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Modify the CompactFlash Type I PCMCIA Adapter to work with the Microdrive

Why bother? You can purchase plenty of Type II CF to PCMCIA adapters without having to worry about it falling apart. Since you went to the trouble of trying to buy a USB reader, I assume cost wasn't the issue. Since a Type II CF adapter also handles Type I, you only need the single card.

For example, check out SimpleTech's STI-CFADII adapter (the one I use) at SimpleTech lists TONS of places that carry this.

Thu Feb 7 08:35:02 PST 2002

Thanks Jerry. I assume that you did not read the last paragraph my in my article; it answers your question.

Second, I looked at the picture and the spec's on the "SimpleTech STI-CFADII" adapter you mentioned, via the URL you provided. It is the exact same card as the "PQI FLASHCARD Compact Flash Adapter" that I modified in the article. In the picture, you can see the two tabs you have to break off in order to get it to work with the Microdrive.

Of course, the confusion is probably due to the error in the adapter description, "CompactFlash Type II PC Card Adapter". In actuality, it should be described as "CompactFlash PC Card Type II Adapter". The spec of it is correct: "Type II PC Card adapter".

Lesson: Make sure that it is a CompactFlash Type II to PCMCIA Type II adapter. Otherwise, you will have to modify the SimpleTech CompactFlash Type I to PCMCIA Type II adapter, like I did.

Chieh Cheng
Thu Feb 7 10:24:38 PST 2002

No confusion.

Simple (and several manufacturers) make two types of CF to PCMCIA adapters. CF Type I to (Type II) PCMCIA is the most common and I would guess preferred as the metal or plastic backing helps to make it more rigid. It also helps to align the CF making it easier to insert.

The CF Type II to (Type II) PCMCIA adapters take *either* type of CF card. Alignment (getting the CF aligned to the alignment tabs) takes a moment until you gain some practice.

I didn't notice that Simple is using a *generic* photo for these adapters. If you change the part number for the link from STI-CFADII (a CF Type I and II adapter) to STI-CFAD (Type I only) you will notice they are the same picture. Insight and CDW carry both as well but have the correct photos.



While I did see your comment for getting the adapter from Iomega or IBM, I mentioned the SimpleTech version as it is carried by so many vendors (even in many stores). These were needed not only for the Microdrives, but also for the larger CF cards such as 512MB versions. Only now are CF Type I 512MB cards becoming available (and they are slightly more expensive than the Type II versions).

Regarding the Iomega version of the adapter, it has been discontinued (see ). Amazon does carry a product by Delkin Delkin CompactFlash Type II PC Adapter (DDCFFLS3-AD) (but they are currently out of stock)

I wasn't able to find anyplace selling the IBM adapter by itself.

Thu Feb 7 13:10:45 PST 2002

Thanks. Your explanation and new URL's cleared up the confusion quite a bit. Last I checked, Iomega still had a few of these adapters in their on-line store for $19.xx. These may not last, since, like you said, Iomega has discontinued their adapters.

Chieh Cheng
Thu Feb 7 13:25:20 PST 2002

I was very intrigued to see you use PQI CF-PCMCIA adapter for the IBM Microdrive, and others.

I would like to ask you a question about the PQI CF-PCMCIA adapter.

I have a Crucial 32Mb CF, which I would like to use to transfer files between a WinXP laptop computer and a Win95 laptop computer. With PQI CF-PCMCIA adapter, it works fine in all WinXP computers. But when I put in a Win95 computer, although it is recognised and a little PCMCIA icon appears in the system tray, the Windows explorer does not show it at all.

I have seen in some website that PQI CF-PCMCIA adapter works only Windows98 and later.

Is it possible to make CF + PQI adapter work in a Win95 computer? Would I need a special driver for it? How could I find that driver?

I have contacted PQI, which has not responded to my inquiry. Crucial support is no help for it, either.

I would appreciate your help very much.

SS Lee
Thu Jan 15 15:59:52 PST 2004

The CF-PCMCIA adapter should be a pass-through adapter and the computer probably won't even know it exists. Really, what the computer is seeing is the Crucial 32MB CompactFlash. In which case, you will need to find a driver for the Crucial 32MB CompactFlash to use with your Windows 95.

Chieh Cheng
Thu Jan 15 16:00:49 PST 2004

Thanks for the tip. I was going to buy another PCMCIA adapter, since my current one wouldn't work with a microdrive. After reading your tip I simply cut away a portion of the adapter, broke off two plastic tabs - and everything worked just great. The card isn't exactly "production quality" now, but it works great and didn't cost me anything. Thanks again!

Sat Oct 2 23:18:34 PDT 2004

hi enjoyed your article, i was wondering if a similar conversion could be done on an iriver h10 hdd. by that i mean replace the hdd to a flash or compact flash card of 4gb, feasible?

Sun, 29 Oct 2006 22:34:42 -0800

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