View Full Version : Are IBM Microdrives that fragile

22nd of May 2001 (Tue), 05:34
The last few days I have checked a lot of digital photography forums looking for IBM Microdrive reviews.
I have read some reviews where people are telling that the Microdives are to fragile.

Are they really that fragile? Isn't it to risky buying one?

Don Cohen
22nd of May 2001 (Tue), 09:19
Hi Bob,

In my experience with a 1 gb MicroDrive, and from the posts I've read over the past 6 months, I do not believe they are at all fragile.

That said, relative to Compact Flash Type I, which has no moving parts at all, they will be more susceptible to mechanical damage should any significant jarring occur (for example dropping on a hard floor from a significant height). I don't believe normal handling is likely to result in any damage. They are little tiny hard drives, with moving parts, so there is some potential - but I personally believe this is minimal (again, with reasonably careful handling).

Hope this helps.

Mike K
23rd of May 2001 (Wed), 02:37
On these forums, the most vocal are those that have something to say, and when one of these microdrives crashes and takes some images with it one would be upset enough to say pleanty. Some very informal polls on the Canon DPReview fourm seem to place the total number of actual lifetime hardware crashes at about 6-10%. Maybe it is like your chances of getting hot pixels on a new digicam? I think if you keep the microdrive in the camera as much as possible it is far safer than handling the minature disc drive. Another thread asked to see how many (previously silent) happy users there were and the thread quickly grew to about 100 responses. But this story takes the cake:
Regards, Mike K

19th of April 2004 (Mon), 17:12
This was an old thread. Now that microdrives are being replaced by huge CF cards, does anyone care to comment on this?

19th of April 2004 (Mon), 23:46
With the drive in the camera, the camera probably has a higher chance of breaking.

You might corrupt data if you bang the camera while the drive is writting. But, if it's not writting, I would think the camera would break before the drive :)

20th of April 2004 (Tue), 00:01
I've had my IBM 1G Microdrive for 3 years without any problem whatsoever. Its been used in my camera and Ipaq and has always performed.
That said, theoretically, having mechanical parts it should fail more readily than a CF card. Therefore since the price of large CF cards has come down, if I need more storage, I'd probably go that route.
Bottom line, IMO if you want to save a few bucks and still have reliable storage, you can't go wrong with the IBM/Hitachi Microdrive. From what I've read other brands are not as reliable. On the other hand, if you tend to obsess about the possible problems, go with a CF card.

20th of April 2004 (Tue), 00:24
Someone told me once that IBM Microdrive is faster than the typical compact flash card. Is this true? If so, how much faster is the Microdrive?

20th of April 2004 (Tue), 02:11
Same as Rich. I've had my 1 gig Microdrive for a long time and I haven't had a single problem with it yet [ooooh touch wood quickly]. As for writing speed, I haven't noticed a difference between the Microdrive and CF cards. I'm not sure what the techies would say on that one but I would be interested.

21st of April 2004 (Wed), 14:40
Having a ~3yr old 1GB MD card, it's always worked perfectly in the D30 and now the Pro1. Its used for transferring files across PC/MACs (old skool sneakernet) and though it looks a bit battered, has never failed. It's been in iPaqs as well, though now it goes into the iPod Media Reader :)

Highly recommended if storage capacity is the main concern.

26th of April 2004 (Mon), 13:35
Someone told me once that IBM Microdrive is faster than the typical compact flash card. Is this true? If so, how much faster is the Microdrive?

no, that's not true. even if the microdrive is not that slow, there are cards like the sandisk extreme and ultra (1gb and 2gb) that outperform a microdrive easily (40% faster).

have a look at this database, its data differs for each tested camera as well: