Magnetooptical disks and drives

Magnetooptical drives used magnetic and thermodynamic properties to efficiently store data (see FAQ). It was not commonly used, as it wasn't cheap. MO drives, in 3.5" or 5.25" standards were used in some servers as testing/backup media or in expensive workststions. My drive comes from IBM Power Series 850 PowerPC workstation.
They were reliable, but quite slow and expensive.
Later magnetooptical disks evolved to GigaMO disks with enhanced capacity (even 10GB) and Minidisc technology.

Manufacturer: Verbatim, IBM (drive),
Maxoptix/CSC (drive)

Type: Disks and drive
Capacity:  200MB-10GB


Windows NT and Linux/Unix should support many MO drives natively. There are some utilities to help for example format a disk.    

Notice difference between sectoring method in 600MB and 2GB media!

3.5" magnetooptical drive installed in IBM Power Series 850 workstation.

5.25" drive shipping cartridge for protecting coil and laser from shocks.

UPDATE: 2013.11: I recently acquired CSC or Maxoptix Optical 1 MO drive, it's a 5.25", full-height (as 2 typical 5.25") drive. It is in quite good condition, but I have problems with drivers - it's detected by SCSI, not by the OS. This device is a very old one, from early 1990s. You can see almost all internals from outside. Because laser part is not protected against the dust, this drive in external models was installed in special SCSI casing with dust filters on fans. Here are few pictures: Notice size of the magnetising coil.