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OESF Portables Forum _ C1000/3x00 Hardware _ Exchanged Microdrive With Flash Card (c3000)

Posted by: ChrisZ Apr 11 2005, 10:24 AM

First, the most interesting result:

My C3000 is faster than ever. Every application starts up quicker and there are no more spin-up times when the microdrive has felt asleep.

Compare yourself:

Reboot until the sound can be heard: microdrive 142s, SanDisk Ultra II 120s (-15%).

Starting Opera after having rebooted until the error message appears (startpage cannot be found): microdrive 16s, flash 10s (-37%)

It's really impressive! But the most impressive thing is, that there's no time lag after the microdrive would have fallen asleep.

For anyone who's interested:

I've just exchanged the 4 GB microdrive with a SanDisk Ultra II card. It's easy:

1. Have a look at the internal-pictures from the 3000: http://forum.palmislife.com/viewthread.php?tid=46721&fpage=1

2. Remove the Hitachi microdrive

3. Insert the microdrive into your PC and have a look at the partitions, assuming the cf card is /dev/sda:

CODE
fdisk /dev/sda


4. Copy the partitions to your PC-HDD:
CODE
dd if=/dev/sda1 of=hda1
For sda2 and sda3 do the same. It's a good backup, anywhere.

5. Insert your flash card into your PC and create new partitions on it. I think it's a good idea to let the system partition (hda1) exactly as it is: about 100 MB. Partition 2 (ext3) can be changed in size. Partition 3 is the left-space-device (vfat).

6. Copy microdrive-partition 1 to the flash card:
CODE
dd if=hda1 of=/dev/sda1


7. Copy the remaining partitions to the flash card. That could be done as above with the dd-command, but the new partitions must be equal in size. Or you can mount the old-partitions, e. g.
CODE
mount -o loop,ro hda2 /mnt/OLD/
and copy the files to the newly formated partition sda2:
CODE
mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda2
And now copy the files. The same has to be done for hda3.

8. Insert the flash card into the Zaurus.

9. Reboot!

10. Wonder why the Zaurus is that fast.

If someone has problems with one step, feel free to ask: I will help as good as I can.

And don't forget: I don't take any responsibilitiy for your Z. Anyone following my instructions is responsible for the results. I can only say: My Z works better than ever. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Altt Apr 12 2005, 02:00 PM

Have you done any battery tests yet? Im sure folks are interested in the results.

happy.gif

Posted by: dreadlocks Apr 12 2005, 03:49 PM

that is brillant, should save battery life.. the microdrive will have a longer life span so keep it arround. check to make sure there isint a swap parition on the flash card as it could kill your flash card much quicker. (I obviously dont have a C3000)

Posted by: ChrisZ Apr 12 2005, 11:52 PM

QUOTE(dreadlocks @ Apr 12 2005, 11:49 PM)
check to make sure there isint a swap parition on the flash card as it could kill your flash card much quicker.
*


The microdrive has an error rate (non-recoverable) of less than 1 per 10^13 bits transferred. It can be started and stopped (at 40° C) for about 300.000 times.

A SandDisk Ultra has a MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) of 1.000.000 hours. And an error rate of less than 1 per 10^14 bits read(!?) for non-recoverable errors and of 1 per 10^20 bits read for errorneous corrections.

Both have an error management. The flash card reads every written byte to compare it with the original value. For errors there are "spare" bytes.

And don't forget: the microdrive spins down and up very often. 300.000 start/stop cycles seem not to be very much.

I think a flash card is a better solution. Even for swap devices (!?)

Posted by: ChrisZ Apr 12 2005, 11:59 PM

QUOTE(Altt @ Apr 12 2005, 10:00 PM)
Have you done any battery tests yet? Im sure folks are interested in the results.


I didn't measure battery life. I don't even know how to perform a test (which test-conditions?)

Comparison by specs:

Hitachi: 305 mA for write, 16 mA for idle
SanDisk: 50-65 mA for read/write, 100 mA read/write peak, 1 mA idle

The Sharp battery has 1800 mAh (?). If you use often your microdrive for data transfers its power consumption will obviously reduce battery live significantly. A flash card saves a lot of power.

Posted by: ChrisZ Apr 13 2005, 12:03 AM

After two days a short appendix:

The handling of the C3000 has really improved with the microdrive-exchange. It seems to be much quicker. Key strokes and stick inputs are answered immediately without the spin-up time lag. Great!

It feels like an well-improved C3000. Never again a microdrive!

Posted by: bam Jun 13 2005, 08:44 PM

hmmmz......sounds like a good upgrade for my 3100 when it comes in....wonder how much 4gb cards are....well found out, kinda pricy but.....gonna do it anyways. Lexar 4gb Pro 12mb/s 50ma read/write <10mS boot time, so basic question here, if I have windows how do i basically image the microdrive and copy to sd card?

Posted by: BarryW Jun 13 2005, 11:41 PM

Doesn't the Z have a cf slot? All the tools are available, should be able to do it there. Don't know for sure myself, have a 6000....

Posted by: daniel3000 Jun 14 2005, 12:15 AM

QUOTE(ChrisZ @ Apr 13 2005, 10:03 AM)
After two days a short appendix:

The handling of the C3000 has really improved with the microdrive-exchange. It seems to be much quicker. Key strokes and stick inputs are answered immediately without the spin-up time lag. Great!

It feels like an well-improved C3000. Never again a microdrive!
*


After exchanging the MD with a CF card of 4GB size, couldn't the microdrive be used as an excellent backup device? Just dd bs=1024 if=/dev/hdc of=/dev/sda (or whatever the CF card is called) and you have a full backup of the Zaurus, except NAND of course.

Not a cheap backup solution, I admit. <g>

daniel

Posted by: omega Jun 14 2005, 12:26 AM

bam, would you really need to upgrade your c3100? If the os in on the flash, then the microdrive will only hold your data like movies...

Posted by: bam Jun 14 2005, 12:27 AM

yea, thats my plan, the cf mod will be a good speed upgrade and I can use the md for a backup in case of catastrophic failure....wich seems to happen to z users more than once in a lifetime, so better safe than sorry:) not only that but i like the idea of less current consumption, therefore better battery life:)

QUOTE
am, would you really need to upgrade your c3100? If the os in on the flash, then the microdrive will only hold your data like movies...
=good point maybe not then.....then again im a tweaker...cant help it its genetic

Posted by: grifster Jun 17 2005, 02:58 AM

Out of curiousity has anyone experimented with replacing the internal microdrive with a CF wireless card? Internal wireless...

Posted by: Sna Jun 17 2005, 03:36 AM

not enough room in the unit to place a cf wireless, the antenna is too big
and i've open my cf wifi to see if it is possible to change the antenna's place and.... no smile.gif

maybe a bluetooth adapter, but what about the range then... smile.gif

Posted by: bam Jun 17 2005, 11:48 AM

stupid question perhaps....type 1, or type 2? does it matter?

Posted by: Jose Ronnick Jul 5 2005, 12:31 PM

QUOTE(ChrisZ @ Apr 11 2005, 10:24 AM)
If someone has problems with one step, feel free to ask: I will help as good as I can.

*


Hey.. so the microdrive in my C3000 recently failed.. it's completly fubared.. I've tried booting to console and fscking the drive, I've tried using the system menu to do both kinds of file system check, and I've tried to do a factory reset with a complete disk check.. all of them say the drive is fux0red and can't continue...

so.. I recently got a 4GB flash CF card.. and I tried taking my zaurus apart.. but after getting the back of the case off.. and taking out all of the screws I could find.. I can lift the first board partially off, but it still seems to be connected to something in the upper right hand corner (assuming the device is backside up, with the hinge side facing away from me. I didn't want to just force it too much.. so I figured I'd ask someone who's taken one apart already.. Is there some trick to getting that first board off?

Also, could someone please tell me what the default partion sizes and types are for the C3000? The original drive is totally dead.. so I'm hoping I can just make the proper partitions on the CF flash, format them.. replace the microdrive w/ the CF flash.. and then do a factory reset..

Posted by: Da_Blitz Jul 7 2005, 08:37 PM

yeah that should work, you will have to go throgh one of the recovery procedures in this fourm to put the os files back onto the cf but you should be able to do that on your pc or your zaurus, basically you have to un gzip a file to the hdd1 partion,

as for pulling it appart, when pulling off the main pcb it seems difficult and yo might think it will break but if you get it it the right postion then it comes out easily, just watch out that you dont put to much force on those cables and it should come out

i had the same problem and after about an hour i got it appart, when taking the plastic frame around the microdrive out make sure you release the plastic catches around the outside of the pcb

Posted by: gdog Jul 18 2005, 09:28 PM

I take it from the pictures you showed of the C1K that the connector for the microdrive is not present? Too bad that! Wouldn't it be nice to have a 4Gb CF card internally, and a 6Gb microdrive in the CF slot, along with a 1Gb SD card? Can you imagine that? 11Gb in the palm of your hand on a Linux COMPUTER? I love the tech age smile.gif

Regards,

gdog

Posted by: icruise Jul 18 2005, 11:48 PM

You can't do it with the C1K, but the C3X00 can, of course. Actually, the C3X00 has two CF slots, but one of them is internal and is normally only used by the microdrive. There are some Japanese users who have taken an exacto knife to their cases to open up the internal CF slot for other uses. I'm not sure if it works with things like wireless cards (you probably have space issues there, even with the mod). Interesting, but a little drastic.

Posted by: polito Jul 29 2005, 11:51 PM

Unfortunately there's more than just the CF connector missing in the C1000 model. There's the accompanying internal circuitry that drives it missing too. Took a look at the pictures and it sure seems there's quite a few SMD (Surface Mount Device) pieces and lil processor chips missing. sad.gif

Posted by: gdog Jul 30 2005, 07:30 AM

QUOTE(polito @ Jul 30 2005, 07:51 AM)
Unfortunately there's more than just the CF connector missing in the C1000 model. There's the accompanying internal circuitry that drives it missing too. Took a look at the pictures and it sure seems there's quite a few SMD (Surface Mount Device) pieces and lil processor chips missing. sad.gif
*


Well that's ok.

I've had about a dozen "PDA"'s over the years and this little C1K is the closest I've come to owning the "perfect" device. With 5Gb between my Microdrive and my SD card I've got some room spare, and until hotspots are everywhere, cheap and secure I don't need on-board connecticity to make it any better than it already is.

I'd still love to see Sharp reenter the US market with a 6Gb internal CF unit, built-in wifi and BT, along with the screen of the 6K. But that's just a fantasy smile.gif

Regards,

gdog

Posted by: bdbell Sep 3 2005, 07:42 AM

got my 4 gb cf, all ready to do the switch - but can anyone please tell me how to create or copy the partitions using Windows? Or can I put the microdrive in the cf slot and copy to the new internal cf 4 gb? - what commands?

Posted by: martinbogo Sep 9 2005, 10:12 PM

I've just installed a SanDisk prerelease 6GB CF card as a replacement for the internal microdrive in my SL-C3100.

I do have to admit, having a high speed CF card really does make a difference. So now I have the following configuration:

Internal CF card 6Gb (three partitions, EXT3, EXT3, FAT32 similar to the original config)
External SD card 1Gb (Just for music and such, FAT32 filesystem)
External CF 802.11b card for networking

I'll need to post a picture-by-picture takeapart of the process, since dissasembling the 3100 is a bit tricky, and it's knowledge worth sharing.

Beauty in motion.

Posted by: speculatrix Sep 12 2005, 04:14 AM

QUOTE(martinbogo @ Sep 10 2005, 07:12 AM)
I'll need to post a picture-by-picture takeapart of the process, since dissasembling the 3100 is a bit tricky, and it's knowledge worth sharing.
*


am looking forward to seeing the photos... epecially to see how much spare space there is inside the C3100, in order to consider whether it'd be possible to squeeze in a bluetooth module!

Posted by: GadgetGuy Sep 12 2005, 10:37 AM

QUOTE(martinbogo @ Sep 10 2005, 01:12 AM)
I'll need to post a picture-by-picture takeapart of the process, since dissasembling the 3100 is a bit tricky, and it's knowledge worth sharing.

Beauty in motion.
*


Yes please, that would be very useful to have!!!

Posted by: fAXik Sep 16 2005, 06:04 AM

QUOTE(bdbell @ Sep 3 2005, 06:42 PM)
got my 4 gb cf, all ready to do the switch - but can anyone please tell me how to create or copy the partitions using Windows?  Or can I put the microdrive in the cf slot and copy to the new internal cf 4 gb? - what commands?
*

You can use dd command on your Z. Insert the replacement CF into CF slot and type:
CODE
dd if=/dev/<internal MD device> of=/dev/<flash device>

You may also need to partition card before that (using fdisk) and copy only partitions you wantin the same manner instead of copying the whole MD.

Posted by: bdbell Sep 17 2005, 05:56 AM

QUOTE
You can use dd command on your Z. Insert the replacement CF into CF slot and type:
CODE
dd if=/dev/<internal MD device> of=/dev/<flash device>

You may also need to partition card before that (using fdisk) and copy only partitions you wantin the same manner instead of copying the whole MD.
*

Hi fAXik - sorry that I did not repost that I did get it working already. - been a little busy! I tried pretty much everything (except the command you gave me!).

What finally got things working is re-installing the latest Cacko beta that I have been testing - there is an option to reformat the 'user area' - which I believe got the CF partitioned and formatted correctly - anyway all is well now - and working great!

thanks again for your reply!

Brent

Posted by: Jon_J Jan 13 2006, 06:42 PM

Sorry to bring an old post back to the top....
I see that 4GB & 6GB cards work. Would this SanDisk 8 GB, 60x Speed Ultra II card work also?
http://www.samys.com/product.php?ItemNo=SANDSDCFH8192R


Jon

 

Posted by: bam Jan 13 2006, 10:49 PM

dont see any reason why not....

Posted by: Omicron Jan 19 2006, 05:14 PM

SLIGHTLY off -topic, but for those happy with the MD lag, but want more storage, there is currently a deal going on:

http://www.oesf.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=17217

For some people storage size i s more important than sheer speed and battery life, perhaps for those the above would be an option.

Posted by: lareya Jan 20 2006, 09:27 AM

I suppose the 860 can't do this internal upgrade cuz it didn't start with an internal mdrive card? sad.gif

Is there anyway to up the memory?

Lareya

Posted by: km2783 Jan 24 2006, 03:07 PM

QUOTE(speculatrix @ Sep 12 2005, 07:14 AM)
am looking forward to seeing the photos... epecially to see how much spare space there is inside the C3100, in order to consider whether it'd be possible to squeeze in a bluetooth module!


Socket has a Bluetooth CF card that is pretty flush when inserted. I bet that would work.

Of course, this thread is old enough that you might have already figured that out by now unsure.gif

Posted by: speculatrix Jan 24 2006, 03:25 PM

QUOTE(km2783 @ Jan 25 2006, 12:07 AM)
QUOTE(speculatrix @ Sep 12 2005, 07:14 AM)
am looking forward to seeing the photos... epecially to see how much spare space there is inside the C3100, in order to consider whether it'd be possible to squeeze in a bluetooth module!


Socket has a Bluetooth CF card that is pretty flush when inserted. I bet that would work.

Of course, this thread is old enough that you might have already figured that out by now unsure.gif
*



yup, I have one of these cards, a revision E card (actually a Nokia), which has the standard problem that it can lock up.

what I meant was integrate a BT module into the 3100 and thus have both the internal and external CF slots free!

Anyway, things have changed... the reason for wanting the above was because the SD card slot used to only be good for 1GB. But it's looking like the a working driver for 2G or 4G sd cards is coming, so you could have a 3100 with simultaneous wifi AND bluetooth AND 4G of sd flash, thus giving you the ultimate pocket computer.
wink.gif

Posted by: chuckr May 24 2006, 04:26 PM

QUOTE(Jose Ronnick @ Jul 5 2005, 12:31 PM)
QUOTE(ChrisZ @ Apr 11 2005, 10:24 AM)
If someone has problems with one step, feel free to ask: I will help as good as I can.

*


Hey.. so the microdrive in my C3000 recently failed.. it's completly fubared.. I've tried booting to console and fscking the drive, I've tried using the system menu to do both kinds of file system check, and I've tried to do a factory reset with a complete disk check.. all of them say the drive is fux0red and can't continue...

so.. I recently got a 4GB flash CF card.. and I tried taking my zaurus apart.. but after getting the back of the case off.. and taking out all of the screws I could find.. I can lift the first board partially off, but it still seems to be connected to something in the upper right hand corner (assuming the device is backside up, with the hinge side facing away from me. I didn't want to just force it too much.. so I figured I'd ask someone who's taken one apart already.. Is there some trick to getting that first board off?

Also, could someone please tell me what the default partion sizes and types are for the C3000? The original drive is totally dead.. so I'm hoping I can just make the proper partitions on the CF flash, format them.. replace the microdrive w/ the CF flash.. and then do a factory reset..
*



As far as getting the back off, I got that far. You need to be slightly more brave about opening it, because as that point, it is only tiny lips of plastic that are stopping t from "pop"ping open for you, jus be careful and try easing it sideways just slightly as you open it up. There are two flexible wire braids holding it together also, and it's your hoice whether to disconect them or not, I would suggest not, but I had one pop open for me accientally, and found out that on either side of the wire busses are two tiny levers, which up equals open, down equals closed, and although they are tiny, you can do it.

What I can't yet figure out is how to actually remove the hard disk. It looks like it's got 4 tiny screws in the corners, but they might hold the drive together. Anyone know how to get the drive off? The screws are very odd, with what looks like phillips heads, excepting there are only 3 lobes where a Phillips would have 4.

Posted by: Mjolinor May 25 2006, 12:59 AM

QUOTE
What I can't yet figure out is how to actually remove the hard disk.  It looks like it's got 4 tiny screws in the corners, but they might hold the drive together.  Anyone know how to get the drive off?  The screws are very odd, with what looks like phillips heads, excepting there are only 3 lobes where a Phillips would have 4.
*


Those are indeed the screws that hold the drive together. Don't remove them. To remove the drive you need to dismantle it some more, all of the plastic parts need removing including the SD slot.

Posted by: chuckr May 25 2006, 02:16 PM

QUOTE(Mjolinor @ May 25 2006, 12:59 AM)
QUOTE
What I can't yet figure out is how to actually remove the hard disk.  It looks like it's got 4 tiny screws in the corners, but they might hold the drive together.  Anyone know how to get the drive off?  The screws are very odd, with what looks like phillips heads, excepting there are only 3 lobes where a Phillips would have 4.
*


Those are indeed the screws that hold the drive together. Don't remove them. To remove the drive you need to dismantle it some more, all of the plastic parts need removing including the SD slot.
*


Boy, did your mail ever just come in the nick of time, I was hovering over the thing ready to remove it, because the new screwdrivers came in from the cellular guys. You were perfectly right, and after a little extra messing around, I got it all opened up, and I am now going to begin reading all the stuff here on partitioning, cause I'm ordering the Seagate 8Gb drive ... I have to give it a little thought, because I would really rather buy two of them, and I guess there's no reason I couldnt use both, there are two CF interfaces.

Oh darn, it's after 5 here. Oh, West Coast! Bye bye! And thanks again!

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