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Microdrive vs. 2.5" laptop HD

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  • Microdrive vs. 2.5" laptop HD

    I know this topic has been beaten to death before, but I'd just like to raise an interesting point (this is after I crashed a 40GB 3.5" hd going over a speed bump). It may look like laptop hard drives are the better (and much cheaper) way to go. The only advantage Microdrives have is 15C higher operating temperature for those people who live in desert climates? Or is there something I'm missing in the specs?


    4GB Hitachi Microdrives have an operating shock of 200G
    http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/suppor...o/micro3k4.htm

    Operating
    Ambient temperature 0 to 70 C (70 deg. C top cover temperature)
    Relative humidity (non-condensing) 8% to 90%
    Shock (half sine wave) 200 G/2ms
    Random Vibration (RMS) 0.67 G (5 - 500Hz)
    Vibration (swept sine) 1.0 G 0 - Peak

    While a Hitachi 4200rpm 40GB laptop HD has an operating shock of 300G
    http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/4k40/4k40.htm


    Operating
    Ambient temperature 5 to 55 C
    Relative humidity (non-condensing) 8% - 90%
    Shock (half sine wave) 300G/2ms
    Vibration (random (RMS)) 0.67 G (5 - 500 Hz)
    Swept sine 1 G 0 - P (5 - 500 Hz)


    Of course, the real question is what are the forces involved in a car? Vibration, and going over those damn small speed bumps. Temperature, perhaps, but I'd think road-caused HD failure would come first.

    BTW, anyone tried to RMA a crashed carputer HD? Or.. .multiple times RMA?

  • #2
    Well one drawback is space. What you gonna do with 4 gigs ?
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    • #3
      Probably put Frodoplayer on it

      I was also considering this for both the reasons mentioned - shock and heat - but more the heat. I was thinking that the shock tollerance would be better since the drive is much smaller and the components have less mass, however the tolerances are probably alot less than a laptop HD as well. With as much abuse as the devices microdrives are made for take (mp3 players, cameras, PDA's), I would think that they would have to be able to take some abuse.

      Heat is a bigger threat to any HDD in a car IMHO, but shock is a close second. My drive started to have problems after just a few weeks in the summer. The cool thing about the Microdrives is that they are easily removable, so I could remove it in the summer and take it with me. I was thinking about loading up a microdirve and running my laptop HD as a USB drive for the MP3's.

      Another thread has a discussion where somebody cut a slot in a casetronic 1 DIN case for a CF drive, which seems like a good way to go.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Supermike
        With as much abuse as the devices microdrives are made for take (mp3 players, cameras, PDA's), I would think that they would have to be able to take some abuse.
        <<snip>>
        I was thinking about loading up a microdirve and running my laptop HD as a USB drive for the MP3's.
        Microdrives are quite durable - when they're not on. Sorta negates the benefits, since we need the drives to be on.

        That's exactly what I was thinking about too - if I can get a Microdrive or CF with XPe, plus a 3.5" removable drive rack mounted in a 5.25" drive space. A flash card still seems to be the best and most reliable way of booting, then relying on a laptop HD for other data like MP3s.

        For Supermike in AZ... perhaps the Hitachi Endura star... made specifically for car PCs!!!
        http://www.hitachigst.com/portal/sit...a0466460e4f0a0
        The only listing on the web is in the UK, and there's a note that says Hitachi needs to approve each unit for sale.

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        • #5
          Got an email back from Hitachi....

          The clear choice for you would be the 4K40. This drive is specifically
          designed to withstand more shock and has the industry's highest shock
          rating. The microdrive is a drive in every aspect. Due to the small size,
          this drive can not take as much shock as a normal drive.
          I recommend using the 4K40. Thank you for contacting Hitachi GST.
          Dan H.

          _______________________________
          Hitachi Global Storage Technologies
          888.426.5214
          [email protected]
          www.hitachigst.com



          ...guess that answers our questions! Microdrives are not the answer, unless you want spectacular shock ratings while the unit is OFF.

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          • #6
            videonerd, thanks for the info. I have a 60Gb toshiba 5400 RPM laptop drive already, so I think I will use that for data, but I am still unsure what to use for the system. CF (flash) drives have limited write cycles so I have read that just running XP on them is not that simple - the page file needs to be disabled and the CF made read-only or it risks being ruined after a period of time. Some people are experimenting with XPembedded, which is flash friendly, but the problem seems to be that MSFT is not licencing single user versions and there is alot of setup required to get a good working image. I want simplicity, so a CF sized drive would be ideal, but right now there is no ideal solution for both software and hardware.

            The Endura star looks cool, but like you mentioned, it is not easy to source.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by frodobaggins
              Well one drawback is space. What you gonna do with 4 gigs ?
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              • #8
                Originally posted by frodobaggins
                What you gonna do with 4 gigs ?
                I agree! I like the idea of a tiny drive, although speed is much more important. I would love a ultra fast 4-10gb hard drive for just OS, and let my laptop drive and enclosure do the rest Right now I have a 250gb partitioned into a 100 for music, 120 for divx, and the rest just for OS. Just sucks to have to remove it to "dock" it in my home pc.

                The PC I built for my sis has a 2.5gb hard drive in it, with XP Pro and Office XP....only about 500mb left, but works great for email and surfing Use em till they die
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gospeed.racer
                  Use em till they die
                  In my truck that would be about 2-3 weeks in the summer.
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                  • #10
                    What about USB thumb drives? Anybody have experience with those? If I can get one to boot, then do I still have the same read-write cycle limits as with CompactFlash? I sort of assume so, since it's, well.. flash memory.

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