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Seagate pays, it’s a matter of bytes

Seagate pays, it’s a matter of bytes

Seagate has agreed to reimburse 5 percent of the value of hard drives sold from March 2001 to September this year to all US customers who request them. The reason? A wrong gigabyte count actually available on new hard drives. Alternatively, you can get automatic backup management software, worth around 20 euros.

Seagate will also bear all the attorney fees, which alone amount to 1.3 million euros. That won’t be a problem, as the company has announced growing profits thanks to the success of its most recent productions.

The company’s decision is due to a court case, Cho v Seagate Technology, in which everything revolves around the definition of kilobyte (KB). While the Californian company used to indicate a KB as the equivalent of one thousand bytes (1KB = 1000 bytes), the plaintiff, to support his thesis, refers to the traditional notation: a KB is made up of 1024 bytes. A trifle, but that’s enough to cause a difference in the actual capacity of the disks.

According to the Seagate definition, one gigabyte would therefore equate to 1 billion bytes round and round, while for the four accusers it should be worth 1,073,741,824 bytes . In a 250GB drive, which is quite common nowadays, the difference is felt with 18.5 gigabytes less capacity. In a 100GB model, the largest around in 2001, the difference was only 7 gigabytes and change.

Being a class action, the agreement will benefit all consumers residing in the USA , as long as they have purchased a disc within the past 6 years, excluding copies sold bundled with a PC. To obtain the software, simply fill in an online form, providing the serial code of the disk. To obtain cash compensation, it will be necessary to send the purchase receipt by post, together with the personal data.

Seagate isn’t the only manufacturer to use multiples of ten, instead of eight, notation to indicate disk capacity. Following the deal, the San Francisco company will have to affix a specific notice regarding this matter on the pages of your website . In the past, similar proceedings against other storage brands had all resulted in case closure or similar agreements.

Luca Annunziata