Introduction: Microdrive Madness: $15 Solution for Your Extra Microdrives

Picture of Microdrive Madness: $15 Solution for Your Extra Microdrives
For those of you who came from my other instructable on the iPod upgrade, welcome!

Do you have no idea what to do with your extra microdrives, taken from old mp3 players, iPods, cameras, etc...?

Well, I have the most grand solution for you!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
All you need is two items.

  • CF card reader. $14.99 at any computer store. Make sure it supports TypeII. Microdrives are TypeII, the thinner ones are TypeI. Just make sure it has the pins inside to attack to the holes on the microdrive.
Some sites you can look at are:
CompUSA's selection
Newegg's selection
  • Microdrive, any GB, but it must be compatible with the CF reader.
They can get expensive, which is why I took mine from a broken iPod.
CompUSA's microdrive

Step 2: Please Note

Picture of Please Note

You probably will not get all of the GB out of that microdrive. It's like a HDD, if you buy a 300 GB one, you get like 280GB or something along those lines.

Secondly, Apple might have used a bit of the space on the microdrive to store data to make it function.

Below is a picture of my CF card,

See, that I have a capacity of 3.76GB. It will usually be less than what is actually advertised.

BUT, an easy solution to this is called, "formatting" the drive. Right click on the icon of the removable disk. Click format, then click "Start". It takes 45 seconds, and all the memory should be cleared.

Step 3: Plug Her In

Picture of Plug Her In

Plug your microdrive into the reader, and you are on your way.

You can now transfer movies, files, pictures...etc to and from your CF card reader!

So, if you have any extra microdrives lying around, use them! They are a great source of extra removable storage!


Derin (author)2008-06-18

you can also buy typel(one l) and remove the top...basically cf sockets have their top empty

Kasm279 (author)Derin2010-07-04

I did this little mod to my walmart cheap 52-in-1 reader to let it read MicroDrives. I would have taken a pic but my camera is packed away, so heres a quick MSPaint drawing :D

hondagofast (author)2008-01-13

I'm replacing the HD in my laptop with a 20gb microdrive, just for fun.

Derin (author)hondagofast2008-06-18

are those microdrives ide?pretty sure it is ide?

hondagofast (author)Derin2008-06-18

Microdrives and Compact Flash are ATA compatible so you just need a 2.5" IDE adapter.

Derin (author)hondagofast2008-06-18

ok then ps all cf cards arent ata compatible

Kasm279 (author)Derin2010-07-04

Yes they are, unless they are knock offs made by some company in Asia. The CF spec IS the same as PATA.

ReCreate (author)hondagofast2009-07-21

Whats the fun of that how about a 20GB CF Card ;-)

Sandisk1duo (author)ReCreate2009-07-26

those are too expensive

ReCreate (author)Sandisk1duo2009-07-26

I don't think so...

Karel Jansens (author)2008-01-13

But... I can buy a 4GB flashdrive practically for the price of that card reader alone.

LinuxH4x0r (author)Karel Jansens2008-01-13

from where?

dchall8 (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-01-13

Just watch the ads. Frys has 4G SD cards this week for $17.99. Look at every Monday.

Part of the beauty of this Instructable is that my SD card readers don't recognize anything larger than 1 gig. I have to plug my camera's 2G SD cards into the USB adapter to read them on my computers.

Just so you can be planning ahead, the 64G SD drives are expected out in early 2009.

ReCreate (author)dchall82009-07-21

Now its even Cheaper, I got a 4GB Flash drive for $14

Estwald (author)dchall82008-10-20

Get a new reader and make sure its certified for SDHC and your larger cards will be read.

maybe the reader is the problem, i have one and no problem to read up to 4 gb (i dont have others cards to test...)

Basically it is the reader in combination with the drivers. I think the better reader manufacturers provide the updated drivers. This topic is pretty hot on many forums.

Coliflower (author)Karel Jansens2009-04-11

yea sure, but i think its a great idea because if you have a few microdrives, accquire some now and then, or whatever, you can use all of them just for paying for the reader. You can also get them in different sizes, or bigger ones than the flash drive. i.e., the classic ipods nowadays can be bought with like 400 gigs of storage.

Brennn10 (author)Karel Jansens2008-01-13

But... for those who modded their iPod, or other mp3 players, can use this solution!

Derin (author)2008-07-12

oops,I formatted a 13G with fat32 and it worked

bigjeff5 (author)2008-04-30

Just FYI, the reason your computer sees less than 4GB is because of industry naming standards.

The hard drive industry uses "GigaByte" in the strict, metric sense of 1 million bytes.

Computers, however, have always operated on binary, which scales as follows:

1024 bytes = 1 kilobyte
1024 kilobytes = 1 megabyte
1024 megabytes = 1 gigabyte

If you'll notice, 3.76 GB is just over 4 million bytes. Your drive manufacturer rounded down a little.

So they've shorted you 24 megs essentially, and they get away with it. :)

Derin (author)bigjeff52008-06-18

oh hi you shorted me 24 megs
ok ok we can do this without fights
ah man another angry customer
*slams phone on base*
hi tetranitrate
hi what o you want
ok *link to webpage*
bye*hangs up*

lesson for manufacturer:never mess with your customers ever again

lesson for user:nothing

guyfrom7up (author)2008-05-10

That is the smartest thing that I've ever heard anyone say ever. I'm going to carry like 30 gigs in my pocket now ;)

jonhdoe187 (author)2008-02-27
two thumps up!! I did this and work good but I was looking tru my leftovers and I find a old mp3 player made by rca lyra portable media player i think it is and i say to my self what if i try using the microdrive (4Gb)instead of my cf (216 Mb)<
Labot2001 (author)2008-02-25

Cool Ible! I've had a 4gig microdrive lying around from an old mini (battery shorted) and haven't been able to use it... until now! I'm interested in what brand and model your CF reader is?

Labot2001 (author)Brennn102008-02-25


ve2vfd (author)2008-01-13

Hmmm now I know what to do with my old 6gb microdrive! Why didn't I think of that??? :) I upgraded my Ipod Mini to a 16gb CF card last year and the microdrive has been sitting in a drawer since.

westfw (author)2008-01-13

> I have a capacity of 3.76GB. It will usually be less than what is actually advertised.
This is a consequence of the difference in marketing-speak, where a gigabyte is 109 bytes, and computer-speak, where a gigabyte is 230 bytes (10243 or 1073741824 bytes. You'll notice your display DID say 4,038,922,240 bytes, so it DOES have 4 billion bytes.

Brennn10 (author)westfw2008-01-13

Yup, I just formatted it to get rid of all the excess junk that Apple added to it. It is great now, extra 4GB, w00t!

About This Instructable




More by Brennn10:Real Time Temperature Logging With Arduino, NodeJS and Plotly!Build a Controllable Coffee Roaster from an Air Popcorn Popper[Collegiate Exercise] Dorm Room Fitness
Add instructable to: