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timrock

Frozen IBM Microdrive

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Hi,

 

I have managed to freeze up my IBM Microdrive (1G). Does anyone out there have a home remedy for getting these things so that the computer/camera can see them again?

 

Or do I just have to send it back to IBM and bear the wait?

 

Thanks for any tips.

 

Best,

 

Tim

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Hi Tim,

 

Welcome to Wetpixel!

 

How's that Sigma 15-30 working for you? I've been shooting "your" 18-35 and I like it a lot...:-)

 

On the Microdrive: Can you hear the drive spinning when you put it into your laptop? Does it make funny noises or anything like that? The Microdrive has a small "air hole" on it which cannon be blocked, I would check that first. Unfortunately, moisture can get in there.

 

Second: does your camera "see" the drive, but computer cannot "see" it? What do you mean when you say it's frozen? Perhaps try it in a different computer and see if it's just a problem with formatting the drive. Remember, it's a hard drive, so it can have "bad sectors" and that type of thing.

 

FWIW, I flooded a camera and my MD got wet. I dried it off as best as I could and was able to get the data off. Then after about 2 weeks, it stopped working and made a whining sound when I would put it into my laptop. But then mysteriously, after about 2 months, it's working again.

 

Cheers

James Wiseman

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dodododododododod enter the twilight zone. :)

 

Seriously though I hope that does not happen to me.

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I remember reading on a newsgroup post that if you use the pcmia adapter insert the card into a laptop it can kick start the drive back into action. I will try and track down the info and post here. Good Luck

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I guess I'm missing something, but with the solid-state cards getting bigger and bigger and cheaper and cheaper, is there any reason to prefer a device with moving parts over a device with no moving parts?

 

I'm not trying to be a wise-ass. I just don't understand why the microdrive is preferred by some.

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I think it's because a lot of people bought Microdrives when they were $300 and 1 gig CF cards were still ~$700.

 

If I was buying now, I'd probably get a fast CF card.

 

Also worth noting, the MD is the fastest media you can use with the S2pro.

 

Cheers

James

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I figured it would be something simple.

 

Thanks for the explanation!

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Hi James et al,

 

The 15-30 has been fun! Glad you like the Nik.

 

On the drive, yes, the computer doesn't see it! Tired it on a PC and 2 Macs.

 

This actually happened once before and I was told by IBM to reformat and it would be fine. But since the computer can't see it, I can't format it.

 

IBM has a pretty smooth process of sending these in and replacing them.

 

But I was hoping some computer wizard out there could tell me a trick to make the computer see it so I could try a reformat.

 

The camera does see a card but says there are hidden images or can't be used (d1 and d100 give different messages).

 

Any computer wizardry appreciated.

 

Otherwise, it's off to the post.

 

Best,

 

Tim

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Tim,

 

Just to confirm you are using the pcmcia adapter rather than a usb card reader. The reason I ask is that the pcmcia adapter passes more power to the card than the usb powered readers so it can give the card the extra kick in the arse it needs to spin.

 

A slightly off the wall fix which personally I wouldn't try but will tell you anyway.

 

"Microdrives are hard drives in miniature. One common hard drive

failure is "sticktion", where the drive stops spinning on the

spindle. A trick for getting a stuck hard drive unstuck and

getting it to work for a while longer (hopefully long enough to

get data off it before you discard it) is to freeze it, then try

it again, straight out of the freezer. Something expands or

shrinks when you change the temperature from room temp to frozen,

and this gets it unstuck (if that's your problem)."

 

A little drastic I feel.

 

Good luck

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Being a MAC person I tend to download using a Firewire reader. How does this compare in terms of power passed? The firewire is faster than my PC card, but should stick the PC card in my luggage just in case?

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Alex,

 

I have attempted to detail the differences below I haven't had time to confirm all the figures but they should be approx correct.

 

Power Supplied

 

USB - 5V up to 100mA (above this you get a 'not enough power forget it' message, often seen when using

a usb hub without its own power source)

 

PCMCIA - 5V (Motherboard can down to 3.3V) up to 1 A Conflicting information on the current depending on

the version of PCMCIA standard some suggest up to 2 A !

 

FireWire - It gets complicated !! There are two types of connector 4 and 6 pin. The extra two in the 6 pin are

for power and this will give 3-30V (bit dubious about the 30 but thats what they say !) up to 1.5 A.

With the 4 pin you are using the power supply of the device. The camera in the case of my S2.

Incidently all PC laptop firewire (IEEE 1394) that I have come across are 4 pin so no power !!

PCMCIA firewire cards do provide 6 pin but are limited by PCMCIA bus.

 

Hope that helps

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Hi Folks,

 

Just so you know what happened, I had taken a photo (of my wife) with a D100 and she wanted a print. I have a PC and a Mac. The Mac has the firewire hooked up, so I hooked up the D100 and opened the image in Photoshop, corrected it and saved it back to the IBM Microdrive as a .jpg file.

 

Then I realized the printer was hooked up to the PC.

 

I suspect I could have changed the printer but I didn't.

 

So I took the IBM drive out of the D100 and put it in a PCMCIA adapter and put it into the PC and that's when the trouble started.

 

Before anyone goes crazy, I do this a lot and have no problems at all. But I usually move files already on the desktop Mac to the desktop PC. I think rewriting back to the camera may have been my undoing, although I have pulled this off before.

 

I also had an IBM "freeze" when reviewing images on a D1 (one of the first models released). It turns out IBM Micros don't like having images deleted by D1s for your future reference.

 

So, I shall now put this thing in the freezer and go out and get an interface for the PC/Mac while it is getting cold. Worth a try.

 

Thank you all for the input.

 

Best,

 

Tim

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Good News!

 

Rob, you are a hardware genius!

 

The freezer method was highly successful.

 

"Unfroze" the drive and I was able to get the data off and reformat.

 

According to the IBM guy, if one reformats then there's a good chance all will be well with the Microdrive again.

 

Still, I'll give this thing quite a few more field tests before putting it back into the general population of the rest of the microdrives.

 

But again, thanks. All is well for now.

 

Best,

 

Tim B)

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Woohoo! Isn't the internet great!

 

Good to hear you got it working Tim.

 

Cheers

James

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The freezer method was highly successful.

 

"Unfroze" the drive and I was able to get the data off and reformat.

 

According to the IBM guy, if one reformats then there's a good chance all will be well with the Microdrive again.

 

Excellent !!

 

I have to admit that I am a little surprised the freezer thing works I'll have to add one to my kit list :) Not looking forward to paying the excess baggage on it though !!

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NO KIDDING!!! It worked! I had given up on my flooded MD (for over 7 months!). Freeze it for an hour and managed to format it and even filled the whole 1G with pictures and data.

 

The last time I tried to use in my laptop & camera it was "ringing/buzzing" so loud.

 

Thanks a lot for the tips.

 

btw.... will it stop working again after sometime??? is it risky to use it to store pictures? B)

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