Possible T3 SD Card Problem?

Multiple reports have surfaced claiming a possible issue with certain SD cards and the Tungsten T3. Some users are claiming that SD cards are losing all data and others become corrupted after use with the T3.

update Palm wants to hear from you if you have experienced a T3 SD card wipe out.

Updated Oct 9, originally posted Oct 6th. See below for the update.

Reports in the discussion forums, detail the problems some users have had with the Tungsten T3 and SD expansion cards. The majority of problems appear to be with Sandisk SD cards and cards larger than 256MB. The cards will mysteriously lose all data, or become corrupted. In order to use the cards again they have to be completely reformatted.

Bits & Bolts software, which makes a SD backup program, has also been receiving complaints from it's customers after problems arose with the T3. According to Bits & Bolts, some users recieve an error message, error #0x2908 "A sector that was accessed is bad.", prior to the card losing data. The company says the majority of problems has been with Sandisk cards, however other SD card manufacturers are also susceptible.

At this point, it is not known what exactly causes the problem or how widespread it may be. Bits & Bolts software believes the problem may be caused by a issue with Slot Driver of the T3, and has sent Palm Inc a detailed technical explanation and error sample.

1 GB SD CardYou can use the Card Info application to determine the manufacturer of your SD card, as the label does not often indicate the proper manufacturer. In the meantime, it is always wise back up your data and SD cards. PIC is awaiting an official word from Palm Inc. on the possible issue.

Palm has already posted an apparently unrelated SDIO update for the Tungsten E handheld. That patch is only for the TE and will corrupt other handhelds if not installed on the TE.

UPDATE: (10/8) At this point a Palm Inc representative has confirmed that they are investigating the issue and will share additional information when it becomes available.

UPDATE: (10/9)

Users that inquire with Palm Support about the problem are now being asked to report some basic information back to Palm Support in order to help diagnose and investigate the issue.

Palm support is sending out the following message:

Palm would appreciate help from customers to understand and isolate instances where Palm Tungsten T3 handhelds may not have recognized SD cards. Palm has received customer inquiries on this subject and is expediting resolution. To help Palm troubleshoot, we encourage users who have experienced this issue to provide the following information:

1. Manufacturer of your SD card.
2. Serial number of your SD card.
3. Last action performed with your SD card before the issue arose.

If anyone has experiences the problem and can supply the above information, you are encouraged to contact Palm support here.

Article Comments


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.

Down View Full Comment Thread


abosco @ 10/6/2003 2:02:27 PM #
Of course it's SanDisk! When 'expansion' and 'problem' are used in the same sentence, 'SanDisk' usually follows. Why is it that these cards are so problematic? Scamdisk..

Even if it isn't the fault of the cards, how did this happen? Palm has had over two years of experience with SD. Some beta tester must have spotted this problem somewhere along the line.


RE: SanDisk!
carioca76 @ 10/6/2003 2:24:11 PM #
my lexar 128 mb card shows sandisk as the manufacturer.
so far my t3 still reads & writes to it.
using docs to go native docs & mp3s.

i have removed the card until I hear it is fixed but I have used it all weekend without a problem

RE: SanDisk!
homer @ 10/6/2003 2:25:49 PM #
FINALLY!! someone who makes sense!!! yes.. this is a very very serious issue in which BOTH(yes, both) PalmOne and SanDisk should take into account. If its just one or 2 users who got this, maybe its some exceptional cases.. but there are just too many "fried" cards i see in the brighthand forums and they are just too scary... so many die hard PalmOne fans lost their precious card(s) on this prob. Now thank goodness someone is pointing this out here in Palm InfoCenter. Thanks. Now hopefully that SanDisk and PalmOne noticed this from such a powerful source, they will seriously look into this matter. before this, all users get are both of them blaming at each other. If they are not going to look into this, there will be alot of PalmOne fans staying away...for good...

RE: SanDisk!
gavinfabl @ 10/6/2003 2:35:12 PM #
Don't be hasty.

I have all the problems and the exact same error message as per bitsnbolts.

BUT I have a 512mb Panasonic Card. So it could be size of card and Sandisk

Zlauncher 3.62b, Tungsten TT3.

RE: SanDisk!
Altema @ 10/6/2003 8:41:05 PM #
Toshiba 256MB card manufactured by Panasonic: corrupted to the point of being unable to format the card on ANY device including desktop systems. Card is ruined.

Picked up a 512MB card this morning, thinking the card had just gone bad. New card is SanDisk, received bad sector error at 8:30pm Eastern US time.

Question is: who is going to replace my cards?

RE: SanDisk!
doctor__no @ 10/6/2003 8:54:04 PM #
What's really odd about Sandisk is that they are one of the original founders of the SD format. Sandisk, Toshiba, and Matsushita (i.e. panasonic, JVC, pioneer, etc.) where the people that created the format, it sounds strange that they would have so much trouble so often.
RE: SanDisk!
CaptMyCapt @ 10/6/2003 9:40:05 PM #
I've been using a Lexar 256 in a T|T for close to a year, and I am now using it in a T3 purchased just this past week end. Ordered a Lexar 512 just yesterday and I am now wishing I didn't after reading these posts. Not sure of return policies on SD card. so, I may just be SOL. Who knows, maybe I'll be one of the lucky ones, and the card will work fine LOL.

Captain T

"You will never make progress trying to sail into the wind - chart your course!"

This is a test for "The New Palm"
The Ugly Truth @ 10/8/2003 1:21:45 AM #
Pick a memory format and you'll see SanDisk at/near the bottom in terms of objective measures of performance. For example, the problems seen with the SanDisk CompactFlash card controllers are the stuff of legend.

But regardless of who is the primary culprit in this latest PDA teapot tempest, how Palm responds will be a good indication as to whether or not the company has changed its mindset. Palm needs to show that it learned its lesson from the previous m505 debacle by dealing with the current problem quickly and honestly. The last thing they need is a defective flagship product, especially with the competition about to heat up over the next few weeks.

If their own engineers need help - I wonder how beta testing failed to show such an obvious flaw - Palm should retain the services of a company like TRG/HandEra to develop a solution immediately.

Beating Sony et. al. to the market by a few weeks with a shiny new PDA won't mean much if Palm ends up getting bad publicity, eroding user loyalty and ultimately having to recall thousands of devices.

The days of simple Palms are over - we're probably going to start seeing a lot more hardware glitches and incompatibilities from now on. I just hope the current T³ problem doesn't stem from something stupid like Palm's Chinese contract manufacturer having used a defective 1 cent capacitor when the two cent capacitor was needed. Profit margins may be lower than they were three years ago, but Palm should know all too well that cutting costs can produce expensive fallout.

Sometimes the truth just isn't pretty™

RE: SanDisk!
Strider_mt2k @ 10/8/2003 1:18:46 PM #
You said it.

The entire m100 series comes to mind.
Don't forget the thousands of colors of the m130.

We'll see how they do I guess.

Depending on how this all shakes out, i might consider a Pa1mone handheld in the future.
Just not right now.

RE: SanDisk!
tiger_bb @ 10/9/2003 1:07:30 PM #
from something stupid like Palm's Chinese contract manufacturer having used a defective 1 cent capacitor when the two cent capacitor was needed.


Personally, I hate people using such words when a problem is not yet clarified.

RE: SanDisk!
midgetkiller @ 10/9/2003 6:40:15 PM #
Oh come on... we've seen it happen so many times it's getting to the point where we all expect it to happen.

When I saw this news story - the first thing through my head was 'ah, that's why Palm doesn't offer larger SD cards on their store'.

Frankly, the truth hurts...

RE: SanDisk!
The Ugly Truth @ 10/10/2003 6:15:31 AM #
we've seen it happen so many times it's getting to the point where we all expect it to happen.

I think Palm's previous mistakes may come back to haunt them. Palm can quickly destroy the goodwill it created among users in the late 1990s when the company was putting out solid, reliable hardware backed by (perhaps overly) generous customer support policies.

Compare the total cost of issuing a recall to the cost of taking the time to properly beta test hardware - it becomes even more surprising to see this happening.

Sometimes the truth just isn't pretty™

RE: SanDisk!
Wollombi @ 10/10/2003 11:28:44 AM #
>"from something stupid like Palm's Chinese contract manufacturer having used a defective 1 cent capacitor when the two cent capacitor was needed.


Personally, I hate people using such words when a problem is not yet clarified."<

You took the statement out of context and excluded the qualifying part of the statment, the words, " just hope the current T³ problem doesn't stem..." at the beginning of that sentence. Taken in context, this is an expression of opinion and hopefulness for the best. If you "hate people using such words", that's fine, but he had a right to say it whether you like what was said or not. Honestly, I hope it doesn't stem from something like that either. I think we all do.


"They're smoking crack."
-Linus Torvalds on SCO group's copyright claims against Linux-

RE: SanDisk!
macgoddess @ 11/15/2003 1:38:21 PM #
I have been using the T3 since it was released with a SanDisk 128MB card. I haven't had any problems with it at all until I installed zLauncher last night. Now, I keep getting fatal exceptions. I haven't lost any data yet, but I'm not keeping the software on there to find out.

I will be uninstalling it and going back to MegaLauncher since they now have high res + support. Hopefully, I won't have issues with it. Has anyone else used this software with the T3?

Man, Palm and SD...

Strider_mt2k @ 10/6/2003 2:32:23 PM #
They just can't seem to pull that together can they?

I think there is an SD patch for every Palm PDA so-equipped, saving maybe one or two, and they have size limits.

Still, at least it isn't SUDS, am I right? huuh?

I know you're out there, I can hear you typing...

RE: Man, Palm and SD...
abosco @ 10/6/2003 3:10:28 PM #
Do you guys hear something?


Must be my imagination. ;)


RE: Man, Palm and SD...
Strider_mt2k @ 10/7/2003 9:59:05 PM #
Excellent! :D

RE: Man, Palm and SD...
msm @ 10/13/2003 9:54:20 PM #
My Venerable Handera 330 is working just fine with with SanDisk 1.0GB CF & 512MB SD installed at the same time. No problems reading or writing.

Most probably this is a combination problem of software and hardware on the palm.

I almost bought a T3 with all the accessories. Then I saw postings on the SD problem. I will keep my reliable road warrior for now.

Grammar Nazi!

drac @ 10/6/2003 3:07:53 PM #
[b]"[...] prior to the card loosing data [...]"[/b]

...should be "prior to the card [i]losing[/i] data".

RE: Grammar Nazi!
Navamske @ 10/6/2003 8:38:44 PM #
[b]"[...] prior to the card loosing data [...]"[/b]

...should be "prior to the card [i]losing[/i] data".

If you want to be a purist about it, it should be "prior to the card's losing data."

RE: Grammar Nazi!
GHaavy @ 10/6/2003 10:01:38 PM #

Wrong... now you've turned the word 'losing' into an adjective.

Before we become too obsessed with literary etiquette, perhaps we should reflect upon the fact that English is not everyone’s primary language. Granted I’m a newcomer to this group, and hopefully those with more whiskers than I will forgive this rant, but in my not-too-humble opinion, I believe we should focus more on the content, than the medium. We stifle discussion by suppressing those who don’t have a strong grasp of the rules of English grammar. The next brilliant comment that that goes unsaid, could be the very comment that could have changed us all.

Having said that, let me apologize for the rant [quietly drags soap box to the far corner].

I'm not a smartass in real life, I just portray one on the web.

RE: Grammar Nazi!
indesman @ 10/6/2003 11:14:36 PM #
No wonder you know so much about the English language...you're Canadian!

RE: Grammar Nazi!
Bill Westwood @ 10/7/2003 4:27:27 AM #
To be absolutely pedantic: prior to its losing data is correct. Losing in this context is not an adjective, but a subjuctive and would normally take the genitive as above

RE: Grammar Nazi!
Goyena @ 10/7/2003 10:44:01 AM #
OK, "losing" is NOT spelled with two O's, but you're ALL screwed up when it comes to grammar.

The addition of -ing to a verb actually creates a GERUND which is more or less a VERB parading as a NOUN and as such, can be used as one. The adjective form of "lose" would be "lost" (not "loser" which would be the subsantive form) which is the equivalent of the PARTICIPLE of the verb, best known in grammatical constructions using the past perfect, such as "I have LOST all data on my SD, thank you very much."

Don't confuse PARTS OF SPEECH(noun, adjective, verb, gerund) with MOODS (subjunctive, indicative, admirative) with CASES (nominative, genitive, ablative, locative, instrumental, etc.). There is no logical argument that a "subjuctive and would normally take the genitive as above" because the anything in the subjunctive mood would be a verb, and thus not have any case, as verbs are conjugated (did I mention TENSES?) and not declined (CASES again, i.e. genitive).

If Bill meant to say "gerund" instead of "subjunctive" he was correct in saying that "losing" was in the genitive case, although (as explained above) the use of the word "normally" is unwarranted.

BTW, I'm American, and I needed to learn French, Russian, German and Albanian before I got all this **** straight. In these other languages, all these moods and cases are expressed by strange endings and prefixes and particles, whereas in English, you don't see them - even though they exist and we use them unwittingly, since we don't usually have to change the word. For example, our "apostrophe S" as in "Bob's fried SD card" is actually the genitive case; in Albanian, this can be represented by at least 5 different particles, depending on the usage of the noun and its position in the sentence.

This is all just a cheap and convoluted argument for all peoples of the world to embrace the English language. It's friggin' easier.

RE: Grammar Nazi!
mikecane @ 10/7/2003 11:16:48 AM #
My God! All this just because of a stray "o"!

Don't get ME started on when I frigging see "priviledged."!

RE: Grammar police!
The Ugly Truth @ 10/8/2003 2:26:30 AM #
I needed to learn ... Albanian

Tirana is all the Albanian you need to know, comrade.

Sometimes the truth just isn't pretty™

RE: Grammar Nazi!
ronpro @ 10/8/2003 9:00:15 AM #
Hmmm... Is this an intensional red herring fallacy perhaps an "ad hominem, abusive" or just a buch of people trying to out-do eachother? Either way, it's all irrelevant.

Haha! And I guess my own comment is now a "Tu Quoque" fallacy. Oh, well. I was never any good at refutation anyway. :-)



JonathanChoo @ 10/6/2003 3:09:00 PM #
the problem is so severe that formatting them won't do any good. I have a 256Mb card with 18Mb usable after the problem emerged.

Psion 5/Motorola StarTac -> Palm Vx -> Palm m505 -> Sony N770C -> Sony T625C -> Sony NR70V/Ericsson T39m -> Toshiba e310 -> Palm Tungsten T/Ericsson T68m -> HP h2210 -> Palm Tungsten T/3/Ericsson T610
RE: actually...
madmaxmedia @ 10/6/2003 6:58:25 PM #
Umm actually that may be completely normal, a 256 MB card will not have all 256 MB free. It also has to do with the term '256 MB', it often means 256,000 kb which is different from 256 * 1024

RE: actually...
Altema @ 10/6/2003 8:50:04 PM #
It's not normal. A damaged card will sometimes fail the format and leave the old data scattered around.

Unrecognized Card

mosespatrader @ 10/6/2003 3:20:27 PM #
When I try to format my 64MB SanDisk card I get the following error:

"The handheld cannot recognize this card."

RE: Unrecognized Card
statik @ 10/6/2003 4:13:20 PM #
Have you tried re-formatting using a PC?

Crazy 'bout a http://clubs.hemmings.com/clubsites/henryshaulers/">Mercury...

Suggest everyone write-locks their cards

Deslock @ 10/6/2003 3:53:47 PM #
My Lexar SD card is a Panasonic according to the T3's Card Info program. I've been using it since Wednesday without any problems. However, just to be safe, I write-locked it upon reading of this problem yeserday (I assume write-locking it will protect it).

I'm simply using an SD reader to copy stuff to it until this is resolved.

RE: Suggest everyone write-locks their cards
Vidge @ 10/6/2003 6:49:20 PM #
Good ideas. I think I'll do the same. I have a Panasonic 256 card

RE: Suggest everyone write-locks their cards
JonathanChoo @ 10/7/2003 11:36:48 AM #
I think it will. I have been experiencing it these fast few days to stop Silverscreen from writing to it. I stop backing up (just using my PC for now). Still can do loads of stuff with a locked card. I think I will get a small 64Mb MMC card for backing up. Just waiting for a case with 2 card slots. BTW, Covertec e-mailed me and said they will have the screen protector and leather case in 3 weeks time. If the price is right I will get a proper case (rather than using a universal slip case).

Psion 5/Motorola StarTac -> Palm Vx -> Palm m505 -> Sony N770C -> Sony T625C -> Sony NR70V/Ericsson T39m -> Toshiba e310 -> Palm Tungsten T/Ericsson T68m -> HP h2210 -> Palm Tungsten T/3/Ericsson T610
RE: Suggest everyone write-locks their cards
Mike_W @ 10/8/2003 12:20:21 AM #
Write-locking an SD card is only a "suggestion" to the device, it's easily overridden and who knows what a malfunctioning device will do.

I'd strongly suggest you simply don't use them.

PNY card. So far so good...

Chankla @ 10/6/2003 3:58:26 PM #
I am using a 256MB card from "PNY"
It shows as being from Toshiba.
234.3 MB used (mostly MP3 files and a directory for backup). I use BackupBuddyVFS version 2.04.

Knock on wood. All is well.

RE: PNY card. So far so good...
MrMark @ 10/6/2003 7:50:47 PM #
My PNY 256MB card is also working fine so far... But I just purchased my T3 Sunday.....

I am not trolling

somas1 @ 10/6/2003 4:38:45 PM #
I find it disturbing that consumers have to be careful about the brand/size of sd card used in PalmOne handhelds. I use memory sticks and compact flash and although I am not thrilled with either medium, I don't have to wonder if a san disk memory stick will be better or worse than a lexar memory stick. Is it only PalmOne that has this issue? I am thinking about getting a Zodiac but if PPCs and other sd using machines have similar problems I may want to steer clear of the Zod.

RE: I am not trolling
robrecht @ 10/6/2003 7:43:20 PM #
I've heard a lot about difficulties with SDIO driver support with PPC, and don't even get me started about SONY's Memory Stick!

Thanks, robrecht
Top View Full Comment Thread
Achtung! Only the first 50 comments are displayed within the article.
    Click here for the full story discussion page...


Register Register | Login Log in