Friday, September 10, 2004

Note: Due to the slashdot effect on this site, I posted smaller images on this page. If you need more detail, you can click on each one to view the larger size. I've also deleted about 80% of the referral link list below for performance reasons. There were more than 5,200 unique referall links listed on this one page. I've cut that down to about 600.

People who have tried to use a solid-state Compact Flash card in place of the hard drive in the Carbon have reported it is not working for them. I have not tried this myself. If anyone has been successful in getting a standard CF card to work when replaced in the Carbon, please email me and let me know: gregATgreghughesDOTnet

In addition, I have posted a followup with some real-world test results, using the drive in my Nikon D70 digital camera.

Want to use it in a PocketPC maybe? Check this out and see if it's for you.

As I described yesterday, I bought a very nice MP3 player, the new Rio Carbon 5GB model. It's awesome, and I already like it a lot. My original intent, though, was not to buy an MP3 player to listen to music, but instead to rip apart for its compact-flash size 5GB hard drive, for use in my Nikon D70 digital camera. I got the idea from a post on a message board. But once I saw the Carbon, I decided it was time to own an MP3 player, so I got two.

Rather than eating lunch today, I decided I would share my story of destruction. In part two of our saga, I tear into the second of the two Carbons I bought, pictures included.

Update: I had to reduce the image sizes due to a sudden and unexpected spike in traffic. I will put links on eack of the small images so you can load the larger version of each.

Note: If you decide to spend $249 on one of these things and tear it apart yourself, you do so at your own risk. Its value to Rio and the store where you bought it will instantly become $0, and your warranty will be a thing of the past. At your own risk, your mileage may vary, do not pass go, please tip your waitress. Oh, and whatever you do, don't come yelling at me. It's your own damn fault. In fact, you will probably end up with $249 worth of useless junk. You have been warned.

Okay, so first of all let me tell you right up front that I broke the thing to the point where I will have to use a little glue to put it back together. The Carbon has a metal back plate, and a plastic front plate, with a rubber surround. What I did not realize is that the front plate is in sections, as well. Not realizing this, I didn't remove the front plastic facing (the silver plastic with the LCD window and the Rio logo) from the body of the MP3 player. It is held in place with some adhesive. Just be careful while you remove it and it will come right off. Once off, it may be that there is a better way to get this thing apart than the method I used. If I will have to use some glue inside where it used to have screws holding things together, because I broke a few plastic threads on the plastic case where the screws were attached as I pried it apart.

While it looks from the outside like the rubber portion is a section all on it's own, it in fact is not. The rubber part is just glued to the plastic front plate, which is under the silver plastic front cover just mentioned.

How I got it apart (your mileage may vary, be careful): I started by working a small screwdriver around the case, prying very gently between the metal back plate and the rubberized section. There are a number of metal tabs that you will see inside as you go. Those hold the drive in place. Be careful and don't go too deep or apply too much pressure inside with your screwdriver, you will break things if you do, or you might crack the case. If you don't care about reusing the Carbon, you can afford to be a little more indiscriminate, but things are packed together pretty tight in the small case, so caution and taking one's time is warranted.

Once I worked all the way around with the small screwdrivers (I used 2, it helped keep things working along), I peeked inside to become a little bit familiar (there's a lot you just cannot see, though). Then I used a screwdriver inserted from the bottom of the case to get good leverage as pictured below, and worked the case loose.

In the end, I used my fingers, after loosening with the screwdriver, to take the case apart. Again, note that I broke the plastic threaded screw posts in the process. The end result was a front plate, a loose power button (just insert it back in place later), the top chrome-like trim plate (that has the holes in it for USB, earphones, etc), and the back plate with all the electronics attached. The front panel navigation button is loose when you disassemble it - it's held in place by the front plate.

There are two screws that you will need to remove from the face of the circuit board (the side with the LCD screen), and then you can start to swing the circuit board away from the hard drive. Below is the view from the side, pulling the circuit board up and away from the battery (lower left) and hard drive (in the lower center of the picture under the circuit board). The white block on top is the LCD.

Using a small flat-head screwdriver, I gently released the frame holding the hard drive from the back plate by prying the tab clips away slightly.

Taken apart, with the electronics removed from the metal back plate:

The black frame holding the hard drive simply pulls off. The 20-hour battery is shown folded away in the foreground of the below image, and the ribbon cable attaching to the Seagate 5GB drive is visible and accessible:

I used by thumbnail to gently disconnect the drive from the ribbon cable, releasing each side of the connection a little at a time. Be careful not to bend the pins if you intend to reuse the Carbon.

With the hard drive removed:

You simply peel the copper foil away from the drive, along with the foam padding:

In the end, parts parts parts:

The whole point of the exercise was to get a 5GB hard drive that I could insert directly into my Nikon D70 camera. I tentatively took the drive, crammed it in the CF slot of the camera, powered it up and formatted. After a nervous little period of flashing screen on the camera (FOR-FOR flashing over and over), the screen changed, as pictured below. That's showing the number of pictures I can take now using the hard drive. I was a little confused when it read 1.4 on the display, but then I noticed the “K” above the number. That's 1,400 images (estimated by the camera) at 6 megapixels. Wow!!! Cool!!! After taking a few pictures, I confirmed it works. Nice!!

Next thing will be to put a 256MB or 512 MB CF card back in there and load the Rio software on it, put it all back together, and see what happens.

Feel free to add your own experiences in the comments section, by clicking below. Please keep it clean and reasonably polite. Thanks. :-)



Add/Read: Comments [105]
Tech
Friday, September 10, 2004 1:08:19 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
Friday, September 10, 2004 4:24:31 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
that's so cool! you'll have to bring both (camera & still living MP3 player) to the next nerd dinner. and the drive is the size of a cf card?! amazing...
Friday, September 10, 2004 8:59:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Roger that - will do. :)
Saturday, September 11, 2004 9:17:57 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
That's a really cool hack, but i'm curious... why did you buy a $280 MP3 player to get a $178 microdrive out of it?
Mark
Saturday, September 11, 2004 9:22:11 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
just one question, did the Rio work with another card (I assume you tried your previous card)

oh and ps you're about to be slashdotted
Saturday, September 11, 2004 9:22:33 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Slashdot is coming.
Saturday, September 11, 2004 9:23:07 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Reasonable question - because I can? :)

The seagate drive that you can buy in the store in the donut-shaped box is not the same drive. It's entirely possible I coudl have dne this for less money (feel free to post purchase links here), but I took this route.
Saturday, September 11, 2004 10:08:05 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
first of all, that is incredibly sweet, i just have one question though, how is the battery life on the camera now? i would guess that there would be some degredation on it due to the drive motors.

I also found this link about the same procedure:
http://www.vr-zone.com/?i=1249&p=1

Im still looking for a link to buy the drives only if anyone has it.
kmax
Saturday, September 11, 2004 10:11:29 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Mark: Please tell me where I can get a 5GB microdrive for $189.
Ben
Saturday, September 11, 2004 10:12:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
^^^ that should say $178
Ben
Saturday, September 11, 2004 10:14:52 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hmm, I'd be curious how you intend to transfer all those photos over USB? Sounds like you're in for a long night :P
--Quentin
Quentin Smith
Saturday, September 11, 2004 10:16:46 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Quentin - yeah - the purpose actually is for long trips where I don't have a chance to transfer any files for some time. I will be on an aircraft carrier for a week in the neart future, with limited computer access for transferring files.
Saturday, September 11, 2004 10:40:30 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Question... so you knew that the drive in the mp3 player would work in your camera prior to doing this, right?

I have the Cannon Powershot A75... where can I get a drive that large which would work in my camera?

Thanks,
Mushukyou
Saturday, September 11, 2004 10:45:26 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
That's a really cool hack, but i'm curious... why did you buy a $280 MP3 player to get a $178 microdrive out of it?
Mark
~~~~~~~~~~~

It is a kewl hack, and he did it because you CAN'T get a 5 GB Microdrive for less then $350 bucks. I guess you're just making up prices for what? boredom?
Mokba
Saturday, September 11, 2004 11:03:15 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Transferring to the PC should be relatively easy - just get a CF->IDE or PCMCIA adapter, throw the Microdrive on it, mount it in Explorer and copy/paste...

Awesome. Now if only my PDA took type II CF cards ;-)
Drulloch
Saturday, September 11, 2004 12:25:40 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Um you can't buy a 5gig microdrive for $178. Please provide a link to back this up so we can all benefit from this. If not then I have to agree with the author that this was an excellent idea.






VoodooDaddy
Saturday, September 11, 2004 12:33:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
You can get a CD to USB connector, and it will show up as a removable drive on XP.
Saturday, September 11, 2004 12:57:39 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
---------------
VooDooDaddy: "Um you can't buy a 5gig microdrive for $178. Please provide a link to back this up so we can all benefit from this. If not then I have to agree with the author that this was an excellent idea."
---------------

At least not yet. A number of people have made similar comments to the one you responded to. You *can* buy a *PC-card* drive that size for about that much money, but not one that will go in a CF slot - at least not that I have found.
Saturday, September 11, 2004 1:28:45 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I just found a link for a reasonably priced 2.2 gig compact flash card at $177.95:

http://www.expansys-usa.com/product.asp?code=111582

And that's the lowest price I can find. Of course, in a year or two, you'll probably be able to buy a 20 gig CF for $100 or something, but not this year.
Saturday, September 11, 2004 1:40:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
One other thing to know about those CF-cards/CF-Card-MicroDrive, is the speed that they can be written to. ... Especially with those many-megapixel cameras. ... I just ordered a Canon EOS 20D with 8.2 megapixels. It can take 5 images a second for 26 images in a row into it's own buffer. ... But then you may have to wait as the slower CF cards and MicroDrive CF cards get written to. It has been recommended to me that the minimum write-to speed be one of those 40X CF cards. ... How does the microDrive compare in write speeds?
Saturday, September 11, 2004 1:43:25 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
June 9, 2004 - We have received word that Seagate plans to enter the CompactFlash II world of 1-inch hard drives. Beginning with a 3600 RPM 2.5GB and 5GB capacity drive in Q3 of 2004.

These 1 inch drives will come in Compact Flash II as well as PATA flex form factors and offer an interesting new option for users of digital cameras or PDAs which are used as audio players. Detailed pricing is not yet available, but Jeff Loebakka, Seagate's vice president of global product marketing indicated that these drives will cost less than $150.

This comes from this website.

http://steves-digicams.com/microdrive.html
Jerry
Saturday, September 11, 2004 3:12:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Greg,

So the point is you can't buy one as described in the article now in a CF format. I am not sure what you are trying to prove. The whole point is you can't get one now at that price.

Yeah, LATER they will probably have more capacity, but I reiterate what is the point of your post and how does it contribute to this thread?

Great to have this info though!

I wonder what the write and read times are and what the battery drain is?
Tengy
Saturday, September 11, 2004 3:41:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Greg, I'd like to point out that the word "its", meaning "belonging to it", is not spelled with an apostrophe. I hope you appreciate the importance of basic literacy skills and will make appropriate corrections.

Fred
Saturday, September 11, 2004 4:14:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Ahhh comments... :)

Fred: Yes, I do in fact understand the importance and the difference, it was a common typo. Even us former copy editors miss our own typos, you know... I hope you understand the importance of not assuming too much from the way someone types... :|

Tengy: What am I trying to prove? Uh, nothing - there is nothing to prove. I was agreeing with the writer, while also pointing out that the price will eventually change. You said: "So the point is you can't buy one as described in the article now in a CF format." Yes, that is the point, and that is why I wrote the original article in the first place. That's why I went out ad bought the thing and took it apart at all. Perhaps my reply was too easy to read something into. There's nothing to prove. How does it contribute? Not going to start that conversation here. As far as the write speeds, I am working on that. I'll try to post more when I have a chance to do some more specific testing.
Saturday, September 11, 2004 4:23:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Sorry you didn't respond Greg... reposting. :)

Question... so you knew that the drive in the mp3 player would work in your camera prior to doing this, right?

I have the Cannon Powershot A75... where can I get a drive that large which would work in my camera?

Thanks,
Mushukyou
Saturday, September 11, 2004 4:32:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Sorry Mushukyou - I am not sure about the A75, as I am not personally familar with that camera. As I recall it does take a CompactFlash Type I card, so that's a start. I was told it worked in a EOS 300D, but I have no personal observation of that. I would suggest you look/ask here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1023

My gut feeling - but certainly not a guarantee - is that the drive I tore out will work pretty much anywhere - but don't count on my gut feeling, do the research!
Saturday, September 11, 2004 4:41:15 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
So did you take apart that mp3 player without knowing it would fit your camera beforehand? Or you thought the type 1 card will fit with your camera, just like you think it would fit with mine... and with that information you started the disection?

Thank you for the information thus far, sir!

I would *love* to do those kinds of pictures! I work for a company that works through Ebay Motors.. so taking a lot of shots of good quality without needing to transfer anytime soon would be sweet.

I don't know why they don't put those cards in these cameras to begin with... 256meg is crap. :(
Saturday, September 11, 2004 5:09:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I knew it would fit - it's a CF card slot, and I already knew the card was a CF card. So since it fits in the slot, the only question was whether the hard drive woudl actually work once inserted in the camera. Based on what was said on the forum above by another person who also tore one apart, along with the fact that some 4GB CF-size hard drives from other MP3 players have worked in this camera, I deduced that the chances were good the card would work in my camera.

I was quite lucky as well as correct. :)
Saturday, September 11, 2004 7:30:06 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Sweet hack job you did on the rio mp3 player Greg.
Chris
Saturday, September 11, 2004 10:07:47 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Made a couple of edits to genericize any references to the term "microdrive" since it turns out that's a trademarked name. Also fixed a few typos.

Chris: Thanks. :)

- gh
Sunday, September 12, 2004 5:06:04 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I was the one over on DPREVIEW that took it apart on September 9th. I put the Seagate 5GB in a Canon EOS 300D which worked. We also tried it in a Pentax *istD which did not. However my Hitachi 4GB drive works fine in that camera (which the gentleman now has).

Also we took an IPOD mini Hitachi 4GB that would not work in either and placed it in the CARBON and it works great! Just had to reload the firmware on the device! I had pried the back off carefully and with a little bit of superglue you can't tell the difference

Kent Marshall
Sunday, September 12, 2004 5:55:40 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Omg.. Amazing, except I dont have that much money to spend on an mp3 player just to take it apart ;) Anyways, what happened when you put the 256mb into the mp3 player? Did it work?
Sunday, September 12, 2004 9:04:27 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Kent - thanks for the idea! So I am curious... You got the iPod Mini drive to work by formatting it with the Rio Carbon firmware? After you do that, can you format it in a camera? I know it's a stretch, just curious.
Sunday, September 12, 2004 10:16:01 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
anyone tried this in a Canon 1DMarkII?
rasquachi
Sunday, September 12, 2004 2:08:25 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
People have asked how fast the drive writes.

With the Seagate drive in the Nikon D70 (in continuous shot mode, with fine resoulution JPEG at large file size setting - 3008x2000 pixels), th ecamera does its standard thing, buffering the first 9 shots, then slowing down its frame rate to allow the media to store the data. I can run 50+ shots at about 1 frame per second. Once I stop shooting, the camera contnues to send the data to the drive, at about 1 frame per second.

Time to spin up the drive and display an image on the camera's screen when I push PLAY on the camera from a dead stop is right at two seconds.

It's plenty fast for me. Unfortunately my USB 2.0 reader is broken, so I am using a USB 1.1 reader for the moment, but I am off to the store and while I am out I may grab a new 2.0 version.

Oh - I shot 98 straight frames and the Nikon display say 1.3K now, rather than 1.4K.
Sunday, September 12, 2004 2:30:02 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Sorry I superglued it shut before I even thought about trying that. I had done so much work with that IPOD drive various USB CF Adapters, CF to IDE adapters a million partitioning utilities, DOS, 2000, Linux, Mac, XP and nothing worked.. I guess I'm slipping in my old age I should have tried it.

FYI, Another person on one of the forums says it did work. But I have no personal proof.

Also my girlfriend said I would die if I take her new Carbon away from her....
Kent Marshall
Sunday, September 12, 2004 7:58:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I've completed a real-use test of the D70 with the ST1 hard drive.

I shot 1365 pictures at full jpeg resolution, continuous fire mode for long sessions. This required the hard drive to run continuously for several miutes at a time. The camera showed 451 images left to go (free space remaining) when I reached the point where all 1365 images had been recorded.

At that point my camera's battery died - Now, before anyone goes off on a rant, it's important to note that it was not fully charged to start with (I had charged the camera battery a month before and used it some since then), and that I intentionally shot groups of of 100-300 continuous-fire images at a time in this test, with autofocus on and the reflex mirror down in normal operating mode. Also, the LCD display on the back of the camera was not disabled, as I used it to view some of the images between the continuous-fire sessions (like watching a slow frame rate movie - that night be a fun project some other time, heheh). In other words, I was running it in full-battery-killer mode, on a partially charged battery.

With the Seagate drive in the Nikon D70 (in continuous-shot mode, recording in fine resoulution JPEG mode at the largest image size setting: 3008x2000 pixels), the camera does its standard thing, buffering the first 9 shots with rapid fire of about 2 frames per second, then slowing down its frame rate to allow the media to store the data (about a frame per second). Time required to spin up the drive and display an image on the camera's screen when I push PLAY on the camera from a dead stop is right at two seconds.

Disk space used on the ST1 drive by the 1365 images: 3.15 GB (3,388,802,794 bytes)

Time required to copy all 3.15GB of files to my laptop hard drive using a Sandisk USB2 CF I/II card reader (as measured using the nifty stopwatch feature on the Rio Carbon, of course): 10 minutes, 1 second.

This Seagate drive is nice, and my surviving Carbon is awesome, too.

OT Carbon thought of the day: If you're not an Audible.com subscriber, your should become one and listen to Jon Stewart's America - The Book. Freakin' hillarious. I listened to the whole thing on my Carbon while commuting. I also have downloaded Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Unabridged (as read by Adams himself) and Getting Things Done, which is also great stuff.

Anyhow, there's my camera/drive test results. Thoughts?
Sunday, September 12, 2004 9:35:49 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I did the mod. Great idea! I cant wait to use the microdrive. I put a 1 GB CF card in the Rio Carbon and did the firmware upgrade and now all it does is a powercycle. It starts up, then shuts off repeatedly. Anyone else fix this?
Don Yeager
Monday, September 13, 2004 12:38:26 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I doubt that putting a non-HDD CF card in the Rio would work. The CF standard has three modes: IO mode, memory mode, and True IDE mode. Memory mode is what CF cards operate in. Hitachi and Seagate have designed their firmware to communicate with the host system in memory mode and switch over into True IDE mode if the host is able to do so. That is why the Seagate and Hitachi drives can be placed in a camera for instance. But CF cards are not designed to operate in True IDE mode. The Rio's firmware probably requires True IDE mode for performance reasons.

Not a Seagate or Hitachi employee. Just a guess...
Anonymous guy
Monday, September 13, 2004 1:24:11 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Wow, cool, I have a d70 and I intend on doing this, I will just hack the crap out of it though, I wont need the player part
whre did you say the best price was?
I am in Canada
regards
RICK
Monday, September 13, 2004 6:53:16 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Anonymous guy: Thanks - those are good points. I have heard from a few people that they tried and it did not work, but a couple others have claimed they were able to use a solid-state CF card. I guess I will just have to try it myself.

Rick: As far as I know, Best Buy is the only place to find them right now, and I hear they are in very short supply, especially this week for some strange reason... ;) I went to Frys Electronics on Sunday with a friend, by the way -- He asked the guy in the MP3 player section if they had the Rio Carbon, and they guy looked like he was going to take my friend's head off as he semi-patiently replied, "No, but I wish we did..." Heheheh...
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 2:40:08 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
so cool but It is dangerous for me.
and 5gb compact flash will come(I say diffusion model) 200$ or less

↑- then, Rio hasn't self-memory?
hmmm... Rio working CF place?
SWRK
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 6:01:02 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Good stuff!! By the way, you just made the website of one of Holland's largest newspapers with this hack. http://www.telegraaf.nl/i-mail/13891111/Sloop_je_mp3speler.html
Joost
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 8:13:20 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Has anybody figured out what brand or model of battery the Rio Carbon uses? I hate to buy this and find out that there is no way to turn this into a non-disposable mp3 player.
ChiLLin d0od
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 9:59:55 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Excellent Post. I just checked amazon for cf cards in the 1-5 gb range. The prices are ridiculous. They sell the 4gb for a thousand BUCKS.! and the 3gb is like 387 dollars. Now I wonder if this is going to work on my Canon powershot..hmmm...
john
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 10:04:59 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Just keep in mind -- it's a CF Type II (Type-2) card, meaning it's a little thinker than your Type I cards by a couple of millimeters. Make sure your camera/device takes the larger cards (as the Nikon D70 does). Check the specs carefully. Even if it physically fits, that's no guarantee it will actually work - remember that! :)
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 10:19:51 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hi greg,

congratulations. Is there any way you can help us as well to get George W Bush hacked out of his own MP3 player and put him just in a little box with a lock, so we could take some digital pics of him for our generations to follow?

thanks in advance

eric

Eric Schaub
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 10:29:05 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Sure, hey, why not - And with the new drive in the camera we can also take a picture of John Kerry and then use photoshop to flip it over in complete reverse. Then from there we could make an animated GIF, flip flop flip flop. ;)

Seriously - enough political commentary/"humor" (sarcasm <> humor)... I think this evens out the comments, and this is (quite intentionally) not a political blog. :)

- greg
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 10:47:42 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
WOOO HOOO! I went out and bought a Carbon and followed your instructions. This thing works great!!!

I have several devices that accept the CFII config and they all work! WOOOOOOOO

Canon EOS Rebel
Canon EOS 20D
A variety of card reader - USB 1.1 and 2.0

No problems what so ever after formatting!

As far as delays for write/read. I can not detect any but that doesn't mean anything as I have not shot more than 100 or so pics on each yet.

Battery Life? Still don't know.

Thank you for this bit of info!
LuckyFind
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 12:34:53 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
The way I opened mine was using a small flat-headed screwdriver and pushing it between rubber pad and the metal backplate. Inside, you should be able to see shiny metal tabs are attached to the metal backplate against the black plastic.

There are two tabs you should unlatch on every side of the Rio Carbon except the top were all the connectors are. On top, are two metal tabs holding the front part to the metal backplate and those should be left alone and you shouldn't try prying the top portion of the player open since there isn't much leeway up there and you may break something. The tabs have a rectangular hole on their ends (towards the player face) which plastic nubs fit into. To unlatch the backplate, these tabs need to be pulled outwards. I used the screwdriver and pushed the flat head between the metal tab and the black plastic and twisted the screwdriver, pushing the metal tab outwards.

After loosening all the other tabs, the back plate can be pulled down and away and removed. I had no need to unscrew any panels or anything and had easy access to the drive.

I also found, like others before, that my old CF card wouldn't work inside the Rio Carbon even after updating the firmware - it keeps cycling off and on (when not connected to the PC). Using it as a USB drive works fine when mounted through windows, however file transfers fail when uploading through the rio music manager.

I got a little nervous when after extracting the CF card, it wouldn't work in windows since it kept asking me to insert a disc when I clicked on the newly mounted removable in explorer. It said the same thing when I tried to right-click so I could format.

After putting it in my Canon Digital Rebel, the LCD display showed something like "CF ERR", and in the CF Format screen, the showed 3.4 MB free. Formatting in there did the trick and I was able to mount it in windows. Now the Rebel's LCD screen shows 999 for the pictures it can take (i'm assuming it's a limitation on the LCD segmented display).
Paul
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 12:40:16 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Thanks Paul - that's a great explanation of how to do it the right way and with a lot less damage, although if solid-state CF cards are not working, hard to say what the value is of keeping the case intact - but who knows there might be a trick. I was able to tell I had missed the tabs once I got it open, but by then it was just too late. :)
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 4:09:42 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
not sure if everyone already knew this, but the tech specs for the ST1 are available from seagate:

http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/manuals/external/st1_pm.pdf
Noosh
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 4:22:18 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I purchased and immediately disassembled mine today (works great in Sony DSC-F828!), and was lucky enough to separate the bottom part first, which left me with no plastic screws broken and immediate access to the ST1.
HTH
Viva hackable MP3 devices!
Nik
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 8:52:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
http://www.memoryonly.com/Products-detail-4USBnHD2.asp?ID=10318
2.2 GB for 149. Best I could find.
mike
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 11:16:07 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
This is similar to the hack for the MuVo2 from creative. I pulled a 4 GB microdrive out of that and put it in my Digital Rebel. Works great, I was alos able to put my 256 MB flash card into the MP3 player and make it into a solid state player for running and rollarblading.
Jeff
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 2:24:27 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Has anyone yet compared the speed of this drive vs. the Hitachi 4gb?
D70 Man
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 5:33:15 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
so the Muvo2 can use a solid state compact flash card and still be an mp3 player? I just might have to go that route instead of the rio. does the new 5 GB muvo 2 microdrive work in digital cameras?
Don yeager
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 5:49:32 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
The Muvo2 does work with certain memory cards. But the player interface is nasty, small screen, bad control mechanism, etc. The Carbon has a much nicer interface. And yes the 5GB from the muvo2 is reported to work in certain digital cameras. But so far there hasn't been any US availability.

Kent Marshall
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 7:20:05 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I did some digging based on one of the anonymous replies above about the 3 modes the CF works in, apparantly all the cards i've tried work in IDE/ATA and USB mode, but there are CF cards listed that conform to "True IDE", some of them are microdrive, some look to be solid state. My next attempt will be to order a "True IDE" compatible CF card and see if it works, you can get 128mb "True IDE" CF cards for as low as $22 so it would be an affordable option maybe..
justinATNOSPAMtamu dot edu
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 7:46:04 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Thanks, Justin - as I have not yet even tried a solid state CF card, I will be glad to know what you discover.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 9:05:36 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
anyone notice that the more files you put on a CF card that is used to replace the seagate ST1, the longer it takes for the carbon to reboot each time? an empty card reboots almost instantly. perhaps the Carbon searches for something before it decides to reboot? maybe that can be addressed with a firmware hack. too bad i don't know how to hack firmware
Noosh
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 9:52:56 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Did anyone try the ST1 in a Nikon cp8700?

I couldn't get the ST1 to work in the Nikon 8700. It formats fine in my Canon S50, but the Nikon won't even recognize it as a working card to format. Is there a special way of formatting it to get the camera to recognize it? The 8700 is supposed to be FAT32 compliant according to Nikon, and the 8700 is listed as compatible on Hitachi's website for the 4GB. Can't understand why the ST1 doesn't work...
C
Thursday, September 16, 2004 3:23:34 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Greg, you can pick up a 1gig microdrive for $170 to stick in your Rio and possibly make it go again (price with shipping from a vendor on pricewatch.com). Would be good to experiment with the now-reformatted Seagate you have, to see if it can be made to work again.
Andy
Thursday, September 16, 2004 3:28:10 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Bwah, my and Noosh's posts crossed. Didn't know solid state worked. Even better.
Andy
Thursday, September 16, 2004 5:46:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
solid state definitely "works," it just goes into a continual cycle of rebooting in a matter of seconds. you can basically start a song and get a few seconds into it before it reboots. i noticed it waits longer to reboot the more full the CF card is.

i also noticed that even with the Carbon turned OFF (i.e., not rebooting), the battery drains in a matter of hours from full charge when a solid state CF card is in it. I also noticed the CF card heats up during charging, which i don't understand why it would.
Noosh
Thursday, September 16, 2004 6:56:49 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Thanks for the tutorial Greg. I pulled a Carbon apart last night and the 5GB drive works perfectly in my Canon 10D (and a new Canon G6). I also experimented with other drives/cards in the Carbon. I was able to make it work with both a Sandisk 64MB CF card and the 4GB Hitachi drive from a Muvo2. Simply reinstalled the card/drive and reloaded the firmware. No problems at all.
Mike
Thursday, September 16, 2004 7:02:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Mike - Do you have specifics about the SanDisk 64MB flash card? Are you able to load it with content and play it all the way through - no rebooting or stability issues?
Greg
Thursday, September 16, 2004 12:37:50 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Based on my experience today I highly suggest testing your new Rio Carbon before removing the hard disk.

I powered mine up, selected english, played two songs, turned it off. Put it down for a couple minutes, picked it back up to check the other pre-loaded music and it is now stuck displaying "Upgrader" on the LCD display. You can hear the ST1 inside making what I assume is a noise of it seaking to track 0 over and over and over again.

I figure if I'm going to lose the warranty, I might as well do it with a known good ST1 first.
Scotty
Thursday, September 16, 2004 8:07:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Greg - while I had the Carbon apart and the Seagate drive out, I stuck the 64MB CF in, attached the USB cable and uploaded the firmware. As I wasn't planning on leaving the 64MB in, I didn't do much testing. I uploaded 3 cds worth of mp3s and then tested that they played. I didn't spend much time with the 64MB.

Then I put the Hitachi drive from the Muvo2 into the Carbon. I was too late to the game on the Muvo2 and I got one of the cripled drives. The Hitachi 4GB works perfectly in the Carbon. I uploaded 3.5GB today without a hitch.

I haven't spent much time playing music, but there have been no problems yet.
Mike
Friday, September 17, 2004 11:50:30 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hey fellas, the "NEW" Muvo2 with built in FM radio comes with the Seagate ST-1 as well.

Lookie here for a step by step diagram on how to rip the sucker out.

http://www.vr-zone.com.sg/?i=1249&s=1
Doofus
Saturday, September 18, 2004 8:00:34 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Mike,

What kind of card did you use? Brand I mean. I tried a 1GB Sandisk card and did work.
Don Yeager
Saturday, September 18, 2004 12:47:32 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Don - it was an older Sandisk 64MB CF card. Just the basic CF - not Ultra etc.

The Hitachi 4GB drive has been working perfectly. Played continuously for 4 hours yesterday and another 3 hours straight today without a problem.
Mike
Monday, September 20, 2004 8:33:02 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Greg,
I think by shooting pictures in a continuous mode and buffering them to the drive is actually more power saving than shooting a pic after another one with a long delay inbetween.
Don't you agree? Every time the drive spins up from idle it requires a current in-rush, whereas the continuous current assumption is much smaller if the drive is spinning the whole time, recording buffered data.
So if you agree with my analysis above, your way of draining test (continous shooting) isn't as draining for the battery as shooting at a lower frequency(longer wait between shots).
But of course, to load up a 5GB drive it takes a lot of "casual" picture taking.
Just my 2cents.
Yifan
Monday, September 20, 2004 11:25:45 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
My 1 GB compact flash is a regular sandisk CF card as well. It just spins up and then shuts off. I wish I knew what I did wrong. Can you explain exactly what you did?
Don Yeager
Friday, September 24, 2004 5:11:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I just finished extracting the st1 from a spanking new carbon and am having the same cyclic-reboot problem. I've tried 3 cf cards that i had laying around.... a generic 256 cheap-o, a 16 mb card taht came with my canon digital camera, and a 128 mb transcend card. any chance someone knows the model number of a working cf card?
Chad
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 4:58:38 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I really want this MP3 player, but i don't want to spend that much money. Here's what i'm planning on doing. Buy the player, $230 on Comp4sure. Sell the drive, running about $230 on Ebay. Then buy a 1GB CF card for $50 bucks and use it as an MP3 player. So all together, i get a 1gb player for $50. Greg says i should put in a 512 Mb card. WILL MY 1 GB CARD WORK?
DL
Thursday, September 30, 2004 4:19:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
So far NO ONE has got a cf card to work. Seems the Hitachi 2 and 4 gb microdrives work but the cf cards don't.

With a CF card the Rio Carbon just keeps cycling on and off.
Ben
Thursday, September 30, 2004 8:42:44 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
There are a few reports of particular models of cards working.

In general, using a CF card seems to work as a USB drive, meaning the electronics and the software in the Carbon are capable of handling it. It even reports the proper amount of free space when used as a USB drive.

However, when disconnected from the USB, the device will start up and work fine for the first 10 seconds or so (you can begin playing music) before it reboots and cycles. It would be cool if someone found out WHY it is rebooting.
DragonX
Thursday, September 30, 2004 9:18:27 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Correct - there are no known successful CF card replacements. I woudl also be interested in the "why" part.
Monday, October 04, 2004 8:10:47 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Has anyone figured out how to get the CF card working yet? I saw one listed o Ebay with a 256MB ard that is working ( he Claims) I made the purchase to see what he did. I hope that I am not getting ripped off.

Has anyone else gotten it to work?

Jordan
Jordan
Monday, October 04, 2004 10:59:13 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Greg, (And Everyone else),
Hello I am kinda new here, but I went out and purchased my rio carbon today, I really like it, so after I canibalize it for the 5GB hard drive, I would like to find something to replace it. Well, my question is, after hours of brainstorming (can you smell the smoke?), is if anyone here downloaded the updated software from the Rio Carbon website??? I was wondering if there was anyone out there that just took it apart without downloading anything, because I think (and I am probably wrong) that maybe if this is the case and everyone downloaded the new software for the Rio Carbon, which you are prompted to do immediately after installing the software, is that maybe with the new firmware update they figured out how to make the Carbon's useless after the 5GB hard drive is out, maybe that is what all the repeating and skipping stuff is all about, there was a person here earlier who said that it worked for him with a CF card, I wonder if that person downloaded from their site or not??? not very scientific, but just something to ponder, I hope I haven't bored the drool out of everyone!
oh and great site Greg!!!
Thanks for listening to me babble,
Charles
Charlamagne
Tuesday, October 05, 2004 11:32:20 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I tried mine with several cf cards with the original firmware. Then tried the same with the latest. Same thing happened. It looks like the firmware is actually loaded on the harddrive. Not sure about this but it does put files on the drive when you upload the firmware.

Ben
Ben
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 5:57:07 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I cannibalized my Carbon to get 5GB memory for my 20D.
But I couldn't reuse mp3 player using any CF memory.
I have two CF cards.
One is 32MB Sandisk CF and another one is 512MB Hagiwara CF.
None of them is not working.
Please let me know which specific CF card is working in Carbon.
Thank you in advance.
Kyuman
Thursday, October 14, 2004 3:40:22 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
hi i just got the new rio carbon and i want to disect it for the 5gig card inside but i want to still have it as an mp3 player. i have a 512mb sandisk compact flash card that i want to use in replace, but im wondering if it will work. any answers?? thanks greg
jimmy
Thursday, October 14, 2004 8:31:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
From what I can tell, Jimmy, the answer is almost certainly NO. I have yet to find verifiable proof from anyone that they have been able to get a CF card (as opposed to a hard drive) to work. Other hard drives DO work, but no one has confirmed a CF card works.

If anyone *has* had success in getting a CF card (solid state) to work, please email me and let me know, and provide a return email address. Thanks.

If I hear of any successes, I will definitely post them here. To date, none to note.
Sunday, October 24, 2004 6:05:42 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Will A 1GB microdrive (IBM) work in the Rio Carbon?

Thanks
Monday, November 01, 2004 4:12:13 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Has anyone tried CF cards that specifically say true-IDE compatible?
Ren
Tuesday, January 04, 2005 8:48:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I successfully extracted the 5GB Seagate drive and use it in my Toshiba e750 successfully. The only problem I have is that music files (WMA) are skipping. Anyone else experience this?

MMH
Mel
Wednesday, January 05, 2005 5:24:10 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Here's the scoop on using a different CF in the Rio - go this from
http://www.rioworld.org/yabbse/index.php?board=14%3Baction=display%3Bthreadid=4278%3Bstart=24%3Bboardseen=1
"Here's the story on putting cards back in. (From a RIO Engineering person)


1st. They know folks are doing this. They don't seem to mind right now. They hate to see it get used that way, but, it's a sale for them either way.

2nd. Was stated to me that the CF II type Mini-disk is indeed a standard Seagate mini-disk that'll be available retail soon. It's NOT locked to IDE mode, so can be reformatted CF mode. (Like we didn't know)

3rd. To put a card back in, it has to meet the following criteria...
a. Cannot be "standard CF memory" (Reasons below)

b. Cannot be the Creative Labs 340 Microdrive, can't be the IBM 340Mb or 1Gb Microdrive, Cannot be the Magicstor 2.2gb microdrive.

c. CAN be ANY of the Hitachi series. Retail, OEM or ripped from IPOD mini/Muvo, etc.

The reasons are that the CF memory, and the earlier Microdrive and Magicstor drive are locked to CF mode or NEVER had the IDE mode built in. The IPOD and the Carbon require the drive to be in IDE mode.

Sidenote, the reason you can use the new Muvo (4gb locked) or IPOD mini drive in the Carbon is because they are SOFTWARE LOCKED into IDE mode and not CF mode. (Which is why you can't use them in a camera)

He also stated that the Seagate drives, in 2.5Gb, 5Gb and soon possibly higher will be available in the Retail channel within 3 months. (By end of year) and that Seagate told them that the price will be under $200 for the 5Gb and about 1/2 that for the 2.5Gb.

My note-That should put a "hurtin" on Hitachi's Microdrive retail sales!!!!


Hope this helps and saves some folks the trouble of finding a CF unit that works...."
MMH
Wednesday, January 05, 2005 7:38:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
From BetaNews:

Seagate Announces 5GB Compact Flash
By Ed Oswald, BetaNews

http://www.betanews.com/article/Seagate_Announces_5GB_Compact_Flash/1104951616

January 5, 2005, 2:00 PM
Computer storage device manufacturer Seagate will begin shipping a 5 gigabyte CompactFlash card to retail stores next month, the company has announced. The 5GB card is the largest on the market to date, and will work on any CompactFlash II based device, Segate said. It will hold 1,500 high-resolution or 4,000 standard-resolution pictures on a single card.

"Seagate wants to bring photographers reliable, simple storage - shoot and store thousands of high-resolution photos without changing your CompactFlash drive," said Brian Dexheimer, Seagate executive vice president of Sales and Marketing. The company had already released a 2.5GB CompactFlash card late last year.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005 7:51:48 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Also:

http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000223026132/

- greg
Friday, January 21, 2005 1:00:05 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
i have bought dell axim x50v, and my 5 gig st1 wont work, yet i have another that will, is there any specific reason why one does work and the other doesnt???

Thanks
Thursday, January 27, 2005 8:53:47 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hi Greg and everybody,
I tried my hand on a Rio Carbon today and successfully removed the 5GB seagate microdrive.
I also own a D70 so I inserted it into the camera.
The infamous CHA message appeared and wouldn't go away even after I performed a format from the MENU.
As soon as the 256MB CF card was swapped back, the camera worked again.
Did some research and got to know about the CHA error, but nowhere can I find that associated with this Seagate Microdrive.
I'd appreciate any help at all.
Please also reply to email.
Thanks and good night.
Yifan
Friday, March 25, 2005 3:40:10 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hi everybody,

You may found the most complete (and official) documentation to understand the way CF cards operate on www.compactflash.org. After a free registration you may a download "CF+ and compactflash specification revision 3.0"

I think the most interesting for us is part 4.2(Electrical Description):
"The CompactFlash Storage Card functions in three basic modes: 1) PC Card ATA using I/O Mode, 2) PC Card ATA using Memory Mode and 3) True IDE Mode, which is compatible with most disk drives. CompactFlash Storage Cards are required to support all three modes. […] The configuration of the CompactFlash Card shall be controlled using the
standard PCMCIA configuration registers starting at address 200h in the Attribute Memory space of the storage card or for True IDE Mode, pin 9 being grounded. […]”

After a short reading I believe that the RIO Engineering person was not totaly true when he said:
"The reasons are that the CF memory, and the earlier Microdrive and Magicstor drive are locked to CF mode or NEVER had the IDE mode built in. The IPOD and the Carbon require the drive to be in IDE mode"

Next are my theories:
Both solid state cards and carbon support memory-mode and True-IDE mode since a flash card woks in the carbon for short time before the carbon reset.

First: It may be a wanted limitation:
If memory-mode is the default mode for solid state cards and if it is true that the Seagate drive only works in IDE-mode, the carbon only have to check how the card communicate to continue to work or reset himself.

Second: CF Standard may not be fully respected to reduce production costs:
If the Seagate drive only works in IDE-mode there is no need to implement a correct mode switching algorithm/hardware in the carbon. The reset may simply be the carbon’s answer (bug) to a unsupported mode.

Two theories, one solution?
What happen if you solder a strap between pin number 9 and shield/ground on the carbon?
As far as I understand, True IDE will become the default mode for every flash card you plug in the carbon.

(I do not want to try it myself, my carbon was not opened yet ;-) )

Thomas
(@_Pilepoil_Net)
Friday, March 25, 2005 5:34:46 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
May be soldering a strap is not enough. Maybe the pin n°9 has also to be isolated from the ribbon cable?

Thomas
(@_Pilepoil_Net)
Wednesday, April 20, 2005 8:29:20 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Anyone who's considering taking the microdrive (oops, miniature HDD) from a RIO for use in their camera should keep in mind they may experience problems at high altitudes. Here is what Hitachi (manufacturer of the microdrive) has to say about it:

Using the Microdrive Above 10,000 FT

The following came directly from IBM Support in answer to a user who was thinking about using the microdrive on a vacation in Napal:

The Microdrive does need "AIR" to float the heads and typically above 10,000 ft the mass of the air is too low and the drive requires a pressurized environment similar to an aircraft or spacecraft. At high altitude the air bearings begin to loose support from the air molecules needed to provide the "air bearing" for the Negative Air Bearing Surface (NABS) design of the head. If this "air bearing" is removed or lowered (as is the case with low density air at high altitudes) the head damages the media and you could have loss of data. The drive is vented to maintain equal pressure inside and outside to provide the air and to maintain the same pressure. This eliminates the need for sealed and rigid covers that can tolerate pressure differences.

The OEM Functional specification defines the warranty range for operating altitude as 3,000 M or 9,000 ft (3ft/M). If the customer is mountain climbing with a GPS or digital camera above 9,000 ft the drive might have problems. (Mt Fuji ~ +13,000ft, Mt Raineer ~ +14,000 ft). Please note, this is the operating environment. Non operation at high altitudes, including vacuum, have no ill effects on the microdrive. Within passenger aircraft, the cabin is pressurized to 9-10,000 feet hence the drive would experience no difficulty operating in an aircraft cruising at 35-45,000 ft !
Monday, July 11, 2005 10:53:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE CASE? I have a Carbon, my case got very badly scratched, wanna sell me yours?
Masud Shah
Tuesday, July 12, 2005 8:09:41 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Ok. I found these pictures to be small and not very detailed and the description to be short. I am not complaining just saying that I took mine apart and I am going to take VERY HIGH quality detailed pictures and document very well how to do it.
I will also experiment with a CF card to put back into the RIO and document that as well.
If you are interested in seeing my pictures and documentation please email me and as soon as I am done I will email them to you in html format.
Paul
Wednesday, July 13, 2005 8:15:59 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Ok. Don't waste your time buying one of these and ripping it apart for your digital camera. It appears that if it has the Seagate 5gb and firmware 3.04 on it then something relating to the CF software has been disabled and it won't work. This comes from a friend of mine that has been researching this. I removed this drive and he got nothing but errors when he put it into his digital camera even though several sites claimed that it works with his model. I would love to hear anyone's experiences since my friend is interested in this sort of thing and I am the tech rep for him! :)
Paul
Wednesday, July 27, 2005 4:03:38 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Yes, 3.04 will disable its function with Cameras and only work with MP3 players, make sure you have 3.03 on the drive only. Not sure, but you may be able to find 3.03 and flash it on the drive. Find them cheap on eBay! Even better, buy a broken Carbon on eBay, got one for $48 and the 5GB drive works great! :)
Jim
Sunday, October 02, 2005 1:46:56 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I bought a broken Rio Carbon off eBay and took it apart. Sadly, the drive has FW:3.04 on it and refuses to format in my camera. I tried it in my PC on an IDE/CF adaptor card. Although the drive is recognised by the BIOS, Windows couldn't see it. Then I rebooted into DOS and tried FDISK on it. It could not recognise any partitions so I tried creating a primary DOS partition. All seemed fine until I exited the program and saw "Error writing to fixed disk". Then I tried Norton's DiskEdit on it. It could see the drive but the master boot record (including the partition table) was full of zeros (apart from four bytes at 00DC (serial number?) and 55AA at the end). I tried overwriting the four bytes but there was a write error. It looks like this sector contains no sensible data and is write protected.
Max Doubt
Sunday, December 18, 2005 9:52:34 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
My daughter's Carbon 6GB mp3 player just had the scroll wheel fall apart and I'm contemplating whether to try a "fix" on my own. Does anyone know if the 6GB version will work in cameras? And if so is anyone out there interested in buying it from me if I 'gut' the thing?
Thanks
p.s. Also, has anyone had any luck fixing the scroll wheel yourself?
Brian
Wednesday, December 28, 2005 8:05:31 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Right now, I am breaking apart my Rio Carbon 5GB Silver, not for the hardrive, but because the damn thing pissed me off. It's broken, updating firmware won't fix it, nothing I try works, so I'm gonna destroy the stupid thing.

I'm using your site as an Aid for taking it apart, thanks.
Jehtro
Sunday, January 22, 2006 11:01:36 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I got screwed on ebay when I got a rio, so I tried taking it apart and using the card in my Canon Rebel XT, as described above. I dont have a cable for the rio, and there is about 200 Mb of music on the drive that I cant erase. But when I put the card in my camera, and try to format it, I get an error that says 'error 99' on my camera.

Has anyone had this problem or have any suggestions? Should I erase the content of the card first?

Thanks a ton. I would really appreciate some help.

Matt
Matt
Monday, April 24, 2006 2:26:46 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
If you arrived here looking to repair your rio carbon, rather than remove the hard drive, or want your player in a pristine condition after taking it apart and reassembling it, riolist has a very nice tutorial (with pictures!) here: http://forums-riovolution.com/index.php?showtopic=12674&st=0.
It seems a bit more complex (melting glue with hair dryer, yikes!), but seems to allow you to reassemble your carbon exactly how it left the factory.
Ender
Sunday, October 28, 2007 8:03:45 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Esse jogo não tem senha

lucas
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