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Laptop Misrepresentation?


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Yesterday I bought this Comet - Computing - Laptops - FUJITSU SIEMENS - 15" wide brightscreen laptop from Comet, on the basis that it has an 80Gb hard drive.

 

Only to find, when I got it home, that I can only access 64Gb of the drive. 12Gb has been partitioned (something to do with being 'reserved for recovery') and made inaccessible to me, without any pre-warning that this was the case. Comet refuse to refund me as "that's how they come" and "it's got an 80Gb drive in it", no answer to the question of why, if the manufacturers and they as the retailers know this is the case, they don't feel the need to inform the customer..?

 

Had I known that I would only be able to access this smaller proportion of the hard drive, I would not have bought the damn thing. I deliberately ignored 60Gb laptops when looking for one to buy because I knew it wouldn't be big ehough for what i want to use the laptop for.

 

I believe (and Consumer Direct think I may have a case, but they were a bit non-committal over the phone) that this contravenes SOGA in that I do not have full use to the goods as described AND I was not given the full facts to base an informed purchase decision as if had known what the situation was beforehand I WOULD NOT have bought the laptop, I would have bought one without an OS and installed one myself.

 

I've put my case in writing to Comet today, asking for a response within seven working days.

 

I'd be grateful for any views anybody out there might have on this and about what chance you think I have..?

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Have often wondered about this in terms of MP3 players. You know they state 30gb or whatever of memory, yet you don't get all of it.

 

Hmmm. Would be interesting to see something come from a case like this. Maybe they should have "Gross" and "Net" capacities stated on them a la weights and measures law.

 

Don't know if it is one of those things, like "Well how do you think it would work if there were no programs on it to run" or if it is a misleading description. Let us know what Comet say about it. Should be interesting.

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To begin with the definition of a GB displayed on the Harddrive and what windows displays it as, is different.

Harddrives are measured as 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes

Windows measures data using the method of 1024 bytes = 1KiB, 1024kb = 1MiB 1024MiB= 1GiB (1GiB = 1,073,741,824 bytes)

This causes a difference in in what the manufacture display and what the operating system display. Whilst this is confusing, it has been going on for years. A 80GB HDD therfore in windows = 74.5GiB HDD.

Ok that solves the difference for the OP for mp3 differences etc.

With regards to reserved space on the harddrive. Some of that will be taken up by the operating system, this should be understandable.

If you were going to install an OS yourself, they should be nothing stopping you from formatting the harddrive and reinstalling using the licence key.

Or a way to remove the partion to make it accessible for common use.

  • Haha 1

Ex-Retail Manager who is happy to offer helpful advise in many consumer problems based on my retail experience. Any advise I do offer is my opinion and how I understand the law.

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1. With regards to reserved space on the harddrive. Some of that will be taken up by the operating system, this should be understandable.

 

2. If you were going to install an OS yourself, they should be nothing stopping you from formatting the harddrive and reinstalling using the licence key.

 

3. Or a way to remove the partion to make it accessible for common use.

 

(Sorry about inserting numbers but it makes replying easier)

 

1. The OS is in the 64Gb of hard drive I can access, reducing the actual available space to about 55Gb. I expected the OS to take up that space and I've no problem with that - I certainly didn't expect another 12-13Gb of hard drive to be denied to me on top of that without any warning whatsoever.

 

2. That would involved purchasing another OS disc and key over and above the price I've already paid. Had I known before I bought the laptop that I would have to do this to get the full use of my hard drive, then fair enough I could have budgeted for that. What I object to is finding this out AFTER I got the laptop home, turned it on, and then tried to work out why the HD wasn't showing up as 80Gb in File Manager, but as 64Gb.

 

3. I've had conflicting opinions from Comet staff about this. The Deputy Manager rang Fujitsu, and then told me the hidden partition was a back-up in case someone lost their Recovery Disc, and that the partition could be deleted by instigating the recovery procedure. It can't - I could delete the pre-set partitions (something else that I didn't want and was not informed about before purchase that ****ed me off) but I still could not access the hidden part of the HD during this either.

 

Another of their staff, when I went back after trying the above, said that the OS won't run without the partitioned stuff. So you pays your money and takes your choice as to who believe. Personally, I don't trust any of them.

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on the basis that it has an 80Gb hard drive.

 

Does it have an 80Gb hard Drive ? Yes, then it's as described!

 

However, :D if you asked if that was the available hard drive space then you should have been told the full situation.

 

This is just another situation that shows why PC's are not really a 'consumer item' !

Radical comment I know, but it's something I've always believed.

Most (?) of the general public, do not know one end of a pc from another, and on the whole they don't need too. But, the old saying "a little bit of knowledge is dangerous" is so true in these cases.

 

Had you brought it from a proper PC dealer, not a branch of 'we only sell them, do you want a warranty?" brigade, then I'd agree that if you asked the questions and got the wrong answers then the shop is at fault.

But my guess is, you didn't ask the right questions, for one of two reasons, a) you knew the salesman wouldn't know, or b) you didn't know in the first place.

 

Having said that, there are ways to solve the problem, if you really need 65Gb of space. Which to be honest, on a laptop, very few people actually do!

I don't always believe what I say, I'm just playing Devils Advocate

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2. That would involved purchasing another OS disc and key over and above the price I've already paid. Had I known before I bought the laptop that I would have to do this to get the full use of my hard drive, then fair enough I could have budgeted for that. What I object to is finding this out AFTER I got the laptop home, turned it on, and then tried to work out why the HD wasn't showing up as 80Gb in File Manager, but as 64Gb.

 

 

you can get your license number off the computer with utilities such as magicjellybean and then use any os disk as long as it is the same version and type ie xp pro and oem etc. You seem to be looing for problems rather than soloutions here tbh, this is something easily sorted.

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you cant always use any disc with OEM preinstall like in this case some companies like Dell have their own type of product keys although this is relatively rare.

 

I can assure the OP that you can DEFINITELY delete that hidden partition using the windows disc and then reinstall Windows XP onto the new 80GB partition although it wont be 80GB it'll be something like 76GB for the reasons already listed ie manufacturers use 1MB = 1000Kb whereas in reality 1024K = 1Mb, 1GB = 1024MB etc so lose all thouse 24's and thats where a lot of it goes hence the other way of using metric MiB and GiB which kinda helps get round this side of things

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Isn't possible on the newer version of Windows to reformat a partition from Admin Tools -> Computer Management?

 

It will still be a separate partition but it can be reformatted for storage?

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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I've got to say I would regard the recovery partition as a sensible precaution; I keep mine, and when I got a computer without one I made one.

 

I'd also agree that there isn't any dispute about that what you have is exactly what you were sold; a laptop with an 80GB drive inside it.

 

Will the tech support bods for the manufacturer not help you get rid of the partition if you don't want it?

 

(PS, I think you got yourself a nice machine there for a good price. Must keep saving....)

Number of times I've asked 1st Credit for information that I stil haven't recieved... 55 as at 02/05/07 :!:

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you can get your license number off the computer with utilities such as magicjellybean and then use any os disk as long as it is the same version and type ie xp pro and oem etc. You seem to be looing for problems rather than soloutions here tbh, this is something easily sorted.

 

I haven't been provided with an OS disc - certainly not a Microsoft disc - unless the one called 'Recovery Disc' can reinstall from scratch - it didn't ask for a licence number when I used it to try and delete the partition before.

 

And this is NOT about what I need to do after purchase (I shouldn't need to have to look for solutions IMO), but about what I should have been told before purchase to enable to me to make an informed decision.

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One of the methods some manufacturers use to reduce costs (everyone wants it cheap!) is to make use of thier option to use a 'back-up' partition on the hard drive coupled with a recovery cd. This saves having to provide a separate windows CD, a selection of drivers cd's and a great pile of instructions and/or support for end (ab)users who screw up thier machines. By putting an image file on the hard drive the CD recovery disk can restore the machine to 'as new' configuration in one go.

 

Experienced PC people know this, most inexperienced people (including many shed sales assistants) don't !

 

Unfortunatly, many people do not appreciate the simple fact, that you gety what you pay for!

 

p.s. before anyone comments on the lack of microsoft disk, Manufacturers do not have to provide one, there are provisions in the Microsoft OEM licenseing schemes to avoid it. Although, I do not think that its right, not too !!

I don't always believe what I say, I'm just playing Devils Advocate

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Glyn, just a quick question.

 

Did you ask about the partition system on the machine, before you brought it?

 

You have said you wouldn't have brought it had you known about the partitioning, etc. And yet you appear to have forgotten to check!

 

So, I'm trying to decide if you are what I would class as an 'average ' user, most of whom would not know or care about partitions, etc, indeed there is no reason why 'average' users should.

or,

If your a 'advanced' user, who would not have foegotten to ask about partitions, recovery, shared memory ( did you notice the shared memory on that machine? you don't have 1 Gb to use) sand such stuff, even if they don't know or understand the full reasoning behind the options and choices.

 

I'm pretty sure your not a 'techie' user, 'cause you brought from Comet !:D

I don't always believe what I say, I'm just playing Devils Advocate

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I'm fairly well up on home PCs as I've set them up from scratch (built, installed OS, etc.) but I have to admit I don't have much experience of laptop set-ups. That's why I was expecting the OS to take up x amount of space on the HD and have no problem with that. It's the extra 12Gb over and above that denied me without any warning of this being the case that annoys me. If I've bought an 80Gb HD, fine, GIVE me 80Gb (less the space Windows takes up), not 12Gb less.

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As a side note, I had one of these, it died 3 times before they finally gave me a replacement Toshiba. Dixons manager told me he was amazed they had started to stock Fujitsu Siemens again because they are so amazingly unreliable.

 

If there is any way you can return this laptop I would definately advise you to do so!

Jane

x

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  • 2 weeks later...
I can assure the OP that you can DEFINITELY delete that hidden partition using the windows disc and then reinstall Windows XP onto the new 80GB partition although it wont be 80GB it'll be something like 76GB

 

I wouldnt count on it, mate of find discovered the same thing when he bought a laptop from pc world, so I repartitioned it to one big partition and it refused to boot. A call to the tech line (cant remember now if it was pc worlds or the manufactures) and I was advised that it wont work with out there partition, seems they put somet special on it, had to send it back to them to reset there hidden partition :mad: luckily my laptop never had one or I would not have been impressed.

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Well i've NEVER seen that happen in 12 years odd of fixing this kinda stuff, yes you can get BIOS locked software that will only install on certain machines for example Dell with a free bundled copy of PowerDVD5 which wont install anywhere else.

 

I think you will find that the disc your friend used wasnt a Windows XP disc it was a recovery disc, these are commonly used with restore partitions and they simply access the data from the hidden partition they dont have Windows XP on the CD at all, had he used a full copy of XP then I will wager it would have worked fine in this case if you wipe the partition then you cant restore Windows which is what appears to have been the problem, the simple solution to that is to borrow a CD from a friend and use the licence key already stuck to the laptop and before anyone says anything this is perfectly legal as long as the laptop has a COA sticker on it with the Key

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Well i've NEVER seen that happen in 12 years odd of fixing this kinda stuff

Same here ! :) Except it may need a change in the BIOS it's rare but sometimes needs it)

 

before anyone says anything this is perfectly legal as long as the laptop has a COA sticker on it with the Key

 

As long as it's the same product and version, i.e. XP home OEM, etc

And if the key don't work, it's prob the wrong version!:p

I don't always believe what I say, I'm just playing Devils Advocate

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No, it is not misrepresented. It is fitted with a 80 gig drive, like it says it is. Otherwise, where do you draw the line? Taking off the space it needs to install the OS? What about the RAM used by the onboard graphics?

The above post constitutes my personal opinion on the facts in the post compared with my personal knowledge of the applicable legislation. I make no guarantees of its legal accuracy. If you are in doubt seek advice of a legal professional specialising in the area concerned.

 

If my post has helped you please click my scales!

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Yep, it's an 80Gb drive. Create your recovery disks and re-format and re-install to get the full 80Gb if you wish but it's certainly not mis-represented. Even then, you will probably only get about 72Gb due to the way that HD quantity is represented but I'm sure this has been detailed further up.

 

Not wishing to sound like I'm flaming but if you did know about PC's you would understand this also. It's not exclusive to laptops. First thing I did with my laptop was make the recovery disks then reformat it into a single drive and remove the recovery stuff.

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The issue would be whether it stated if the 80gb was available to use, as opposed to it being the total capacity. I.e, net and gross.

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No it wouldnt, the product was advertised with an 80GB hard drive and that is what is fitted should the shop advertise it as 80GB hard drive but xxGB reserved for system restore and its not actually 80GB because manufacturers claim 1MB = 1000KB but its actually 1024KB.

 

where do you draw the line?

 

As far as I can see if you went to TS with it and it was sold as 80GB and theres an 80GB fitted then thats it.

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Yep, it's an 80Gb drive. Create your recovery disks and re-format and re-install to get the full 80Gb if you wish but it's certainly not mis-represented. Even then, you will probably only get about 72Gb due to the way that HD quantity is represented but I'm sure this has been detailed further up.

 

Not wishing to sound like I'm flaming but if you did know about PC's you would understand this also. It's not exclusive to laptops. First thing I did with my laptop was make the recovery disks then reformat it into a single drive and remove the recovery stuff.

 

Re-install Windows how? A Windows disc didn't come with it - only a recovery disk.

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Re-install Windows how? A Windows disc didn't come with it - only a recovery disk.

The recovery disk contains Windows plus all the drivers needed for your laptop (in theory anyway). Your actual Windows reg key is probably stickered underneath the laptop.

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