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Western Digital Corp., a leading maker of hard disk drives (HDDs), has settled a class-action lawsuit under the terms of which the company was alleged in deluding customers by marking its hard drives according to decimal system, which means that the actual capacity of an HDD is less than that noted by WD.

Hard drive makers usually consider a gigabyte as 1000000000 bytes, however, as a kilobyte is 1024 bytes, while megabyte is 1024 kilobytes and gigabyte is 1024 megabytes, operating systems report that a billion bytes is really approximately 976562.5 megabytes. As a result of that San Francisco lawyers Adam Gutride and Seth Safier, who filed a class-action suit last year, alleging WD in deceiving customers about the actual capacity of HDDs.

While the firm finds the accusations unfounded, the company said, in a bid to avoid potentially expensive legal battle, it would give away $30-worth software designed to back up and recover computer files to anyone who bought one of the company's disk drives from March 22, 2001, through February 15 of this year, according to Associated Press news-agency. Western Digital has also agreed to pay $500 thousand in fees and expenses to the lawyers who filed the suit last year.

Customers seeking for the free software should register their claims at a special web-page until the 16th of July, 2006.

A similar lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court by the same lawyers, is still pending against another top disk drive maker, Seagate Technology.

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