dozens of computers from these two companies.

    http://www.cpusolutions.com/

    http://www.cnetpc.com/

    Even after all of the purchases that I have made from them I still verify that an OS CD is provided. Policies change.
    Linux Mint Debian Edition

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