Recent Reviews

Vantec Copper Round IDE
Vantec CCK-6012 1U
Vantec Thermoflow Fans
Corsair 256MB XMS3200
Nexland ISB SOHO
Corsair 256MB PC2700
DiskOnKey 128MB
Thermaltake Volcano 9
Abit AT7 Max
PNY Verto Ti4600

More Reviews here...
Prices in CDN $

Recent Articles

Link to us:


M-Systems DiskOnKey

Written By:
Date Posted: September 12, 2002


The world of digital data is taking over with everyone needing the ability to store, share and transfer files in there everyday lives. There are lot of different methods to do this but the majority of them are not portable. There's floppy drives but there slow and old providing you with barely enough space for a few word document's. Firewire HD's; another great idea but there a little bit on the large side both in dimensions and capacity. CDRW's then. Well yes these work, but cd's are not exactly something you can put in your pocket, plus there's the burning time to consider. What is needed is something that can transfer a decent amount of files with the smallest footprint. Something you can put in your pocket. Something that can be used on a multitude of systems quickly and easily. DiskOnKey from M-Systems say they have the solution so let's take a closer look.

The review piece we have here today is the 128MB DiskOnKey and was supplied to us by M-Systems , so many thanks to them.


Interface Compliant with Universal Serial Bus
(USB) 1.1 and USB 2.0 full-speed devices

Power Supply USB bus-powered
No external power required

Power Consumption Standby: 320 µA (typical), 500 µA (max)
Read/Write: 65 mA (typical), 94 mA (max)

Performance(read/write) 1MB/s data transfer rate

Operating Systems Supported Windows 98(1) Second Edition, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows XP, MacOS 9.0 & higher, Linux 2.4.0

Capacity (MB) 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 and 512

LED Indicator Slowly flashing: Connected and inactive
Quickly flashing: Transmitting/receiving data

Operating temperature 0° C to +45° C (32° F to 113° F)

Storage temperature -20° C to +60° C (-4° F to 140° F)

Environmental conditions Relative humidity during operation(Non-condensation): 10% to 90%
Relative humidity during storage: 5% to 90%.
Maximum wet bulb temperature: +38.7° C (101.6° F)

Dimensions 9.81x2.53x1.84 cm /3.86x0.99x0.72 inches (LxWxH)

Weight 20 grams (0.7 ounces)

Vibration Operating: 5 G, 10 to 500 Hz, 0.5 Oct/Min sweep rate
Non-operating: 5 G, 10 to 500 Hz, 0.5 Oct/Min sweep rate

Shock Operating: 10 G, 11 ms, half-sine.

Maximum Altitude Operating: 3,048 m (0 to 10,000 ft.)
Non-operating: 12,192 m (0 to 40,000 ft.)

Service 1 year full warranty

Certifications - USB Interface 2.0, Full Speed
- WHQL for Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows ME and Windows 98
- CE and FCC

In The Box

1x DiskOnKey 128MB
1x Protective Cap
1x User Manual
1x Label
1x Warranty Card

The Technology

The DiskOnKey is a removable, portable disk drive utilizing the Flash technology. The interface for it is USB 1.1 or 2.0 and it is designed to work under Windows 2000/ME/XP/NT 4/CE 4, Mac OS 9.0 and higher and Linux 2.4.0 without software drivers . The reason it can interface with all these systems without the use of software drivers is because the unit has its own CPU onboard. Software drivers ARE required for Windows 98/98SE however. The unit is powered from the USB Port so no batteries or external power input is needed; you literally just plug and play. The DiskOnKey is available in 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 and 512 mb sizes.

First Looks

The DiskOnKey as you can see is very small indeed, and has a keyring on the cap. I thought that it would have personally been safer to put the keyring onto the unit itself rather than the cap, but after repeated removal of the cap I doubt very much that you will accidentally lose it. The cap also has a belt clip in case you want to put the DiskOnKey into say a shirt pocket.

Removing the cap provides access to the USB interface for the unit. When you plug the device in the device is recognized as a removable drive and can be used as such. To let you know that the device is working properly there is an LED that pulses on the neck of the unit. When data is being transferred this LED well flash much the same way that you're HDD LED on your tower will.

The manual is really a 6 page leaflet with a 2 page insert on the KeySafe software, which is supplied on the DiskOnKey. The manual gives you instructions for using the DiskOnKey in both Windows and Mac OS as well as how to plug the unit in. To be honest I personally feel that the manual is totally redundant. This isn't brain science, there are no drivers to load or batteries to change, you just plug it into a USB port and away you go. Obviously there will be some people who are going to need the instructions if there new to computing and USB and I would have been rather surprised and disappointed if there wasn't some form of documentation. The insert for the KeySafe software describes how to set up and use a "privacy zone" on the DiskOnKey. I like the idea of this, as you could easily share the DiskOnKey with someone else whilst still storing private files of your own on there at the same time. There wasn't any driver disk included because this is a driverless device. As I already mentioned however, if you are running Win98, you do need drivers and I would have liked to have seen a floppy disk with those drivers on it. It's simple enough to get the drivers from there website but still, a floppy disk isn't going to break the bank and it would save the hassle.

Next Page - Testing and Conclusions


Copyright © 2001-2002 Viper Lair. All Rights Reserved. Site Design by
Got news? Send it .