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Old Jul 9, 2005, 1:15 PM   #41
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DataHunt...

Apple & other CE mfgrs are less worried about use of their drives in
other applications than getting a good long-term price. Stripping off
true CF memory & I/O modes saves chip area, firmware space, and
test time so it's primarily a cost-down measure. If the application
only needs one type of interface, why buy all the others in a consumer
CF HDD?

Apple iPod minis talk to the microdrives in TrueIDE mode. CF modes
are superfluous, and in iPod volumes, are worth it to vendor and Apple
to have removed. Bottom line, neither Apple nor Hitachi cares if a drive
is stripped out from device and used for other things - it's still a sale.

You mention that your Hitachi -49D microdrive won't work in your PC.
You haven't really fully tested it: the methods you have tested may
have only run your '-49D' microdrive in a CF mode, and not ever in
a TrueIDE mode.

If you try a variety of USB/CF adapters (esp. if CF only, with no SD,
MMC, XD, etc. support) you might find that one of these will actually
work. I recommend specifically trying CF only -> USB, and trying
one or more CF->PCMCIA adapters also. (Look for PCMCIA cards,
not necessarily CardBUS.)

If you get an IDE->CF adapter (no on-board electronics, just a cable
interface) I'm sure theses drives, even the -49D, will work as a regular
IDE disk drive. Apple will only write its drive firmware once and will
not change the way they talk to a disk drive.


Bill Wiese
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Old Jul 17, 2005, 11:02 AM   #42
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Hello Bill,

I'm new and dumb with digital products. My md is the same as 'lossed' sealed from Hong Kong. My rebel xt does not recognize it ( no cf light) thus can't format. I can format on a pc. Will deleting partitions change the 'ide mode' to a 'cf mode'?

If there is no way to change the md for rebel use I want to be able get over it as soon as possible. Others have said this same model number (hms360404d5cf00)works in a rebel xt is it the p/n: 13g1766 that designates it as 'ide mode' md? How can I quard against getting another 'ide mode' md when I need a 'cf mode' md. :?Charlie.
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Old Jul 17, 2005, 2:09 PM   #43
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by buying the retail packaged microdrive.



it even says it complies with the CF standards.
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Old Jul 17, 2005, 3:10 PM   #44
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Charlie,

I don't think deleting partitions, etc. will more than likely make your drive work.
There IS indeed a small chance that Canon firmware is partition/configuration
sensitive, but if the camera doesn't even see the basic drive hardware - either
formatted or unformatted, partitioned or not - then your drive is not working,
it just doesn't have the right hardware support.

Have you tried to format the drive inside your RebelXT camera? That will wipe
the drive clean of any possible confusing partition information if the camera
can physically see the drive hardware.

Some camera brands/models may be sensitive to whether or not their drives
were formatted on a PC or within the camera due to some differing formatting
parameters.

If you could beg/borrow a working 4GB drive and look at its format on a PC via
chkdsk and use that information to configure the FORMAT command line (in a
DOS box on Windows 98? 2000 PC) you could end up with a working format if
the format etc were the only problem and the hardware (CF mode) were working
OK.

I don't have info on model #s or firmware version #s, etc for which drives do &
and don't work.

Regardless of the "ST.....CF" part number and firmware number, I do believe
a true CF-compliant drive will most likely have a "CF" logo somewhere on the
label, not just as text of the part #.

Like previous poster said, if you want a guaranteed-to-work CF drive, you gotta
buy the retail packaged one. There's no guarantee that ones extracted from
consumer electronic devices will work as generic drives, even if the labels are OK.
Conceivably drive co's could sell drives that are defective in one mode but work
in others and just market as a small IDE drive that happens to have a CF-style
connector.


Bill Wiese
San Jose, CA USA





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Old Jul 17, 2005, 5:21 PM   #45
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Thanks guys, I found out the seller is Frontier labs and they pack this md into a mp3 player, off I go to the market place, I can listen to alot of music.
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Old Jul 18, 2005, 3:58 PM   #46
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Given all this hullaballoo, I would not buy an unpackaged CF-form
microdrive unless it came with packaging + documentation.

Too much risk for too little savings.

Bill Wiese
San Jose, CA USA
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 11:04 AM   #47
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Bwise

When I say that I have fully tested it I mean just that. I have tried generic interfaces and adaptor and specific adaptors designed with Microdrives in mind. I have even tried a specific PCMCIA readers that use true IDE mode. While the drive was identified properly and the original format seen any attempt to reformat the drive will end with a failure at the end of the format.



I am not the only person encountering this problem. Superficially, I have read of others who have experienced exactly the same issues with any of these drives ending in the numbers 49D.



There are several examples of vendors altering these drives once similar hacks were made public.


Just an FYI, the pure IDE to CF adaptor also failed to complete the format.
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 4:22 PM   #48
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DataHaunt...

Thanks for the further information and your description of your more complete testing. I am assuming, reading between thelines, thatyou even took the simplest CF drive interface and connected the interface straight to the PC's IDE disk drive ribbon cable. (BTW: have you tried various PC OSs - Win 9X, Win 2K, Win XP? There could possibly be differences...)

[Do note that some of these interfaces DO have some translation hardware (i.e., a chip or two) to also run PC(MCIA) card modes from IDE cable. The simpleIDE cable/CF card interface I am talking about is just 'wires' and a connector and maybe a pullup resistor or so - no ICs whatsoever.]

It sounds like, in addition to a TrueIDE-only hardware interface, these "49D" drives may lack some items within the ATA command set. (For example, it's somewhat common for many generic CF memory cards to not support the IDE/ATA "Set_Features" command.) Or, some suboption of a particular ATA command issued by FORMAT.EXE returns a result that is unexpected and causes the FORMAT command to exit with an error (and possibly not completely).

Awhile back, doing some 1394/FireWire RAMdisk development (to prove a chip design/integration setup) I found that a regularFORMAT command (via Win2K command line) would not complete properly. Instead, I had to use a 'quick' format -which worked fine. I did not delve into the whys of why a complete Win2K FAT format did not work, but I assume there wassome status checkingrequired that required a specific response our firmwarewasn't providing.

Today, 'formatting' a disk means laying out the basic FAT data structure. Low-level formats (where clocking, etc. is streamed out)are no longer done (remember the old days of MFM drives on IBM PC/ATs and the IBM Diagnostics disk ??) by user.

Today's complete formatshould perform sector verification and write - as I recall - $E5 bytes to emptysectors, in addition to laying out the disk/FAT structure. Quick formats just lay out the FAT/disk structure and don't appear toperform writes to any non-FAT sectors nor any post-formatting inquiries.

Someday I should get hold ofan ATA analyzer and check which ATA commands a Win PC issues to various devices during full and quick formats.

So, have you tried "FORMAT/Q X:" on this "49D" drive (while connected asa TrueIDE drive on ATA cable)?

And have you tried a PC running Linux? - those results might differ too.

re: FIRMWARE UPDATE.. the ST650211.... spec sheet (which I don't have in front of me right now)lists an ATA "Firmware Update" command. So, if
....the 49D drive does support this command
....there isflash ROM on board this 49Ddrive
.... there is enoughroom in flash to load the'upgrade' image
then the firmware could be updated to make the drive work normally. (It remains to be seen if CF modes would work fully, because some of these signals may not have been brought to outside worldin the wiring.)

There is a chance these -49D "cost-down" drives might use mask ROM firmware instead of flash ROM,or have smaller flash ROM space in the microcontroller,making them "non updatable".

While these (or some of these) drives may have an ATA"Firmware Update" command, I don't see any mention of a "Firmware Dump" command (not really needed for production drives as the version#/serial# gives the mfgrs all the info they need since they have full docs!) So nobody in the "outside world" probably even has a firmware image they could burn into the drive to update it.

Ido not have details on the firmwareupdate command (the Seagate tech manual mentions command code but not arguments or usage) but assume it works something similar to an ATA 'Write Sectors' command. If I had a firmware update image, I could probably figure out, with a few hours or days, how to use the command - plus or minus a few fried drives ;-)



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Old Oct 6, 2005, 8:58 AM   #49
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Catfanatic. Have you considered 2.2GB microdrive from Magicstor or US Modular. The first one you'll find on e-bay, and TigerDirect.ca or .com has both. On TigerDirect.ca the Magicstor goes for 135$ CAD and the US Modular for 230$ CAD.

Now I have not tried either, but they seem moretrustworthy than ripping a HD from an MP3.

Thanks to the forum by the way. I was looking to buy either a 4GB from an iPod mini or a 5GB Seagate. I'm sorry for those who had the misfortune to have to pay $$$ to learn. But I do thank you for sharing your experience. Truly appreciated!

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Old Oct 6, 2005, 11:24 AM   #50
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lauzobe wrote:
Quote:
Catfanatic. Have you considered 2.2GB microdrive from Magicstor or US Modular. The first one you'll find on e-bay, and TigerDirect.ca or .com has both. On TigerDirect.ca the Magicstor goes for 135$ CAD and the US Modular for 230$ CAD.
Talking about jumping from the frying pan into the fire...

You'll findsome comments from Steve about Magicstor drives in these threads:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=24489&forum_id=37

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=27095&forum_id=52

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=25524&forum_id=52



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