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Encyclopedia > Orb Drive
Orb Drive - External SCSI
Orb Drive - External SCSI

The Orb Drive is a 3.5" removable hard disk drive. It was introduced by Castlewood Systems in 1999. 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ...

The Orb Drive's original capacity was 2.2GB.

A later version of the drive, introduced in 2001, increased the capacity to 5.7GB. 2001: A Space Odyssey. ...

Orb Drive - External SCSI - Back
Orb Drive - External SCSI - Back
Orb Drive - 2.2GB Cartridge
Orb Drive - 2.2GB Cartridge


2.2 GB Drive Specifications

The following specifications were taken from the 2.2GB External SCSI manual.


  • Average Seek Time: 10ms read/12 ms write
  • Data Transfer Rate: 12.2 MB/sec maximum
  • Burst Transfer Rate: 20MB/sec maximum
  • Rotation Speed: 5400 rpm
  • Head: MR (Magneto-Resistive)
  • CPU: 25 MIPS DSP
  • Start/Stop Times: 6 sec spin-up, 10 sec read, 15 sec write, 6 sec stop
  • Long Format Time: 9 Minutes
  • Short Format Time: Less than one second

Reliability and Warranty:

  • Reliability: Labyrinth Sealed Door with Auto Closure and Patented enclosure environmental controls
  • MTBF: 300,000 hours
  • Service Life: 5 Years
  • Bit Error Rate: 1 in 10^12
  • Disk (estimated shelf life): 20 Years
  • Drive and Disk Warranty: 1 Year Limited

General Information:

  • Interface: 50-pin High Density narrow
  • Disk Storage capacity: 2.2 GB
  • Operating System Comptability: Windows 98, 95, 3.1x, NT4.0+, MS-DOS 5.0+, OS/2 4.0, Mac OS 7.5.5+
  • Power: 5V (+-5%), 1.5 amp (peak) start-up, .75 amp continuous read/write, .75 amp max seek, .2 amp standby mode
  • Power Management: Via software, with idle and standby mode
  • Dimensions: 6.5" x 1.5" x 5.25"
  • Weight: 1.19 Lb / 538.7 gms
  • Write Protection: Via Software
  • Acoustical Noise: Less than 42 dB

Operating Conditions:

  • Temperature:
  • Operating: 10 degrees C to 46 degrees C
  • Storage: -40 degrees C to +60 degrees C
  • Shipping: -40 degrees C to +60 degrees C
  • Relative Humidity (non-condensing)
  • Operating: 10% to 80%
  • Non-Operating: 10% to 90%
  • Vibration:
  • Operational: .03 inches p-p @ 5-10Hz, .5g p-p @ 10-300Hz, .2g p-p @ 300-500Hz
  • Non-Operational: .04 inches p-p @ 5-10 Hz, 4g p-p @ 10-500Hz
  • Shock @ 11ms duration 1/2 Sine wave:
  • Operational: 3g
  • Non-operational: 80g
  • Altitude:
  • Operating: 10,000 ft

5.7 GB Drive Specifications

  • Capacity: 5.7GB
  • Transfer Rate: 17.35 MB/sec sustained, 66 MB/sec burst
  • Average Seek Time: 11 ms read / 12 ms write
  • Rotation Speed: 5400 rpm
  • Drive Head: GMR (Giant Magneto-Resistive)
  • CPU: 30 MIPS DSP
  • Start/ Stop Times: 25sec start, 8sec stop including eject, average
  • Operating System Compatibility: Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows NT 4.0 (SP4+), Windows 2000, Windows ME, Mac OS 8.6+
  • Drive Life: 5 years
  • Estimated Disk Shelf Life: 20 years
  • Warranty: 1 year limited

The 5.7 GB drive can also read the 2.2 GB cartridges.


The Orb Drive was available in internal and external versions.

The internal version was available with IDE or SCSI interfaces.

The external version was available with Parallel, SCSI, USB, or Firewire interfaces.

CastleWood Systems

The manufacturer of the Orb Drive was Castlewood Systems. It was formed by several former employees of SyQuest Technologies. Shortly after the Orb Drive was released, SyQuest brought a lawsuit against Castlewood. SyQuest Technology, Inc. ...

According to the 2.2 GB Orb Drive's original manual, the URL for the company's website was: www.castlewood.com. However, the site no longer references the Orb Drive.

Castlewood has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and is no longer in operation.

See also

SyQuest Technology, Inc. ... SyQuest EZ 135 Drive - External SCSI SyQuest EZ 135 Drive - External SCSI - Back The EZ 135 Drive is a 3. ... The SparQ drive is made by SyQuest Technology and is a removeable drive that exists in an internal version with IDE interface and an external version for the parallel port. ... The Zip drive is a medium-capacity Insert non-formatted text here removable disk storage system, introduced by Iomega in late 1994. ... The Jaz drive was a removable disk storage system, introduced by the Iomega company. ...

External links



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