Help needed - ATA mode CF Cards & 200LX


Has anybody been successfull in partitioning and formatting above CF cards in the 1 GB or 2 GB Range (eg. Transcend 2GB 100x Industrial CF) - not on the 200LX itself - in the following way?

- One small partition (say max 128 MB) that you can boot your 200LX from with only the built in driver active

- One or more aditional larger partitions only accessible by eg. Acecard3 driver

Reason I'm asking: Given the fact that smaller CF cards (not needing Acecard3) are harder to get nowadays (and even then the price is comparable to the larger storage cards) and the FileManager start-up is faster from smaller cards (partitions), another issue comes to mind - putting Acecard3 onto the 200LX w/o being able to read the (too) large CF Card partition in the first place.

This problem becomes even more pressing for double-speed systems, where you have to install the DS driver first to read the screen properly.

(Yes, I know you still have serial connectivity, but newer computers stopped to offer RS-232 connectors and that doesn't help with DS systems either)

Best regards,

Peter A. Gebhardt

Edited: 18 Oct 2008, 5:26 a.m.


I haven't tried yet, but you should be able to do it on a Linux system.

I just did a repartitioning of an old 196MB CF plugged into a USB card reader on my iMac. It's very easy to create 2 partions. The problem so far: these are only recognized by MAC OS and Windows. FDISK100 on the LX tells me the partion marker is 0Bh instead of 06h which is not valid for DOS. :-(

This can, however, be fixed by reformatting the two partions under MAC OS or Windows as FAT16. There are still issues to be resolved such as the selection of what will become drive A: It looks to me that DOS only accepts one primary partition and only wants to access the last one on the CF. I don't know how to create an extended partition with my Mac, yet.

Where do I find a driver for large CFs for my 200LX? Can you help?


Thanks for the driver, Peter!

I'm afraid I have bad news for you. I've made a few tests and I must admit that I was largely unsuccessful.

With Linux, I'm able to partition CF media and I can control the result better than with any other tool I have access to. But whatever I do (primary or extended partitions, with or without the "active" flag set) the LX only accepts one partition on the card. This is true with or without the ACE driver.

Now the really bad news: On large cards (I tried a 1GB CF) creating a smaller partition doesn't help at all. The card isn't recognized without the ACE driver. Here is an explanation:

- Without the driver and a reasonably small card inserted (196MB Sandisk), FDISK100 can read the partition table.

- With the driver loaded, I get the message "Fdisk is not needed for card in slot A:". The ACE driver disables FDISK100 access!

- Without the driver and a large CF (1GB) inserted, I get the very same error message from FDISK100.

What does that mean? Without the ACE driver, large CFs aren't readable, no matter what the partition table is. The ACE driver seems to overcome a limitation of the built-in driver in accepting the large card on a low level. This must occur before any partitions are accepted.

Neither driver (built-in or ACE) can handle more than one partition.


Until somebody comes up with an idea to create a partition on larger CD cards (> 128 MB???) which is recognized by the onboard HP Card driver, I've reverted to contact local photographers for smaller CF Cards no longer in use.

I've just bought a 16MB & 32MB card from a nice photographer locally - instant success!

You even can leave your Acecard3 driver in your config.sys file uncommented - the 200LX does recognize say a 16MB as well as a a 2GB w/o reboot.

Best regards

Peter A.Gebhardt

Edited: 20 Oct 2008, 1:46 p.m.


I was unable to read a 1GB card with the driver loaded. I had to create a relatively small partition (16MB worked fine, I have to test more) to allow recognition by the driver. The small partition had to be formatted in the lx. If the partition is too big, formatting fails with a "not supported" message.


Marcus et al.,

I've just ordered 128MB & 256MB from Transcend (distributor is Amazon/ in Germany), awaiting shipment by end of this week.

I'll report about boot useability then.

For the time beeing the following PC Card Adapters work *) interchangeably with all the below listed (non booting!) CF cards and Acecard3 on BIOS 1.02a / 200LX:

Transcend Compact Flash Adapter
SanDisk CompactFlash PC Card Adapter
SanDisk ultra PC Card Adapter (black label)

Fujifilm 512MB Removable (no fdisk possible on neither XP or 200LX!)
HAMA 2GB Fixed Disk (XP fdisk OK, 200LX no)
Transcend Industrial 2GB Fixed Disk( XP fdisk OK, 200LX no)

Best regards

Peter A. Gebhardt

*) does mean 200LX can read/write from/to CF card from/into only one partition respectively

PS(Oct 21, 2008, 8:56 GMT): According to a Japanese site (use Google Translate!) larger than 2GB SD cards in PC Card Adapter can be made readable (not bootable!) still using FAT16 BUT using larger cluster sizes:

Edited: 21 Oct 2008, 4:08 a.m.

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