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USB sticks

 
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Caravelle
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Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:48 am    Post subject: USB sticks Reply with quote

I'm not entirely sure if this an iPAQ question a Windows Mobile 6 question or a USB hardware question, but here goes.

I have a new iPAQ214, and very nice it is. I bought the special cable that allows you to plug in certain USB devices - the hp website is very coy about exactly what devices, but I only want to use USB sticks, and all the ones I have tried so far except one work fine - the drives are shown as "Hard Disk" in File Explorer.

The problem is the one that doesn't work. I have a 4 GB Sandisk Cruzer that works, and an 8 GB Sandisk Cruzer that works; also various other 1 to 4 GB sticks from other makers that all work. But my 16 GB Sandisk Cruzer doesn't co-operate. It does work with my laptop, so is not simply a dead stick. The internal light illuminates when it is plugged in to the cable. But it just isn't recognised as a drive by the iPAQ. Naturally, it is the one drive I particularly wanted to use with the iPAQ...

Can anyone think of a reason? All the drives have the U3 software disabled. I think it unlikely that there's a limit on the size as I believe you can use a USB hard disk (real variety) with this cable.

Thanks

Caravelle
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Gerard
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Joined: 01 Sep 2000
Posts: 2346
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you checked the cluster size, file system, etc.? For instance, if the USB devices which work with your iPAQ are formatted as FAT32 but the one which does not work is NTFS, this would explain it not working. I would suggest rendering the same formatting type as known to work devices and testing. If it does not work after that, then either there is a hardware fault making it unreadable by the iPAQ or there is a size limit... but as you say, I doubt the latter. I have used a 70GB external hard drive without issue, reading it from a Toshiba e830.
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Caravelle
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Joined: 16 Sep 2009
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Location: Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, at least it's a relief to know for sure there is no size limitation - I was hoping to work up to a 32 GB drive later.

I did check the file system as I thought that might be the problem - but all the drives are formatted to FAT32.

How do I check the "cluster size"? This isn't shown under "Properties" or any tool I can find in Vista (which doesn't mean that such a tool isn't there, it may just be hiding).

Thanks

Caravelle
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Gerard
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, my PPC bias was showing there. I don't know of any tools to use under Vista or XP for checking current cluster size of a partition or drive. I'm used to the more versatile formatting available when using SoftWinter Storage Tools. But of course that's not possible for you to apply, since it'd take recognising the drive first before Storage Tools could format your drive... and of course if it were recognised you wouldn't need to format it. Still, there must be something to use for this on a PC, I just don't know what it might be. And it's probably not even relevant. If the drive is FAT32 then it should be recognised by the device. Sorry not to be able to help you.
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Caravelle
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Joined: 16 Sep 2009
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Location: Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never mind, I'm wading through the results of a Google search on diagnosing problems with USB drives. Most of it is waaaay over my head Rolling Eyes

I'm rapidly concluding that there's an easier answer to my project anyway, using a 16 GB SDHC card (the problem being I have to pay for the SDHC card). Basically I want to use my iPAQ to backup CF cards from my camera, either as a pure and simple backup or so that the cards can be re-used. I've been writing a small program in BASIC4PPC to do this intelligently, with minimum intervention, and add details to an sqlite table as each file is transferred. I can easily take 8 GB of photos during a two week trip, but probably not 16 GB. Much easier to carry the SDHC card than the USB drive and the cable too - it can just sit in the PDA all the time.

I would still like to get the 16 GB drive working with the iPAQ though.

Thanks again

Caravelle
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HiTechRedNeck
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Joined: 13 Nov 2009
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Location: Visalia, California

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

another thought...

most usb sticks are not just plain memory space. they have programs that run that turn the stick into a virtual CD-ROM (where the program is) and then the rest of the space is used as storage. the programs are for password protection and such to guard the information stored on the stick. it's not a mere "ignore the CD" kind of thing. you have to re-partition the entire stick in order to have plain blank storage to use.

you can do this with a utility called the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool. before you use such a utility, be sure to unload the USB software from you computer memory first. usually just right-click on the software's icon in the system tray and click "exit" or "unload". then the USB stick looks like a full drive... just format the drive.

some USB stick makers have utilities on their sites for installing/uninstalling the USB software.

hope that all makes sense...
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ChrisDeHerrera
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Joined: 01 Feb 2000
Posts: 7017
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
The challenge of using a USB stick with Windows Mobile is the drivers. If the driver in rom does not recognize it, then it would be up to HP or the company that makes the USB stick to create an updated driver.

in reality this rarely happens (I mean almost never from my experience).

So what you see working is what you get.

BTW with the Redfly i have used a 600 GB hard drive with Windows Mobile.
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CE Geek
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Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Posts: 71
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tapani Otala's Storage Brick Driver might help the iPAQ read the 16 GB USB stick:

http://tjotala.com/archives/45/
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Gerard
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we're all putting nifty USB links in this thread... here's RATOC's USB driver kit:
http://www.ratocsystems.com/english/download/driver/cfu2.html
These work great with a WM2003SE Toshiba e830, given either the USB-to-serial adapter cable or their 'presentation' adapter (a large-ish plastic thing which clips to the base of the PPC). Not all the drivers in the kit need be installed, but it's fairly clear which are for what.
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