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Apple Microdrives used in old iPod products

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so, I am a bit confused regarding these devices, since it seems they have a modified firmware.
Some do work on Windows, some do not, some are recognized in half size (e.g. a 4Gb recognized as if it was 2Gb), ... WTF?

I found several iPod with a Seagate ST640211CF microdrive inside. Paid 5 euro for each one, but .. a lot of troubles.

in 2000 I paid an obscene amount of money for a 340MB Microdrive.

Yes, they were expensive, but it's not the point.

What I am shocked is: the firmware of everything > 1Gbyte seems modified by Apple to only properly work with Apple.

See the above Microdrive, there is an Apple logo on the back, and this disk didn't work in a couple of PCs, it didn't' work in a camera, it didn't work with a couple of USB-CF adapters ... I had to try several combinations of tools and adapter before the one in the pic, which did work, but ... it reported 2.Gbyte instead of 4Gbyte, and it also adds something like 20 cycles to the disk_probe() function.

The same disk, the same model, without the Apple logo, not only it did work on all the tried computers, but it correctly reported 4Gbyte!

The same story to Hitachi, and again ... everything > 1Gbyte adds quirks.

So, seriously: WTF?!?!?  :o :o :o

Can not really tell you much regarding possible modified firmware, however:

Quite some time ago I updated my iPod mini 1st gen. with a 64Gb(?) CF II card. This was an easy operation. Just swapped the microdrive for the CF card and restored the device via iTunes.

I don‘t know if there is something special to the bigger microdrives. I doubt it though. If you can not see the disk on Windows maybe it has to do with Mac formatted media? You could put either a Windows FAT volume or OS X (HFS, exFAT, Ext3 ?? not sure) on them.

Edit: Out of interest, what are you planning on doing with these?


--- Code: ---CPU:   IBM PowerPC 405GP Rev. E at 266.640 MHz (PLB=66 OPB=33 EBC=33)
       Internal PCI arbiter enabled, PCI async ext clock used
       16 KiB I-Cache 8 KiB D-Cache
Board: Sonoko-node-01
I2C:   ready
DRAM:  128 MiB
Flash: 512 KiB
Net:   ppc_4xx_eth0
IDE:   Bus 0: ...........OK
  Device 0: Model: ST640211CF Firm: 3.07 Ser#: 3ME785YR
            Type: Removable Hard Disk
            Capacity: 3906.0 MB = 3.8 GB (7999488 x 512)

--- End code ---

correctly probed and identified.

--- Code: ---IDE:   Bus 0: ...........OK

--- End code ---

This means the microdrive took several cycles before replying to the query (can you identify yourself? ..................... yes).

But look here

--- Code: ---# ide partitions 0

Partition Map for IDE device 0  --   Partition Type: MAC

Block Size=512, Number of Blocks=4194304, Total Capacity: 2048.0 MB = 2.0 GB
DeviceType=0x0, DeviceId=0x0

   #:                 type name                   length   base       (size)
   1:  Apple_partition_map Apple                      63 @ 1          ( 31k)
   2:      Apple_UNIX_SVR2 kernel                  16384 @ 64         (  8M)
   3:      Apple_UNIX_SVR2 rootfs                 139264 @ 16448      ( 68M)
   4:      Apple_Bootstrap bootstrap                1600 @ 155712     (800k)
   5:           Apple_Free Extra                 4036992 @ 157312     (  1G)

--- End code ---

WHT??!?!? 1Gbye of free space?!?!? No, wrong, it's 4Gbyte, it should say 3GB, 1GB is too bad!

--- Quote ---Number of Blocks=4194304, Total Capacity: 2048.0

--- End quote ---

what? wait what? only half of the total number of blocks are shown here, why?!?

There is the same problem even with PC-partitions, and even Linux on a common x86 PC with dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdc failed at writing evrything > 2Gbyte

So this seriously means the whole LBA addressing is somehow partially working, or thay may also means you need extra commands to "unblock" something in the harddrive, since physically it's configured as "True-IDE".

Besides on Linux, this microdrive randomly fails at disk-probe(), and exactly the same beahior is shown by all the other identical microdrives i extracted from iPods.



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