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An easy to use device that allows anyone to quickly and simply increase the available memory in their MacBook computer.
9,805 backers pledged $384,319 to help bring this project to life.

MiniDrive Mk3, notes from the field & returns!

Posted by niftydrives (Creator)


We know some of you still haven't got your MiniDrive and we are working to address that as quickly as we can. We have got a fair number of packages that have bounced due to incomplete addresses or goods being returned to sender. We are working through these, but if you haven't got anything by the 8th of March, please drop us an email to and we will sort you out.

MiniDrive Mark 3

After a frenetic couple of months, we have the MiniDrive Mark 3 almost ready to go to tooling! There is so much that we have learnt during this process and we really did come into it green behind the ears. It has been like a beta testing, but for hardware. That is in no way what we had planned (who doesn't want perfection the first time round?), but you guys have been at the bleeding edge - literally - of the MiniDrive, and it is an honour and privilege to share that with you.

The Mark 3 (plus revised packaging) has been designed to address all the issues we have been seeing in the field. It has essentially been re-designed from the ground up, focusing on substantially improving the Aluminium/Body join (read "you'll have to break the entire MiniDrive before this sucker is coming off") as well as changing the microSD card orientation to remove any read/write issues that may occur.

Based on the current tooling schedule (we have to re-do all the tooling), we expect the Mark 3 to be ready by the end of May this year.

Read/write issue

This was a completely unexpected error and we are really sorry to everyone who is experiencing this! From email conversations with backers, as well as comments posted on Kickstarter, we have put together a rough and ready field guide to get your MiniDrive up and running temporarily:

The most simple fix is to not push your microSD card too far into the MiniDrive, making sure the back of the microSD card is level with the edge of the body of the MiniDrive. If this means that the MiniDrive is no longer detected in the computer, try easing the microSD card in just a tiny fraction, and testing it in the computer again. If that either causes the computer not to detect the MiniDrive, or the read/write error persists, you'll need to move onto the more in depth fixes. 

The first and easiest is to wrap a single band of cello-tape around the body of the MiniDrive, covering the microSD card slot on the side of the MiniDrive and ensuring the place where the "write protection" switch would normally be is properly covered (as previously suggested). Please make sure there is no more than 1 layer of cellotape!

If that doesn't work then try adding (under the tape if you choose) a small piece of cardboard/paper behind the microSD card to help fill in the "gap" (thank you Tom Mayer, who originally found this fix)

If any of these fixes work for you, we strongly suggest waiting for the Mark 3 MiniDrive rather than a return out of the current batch, as the error may persist even with a replacement (we are still not sure if it is a MiniDrive specific, microSD card specific or computer specific problem, but it might be a combination of all three).

Retina - not flush

It seems that is a discrepancy of 1mm between the SD card slot depth on some MacBook Pro with Retina Display 15" computers. A minority of MacBook Retinas appear to have a SD card slot of 21.5mm rather than 22.5mm. This discrepancy between the same model of computer hasn't been found in the Pro or Air MacBooks.

Fortunately, the MiniDrive Pro is 1mm shorter than the MiniDrive Retina. The simple solution for this is - if your MiniDrive Retina sticks out from your MacBook Retina by 0.9mm or more, then let us know using the returns form below and we will swap your MiniDrive Retina out for a MiniDrive Pro.

PLEASE NOTE: if you MiniDrive protrudes less than 0.9mm, it is likely that the MiniDrive Pro will not work in your Retina! Please double check before requesting a replacement as otherwise you will be swapping out a working MiniDrive for one that won't work in your computer!

Returns & Replacements

We have finally got our national and international return postage licences sorted out. If you have any issue with your MiniDrive and need it replaced, please fill in the form here:

We will get a pre-paid returns envelope sent out to you so all you need to do is pop it in the post back to us and we'll get a new one sent out to you.


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    1. Doctor Popular

      I'm really bummed you guys haven't gone through the "tape" process a little thoroughly. Scanning through the updates, I see more info on that fix in the comments than in a post itself. This post, for instance, doesn't have a working image link.
      You make it sound simple, but I'd love to see an example before I go about sticking a piece of tape into my MacBook. Could you post something on Flickr with a little more help? Thanks.

    2. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    3. Aaron Martin on

      I can copy stuff to the drive, but I can't delete or remove anything. Anyone else having that issue?

    4. Jan de Haan on

      I was wondering if someone already received their pre-paid return envelope??

      My request is received on march the 5th, so my feeling is that it takes much to long...
      I thought that I readed somewhere that it could take 10 working days, but I'm not sure anymore because I can't find that info...

    5. Richard Espy on

      Hey guys. I have my MiniDrive installed in my MacBook Pro Retina, and it is not recognized. Any advice?

    6. Henry on

      Having the read/write problem. Tried the fixes as described and still doesn't work. What now? How do I go about getting a Mark 3? Do I have to buy a new one or will there be an exchange process?

    7. Missing avatar

      nocalbruin on

      Is there a better program than Jettison? Jettison never works and minidrive never remounts.

    8. Chris Eccleston on

      Finally received one after making several attempts to complain; fits perfect in my air and works perfectly *fingers crossed*

    9. Missing avatar

      FabrizioA on

      I filled the form and I have received this answer, by email: <<< No Message Collected >>>

      Is it right? Did you get my request? I'm in trouble for the separation problems and I'd like to receive a brand new MK3. Thank you.

    10. James on

      No sign of my two coming to Texas... maybe in the mail today or tomorrow? Perhaps an automated email for tracking in the next round...

    11. Missing avatar

      Tom Moccia on

      Receive Nifty Drive but afraid to use it after the separation problems. Can't afford for it to get stuck in my Air. Guess it will end up a decoration and reminder this process is not perfect.

    12. Missing avatar

      JAMES T. HUANG on

      Drive received but the color was wrong, I ordered for silver but a red one was sent.
      I am using a MBP 15" early 2011 and facing the read only issue.
      The link for Tom Mayer's photo was disconnected, can you ask Tom to put it back or post on this site?

    13. Sunoo Kim on

      Unfortunately, the method Tom Mayer let us know doesn't work for me.
      And one of my drives was stuck in the hole after the silver bar was broken. I was lucky enough to get it out. I put some super glue on both sides, and they are attached well. I don't know when they take apart.

      Anyway, what do you mean Mark3?
      Do you send the backers for free? or I have to buy one.
      Could you make it clear for me?

    14. Rafael Masoni on

      I bought 3 minidrives and one of them had the Read-Only problem, but I fixed it with the tape trick. Having to hack the product sucks, but it was not too much hassle. I'm only worried that the tape may dissolve if the laptop gets too hot sometime.

    15. Sajat Jain on

      For the retina MacBooks, how do you really calculate 0.9mm? I mean you say that be sure its at least 0.9mm. How do I be sure? I don't want to replace with a one that goes further deep in. Please advice how to proceed.

    16. Missing avatar

      Tom Moccia on

      Wow @scott, with numerous reports of the drive coming apart from the metal bar I don't even care if mine shows up because I won't be taking the chance putting it in my machine. I'm just going to chalk this up as a $30 loss.

      Sad really.

    17. ScottG Canon on

      Well I wrote you a Glowing Report on on the Kickstarter site about how Perfect the NIFTY Drive is for my Retina 15. (((((WELL NOW I HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM!!! VERY SERIOUS...)))))

      The Silver bar on the card snapped right off while I was pulling the card out to show a group of people what it looked like. Not only do I look like a complete idiot in front of my people, I can't get the Nifty OUT of the slot at all. I had to take it to Apple Store repair, and they want $295.00 to sent it out for repair. They said the Retina Macbook Pro 15 will have to be taken apart to remove the NIFTY card from the slot. I will be with out my Macbook Pro for 14-21 days for the repair. I have had several repair places already try and remove the NIFTY Drive from the slot with all kinds of tools, and it will NOT come out.

      I'm pretty upset over all this, as this is now a rather large expense I have on my hands. I figure that it came off because the Macbook was really hot from running it all day.

      Here is a picture of what happened, and you can see that the pin is in one hole and not the other in the metal.

      I figure I can drill a small hole in the plastic edge that I can see in the slot. then pry out the card which will damage the NIFTY Drive, and the Sandisk Ultra card inside the Nifty.

      I filled out the RETURN and REPLACE Form, but this is a @#$%ing Nightmare now for me


    18. Missing avatar

      Romain Menke on

      When I submitted my support ticket it was above 1600. That's more like 20% But I got over it. This hasn't been a perfect kickstarter, but they do offer and encourage to replace with a new model. This must cost them a lot of money. This proves that they are serious about the product and us as backers.
      I don't mind waiting another couple of months.

    19. Peter Wysoczanski - Obsidan Order on

      @James Diss I really wouldnt call this Beta, Too big of a populous and too much money at risk, also I dont know bout you but I never signed a NDA, not that one is always necessary, however with a product such as this if it wasnt crowed source funded i could definitely see one needed. I could see this as the First iteration of many...

    20. James Diss on

      @tony - it's beta testing. If you're expecting a faultless product from the get go, you should wait for the retail devices.

    21. Peter Wysoczanski - Obsidan Order on

      umm this is one hell of a beta... 10% is close to 1,000 people affected (from my count of pledges only thats 1279.7 mini drives) and that doesnt include how many they have purchased, Ouch... And most of these have the one major flaw, Read and Write issue... again not sure how this was overlooked... I'll be waiting on Mark3

    22. Missing avatar


      I have not got mine, it supposes to be sent to Sarasota, Florida, and I have sent email last week (twice) and no reply. I hope someone @niftydrives could give me some info about it.


    23. Dane Rich on

      Just filling out the form. Mine works its just the PCB is coming away. When do I Have to send it to you guys? Can I keep it until you send out the replacement??. Id rather wait for the new batch. Thanks

    24. Tony Lindkold on

      Delay. Fix yourself. Cellotape. Won't Work. Unfortunately his has been a terrible Kickstarter project in so many ways.

    25. qweos on

      Plans for a MacBook 13 Retina MiniDrive?

    26. Marco on

      I've received mine today, luckily I've tested it and the aluminum piece detatched from the plastic part. I've already submitted a replacement request, do not worry I'll take care of the shipping costs, and opted out for the MK3 version. I really hope the new version will work fine with the Retina, will not break easily and will have a better packaging.
      What annoys me is the fact that the new version will be shipped likely in June, I hope this will not turn as another SLX Extreme Kickstarter case.
      Let's see what NiftyDrives will do to compensate us for all our patience.

    27. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    28. Missing avatar

      Brian Jensen on

      Hi guys,

      Thanks for the update. However you fail to address the most important issue: the drive getting remounted after sleep:

      Steps to reproduce:

      1) Insert your nifty minidrive into a MBP retina
      2) Install Jettison from the app store
      3) Close the lid on your mac
      4) Wait a few minuttes just to drink coffee ;-)
      5) Open the lid and login
      6) The drive is not mounted (!).

      Guys...this renders the minidrive useless if you have to reinsert the card to get it remounted

    29. Sarah Roberts on

      Seems that I get a "drive was improperly ejected' error when my MacBook Air with MiniDrive installed goes to sleep, and the MiniDrive becomes unmounted. Is this functioning as designed? I've got a 64 GB microSD (class 10) in there...

    30. Mick Bou-Samra on

      Has anyone in Australia received theirs yet?

    31. Missing avatar

      Dominik on

      Got mine and it just works fine so far. The joint between the body and the aluminium seems a bit skewed if that is the right word to use here. But it still fits into my Air fine. Hope it doesn't break off in the future.

    32. Kane Harrison on

      I have read/write issues and it's a little tight but after spacing the card out and shaving a bit off the back of the microSD I can get it to work fairly regularly. I'm happy to wait for the Mk3. I have filled out the returns form but obviously want to hang on to my Mk2 until the replacements are ready. Can you let us know when to return the old ones? I assume the new ones won't be posted out until the old ones are sent back and received.

      Thanks guys.

    33. Missing avatar

      Michael Richmond on

      What about people who have received only one minidrive after paying for a combo pack of 2 drives? I have emailed your support team but have not received any response. What is the timeline for fulfilling orders that have not yet been completed?


    34. Missing avatar

      P Johnson on

      Happy to say my drive (MBPro) working just great. Thanks guys.

    35. niftydrives Creator on

      @Sciurvilla - no, don't worry, it won't be too late :-)

    36. Sciurvilla on

      As I didn't had an answer on the last update comments, I try again here:

      My one arrived today in Italy (Feb22). Unfortunately I can't try it because I'm out for work till the end of the month of March. I hope that, when I will be back at home, if I will found some problems, will be not too late to ask to you (creator) to support me. By now I can just say thank you, I will update you on how's work. :o)

    37. niftydrives Creator on

      @Hrag - I'll look into it now.

    38. niftydrives Creator on

      @John - absolutely. It is the 2nd to last option on the page. You can do that with any of the return/replacement options. Just select "please replace with new Mk3 model".

    39. Hrag Chanchanian on

      Guys - I've received the Nifty envelope, and the packaging in the mail - but the actual Nifty drive and the tool were nowhere to be found. I've emailed your support already, Tweeted a few times and I've heard literally NOTHING back. It's pretty frustrating.

      This is total BS. Please make this right.

      Here are some links:

    40. Missing avatar

      John Dean on

      Thanks for the head's up. For those of us with an open ticket for the ones totally unrecognized at all by the Macbook, is there an option to have you not ship a replacement until the new ones are out after May? I'd rather sit tight a little longer than take the crapshoot of trying another one from the same manufacturing batch...

    41. Sebastien on

      Good job guys ! Love my mini drive, I'm currently using it in my raspberry pi instead if my MacBook Air