Using MSMount with the m500 series

With the inclusion of the virtual file system (VFS) in Palm OS 4.0, Palm owners finally have the opportunity to use an almost unlimited number of applications and files from their storage cards using an application still in development called MSMount and a memory card management utility, such as McFile.

Individuals who have tried the AutoCF program developed by TRG for the TRGPro are likely familiar with the process by which AutoCF copies small parts of files being accessed on a CompactFlash storage card on an as-needed basis. This has allowed TRGPro owners to enjoy the benefits of running almost any Palm program from their CF cards, freeing up their RAM for the few programs that must reside there to function.

Recently, a Japanese programmer, nagamatu, began development of MSMount, a program designed to give AutoCF-like abilities to Sony Clié PDAs equipped with Memory Sticks. MSMount has evolved quickly, and despite its "beta" status, has already become a fairly polished memory management system.

Since Palm OS 4.0 shares a memory access interface very similar to Clié models, it is now possible for Palm m500 and m505 owners to use MSMount to access files stored on the SD/MMC cards, opening up a number of possibilities previously not feasible without the creation of special "OS4-aware" versions of Palm applications.

It remains to be seen exactly how many types of programs will work with MSMount, as well whether the SD/MSMount combination will provide adequate speed for regular use. Despite this, MSMount will likely have a significant impact on the way users access files on their Palms in coming months.


  1. Download MSMount and McFile.
  2. HotSync the three files into Palm: MSDW.prc, MSMount.prc, and McFileEng.prc. The MSMount apps will not appear on the list of applications, though they can be seen when deleting.
  3. Use McFile to create a directory on the SD card to store applications in OR use the one the default Palm Launcher uses, /Palm/Launcher. Write down the full path.
  4. Move the programs or data into this directory if they aren't there already.
  5. Go back into the default Launcher and open the Prefs application, pull down the menu at the upper right corner of the screen, and choose the new "MSMount" option.
  6. Once in, type in the full path on the SD card from Step 3. Then tap the "Enable" button and check the two boxes below.
  7. Go back into Launcher and all apps in the designated folder on the SD Card will now appear..

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Slow Down!

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 10:31:10 AM #
It worked as you said, but it seems to slow down the m505 when switching categories. Anyone else notice a decrease in speed?

RE: Slow Down!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 10:35:03 AM #
Oh yeah. Just opening the Launcher app now takes about 5 seconds while it gets the list of files off the SD card. Not great but I can now use GoBar, which I like. I haven't made up my mind if I'm going keep using this but it is a good option.

I know they are working on speeding up moving info to and from SD cards. Anyone know if the m505 will be able to be upgraded to be faster. Will it be a software change or a hardware one is really what I'm asking.

BTW, McFile is great all on its own. The Launcher is so lame about moving stuff around, like documents.

RE: Slow Down!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 10:43:42 AM #
I cannot access the server for mcfile. Would one of you kind souls please email mcfile to a desperate 505 user? Thanks

Where to download files to use MSMount on the m500 series
Satan @ 5/6/2001 11:03:55 AM #
MSMount (including the new version 0.71), McFile and other programs are available from the Files section of the CLIE Users Group at Yahoo Groups. These files are apparently updated regularly, and members will hopefully be able to ask and answer questions.

It's free and takes a minute to join.

what is default palm launcher?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 11:04:37 AM #
New palm user here, anyone can answere my question?

RE: Slow Down!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 11:06:09 AM #
I just emailed a copy of McFile to you.


RE: Slow Down!
Ed @ 5/6/2001 11:10:00 AM #
> what is default palm launcher?

The default Palm Launcher is what I call the one that comes installed on your Palm when you get it. It is what shows you all your applications and generally what you are looking at when you aren't in Memo Pad or something like that.

Launcher is actually an application all on its own. It is one of the built-in ones. Many people don't like it and use another launching app like SilverScreen or GoBar.

News Editor
Palm Infocenter

RE: Slow Down!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 11:20:25 AM #
Do not use MSMount 0.7.1!
On the author's homepage, a red colored sentence written in Japanese said, "A big bug exists from v 0.7.0
Use v 0.6.5 instead"

RE: Slow Down!
Satan @ 5/6/2001 11:51:08 AM #
There was a memory leak in 0.70, but I believe this was dealt with in 0.71. If you have any doubts, just stick with 0.65 for now.

Version Changes?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 12:04:17 PM #
Satan, do you know what the differences are between 0.71and 0.65?

RE: Slow Down!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 12:32:21 PM #
Can someone e-mail MCfile to me. I can't understand those Japanese. Thanks

RE: Slow Down!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 12:56:47 PM #
Gina, open your eyes and READ and you'll see where to get the program. You could also have spent 20 seconds doing an internet search first and you would have the program already. Don't be so LAZY!

RE: Slow Down!
Ed @ 5/6/2001 1:37:05 PM #
MSMount also slows down running the apps on SD cards. With MSMount enabled, I ran Sol Free from my SD card and game play was a bit slow. I then disabled MSMount and ran Sol Free again, still from the SD Card. I was even still in the same game. The game moved roughly twice as fast. Naturally, this is only happening in apps being run from SD.

Just to be clear, I'm not referring to just loading the game. Actually moving the cards around was slow, too.

This isn't a complaint. I simply want everyone to be aware of this. Has anyone noticed it in other applications?

News Editor
Palm Infocenter

RE: Slow Down!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 2:26:38 PM #
hehehehe.. sorry.. you are right. I was being too lazy. Found the application. Thanks :)

RE: Slow Down!
Satan @ 5/6/2001 3:08:27 PM #
I had expected that using SD/MMC cards with MSMount would cause a lag in applications because this media type is currently slower than CompactFlash, in practical terms. (AutoCF and MSMount are both relatively transparent when used with a TRGPro accessing files on a CF card.)

Some of the questions we need to ask are:

1) Is the lag intrusive enough to outweigh the benefits?
2) Are there certain types of files or certain file sizes that are slower than others?
3) Are there any bugs in using MSMount with SD/MMC cards?
4) What improvements to MSMount are necessary to optimize access?
5) Will future SD standards really improve speeds?

RE: Version Changes?
Satan @ 5/6/2001 5:17:14 PM #
Please remember, this is still considered a BETA program, despite how good it already appears to be. I would recommend that only experienced users install MSMount. Individuals should also avoid using it in situations where data integrity is critical.

As taken from the MSMount English website:

Version 0.7.0 and later has a memory leak problem. Please use 0.6.5 at this time.


Version 0.7.1 2001/05/02 Fix the fatal error MSDW.c line 514. This will be caused by dmErrIndexOutOfRange
Version 0.7.0 2001/05/01 Use storage heap instead of dynamic heap. Not free system handle on DmCloseDatabase
Version 0.6.5 2001/04/22 Fix missing MemHandleSetOwner bug. Improve some performance
Version 0.6.4 2001/04/20 Default launcher can handle mounted applications
Version 0.6.3 2001/04/19 Fix DmGetNumDatabases and DmGetDatabase bug
Version 0.6.2 2001/04/13 Fix DmGetNextDatabaseByTypeCreator problem for large size KDIC dictionary
Version 0.6.1 2001/04/11 Add DmRecordInfo support. Check files before mount.
Version 0.6.0 2001/04/09 Allow to open with write mode bit. Modified record will be discarded.
Version 0.5.4 2001/04/04 Fix memory management bug for handle list
Version 0.5.3 2001/04/03 Fix DmDatabaseInfo problem when there is no appInfo or sortInfo in DB
Version 0.5.2 2001/04/02 Fix enbug by 0.5.1. Enable after soft reset feature is implemented.
Version 0.5.1 2001/03/29 allow to open a database that is already opened. DmOpenDatabase returns NULL if write mode bit is set
Version 0.5.0 2001/03/27 beta release


Posted by: I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 12:04:17 PM

Satan, do you know what the differences are between 0.71and 0.65?


I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 10:37:35 AM #
McFile alone is a great little program. I'm suprised Palm did not make something like this in the OS. The Palm COPY features allows you to copy .PDB files to the card from the handheld, but you can not copy them back. McFile allows you to do this.

RE: McFile
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 3:27:17 PM #
Actually you can...

RE: McFile
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 3:52:02 PM #
But McFile is still pretty cool!

RE: McFile
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 4:21:26 PM #
> Actually you can...

You can? How? I'm in the copy function in Launcher on my m505 now and none of the databases saved on the card show up. They do show up when I try to copy databases from RAM to the card.

RE: McFile
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 6:02:18 PM #
You're bad! I read your post, but didn't key on what you were saying. The DATABASES don't show up...I was just thinking apps I guess.

McFile seems really nice after a few minutes of use.

RE: McFile
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/31/2001 2:51:29 PM #
This all looks great but I don't speak Japanese and having downloaded and installed McFile the instructions on and off screen are in Japanese.

What have I done wrong?

Palm should learn from HandEra

ColinBush @ 5/6/2001 10:41:45 AM #
Honestly doesn't any1 value the SIZE of the m505 screen? Look at the handera 330, the graffiti area collapses to give at least 17% (if not more) viewable space! That's amazing. For me personally it is the handera that lures me. The battery as you all know can hold a charge for 10+ days using it regularly (hour or so a day) with 5 or so synchs. The lanscape option is really a neat feature but again the high rez has some prolems with other appz that aren't yet 100% compatible (screen distorted). Anyways Palm has really got to get that collapsible garffiti area, obviously it'd cost a ton for color version but definetely would be worth every penny.

"...we need to bring this solution to an end" - GWB referring to the spy plane incident.
RE: Palm should learn from HandEra
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 10:51:11 AM #
In what way is that relevant? I use a clie, the machine that started MSmount off. i've been using it for over a month. I'm not here bragging about how much better my machine or its new brother is, am I? This is an article devoted to msmount. while your post was informative, it belongs in a 'handera vs palm' post. if you'd focused on the advantages of the compact flash, that would have brought the relevance in, but it would still have not been a constructive post.

Removing SD Card

Ed @ 5/6/2001 11:03:29 AM #
I've been playing with this for a while and here's my first observation.

If you remove the SD Card, the apps will automatically disappear, of course. But putting it back in again does not make them reappear. You have to back into Prefs/MSMount and hit Disable then hit Enable again to make it find your apps. Also, if you had put them into categories, they will be uncategorized again.

Not a big problem for me; I have only the one 16 MB card.

News Editor
Palm Infocenter

RE: Removing SD Card
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/7/2001 7:41:30 PM #
I found that after doing the said procedure, I do a warm reset and all apps which have been categorized (i.e., I use Launcher and have tabs "apps"; "games", etc.) will be where they were before. try it out...


I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 11:30:43 AM #
I just tried this with WordSmith. I created a doc with WordSmith then used McFile to move it to my folder on the SD card. Opened WordSmith again and it couldn't see it. Moved it back to RAM with McFile and it was back again.

Any apps you know can do this yet?

RE: Compatability
Satan @ 5/6/2001 11:49:10 AM #
Try iSilo

RE: Compatability
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 12:25:29 PM #
I'm at work and away from my cradle. If somebody could try Noah the dictionary with a huge database of words and tell me if it works with MSMount I would be very happy. I'll try it later but I was hoping someone might know already.

RE: Compatability
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 2:08:15 PM #
I can see Handbase PDB files from my MM card on my m505 using MSMount...transfered them to the card using McFile.

RE: Compatability
Annopoh @ 5/6/2001 2:40:52 PM #
I'm using WordSmith as default document reader in my Sony and Palm and I kept all document in expansion. I gonna still access this document by using MS Mount. I think that the problem is your setting on path in expansion memory ( MS,SD or MMC). The First time you have to use MCFiles to create path in expansion as Palm/Programs/ byyour own desire. After that move progam,data or document that you want to keep in expansion to this path. Go to preference, on MS Mount you have to declare path of access like the path that you created and keep data in expansion and select Enable. Then you can see that this program is very powerful. I can access a huge data and program from expansion by this program.....^_^

RE: Compatability
Dwayne @ 5/6/2001 7:15:14 PM #
Things to keep in mind for MSMounted data file names. They should not have spaces nor extra periods. I believe there is also a limit to how long the name can be as well. Definately keep the name length less than 32 characters, and I have found cases where I had to keep it under 16 characters. Please keep in mind while this a wonderful program, which unfortunately expires at the end of May, it is still in beta.

RE: Compatability
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 11:23:56 PM #
I moved noah from my palm/launcher (where is couldn't find the data base) to palm with msmount and mcfile. seems slow, but usable. However, after trying to scroll through the dict pages, it would lock up after a few works and require a reset.

I did do the writes with quickbits installed, turned it off with no effect. I have not tried to re-write the data to the card with out quick bits loaded.

McFile has a total backup option in it.

RE: MSMount Compatability
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/14/2001 10:41:00 AM #
Here's a site that lists applications that have been tested with MSMount:

Does PowerRUN work on m500/m505?

Satan @ 5/6/2001 11:18:33 AM #
This program has been used to run executable programs from the memory cards of Sony CLIEs, just as MSMount has been used to run databases, documents etc from memory cards.

Several versions of PowerRUN available from Files section.

Penultimate version (0.43) apparently is the most stable.

RE: Does PowerRUN work on m500/m505?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 2:03:23 PM #
You don't need PowerRun ... apps run just from from a SD/MMC card. (It's a feature of PalmOS 4.0) PalmOS 4.0 also supports databases on a SD/MMC card, but programs have to be modified to make this work. (MSMOUNT does it without modifying the apps, but there is a speed penalty.)


RE: Does PowerRUN work on m500/m505?
Satan @ 5/6/2001 3:22:01 PM #
Eric, the way the default launcher works (in apps that are PalmOS 4 "naive", i.e. not specially coded to take advantage of the Palm API) is to simply copy the program ENTIRELY from SD/MMC and run it in RAM. When the user is done with the program, it is automatically deleted from RAM. Part of the point of using programs like MSMount is to see how much of your data can be offloaded from RAM into storage on SD/MMC. That way you're less likely to encounter RAM limits if for some reason you have to open a large file using the standard launcher.

TRG's AutoCF and nagamatu-san's MSMount are more sophisticated in that they copy only small parts of the files at a time into RAM, so users can potentially open large (several MB) files, even though they may only have a few hundred KB of RAM still free.

I have limited experience with the CLIE (and even less experience reading Japanese), so I'm not sure whether or not PowerRUN would also provide an efficient way of accessing programs (i.e. without having to copy the entire selected application into RAM before it can be run).

As you can see, the default Palm launcher's way of accessing programs is extremely inefficient and simplistic. If you have in-depth knowledge of how PowerRUN works, please enlighten us all.


You don't need PowerRun ... apps run just from from a SD/MMC card. (It's a feature of PalmOS 4.0) PalmOS 4.0 also supports databases on a SD/MMC card, but programs have to be modified to make this work. (MSMOUNT does it without modifying the apps, but there is a speed penalty.)



RE: Does PowerRUN work on m500/m505?
Dwayne @ 5/6/2001 7:09:55 PM #
I haven't used or even seen an M500/M505 yet, but it would seem that OS 4.0's default launcher does more or less the same thing as PowerRun 0.3 and before. Later versions of PowerRun 4.3 and above copy BOTH the program and the data from the Memory Stick (I'm an N700C user) to the Palm memory.

I even had problems with PowerRun 0.3 in which it seemed to require the data to be in the main memory. With my 10 megs of KDic data files, this was not a possibility for me. Currently I use PowerLaunch Lite, but if I was an M500/M505 user, I would be happy with the default OS 4.0 launcher.

Instructions on starting MSmount

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/6/2001 11:58:06 AM #
Could you please show an example of an actual program with databases and how to establish the path: It would be appreciated! I am having a little trouble with this. Thanks to the Ed Hardy

RE: Instructions on starting MSmount
Annopoh @ 5/6/2001 2:48:45 PM #
Normally setting path in expansion for all specially program that used with Sony is " Palm/Programs/.........(difference depend on which program). If you want to use with MS Mount, you can create your own name path under Palm/Programs/.....your own path..... by McFiles.
That's all....^_^

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