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Old Feb 23, 2011, 03:46 PM   #26
Heinekev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbSoluTc View Post
Thanks for the info. Follow the instructions and it only took a couple of minutes. I now have a read/write Apple usb drive. It's fast as hell too.
hmm, tried with 4 different restore discs and it didn't detect any of them

edit: nevermind, was the broke PC I was using. Dell. Go figure. Did the operation in a VM and now I have a writable Apple USB disk.

Awesome!

Also, this link will make it easier: http://translate.google.com/translat...64-page-1.html

(Google Translate breaks the ability to download the attachment... you'll have to go to the untranslated site to successfully download the attachment)

Last edited by Heinekev; Feb 23, 2011 at 03:59 PM.
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Old Mar 8, 2011, 04:24 AM   #27
skinny*k
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Info update and a new link

Heinekev said:
Quote:
Google Translate breaks the ability to download the attachment... you'll have to go to the untranslated site to successfully download the attachment
At the ‘untranslated site’ I got a Chinese message and no link, so I copied the ‘link’ text
SM3255AB_J0818.zip
and Googled it:

This one worked for me, but may change:

[INDENT]Listed as: MacBook Air Tool
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=F3ZXV9JE

No signup if you wait for the regular download, but don’t bother to take the quiz—its a come-on with no answer without your cell-phone number.

Other sites allege a Java version, but they all want to find you a date or something, and your email address. I’d prefer a Java version myself, but I won’t buy Windows for this. If anyone knows of a non-Windows tool for fidd’ling with these drives I’d like to know (Linux is good, too).

I have edited the translated page to make a more readable and coherent document, and will post it here if anyone is interested.

As a not-irrelevant aside, while I was playing around with all of this, I copied some other software onto a 4 Gig flash drive to install on my Air, and the finder crashed and restarted when the copy finished. Every time I tried to open the flash drive it did nothing except cause the finder to restart... Hmmmm... I finally resorted to Disk Utility to reformat the drive, as FAT of course, and that failed three times. I tried formatting to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and my 4 Gig drive formatted to 7.62 Gigs!

For compatibility, though, I do need the drive to be FAT, so I tried that again, and it worked, and I wound up with a 6.83 GB FAT drive. This got me thinking that the memory chip in the drive just hadn’t made the cut to be an 8 GB drive, so it was formatted to 4, and I’m wondering how many other flash devices might have more than their stated capacity, and how many are compatible with the above tools. I’m meaning to have me some fun.

skinny*k
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Old Mar 8, 2011, 09:45 AM   #28
Patrick946
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That's awesome news, I'm definitely going to copy the card over to an external hard drive and use the USB card as an flash drive. Keep us updated on how well it works vs. store bought flash drives.
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 06:37 AM   #29
sufferrar
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Thumbs up

I was thinking the same but it occured to me that this drive will be more valuable as a restore drive as apple meant it to be.
Maybe when lion comes out I will then be more open in finding a way to convert the drive to a restore drive with lion instead of snow leopard. Only then it may be worthwile to write to it.
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 12:12 PM   #30
skinny*k
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Yes, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sufferrar View Post
I was thinking the same but it occured to me that this drive will be more valuable as a restore drive as apple meant it to be.
Maybe when lion comes out I will then be more open in finding a way to convert the drive to a restore drive with lion instead of snow leopard. Only then it may be worthwile to write to it.
I'm not saying that anyone SHOULD do this; its just nice to know that you can.

After your original install, you might spend hours setting up your computer to your satisfaction, then install system upgrades and etc. After that, the only real use for the install drive is to change your password if you forget it; generally, its better to use a Time Machine (or other) backup to restore your system if needed, so you don't have to spend all of that time setting up again.

Before reformatting the install disk, you SHOULD create a disk image of it, just in case; you can restore from the image or reinstall it on the restore drive, or on any other drive.

Back in the day, install disks were floppies, and CDs, DVD, and now these 'non-writeable' drives help prevent user accidents—I think thats Apple's motive here; no more, "Help! I've erased my install drive and I can't get up!" customer assistance. Make the disk image anyway; you could lose that little stick.

I think that the really cool thing about this is that the drive becomes a useful object instead of being quickly condemned to become landfill—I still have the stack of disks that came with my G4; useless junk, really.

I also don't keep an install drive with a laptop; I won't give a thief a key to my stuff. If a disaster occurs when I'm out and about, I can wait to get back to my desktop for repairs (yes, I know that YMMV).

I'm thinking that Lion will come out on this type of disk anyway, and if thats true your original install disk is history, as you seem to understand. This isn't a big deal; you just reduce landfill and save $ on an 8 GB drive. I'm more excited about the potential of storage space expansion of other drives, as I mentioned above—it intrigues me that these memory devices have more potential than claimed.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun!

skinny*k

Edit: Another idea...

Go ahead and get the software now—you don't have to use it—it may shortly disappear from the universe.

skinny*k

Last edited by skinny*k; Mar 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Spelling error on edit
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Old Mar 10, 2011, 04:00 PM   #31
MiBook84
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I bought this which is about the same size as Apples MBA-key. http://www.transcendusa.com/Products....asp?ModNo=181
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 09:49 AM   #32
Cr4s5
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Chinese instructions translated

Here is the link with instructions.

http://bbs.weiphone.com/read-htm-tid...64-page-1.html

translated the instructions read.


1 download attachments.

2 Extract the folder to run after the sm32Xtest. Exe file, it is best to run with administrator privileges.

3 Insert your Apple system restore u disk.

4 If successful, then you will see appear in the software interface port1 your apple u disk. The following screenshot is not himself, but the content and guiding the same.

5 Click Start, and then wait for the completion is expected about 3 minutes, note that this operation will delete all the data u disk.

6 pop-u disk, then insert the u-hours you will find a 8GB disk can be read by a computer u identified birds.

7 Congratulations, one more apple in the original 8GB U drive.

Feel good about the top 8 friends plus point points, thank you for it! ! ! ! Long live mac Ha ha ha! !

that is the instructions in english. It works to make macbook air usb drive read/write. On chinese page, click attachment download link and then any of the underlined links that are in little window that pops up, to download. Enjoy.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 10:11 AM   #33
GekkePrutser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinny*k View Post
After that, the only real use for the install drive is to change your password if you forget it; generally, its better to use a Time Machine (or other) backup to restore your system if needed, so you don't have to spend all of that time setting up again.
If you want to restore a TimeMachine backup on a completely unbootable system, you'll still need that recovery stick to boot off in order to restore the TimeMachine backup.

Also I read that Apple's drive has been tweaked for the system to detect it as a USB-DVD drive instead of a USB-HDD. Because Macs don't boot off a USB-HDD at all. So if that's true you can't put the image you took off that stick on any other stick and boot from it. But I don't have a MBA yet so I'm not sure, maybe they just changed the firmware on the MBA to accept USB-HDD's too.
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Old Apr 14, 2011, 01:32 AM   #34
skinny*k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GekkePrutser View Post
If you want to restore a TimeMachine backup on a completely unbootable system, you'll still need that recovery stick to boot off in order to restore the TimeMachine backup.
That’s a good point, but I didn’t mean to suggest that everyone go ahead and do this hack now, but after they upgrade to Lion—the drive could then be useful rather than recycled waste, like so many floppies, CDs and DVDs. If anyone had an uncontrollable urge to do this now, the memory stick image could be copied to a DVD (I think that would be dumb, though, but a backup is a good idea).

Quote:
Originally Posted by GekkePrutser View Post
Also I read that Apple's drive has been tweaked for the system to detect it as a USB-DVD drive instead of a USB-HDD.
I had noticed that the System sees the Drive as a DVD, but I hadn’t given it any thought. It would be interesting to figure out how Apple did that—if we could do it, then we could have bootable flash drives for all of our Macs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GekkePrutser View Post
Because Macs don't boot off a USB-HDD at all.
Right; it would have to be either a DVD, or look like a DVD to the System.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GekkePrutser View Post
So if that's true you can't put the image you took off that stick on any other stick and boot from it. But I don't have a MBA yet so I'm not sure, maybe they just changed the firmware on the MBA to accept USB-HDD's too.
Right; it has to be a DVD. The MBA sees the stick as a DVD; like other Macs, it won’t boot from a USB HDD.

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Old May 11, 2011, 04:37 PM   #35
john7jr
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The USB drive is firmware flashed to look like a DVD drive. This flashes it back to a R/W USB drive.

You can restore these to a normal USB flash drive (or a USB hard drive) and still boot from it, i've done it.

This is awesome. We have a few of these just lying around... Not anymore, I'm snatching them all up now.
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Old May 11, 2011, 04:42 PM   #36
john7jr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GekkePrutser View Post
Because Macs don't boot off a USB-HDD at all. So if that's true...
That's actually not true. You can boot from a USB hard disk or USB flash drive, have been able to since Macs went Intel.

I don't even use DVDs anymore. All my installs are on bootable USB flash drives. They install SO much faster!!

=)
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 01:54 PM   #37
WWDC08
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I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium via VMWare Fusion and i'm having trouble with the USB Drive being recognised with Windows, it can't find any drivers to install it and the Chinese software doesn't see it as Windows isn't installing the drivers. Can anyone help me out?
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Old Aug 24, 2011, 03:46 PM   #38
weinschela
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siiner View Post
All you need is to download a tool called sm32X. Turn the usb stick back to factory set and enjoy your 8GB apple usb drive.

BTW, if you could read Chinese, this link may help. http://bbs.weiphone.com/read-htm-tid...64-page-1.html
Thank you! Worked like a charm. Obviously, you have to have a Windows machine to do it, and yiu need the latest version of sm32xtest but you do get a very nice 8g drive. I turned my osx 10.6 into a Lion boot disk.

Last edited by weinschela; Aug 25, 2011 at 07:54 PM.
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