Palm Releases Memory Card Update

Palm has released an update on its Support site for Palm-branded models that have an SD/MMC card slot. Partially, this is to fix problems some users have had with cards larger than 32 MB. However, Palm also says the patch "improves performance when copying large files".

This patch is only for the Palm m505, m500, and m125. Apparently, the company already included it into the brand-new i705, which also has an SD/MMC card slot.

In the past, some users have experienced problems with 64 MB and 128 MB SD cards in which they can read from the card but not copy to it.

The file, named FATFS.prc, is about 51K.

Thanks to Wille and Christian Elkjer for the tips. -Ed

Related Information:

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.


Fixed in OS 4.1?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 1:25:31 PM #
Is this one of the "bugs" fixed in OS 4.1

And speaking of which, has anyone tried to update the m505 with OS 4.1? There isn't an "official" 4.1 upgrade for the m505 AFAIK.

RE: Fixed in OS 4.1?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 2:18:54 PM #
The FATFS.prc downloadable on their support site appears to be slightly newer than the one included in the m505 4.1 ROM (available to developers; not sure if it is GA to users). This new download also includes a version resource indentifying itself as "4.1.1".

m505 4.0 ROM
FATFS.prc = 49,774 bytes
PRC Header Creation Date = 23-Feb-2001
PRC Header version number = 1

m505 4.1 ROM
FATFS.prc = 52,492 bytes
PRC Header Creation Date = 12-Jun-2001
PRC Header version number = 4

New Patch "4.1.1"
FATFS.prc= 52,734 bytes
PRC Header Creation Date = 17-Sep-2001
PRC Header version number = 5

RE: Fixed in OS 4.1?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 3:05:11 PM #
It is easier to understand if you use 'patch'
instead of 'update', I think.

I was confused at the beginning, thought it is hardware update.

RE: Fixed in OS 4.1?
Ed @ 1/28/2002 3:12:49 PM #
Thanks for the comment but I'm afraid I don't agree. "Patch" implies to me that you are adding a new application, which isn't the case here; You are replacing an already existing app with a newer version. That's an "update" to me. Also, Palm calls it an "update".

That said, I called it both terms in the article. :-) Oh well.

News Editor

RE: Fixed in OS 4.1?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 5:56:25 PM #
I think the update applies as well for the 0S 4.1 since the prc header is version 5 already and the built is newer that what is included in 4.1 OS. Thanks for the details on this.

RE: Fixed in OS 4.1?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 10:22:42 PM #
if you said 'Memory Card sw update', then there is
no confusion.

The reason I sugessted patch, because you cann't
patch a hardware. :-) only software.
So it saves you a word.

RE: Fixed in OS 4.1?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/30/2002 8:19:44 PM #
Of course you can patch hardware! Why do you think early models of electronic stuff always have some small wires and resistors and things manualy soldered in on the boards?


I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 2:15:41 PM #
Never had the problem with my Panasonic SD 64 MB card. I wish Palm would improve the way the OS uses expansion cards, though.

RE: Okay
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 2:32:04 PM #

Yeah, I'm a little confused on what the problem was. The page on Palm's site doesn't really explain what the symptoms may have been. I've never had a problem with a 64M Lexar.

RE: Okay
Altema @ 1/28/2002 3:03:53 PM #
My wife and I have never had problems with our 64Mb or 128Mb cards, but I'll give the patch a spin to see if it really does speed things up.

RE: Okay
Altema @ 1/28/2002 3:24:31 PM #
Yep, it does speed up file copy functions. A 1345k map copied from a 128 Mb SD card to RAM using McFile took 9.6 seconds before the patch, and 8.8 seconds after the patch. Not a big difference, but noticeable. Navigating the card folders within McFile also seemed slightly quicker.

RE: Okay
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 3:40:34 PM #
I got MUCH better results with my 64MB sandisk MMC card:

Before applying the update, A 1046K tealmovie .pdb took 21 sec's to copy to ram with tealmovies built in copy function. I verified that 3 times with my stopwatch.

After the update, the same tealmovie took just 11 seconds!!! I verified that twice!!

Perhaps the speed increase is greater for MMC?? well, that rocks, because I noticed that my 16 MB SD card was twice as fast as my MMC and was going to put down cash to upgrade to an SD card (128). But now that I have the speed increase of almost 100% which is what I wanted anyway, I just saved myself 200CDN!!


RE: Okay
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 4:11:58 PM #
Speaking of memory cards, does anyone know any good sites for inexpensive memory card for the m505?

RE: Okay
sir_tez @ 1/28/2002 4:42:11 PM #
Using TealMovie, it not only scans the files for movies a lot quicker but it's playing them a touch smoother as well. Not a bad update at all.

Sir Tez
IT is a rough life
RE: Okay
PFloyd @ 1/28/2002 5:00:41 PM #
It might be good to post some results with VFSMark.

RE: Okay
PFloyd @ 1/28/2002 5:32:22 PM #
A modest improvement in VFSMark. I get 61 before and 63 after the patch. No hacks.

VFSMark Score
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 5:44:29 PM #
On an m505 using a 16 MB card, I got a 96. Interesting as VFSMark says 100 is the m500 with a 16 MB card. Didn't know about VFSMark before appliing the patch.

RE: Okay
Carlis @ 1/28/2002 10:07:53 PM #
Im running a JackSprat OS 4.1 "Flashed" rom..
Made from the developer rom..
Tested with VFSmark before this update..
Got 63 on a SanDisc 32mb MMC
After the update it shows 65.

I notice that PowerRun is slightly faster..


RE: Okay
Carlis @ 1/28/2002 11:16:49 PM #
Hm .. Maybe I should say .. I use a M505 ..



I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 3:20:02 PM #
Anyone knows what happens to this patch if you do a hard reset? Does it need to be reinstalled? Or has it been moved into ROM?

RE: Permanent?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 3:24:53 PM #
You will need to re-install it then.

RE: Permanent?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 3:53:35 PM #
Can this patch (update) be run from ROM?

RE: Permanent?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 4:49:03 PM #
You could likely reset and start w/o extensions (hold up while during reset and release when you see palm logo) and then use a flash writing app to move it there. I haven't tried this yet though.

RE: Permanent?
VH @ 1/28/2002 11:05:34 PM #
It's not permanent because you can't write to ROM. However, after a hard reset the file is placed back on your PDA like the rest of the software from the normal back-up process.

Can u put the upgrade in ROM?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/29/2002 12:02:54 AM #
Using JackFlash, can you put it in ROM? Will it still work?

RE: Permanent?
Carlis @ 1/29/2002 7:36:56 PM #
Tryed to move the update to flash with JackFlash after a safe boot .. ( reset while holding UP key ) But did not work .. JackFlash says its in use..


128MB SD?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 10:23:23 PM #
I tried a new Sandisk 128 SD card that I bought on ebay. It worked before the patch but I tried to format it today (after installing the patch) and the 505 hung.

The 505 can't format the card, it hangs every time I try. I hard reset to get rid of the patch and have the same problem. Any ideas? Has anyone else seen this?

RE: 128MB SD?
mikecane @ 1/29/2002 9:06:17 AM #
Can you borrow someone else's unit to see if it will format the card? Give it a try to see if it isn't your unit that has the problem.

RE: 128MB SD?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/29/2002 1:04:58 PM #
I've run into the same problems with my SanDisk 128MB SD Card on my Palm m505. The formatting program on the Palm never seems to end. One time I even let it run all night and it still did not finish.

How long is it supposed to take to format a 128MB SD Card?

Inserting the card into my m505 after the failed reformatting returns:
"The handheld cannot recognize this card."

Sometimes formatting the card would return:
"Format Failed"
(This is before applying the new patch.)

So I called SanDisk and their only reply was the card must be defective. So I got the card exchanged, but I do not feel like trying to format it again and then run into the same problem again.

Another SanDisk tech support person I spoke to later said that he did not think that Palm supported formatting cards this large. Is this true?

Has anyone been able to reformat their 128MB SD Card?

Can the new Compaq iPaq reformat an SD Card?

The whole reason I wanted of reformat my SD Card in the first place was that I was getting an infinite directory loop problem when viewing the SD Card on my Macintosh using the SanDisk SecureMate SD Card Reader (SDDR33). Instead of seeing the contents of the directory (folder), I would see the contents of the /PALM directory. Therefore, I cannot see all the data on my card using my Mac (PowerBook G3, Firewire, MacOS 9.0.4).

I've read about some people having this problem with Memory Sticks on MacFixIt, but not with SD Cards. Their solution was to reformat their Memory Stick.

My new card has the same infinite directory loop problem as well, but I have not run into any problems on my Palm yet with this. McFile and Filez can see everything fine.

I searched the newsgroups and the only thing I could find is one person saying that McFile corrupts the VFS directory table and to use Filez instead when creating a new directory. Has anyone else run into this or know anything more about this?

Does anyone know of a program for the Palm that is similar to Norton Disk Doctor that can check and fix the directory table on an SD Card?

I have not contacted Palm or SanDisk on the infinite directory loop problem yet.

RE: 128MB SD?
Altema @ 1/29/2002 1:40:41 PM #
Ditto what Mike posted, or you could have someone with an sd card reader format the card, then try it again. I had a card go bad (my Palm Backup card) which neither my Palm or card reader would recognize, but in your case you will need to see if it is the Palm or the card that is the source of the problem.

RE: 128MB SD?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/29/2002 1:57:48 PM #
I am the one who posted about the infinite directory loop problem above.

I forgot to mention that when I had trouble formatting my SanDisk 128MB SD Card, I tried it with two other Palm m505s without any success. So the problem is either with the card or the formatting program on the Palm m505.

I also went to Fry's and popped my SD Card into the new Compaq iPaq, but I could not figure out how to use it to reformat the card.

RE: 128MB SD?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/29/2002 5:50:05 PM #
Clarification on the "infinite directory loop problem":

I want to make this more clear. When I try to traverse the directory structure and go into (open) certain directories, it looks like an infinite directory (folder) loop problem on the Mac, but it is really just showing me the root directory (/, not /PALM as stated above) again instead of the contents of the directory I was trying to go into.

For example, if I have
when I try to go into the /PALM/Programs/ directory, I see the contents of the root directory "/" instead of the files located inside of my "Programs" directory.

Another thing I noticed is if I carefully watch the name of the "Programs" folder (the folder I am having the infinite loop problems with within the MacOS 9.x Finder), it sometimes changes names to the other folders that are missing inside of the /PALM/ directory.

Norton Disk Doctor does not find any problems with my Mac's hard-drive. I also rebuilt the SD Card's desktop by hold the Option and Command keys while inserting it into the card reader, but this did not help either.

Again, everything looks fine when viewed on the Palm m505 using Filez and McFile.

RE: 128MB SD?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/30/2002 8:34:42 PM #
Why???? oh why did i not read this thread first?:(
I have the same problem--tried to format my new 128mb
sandisk from eCost--and my m500 doesn't recognize it
anymore nor will it format it.

sad, very sad day...(just got this card)


RE: 128MB SD? - Information Page
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/28/2002 9:28:25 AM #
Information and updates to using 128MB Secure Digital on the Palm m125, m500 and m505 are available at

Further information on solutions to the SanDisk 128MB SD will also be posted to this page.

RE: 128MB SD?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2002 11:23:15 PM #
I am yet another one with the same problem. Still trying to figure it out.

Update Conflicts with TealMovie

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/31/2002 8:27:47 AM #
Be careful with this update. I have a 64mb Sandisk SD card with several TealMovie files on it. Everything work fine before I installed this update. I had hoped the update would improve the transfer time between the SD card and applications that use them. However, now none of my TealMovies play. I copied one movie to Palm's main memory and it plays fine. Unfortunately the update is a protected database and I'll have to perform a hard reset to get rid of it.

RE: Update Conflicts with TealMovie
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/4/2002 8:40:07 AM #
I am sorry to hear all these people are having difficulties with their cards. I have a 64MB SanDisk and have never experienced a problem with formatting, copying etc. I don't think I will bother with this "patch" !!

Card popping out?!

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/5/2002 3:04:28 PM #
I recently bought a SanDisk SD-64mb card for my Palm m500. Trouble is, it refuses to stay "latched" in place in the memory slot. It keeps springing up. Anyone else had this problem? I'm assuming that my m500 is defective (not the card).


RE: Card popping out?!
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/18/2002 1:21:32 AM #
I have had the same problem. It was the m505 card slot. Palm did an advance exchange. After a week the slot went bad. I am still deciding what to do.


Register Register | Login Log in