Compiled by Hans-Jürgen Reggel
Important note: During the last year, the market was flooded with
devices using 1.8" and 1" harddisks. Keeping this list up to date
would be a hell of a job, so I reisgned.
3.5" harddisks are commonly used in all kinds of computers. Besides that, there
are other products like harddisk video recorders using these disks. However,
there are a few products worth mentioning.
- Maxtor OneTouch and Maxtor OneTouch II
- The Maxtor OneTouch series is a series of external 3.5" harddisks.
These are currently available with up to 300GB. They are worth mentioning
because Maxtor is the manufacturer of the harddisks, so they should know
what they are doing. This means that the included power supply should match
the demands of the harddisk, and that the bridge controller used will allow
an appropriate transfer rate.
- LaCie Bigger Disk Extreme 1.6TB
- This is one of the infamous products. In order to achieve the storage
capacity of 1.6TB at minimum cost, this disk just contains four
single 400GB harddisks. There is no redundancy. If one harddisk fails,
all data is lost.
The most common type of product using 2.5" harddisks are Notebooks. If you know
what you can do to a Notebook without having its disk fail, then you know
how much a 2.5" harddisk can take. But don't push your luck.
The next common product using 2.5" harddisks are PSDs. Some people
prefer to use small CF cards instead of larger capcacity CF compatible 1"
To compensate for the lack of total storage capacity, they use PSDs
and seem to completely forget about the fact that these PSDs contain harddisks.
And in general, those small 1" drives are more rugged than the much bigger
This is the point where products start getting interesting. In contrast to
the larger sized harddisks, many products containing these smaller
harddisks are cheaper than the harddisks themselves. The reason for this
is that the manufacturers of these devices, so-called OEM, buy huge
amounts directly from the manufacturer. For those disks availble in
retail sales, the reail chain adds a significant amount to the price.
Some of the harddisks are not available for retail sales at all, so
ripping them out of the respective products might be the only way to get them.
- Unknown or Unspecified 1.8" Harddisk (Toshiba or Hitachi)
For the following products it is either unspecified or unknown which of the
1.8" harddisks are used.
- Freecom FHD-XS 20 GB, external 20GB USB 2.0 harddisk (most likely Hitachi).
Dimensions: 85.0×85.0×12.0mm³, Weight: 150g (according to specs).
- Freecom FHD-XS 40 GB, external 40GB USB 2.0 harddisk (most likely Hitachi).
Dimensions: 85.0×85.0×12.0mm³, Weight: 150g (according to specs).
- Transcend TS20GSJ18 1.8" StoreJet Portable HDD 20GB, external 20GB USB 2.0 harddisk.
According to the specifications, there are two models with either the Hitachi or the Toshiba disk available.
Dimensions: 95.0×71.5×15.0mm³, Weight: 118g.
- Transcend TS40GSJ18 1.8" StoreJet Portable HDD 40GB, external 40GB USB 2.0 harddisk.
According to the specifications, the Toshiba disk is used.
Dimensions: 95.0×71.5×15.0mm³, Weight: 130g.
- Toshiba 1.8" Series
- The most famous product using Toshiba 1.8" harddisks are the Apple iPod
mp3 players. If you take a look at the storage capacity of the
different generations of Toshiba harddisks and compare these to
the available iPod versions, this will become obvious. Of course, these disks are
used in some Toshiba Subnotebooks, and many
other products where saving space is important.
Current iPod models are:
- Apple iPod 20GB, mp3 player with FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 interface.
Dimensions: 104×61×14.5mm³, Weight: 159g.
- Apple iPod 40GB, mp3 player with FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 interface.
Dimensions: 104×61×17.5mm³, Weight: 176g.
- Toshiba MK2004GAL HDD1422
- Archos Gmini 400, 20 GB Video & mp3 player, 2.2" 220x176x18bit LCD, CF-I slot PSD.
I just don't understand why Archos only use 20GB for an AV player, maybe size was important.
Dimensions: 106×60×17.0mm³, Weight: 160g (compare this to the iPods!).
- Hitachi Travelstar C4K40-20 HTC424020F7AT00 DK14FA-20
- This 20GB 1.8" harddisk will be found in several products, the
most famous ones are:
- Archos ARCDisk20, an external USB 2.0 harddisk.
- Archos Gmini 220, a mixture of PSD with basic image preview,
mp3 player, voice recorder and battery-powered USB 2.0 harddisk.
Dimensions: 78×69×23mm³, Weight: 162g.
- Hitachi Travelstar C4K40-40 HTC424040F9AT00 DK13FA-40
- This 40GB 1.8" harddisk is mainly used in Archos products, for example:
- Archos ARCDisk40, an external USB 2.0 harddisk.
Dimensions: max. 80.0×79.0×13.5mm³ (main body 11.5mm), Weight: 92g.
1" Microdrives and other 1" harddisks
This is where things start getting really weird. If you can get a
sophisticated electronics product (not just an external enclosure with
included harddisk) containing a Microdrive at about 60% of the retail
price of the bare Microdrive, then something is seriously wrong.
- Seagate ST1 5.0GB and CF Photo Hard Drive 5.0GB
- The youngest members in the 1" league are the Seagate ST1 and Seagate CF
Photo Hard Drive. If you read about a device having 5GB storage, it most
likely contains one of these drives, but you never know which one it will be.
Even if a product is reported to contain the CF compatible type, this might
change with the next batch. Having the CF compatible types in the first few
batches might be just a publicity stunt, so be careful...
These products are the potential victims of drive-rippers:
- Creative MuVo² FM 5GB, reported to contain the CF Photo Hard Drive.
- Rio Carbon 5GB, reported to contain the CF Photo Hard Drive.
- Seagate Pocket Hard Drive 5.0GB, 5GB USB 2.0 harddisk.
Reported to contain the ST1 drive which is not CF compatible.
- Digitalways MPIO HS200, 5GB USB 2.0 harddisk.
Most likely contains the ST1 drive that is not CF compatible.
Dimensions: 51.5×56.5×16.7mm³, Weight: 46.5g.
- Hitachi Microdrive 3K4-4 HMS360404D5CF00
- Whenever a device is advertized having 4GB storage, it most likely
contains the 4GB Hitachi Microdrive. But some of these Microdrives
are not compatible with digital cameras, because they only support the
The most famous products are:
- Creative NOMAD MuVo² 4GB, mp3 player with USB 2.0 interface.
Dimensions: 66.5×67.0×20.0mm³, Weight: 101g.
- Apple iPod mini 4GB, mp3 player with FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 interface.
Dimensions: 91.5×50.8×12.7mm³, Weight: 102g.
- GS-Magicstor 1022C CF+ Type II 2.2GB
- This very infamous self-proclaimed microdrive was used in several
products. For some time, Transcend offered a re-labelled version, but
it looks like they have removed all evidence from their website. In
the meantime there is also a "PLUS" version available, but the
products listed will most likely contain the original version.
It is unknown whether the advertized ATA (1022A) and USB 2.0 (1022U)
versions exist. The same goes for all of the 4.4GB models (1044x)
which most likely only exist as PDF versions.
Some of the products which most likely use the 1022c are:
- MINIME, 2.2GB USB 2.0 harddisk.
- WIN accord 2200, 2.2GB USB 2.0 harddisk.
- TinyDrive, 2.2GB USB 2.0 harddisk.
- Cornice 1.5GB Storage Element
- Whenever a device is advertized having 1.5GB storage, it most likely
contains this Cornice Storage Element. Amongst these are several mp3 players,
for example the Creative Nomad MuVo² 1.5GB. And these external
- Leadtek My DigiBank 1.5G, 1.5GB USB 2.0 harddisk.
Dimensions: 78.0×54.0×13.0mm³, Weight: 70.0g.
- Digitalways MPIO HS100, 1.5GB USB 2.0 harddisk.
Dimensions: 84.5×43.6×14.8mm³, Weight: 56.5g.
- MSI Mega Cache 15, 1.5GB USB 2.0 harddisk.
Dimensions: 69.7×57.5×13.1mm³, Weight: 56.5g.
- Z-Media Tech zDrive zD-1500, 1.5GB USB 2.0 harddisk.
Dimensions: 69.9×47.8×11.4mm³, Weight: 49.6g.
- Cornice 3.0GB Storage Element
- Samsung has introduced a mobile phone with 3.0GB harddisk using
the Cornice Storage Element.