SparQ drive with 1GB cartidge

Suitable for RiscPC, A7000, A7000+ Omega, RiscStation, Mico and Windows PC


Important Information

We supply a range of new, reconditioned and pre-owned computer hardware suitable for use with computers that run RISC OS. We don't normally supply complete computers only computer components. In order to use these products they will need to be fitted to a computer by someone with suitable expertise. All items are sold mail order, we do not accept callers so it won't be possible for a customer to pick up an order.

Product Information   Grading   Installation   Support   Guarantee   Substitution

DataSafe SparQ drive with 1GB cartridge

A great cost effective way of adding extra storage, either as a backup device or as the main hard disc for a RISC OS computer with bi-directional parallel port. Brand new old stock with all cables, power supply and a 1GB cartridge. You can buy further cartridges from us if you need more storage.

Now in stock - £25.00 (Plus £3.50 P&P to UK mainland only)
For Highlands, Islands or Overseas delivery costs please contact us.


Detailed information

  • Brand new retail boxed drive with 1GB storage disc.
  • Stores over 650 floppy dscs worth of data on one cartridge.
  • Connects via bi-direction parallel port.
  • No extra hardware needed, doesn't require any IDE interface.
  • You don't even have to open the computer's case.
  • Included power supply and cables.

  • Manufacturer : Syquest
  • Condition : New old stock
  • Designed for : RiscPC, A7000, A7000+ Omega, RiscStation, Mico and Windows PC
  • RISC OS version : RISC OS 3.6 or later (RISC OS 3.10 or later if correctly formatted)

Product grading

Acorn Computers Ltd closed its doors in 1998 so, as you would expect, the Acorn branded hardware we supply is pre-owned rather than new. Items that are were not made by Acorn Computers Ltd but that are 'Acorn compatible' may be new, pre-owned or reconditioned, the grading will be shown with the key information for the item. The full grading listing for the hardware products we sell is:

  • New - a product that has never been made available for retail sale, is boxed with all packaging and contents.
  • New Old Stock (NOS) - a product previously held by a dealer but not sold to a retail customer. Packaging may have scuffs, contents will be unused.
  • Reconditioned - a pre-owned product that has been cleaned, inspected and tested by APDL. May have signs of light use. Supplied in non-original packaging, may lack instructions.
  • Secondhand - a pre-owned product that has been tested but has clear signs of use. Supplied in non-original packaging, may lack instructions.
  • Spares/Repairs - a product from the above categories that is either incomplete or does not operate correctly. May not have any instructions or original packaging. Sold as seen with no guarantee as to fitness for purpose.

The section New Old Stock (NOS) deserves a little explanation. In many cases components may be, in all normal sense of the word, 'new' but because they have been previously held by a dealer and then sold to another dealer they are classed as 'secondhand' in the EU. For example we have stocks of three button Acorn compatible mice that were manufactured in the 1990's. These were supplied to a dealer but were never sold. The dealer then sold them as 'job lot' to another dealer. This dealer then sold them to APDL and when APDL closed we obtained the stock. These mice have been sold several times over, but the boxes have never been opened and the mice have never been used.


We are a small mail order company and we are not able to offer an installation service for products we sell. It will be the responsibility of the purchaser to install and configure any products purchased from us. If you do not feel confident about performing the installation yourself you can contact one of our registered installers who should be able to assist.

Some hardware devices will require driver or support software. This will be supplied either on RISC OS format floppy discs or via a download link at the time of purchase.

Technical Support

All products (except those marked as spares/repairs) are sold with phone/e-mail support for a minimum of six months from the date of purchase. We will only offer support for products that have been purchased from us (3QD Developments Ltd). This support will only cover the normal use of the items purchased. If you are buying a hardware upgrade it will need to be fitted by someone with the necessary skills. We won't be able to talk you through disassembling a computer to fit an upgrade, but we will assist if you have correctly fitted an upgrade and it's not working.

Support Documents


The SparQ drive is an external hard drive that uses 1 Gigabyte removable discs. It connects to the computer via the parallel printer port. It's completely separate from the computer and unlike most other external devices such as USB, SCSI or network drives requires absolutely no additional hardware to be fitted. It draws no power from the computer's supply. We supply the complete package including our own RISC OS driver software which can be used on up to five machines.

The RISC OS driver software can be supplied separately if you already have a SparQ parallel port drive. Driver software for Windows 2000/XP/Vista is also available.

All you need is a computer with a bi-directional printer port. For RISC OS computer users this means:

  • RiscPC
  • A7000 or A7000+
  • A3010*, A3020*, A4000* or A5000*
  • Microdigital Mico or Omega
  • RiscStation

*these machines can read and write to the drive but the disc needs to be formatted on RISC OS 3.6 or later.

Although 1GB of storage is small by PC or Mac standard it's a lot of space for RISC OS with it's small file sizes and compact files. Each SparQ disc can store over 650 floppy discs worth of data. The SparQ drive is a quick and reliable method of backing up volatile data, which will often only be a small part of the total content of your hard drive. As it's transportable between machines it's also an ideal way of moving data between machines which aren't connected by a network or which may be in different locations.


Use it with a parallel printer

The drive just plugs in to the computer's printer port using the cable provided and has a 'through connector' for your printer. If the SparQ drive isn't switched on your printer will still work perfectly. In use it behaves just like any other RISC OS hard drive with a 'normal' drive icon on the iconbar. Because of the limitations of the printer port it's not as fast as a normal hard drive but it's a lot quicker than a ZIP drive, with which many RISC OS computer users will be familiar. Discs can simply be dismounted and changed at any time.


Support Documents

The following support documents apply to this device:


Fitting location RiscPC motherboard

Fitting location A7000/A7000+ motherboard


Drivers RISC OS and Windows


The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (effective 1st October 2015) states that all products must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality. All of our products comply with these regulations. As many of our hardware products will be pre-owned they may not have as long a life span as a brand new device and this will be reflected in the price we charge. We offer a 6 month warranty on hardware. If a product fails after the 6 month period it may still be covered by our warranty if the failure is down to an inherent fault.

If you do need to return a product please contact us first to arrange a returns number. We will test the product once it's been returned to us. If it's faulty and inside the warranty period we will either replace it or offer a refund depending on how long the product has been in your possession. If the product doesn't work because it's been damaged or misused we will not replace it or offer a refund.

For full details on our guarantee and warranty click here to read our full terms of business.


In very rare cases we reserve the right to supply a substitute Reconditioned or Secondhand product rather than the product shown. We will only ship a substitute product if it offers the same (or better) functionality as the item originally ordered. For example: we may send a RiscPC network interface that's made by a different manufacturer. You may request that we don't ship any substitute products by contacting us before placing an order.



© Copyright 3QD Developments - 24/06/2024