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Old Aug 11, 2006, 3:59 AM   #1
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I purchased a Seagate 8GB ST1.2 (ST68022CF) microdrive from eBay (seller was Digital Divide Computing in San Francisco) about two weeks ago and received the item in the mail yesterday afternoon. Before purchasing the item, I asked the seller if it was an OEM version or retail. He didn't know, but he assured me that his products are "brand new and directly shipped from the manufacturers' distributor". I thought that it was safe to assume that his computer store would provide its customers with the fully compatible retail version, since the OEM is primarily used for commercial embedded applications such as MP3 players, PDAs, etc and aren't sold to consumers individually.

I was wrong. As soon as I opened the package I recognized right away the lack of retail packaging and overall plain appearance of the OEM drive itself ("For Embedded Application Only", no "Seagate Photo Drive"). I loaded it into my D70s (at the time I wasn't aware that the OEM version is NOT CF-compliant) and the screen said "This card cannot be used". I emailed Seagate tech support, but because it is an OEM item, they refuse to provide any tech support whatsoever. All they mentioned was that if it was the retail version, it would have worked, based on the firmware/serial number information I had given them.

So, what should I do? Is there any way to make the OEM cards CF compliant, possibly by upgrading the firmware? This is what they I asked Seagate, and they simply told me to contact the original distributor (which I don't know). This purchase has been quite frustrating, any help in solving my problem would be greatly appreciated.

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Old Aug 11, 2006, 9:53 AM   #2
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I've seen a few tricks posted around for trying to get incompatible drives to work (involving repartitioning the drive in a different manner).

But, if Seagate tells you that the firmware is the same as used in their CF Compliant drives, I'd try the obvious solutions first.

See if you can format it with the camera's menus for format.

If not, I'd try formatting the drive using Windows XP in a card reader (using a File System Type of FAT32). If the defaults don't allow the camera to use it, try formatting it using a 32KB cluster size. I've seen reports of that being required with some cameras.

If that still doesn't allow the camera to recognize it, try using Windows Disk Admin to do it. I've had odd problems with CF cards that were fixed by Windows Disk Admin for some reason, even though formatting the drive via the normal "right click" on drive and selecting the format option didn't work.

It none of the above works, I have seen reports of people deleting the partitions on the drives and recreating a new one using one of the popular partitioning tools included in most Linux distros working (and you can download and burn a live CD that you can boot from for this purpose).

Let us know if simply formatting it doesn't work, and I can give you some tips on how to download an burn a CD to boot from and what utilities to try.


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Old Aug 13, 2006, 1:19 AM   #3
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Hi Jim,


The microdrive works perfectly as a hard drive via CF card reader. I can read/write files and format using Windows Explorer.

My friend is borrowing my D70s right now, i'll have it back on Monday. Thanks for the tips; I'll be sure to try them as soon as I get my camera back.

I've read about formatting the drive using a 32KB cluster size. I've tried this through Disk Management (under Administrative Tools) and it didn't work. Would it be worth trying other cluster sizes?

I have Ubuntu Live and Install CDs, do they have said partitioning tools?

Thanks again Jim, i'll let you know how it goes on Monday.
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Old Aug 14, 2006, 6:58 PM   #4
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I deleted and recreated the partition in GParted but with no luck. I also tried to see if it would work in the D70s as a FAT16 disk, that wouldn't work either.

I can't format through the camera's menus because I get an error saying "this card cannot be used".

If anyone has any more suggestions i'd like to hear them.
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Old Aug 14, 2006, 7:35 PM   #5
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Is the firmware version of the drive 3.02? If not, what it is? It should be marked on the drive.

The drive should work if Seagate told you that the firmware is the same as the retail version.

But, some drives are not the same as the retail version and they're not CompactFlash compliant. Drives taken out of mp3 players for resale are usually not.

I have seen some people mention getting some drives working by zeroing out the first 20 bytes on a drive before, though. I'll dig through my disk tools disks and see what I've got that can do that.

Did you see any other partitions on the drive when you used GParted, and did the partition start at the beginning of the available space?



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Old Aug 15, 2006, 11:33 AM   #6
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My drive has version 3.01. Here is the email I got from Seagate:

--
Hello Francis,

According to our compatibility list, if this were a non-OEM (standard)
drive then the 3.01 firmware would make it compatible with your model of
camera as long as the camera had at least version 1.0 of its own firmware
installed. Since this is an OEM hard drive, we can provide no technical
support for it. These hard drives are not flashable unless the OEM company
has developed a way to do so. You will need to contact the vendor for any
firmware updates or technical support.

Mike H.
--

I didn't see any other partitions, only one FAT32. I think there might've been some unallocated space towards the end, but I don't exacty remember.

How much faster/slower are microdrives anyway, compared to say, 80x CF flash cards?
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Old Aug 15, 2006, 12:11 PM   #7
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Both firmware versions should work. But, 3.02 appears to be compatible with more cameras from what I can tell digging through forum posts.

It's likely just a problem with the MBR and the way it's partitioned.

One "trick" I've seen users report working with some drives is to make sure all partitions are deleted. The, use a sector editor to zero out the first 20 sectors on a drive. The, use Windows Disk Admin to create a paritition for it (since it will update the MBR correctly). Sometimes, there is a hidden partition on a drive, too (that not all tools will see, but I think GParted would probably see one if it were there).

Here's what one person getting a drive to work said worked (but, this one wasn't a Seagate):

Quote:
You need to get Paragon Partition Manager and 00 out the first 20 sectors. using Modify -> View Sectors. Make sure you do this on the drive and not the partition. Then you can run Windows XP Disk Management and it will recognize as a unformatted device and allow you to create a new partition.


I've got quite a few disk tools sitting around, and I'll try to pop in my "Ultimate Boot CD" and see if any of the free tools I have can see a USB attached drive or not.

This CD comes in very handy when you mess up partitions and MBR info. I've needed to use the Ranish Partition Manager on it more than once. lol

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

If I can get some time later this afternoon, I'll try to see if any of the tools I already have can edit sectors on USB attached media.

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Old Aug 15, 2006, 3:53 PM   #8
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It's up to you if you want to risk it, I'd use Ranish Partition Manager and overwrite the MBR with it since it recognizes a USB attached card reader (at least it recognizes my Sandisk USB attached Card Reader, since I just tried it booting from the Ultimate CD).

Download the Ultimate Boot CD and burn the ISO to a CD. I'd probably download the Full Version (it's free):

It's got lots of good tools on it:

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Some Download Links:

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

If you don't have anything to burn the ISO with, you can download free software to do it. One example is Deep Burner. You'll see the link to the free desktop version on this page:

http://www.deepburner.com/?r=download

Boot from the Ultimate Boot CD and select File System Tools (F3).

Press F1 for Ranish Partition Manager (it should be the first choice in the File System Tools Menu).

After Ranish loads, press F5 to toggle through your disk drives and look for the 8GB Seagate.

After the Seagate 8GB drive is on screen, with the first row highlighted in the table (the MBR), press enter to edit it and change the Executable Code type to a Standard IPL (you'll see the choices where you can edit it near the bottom right hand side of the page). It will likely show an "Unknown IPL" to begin with. I'd change it to Standard IPL.

This will overwrite the existing MBR after you save it later with F2.

Then, delete all partitions you see on the drive (highlight them and there will be function key you can use to delete them). Ranish should also reveal any hidden partitions.

Then, press the F2 key to save everything (updating your changes to the MBR, deleted partitions back to the drive).

Then, boot back into Windows XP and go into Disk Management Tools under Control Center, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Storage, Disk Management.

Under the partitions list at the bottom (it won't be in the table at the top) , you'll find the card reader with the Seagate in it somewhere. Right click on the space for the Seagate 8GB drive and select Create Partition. Then, use the New Partition Wizard that comes up to create a new paritition using all the space on the drive and format as FAT32 with a 32KB cluster size.

This procedure using Ranish Partition Manager to overwrite the MBR using an Executable Type of Standard IPL, deleting all partitions, saving the changes, and using MS XP Disk Management tools to create a new Partition works on CompactFlash Media using a Sandisk USB Card Reader OK and it's recogonized by a camera fine later (I just tested it with two different CF cards and it works with a KM 5D, which is "finnicky" with some cards).

I don't have a Microdrive or Seagate Photo Drive to test it with though.

Use at your own risk, and make sure you don't select the wrong drive with Ranish. :-)

The first one that comes up when you load Ranish is likely to be your primary hard disk. You're just seeing it's MBR and partitions, not a list of any other drives on the system. ;-)

Use the F5 key after loading Ranish to toggle through your drives get to the 8GB Seagate in a Reader first. You'll see the drive info at the top of the screen change when you press F5 to toggle between any drives it sees in your system.

If you try it, let us know if it works or not. I couldn't get a print screen of Ranish. But, here's what you'll want to get to in Windows after you change the MBR and delete all the partitions with Ranish.

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Old Aug 17, 2006, 3:53 PM   #9
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I followed the steps exactly how you laid them out; the camera still refuses to accept the card. Here are some "screenshots" of Ranish, and the partitions it found (before and after).



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Old Aug 17, 2006, 4:16 PM   #10
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The next row past the MBR shouldn't be there AFAIK (although I haven't checked a card to see what XP did with one).

I'd delete everything below the first row (the MBR) and try again if it were me, since you've got 32KB of space being taken up by a partition type not recognized by Ranish, and make sure to use F2 to save your changes. My guess is that this space is why some people have found using a sector editor and zeroing out the first 20 sectors of so of a drive has worked).

The original partition layout looked pretty darn strange (having a Netware 3.11 partition on drive like this). lol

I don't know if it would make any difference or not. But, I'd delete everything below the MBR in the list with Ranish (including the 32KB being used in the first row, since XP isn't starting a partition until after that space).

Then, let XP create a new partition and see if that works. Don't try to use Ranish to create the partition (at least not until letting XP try it again with that space freed up). The only thing you want left on the drive after using Ranish is the MBR. I'd get rid of that first row partition for sure if it was my drive.

If XP puts it there, there isn't much you could do about it. But, you could try using Ranish to create a FAT32 partition if XP won't work right (but, XP works fine for doing that with CF cards I've tried).

I've found a HEX editor that can write to a drive if you want to try that approach if nothing else works.


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