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Courtesy IBM

IBM's Amazing Microdrive
(up to 1GB of Storage!)

Owner Comments, Tips and Compatibility Information

Published: 3/30/2000
[Last Updated: 9/6/2001]

1GB Microdrive for $320: as of 9/6/2001 offers the 1GB Microdrive with travel kit for $320 plus shipping.

1GB Microdrive

[Update: On 11/15/2000, Cnet posted a review of the 340MB IBM CompactFlash sized hard drive. IBM currently offers 512MB and 1GB versions. Prices have dropped on the 340MB version since this articlce was originally published. The Cnet review includes a link to their latest prices from several sources on the 340MB model.]

To offload the main news, this page will list compatibility info, owner comments and tips on the IBM Compactflash sized 340MB Microdrive. The related links below also includes reviews of the Casio 3.3MegaPixel QV-3000EX that has the Microdrive included in the $999 (list) Pro Bundle kit.

Source for IBM's Microdrive PCcard Adapter: A reader sent a note that the PCcard adapter for the IBM 340MB microdrive can be ordered from IBM (the drive is too thick for most standard Compactflash adapters on the market):

" Regarding the Casio 3000EX and 340 MB Microdrive...the camera is awesome, hi-res photos, good color. The Microdrive is compatible with my PowerBook. I was able to track down and purchase a PC adapter from the IBM Parts Dept. (1-800-388-7080), Part No. N8075 (340MB ADPT) for only $18.00 plus shipping. Thanks for the info on the camera.
Steve F. "

IBM Microdrive PCcard & USB Adapters: A reader sends more info on compatible adapters:

"IBM's Microdrive is a CompactFlash Type II (aka. CF+) device, which means that it is 5.0mm thick as opposed to Type I CompactFlash at 3.3mm. Standard CompactFlash to PCMCIA adapters won't work because of this size issue, and CF+ to PCMCIA adapters are available from IBM only as part of the Travel Kit option, which includes a Microdrive. Socket Communications manufactures CF+ adapters, but we haven't tested them with the Microdrive. Our company will be releasing a CF+ adapter in the near future.

You may want to list Synchrotech under your vendor list for the Microdrive, as we currently retail it for $392 and with the Travel Kit for $429. Details are at:

We also make Macintosh compatible USB CF+ readers for desktop users that have been tested with IBM's Microdrive:
Robert D. Skeels "

IBM's Microdrive compatibility page also lists reader/writers (adapters) they have tested for compatibility.

Epson 850z/Microdrive Tip: Another reader sent a tip on getting the microdrive to work with his Epson 850z which is not on the current digital camera compatibility list:

"By the way, I got the micro drive to use with my Epson 850z digital camera. Initially this turned out to be a disappointment. After formatting with epson software the camera led screen would indicate the camera was ready to take A LOT of pictures in the four different resolutions available, but after a very few (about 15) hi-res photos the led screen would indicate that memory was full .

The solution : Do not use epson built in formater.
If you do (as i did) re-format with win laptop. (do a "deep" format not just an initialization). Then when you re-place the micro-drive into the camera and it asks you if you want to format the drive IGNORE it. After that everything seems to work fine. Since I use the drive in my epson I keep it in the win/ibm format and my pismo and imac recognize it and mount it. (This solution was explained to me at the mac show in the epson pavilion and to my knowledge they have yet to post it anywhere) "

[From the 3/29/2000 news page:]
IBM MicroDrive/Pismo Report: In reply to my post in Monday's news regarding the new Casio QV-3000EX 3 megapixel camera with IBM 340MB microdrive, Serge Smirnoff replied the drive works with IBM's PCcard adapter in his Pismo. The QV-3000EX lists for $999 with the IBM Microdrive ($799 without) and also features a USB port. [Note: according to this QV-3000EX review, Casio does not include the Microdrive PCCard adapter and I don't know if a standard CompactFlash adapter would work.] According to Casio, Macintosh software is included (the Windows bundle includes panarama software that's PC only). The 340MB Microdrive with PCcard adapter lists for $455 according to IBM's site.

For more info see IBM's Microdrive product page. Checking their Microdrive compatibility page currently lists the following Apple notebooks:

  • G3-400, Mac OS 8.6 (Lombard)
  • PowerBook 3400c, Mac OS 8
  • PowerBook G3 Mac, OS 8.5.1

Based on Serge's report, you can add the Pismo (Powerbook Firewire) to the list.

[From the 3/27/2000 news page:]
Casio QV-3000 3 MegaPixel Camera with IBM 340MB MicroDrive: I know many readers are digital camera buffs (like me) and wanted to mention this weekend's Compusa web ads (scroll down to the Digital Camera section) notes they have the new Casio QV-3000EX 3.34 megapixel camera for $999.99 including IBM's 340MB Microdrive (which lists for over $400).

"Digital Cameras
Casio QV-3000EXplus Digital Camera
SKU # 273872 COMP PRICE: $999.99
True 3.34 Megapixels!
Bonus IBM 340MB Microdrive included - A $400 value. Store up to 245 images on the Microdrive at 2048x1536 resolution. "

According to Casio's press release, the camera alone lists for $799 ($999 with microdrive). It does not come with the PCcard adapter however and the drive won't fit in most standard Compactflash adapters (see above posts and links for compatible adapters). Of course you could always use the USB connector on the camera to transfer data if the Microdrive didn't work on powerbooks.

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