4G Hitachi Microdrive formatting Instructions

Started Jan 30, 2005 | Discussions thread
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ghgemmer New Member • Posts: 13
4G Hitachi Microdrive formatting Instructions

I obtained a 4G Hitachi Microdrive and following prior posts had problems formatting it until I did the following:
In Windows XP Media Edition (I assume Windows XP professional would also work)

1) Bring up a DOS window

1.1) I plugged in my microdrive into a Dazzle card reader and plugged that in my USB port.

1.2) The computer recognized the removable drive and brought up a drive letter f: for it (of course depending on your computer configuration the drive letter may be different)

2) type "format f: fs:fat" (or in place of the f: use whatever drive letter the removable drive shows up as!!!)

Note that if you attempt to specify the cluster size with the " A:64K" option and proceed the format command would go through the motions of showing it formatting (I'm assuming this is it making sectors of 512bytes during this time)and after it gets to 99% it then outputs an error message saying 64K cluster size to big for the disk and aborts at that point leaving the previous cluster size and FATx system unchanged on the microdrive.

However by NOT explicitly specifying the cluster size in the command line, it gets to 99% as before but instead outputs a Warning message asking you if you want to use a 64K cluster size and if so that it may not be compatible with older versions of windows or some applications. If you say Yes to proceed then it asks you for a volume label and after entering one finishes the formatting and outputs the disk size and number of clusters. If you use explorer to look at the disk it indeed has 4GB of space on it and is FAT16.

3) After placing the formatted drive in the S602Z and turning it on and putting it into movie mode it shows 3520 seconds of available VGA recording time (approx 59 minutes) which is as expected about 4 times what I can get with a 1GB microdrive.

It also shows 668 as the available picture count (when the picture quality is set to 3M fine). I then took a 20 minute video (see restrictions below on length of video)

4) Another poster on dpreview indicated the following (which I did not try yet)
The picture count goes down to 0 then wrap around to 9999

Also YOU MUST TAKE CARE IN NOT TAKING MOVIES LONGER THAN 28 MINUTE in length (2G) otherwise they get dumped by the camera (i.e. the do not get stored). Thus this is approx 1680 seconds of video. If you need to find out how much available picture space you have left you can switch it into movie mode and use the available seconds remaining counter as a guide. (3520 seconds equates to 4G of space)


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