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HP 50g & SD Cards: Performance, Format, Notes
08-08-2016, 01:49 AM
Post: #50
RE: HP 50g & SD Cards: Performance, Format, Notes
Today, I tested two old SD cards in my 50g. The first card is 256MB and was purchased in 2003 or 2004 (very old SD card tech, but almost never used throughout the years). When the SD is removed, pressing the ON button displays screen contents almost instantly (no perceivable delay). With the 256MB SD inserted (formatted FAT16, nothing on the card, only the one 256MB partition), it takes about 0.5s for the screen contents to display. Not instantaneous, but perhaps not too bothersome.

I then found another old microSD card that was purchased around 8 years ago, I think. It's a no-name brand, not new nor especially speedy SD tech. This card is 2GB. I used a full size SD card adapter, then formatted it in my iMac to exFAT (which is newer than FAT32) to see what would happen. I inserted the card in the 50g and pressed ON. It takes almost 1 full second for the screen contents to display, in the exFAT format. I then Pressed ON-F4 to bring up the special menu that allows you to test or format SD cards. I choose TEST. The screen displayed testing for a long time (5 minutes, I think), and then in the end it said TEST FAIL" and "PRESS ENTER TO EXIT."

After exiting, I choose Format this time to format the 2GB SD card to FAT16 format inside the 50g. The screen displayed "WAITING……" for about 10 minutes. But it then told me "INITIALIZATION ERROR, FORMAT FAIL, PRESS ENTER TO EXIT." I then turned off the 50g, removed the card, inserted it into my iMac, then confirmed in Disk Utility that it was still formatted exFAT. I clicked Info on the parent item in Disk Utility and noted that the BSD Device Node was disk3. I then opened the Terminal and typed the following to format it FAT32 (naming it "TEST"):

sudo diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 TEST MBRFormat /dev/disk3

It finished formatting a few seconds later and I then put the 2GB SD into the 50g (with the calc off, of course), and then pressed ON. It took a full 3s before the screen would display. (By the way, you cannot substitute "FAT16" for "FAT32" in the above to format as FAT16. You will get an error. See below for Terminal commands needed for FAT16.)

I then pressed ON & F4 and choose to Test the card. It said "TEST OK" after only a half second. So I then choose FORMAT again, to see if the 50g would format this 2GB card as FAT16. But a half second later it said:


Of course, the SD was not write protected at all. So either the 50g doesn't like this card (despite the fact the 50g said the card pass its TEST), or the 50g simply cannot format 2GB cards as FAT16.

I then put the 2GB SD back in the iMac, launched the Terminal and used the following commands to format it FAT16 with name "NONAME":

diskutil partitiondisk /dev/disk3 1 MBR "MS-DOS FAT16" "NONAME" 0B

( More Info: )

After that, I returned the 2GB SD back to the 50g, and pressed ON. It took just about 1s for the display contents to appear.

My last test on the 2GB card was a partition test. I used the following command set in the Terminal to create a 1st partition of 32MB and a 2nd partition with the remaining space:

diskutil partitionDisk /dev/disk3 MBR "MS-DOS FAT16" "SD32MB" 32M "MS-DOS FAT16" "SD1968MB" 0B

With the card formatted that way in the 50g, the screen contents take the same 0.5s as my 256MB card. Running the TEST program showed no problems.

Whether the screen content display time would take less time with a fast 2GB card, formatted FAT16 and dual-partition is unknown because I don't have a fast 2GB card with modern SD tech to test. But it does show that for older SD tech cards, a smaller card (in terms of MB's) is preferred if you want a fast ON time on the 50g.
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RE: HP 50g & SD Cards: Performance, Format, Notes - JDW - 08-08-2016 01:49 AM

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