Howto Enable SDHC Card Functionality on the Treo 700p

As reported on PIC recently, the transition from Secure Digital 1.1 to Secure Digital 2.0 (aka SDHC) has begun due to the Treo 680's compatibility. The recent arrival of sub-$100 8gb SDHC cards and compatible devices is only hastening this process but many owners of SD-only devices have been left in the cold wondering if their devices will ever be updated for SDHC compatibility.

Read on for the full howto tutorial on enabling SDHC compatibility on your Treo 700p.

SDHC 4gb SD Card from PanasonicTreoCentral users recently found out that the recently-released Treo 680, despite the perceived limitations of OS Garnet, is indeed compatible with 4gb and 8gb SDHC cards. Now a PalmInfocenter member, drbuzz0, has discovered that it is possible to enable SDHC support via a hack for the Treo 700p! This process basically lifts the SD slot driver from a 680's ROM image and installs it via Filez onto the 700p to enable unofficial SDHC support.

This tutorial is provided for informational purposes only, use at your own risk. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for any loss of data, warranty or other issues as a result of this tutorial.

  1. First, purchase an SDHC card. I bought my Class 2 Transcend 8gb card from Newegg last month and it's worked flawlessly on the devices that can handle SDHC media. Newegg currently offers two 8gb SDHC cards and you can find more via pricegrabber. ADATA cards have a bit of a notorious past so the extra money for the Transcend card might be well worth it.

  2. 700p users can download the 680's SD slot driver here

  3. Save the file to a conventional SD card. DO NOT Hotsync the file!

  4. Using a Palm OS file manager program (I recommend Filez), copy the file to your 700p's main memory

  5. Perform a soft reset

  6. Insert the SDHC card into the Treo after the Palm has completed its reset/reboot process

  7. The 700p should now be able to see the card as two ~4gb blocks. Ensure that the SDHC card is filled with either more or less than 4gb to minimize the potential for any Garnet filesystem wackiness.

  8. Detailed discussion and additional troubleshooting information is available on this lengthy TreoCentral thread. In addition, the popular utilities Card Export II and Card Reader work properly with these large capacity cards.

Thanks to drbuzz0 for having the guts to be the first to try this hack. I'm glad the good Doctor can report a successful operation!

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t3h @ 1/1/2007 10:52:52 PM # Q
I'd try it on my TX, but I don't have a SDHC card. Anyone else got both?

Palm TX + 1GB SD + Motorola v3x = awesomeness
hkklife @ 1/2/2007 12:36:27 AM # Q
I've got both. It does not work on the TX. Treos only.

I do not have a Treo 650 but some very adventurous TC members *ARE* reporting success on their 650s. Anyone wanna take a crack at it?

On a related note, I'm actually very hesitant to recommend this as an everyday trick on the 700p to frequent travelers? Why? Well, unless you carry a spare "regular" SD card with the file on it, if you were to be on the road and suffer a hard reset, the driver would be zapped from RAM and you'd lose the entire contents of your nifty new SDHC card. Just a thought.

I'd LOVE for Palm to officially ring in the new year with the "gift" of this included as a ROM update for the 700p/TX/LD but I'm not counting on it. This gives Palm another marketing bullet point for their (final?) round of new POS devices in '07.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

Alfa @ 1/2/2007 11:16:37 AM # Q
Which how-to have you tried on the TX? Have you tried the 700p how-to (copying files to RAM) or the 650 how-to (copying files to ROM)?

hkklife @ 1/2/2007 10:34:06 PM # Q
I have a 700p, a TX and an SDHC card.

Copying the file via Filez (from a regular SD card) to TX's RAM results in an endless reset loop. So I'm sorry to report that the TX is still limited to 4gb SD 1.1 cards.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

Alfa @ 1/3/2007 4:08:47 AM # Q
But have you tried to copy the files to TX's ROM? (not RAM)
Treo 650 has the same problem when copying files to RAM (reset) but if you copy those files to ROM it works as reported on Treocentral ( Maybe the ROM-solution works also on TX.

Alfa @ 1/4/2007 4:51:37 PM # Q

hkklife @ 1/5/2007 10:13:32 PM # Q
Hey Alfa, sorry for the delay.

Well, I tested it using every manner I could think of on the TX and it's still a no-go. Nothing but endless reset loops.

It looks like it's STILL a Treo-only hack for the time being.

It'll probably take a miracle at this point--such as Dmitry Grinberg working his magic. Or, there's still the very slim chance Palm will end up releasing a TX2 or a T|E3 with native SDHC compatibility and someone can lift the slot driver out of a ROM image and hack it onto older Palms.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

Alfa @ 1/6/2007 4:29:29 AM # Q
Thanks for the answer. So the ROM-solution doesn't work... :-(
Let's hope in Dmitry Grinberg or in a TX2!

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mikecane @ 1/2/2007 2:09:05 PM # Q
Anyone try this with a LifeDrive?

RE: LifeDrive?
hkklife @ 1/2/2007 3:45:48 PM # Q
I'm assuming that since the TX is a no-go with the SDHC slot driver that a LD is a no-go as well. Everything else on the TX is more up-to-date software version wise over the LD (OS, core apps, Blazer, VM etc). Remember, the LD can take a 4gb SD 1.1 card w/ its FAT32 driver so it's not a total loss.

I have no idea why the Treos are so particularly future-proof in regards to SDHC...unless, of course, it's all planned by Palm. Maybe it has something to do with units built by Inventec (Treo 680 & 700p) vs. HTC (most other recent Palm devices including the WinMob Treos) vs. Asus (older PDAs like the T3) etc?

But this kind of thing goes on all of the time in the tech world. My old laptop, a Gateway, handled 2gb SD cards w/ no issues but my newer Core Duo Acer notebook chokes on 2gb and 4gb SD cards.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

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Any hope for other palm's?

specterss @ 1/2/2007 2:32:46 PM # Q
like my Tungsten T3.. I already gave up with m505 (1GB max).

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TX and others

drbuzz0 @ 1/2/2007 10:01:54 PM # Q
Does anyone have a TX or other palm which they would care to try this on? I only have the 700p.

We're never going to know if it could work if nobody tries this.

RE: TX and others
hkklife @ 1/2/2007 10:18:51 PM # Q
I posted this earlier...I have both devices (700p & TX).

Copying the file onto the TX via Filez results in an endless reset loop. This file is for Treos *only*. I doubt a T5 or a LifeDrive would fare any better than the TX, being similar but older devices etc.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

Reply to this comment

Old news, but...

euroclie @ 1/7/2007 12:23:46 PM # Q
I thought I'd mention here that EazyE was actually the first to report success using the 680 files on a 650 with a 8Gb SDHC card. He posted a message on a couple of hours before drbuzz0 (unless I got the times wrong...),42932.msg344080.html#msg344080

Not that it changes anything, there may even be other people who have tried this earlier but didn't report publicly the result...

Anyway, thanks to EasyE and drbuzz0, and long live to Palm! :-)

Patrick Robbe

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