Partitioning CompactFlash SanDisk Extreme III 4 GB for Psion/MC218

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!


Recently I bought a new CompactFlash SanDisk Extreme III 4 GB for my
databank Ericsson MC218 which is almost the same as Psion 5mx.

Can someone, please, tell me how to partition and format the flash for

The flash is 4 GB, 133x speed.

MC218 accepts up to *4* PRIMARY FAT16 (not extended !!) partitions on
a flash. (This is sure, I tested it.) FAT32 is not possible for MC218.

I cannot partition the CompactFlash as I intended originally:
TWO 2 GB PRIMARY FAT16 partitions.

The maximum space that I can achieve is:
  4x FAT16 partitions, each has 512 MB,
  4x FAT16 partitions, each has 512 MB,
this is 2 GB together (The rest: 2 GB is unusable!).

When I make a larger PRIMARY partition than 512 MB (even ONLY ONE, NOT
TWO or more), the MC218 says: "Corrupted flash." (Of course, the
partition is not corrupted at all.)
Of course, I know about the limit 512/504 MB, but on a harddisk it
does not play any role with a newer BIOS. I have about 20 harddisks at
home and all are OK > 512 MB.

But, does it play a role on MC218??

The flash *IS* usable with MC218, I can write and read data on it,
only the partitions over 512 MB is the problem.

I have a notebook IBM ThinkPad 600X, Pentium III/500 MHz, 256 MB RAM.
The ThinkPad BIOS *IS* UPDATED to the newest software version.

I do partitioning in Knoppix 4.0.2 Linux Live CD (based on Debian),
*NOT* in Windows!!!

I do *NOT* attach the flash via USB Card Reader, but I attach it via
PCMCIA Card BUS CompactFlash PC Card Adapter (made by SanDisk). It is
directly accessible within Knoppix as harddisk (/dev/hde). So,
partitioning and formatting is possible directly without problems.

For partitioning I use:
 cfdisk /dev/hde ... ... ...

for formatting I use:
 mkfs -V -t vfat /dev/hde1
 mkfs -V -t vfat /dev/hde2
 mkfs -V -t vfat /dev/hde3
 mkfs -V -t vfat /dev/hde4

Windows XP cannot see more than *ONE* partition on a flash attached
via USB 2.0 Flash Card Reader. Even worse is the fact, than Windows's
FDISK CANNOT MAKE more than *ONE* PRIMARY partition on a disk.

Originally the flash had disk geometry:
  Cylinders: 995
      Heads: 128
    Sectors: 63
I tried to change this to a similar geometry:
  Cylinders: 7964
      Heads: 16
    Sectors: 63
but no success.
But, the flash should use LBA, anyway.

I did about 20-30 different trials, but no success! I experimented
with different partition sizes, vfat/msdos, Heads/Cyls/Secs, cfdisk/
fdisk/sfdisk, ... ... ...

There is nothing about this in MC218 manuals and documentation.

Thanks for any help.


Site Timeline