TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, PDAs and mobile Phones

IBM Microdrive and Linux

MuVo A microdrive is a hard drive of a Compact Flash size and similar use: digital photography, handheld PCs, PDAs, etc. Although the information provided here should apply to all microdrives, beware that I have only tested the IBM 340 MB Microdrive in the CF Type II PCMCIA slot.

The IBM 340 MB Microdrive is a CF+ Type II device. That means it can be used in the CF+ Type II slot with an ejection mechanism or you must insert the microdrive into a PC Card adapter (I bought it with the drive) in order to insert the adapter and microdrive into a PCMCIA Type II slot.

When using Linux 2.4 kernels, you only need (appart from the working system of course) the PCMCIA drivers and the ide-cs module (may be compiled in the kernel). I am not sure what filesystems can be used on the microdrive but I need the vfat module because my digital camera works only with VFAT.

The command cardctl ident identifies the drive as

product info: "IBM", "microdrive"
manfid: 0x00a4, 0x0000
function: 4 (fixed disk)

If the pcmcia subsystem works correctly, then the microdrive is recognized on insert and the ide-cs module is automatically loaded. The logs may show something like this:

$> tail /var/log/messages

Nov 18 19:09:17 lepjmlap cardmgr[156]: socket 0: ATA/IDE Fixed Disk
Nov 18 19:09:18 lepjmlap cardmgr[156]: executing: 'modprobe ide-cs'
Nov 18 19:09:20 lepjmlap kernel: hdc: IBM-DSCM-10340, CFA DISK drive
Nov 18 19:09:20 lepjmlap kernel: ide1 at 0x140-0x147,0x14e on irq 3
Nov 18 19:09:20 lepjmlap kernel: hdc: attached ide-disk driver.
Nov 18 19:09:22 lepjmlap kernel: hdc: 700560 sectors (359 MB) w/60KiB Cache, CHS=695/16/63
Nov 18 19:09:22 lepjmlap kernel: /dev/ide/host1/bus0/target0/lun0: p1
Nov 18 19:09:22 lepjmlap kernel: ide_cs: hdc: Vcc = 3.3, Vpp = 0.0
Nov 18 19:09:22 lepjmlap cardmgr[156]: executing: './ide start hdc'

The log shows that the microdrive can be mounted as the /dev/hdc1 or /devices/ide/host1/bus0/target0/lun0/part1 device.