Need help updating ROM on 49G+


I'm using Windows XP and have been unsuccessful with my USB connectivity software. I'm wondering if the CD that come with the calculator has a version of the connectivity "kit" that is not compatible with Windows XP. Any ideas?

I've tried using the SD card. At the time of purchasing the 49G+, I also got an HP 64 meg SD card. So I hunt down the ROM 2.00, save it, unzip it, and save it to my SD card. Question: Do I need to get a version of the ROM 2.00 that is for a particular FAT? If so, how do I format my SD card for this?

The rest of the instructions on how to update the ROM for the 49G+ seem to be clear.

Thanks very much!


PS: Sorry if this topic has been discussed so much.


Try the current "connectivity kit" at HP's site. Be sure to properly remove the USB driver for every port that you've tried the 49g+ on, before installing the new driver.

To me, it seems easier to just use the MMC/SD card to upgrade the ROM.

Also, for questions about the RPL models, you might do better searching the Google archive of the comp.sys.hp48 usenet group.



Oh yeah, for the SD card, no, there aren't different ROM versions
available for different FAT formats. The "boot loader" built-in to
the 49g+ works only with cards formatted FAT16, so that's what you
have to have the card formatted to for ROM upgrades. Maybe Windows
XP gives you a choice of formats? You may have to use the Windows
command line with switches to get the choice. But assuming that
you haven't upgraded to ROM 2.00 yet, your 49g+ should format the
64MB card to FAT16 anyway.

The 49g+ ROM revision 1.23 and lower formats 8MB cards to FAT12,
and all larger cards to FAT16, and, except for ROM upgrades, reads
either FAT12 or FAT16.

With ROM revision 2.00, 8MB cards are still formatted FAT12, but
very unfortunately, it won't read FAT12 cards. It formats 16MB and
32MB cards to FAT16, which can be read and used for ROM upgrades.
It formats 64MB and larger cards to FAT32, which it can read, but
of course can't be used for ROM upgrades. This was all noted quite
a while ago, but we're still waiting for ROM revision 2.01. Of
course, we can expect plenty of complaints from those who've
already used ROM 2.00 to format their cards FAT32, and find that
they can't use them for the next ROM upgrade.

Of course the above card capacity are "nominal"; the available
capacities of MMCs will be somewhat less, and of SD cards, even
less than MMCs.


Edited: 2 Oct 2005, 4:50 p.m.


Thanks, James (and everyone) for the help. Late last night I figured it out. I first had to insert the card into the calc and format it BEFORE I could use it. (This, of course, erased the files I had on it.) Afterward the 49G+ formatted it to the FAT16, I went back to the PC and copied the two files needed to do the ROM 2.00 update. It was simple after this. The thing I didn't know or get from the manual was that I needed to take this first formatting step. I have reduced the size of my 64 MB card now, but at least it works. The ROM 2.00 seems to have helped the missed key entries a lot. First the first time I actually want to use this calculator and not throw it against the wall.

I'm still trying to get the connection for Windows XP to work with the CD that came with the calc. It installs and seems to work, but I can only get so far. Oh well, I prefer the SD card now anyway.


Come to think of it, I forgot how I actually used the calc to format the SD card. Do you recall the steps needed to do this? I know I didn't see them written down anywhere. (Thanks!)


With ROM 2.00, it's simpler. With the card inserted, press
LeftShift FILES, and you should see "FORMA" in the menu over the
F3 key. Press F3 and you'll get an "Are you sure?" type warning.
OK that and it will format the card. This method doesn't require
any warmstart, but sometimes doesn't seem to work if the card
doesn't already have a valid format. (I've sometimes used a disk
editor to tweak the boot record, and mistakes happen.)

It will format your 64MB card to FAT32 though, so you'd have to
reformat it to FAT16 with something else to use it for the next
ROM upgrade.

Although FAT32 allows more files than FAT16, and a root directory
limited only by the card capacity, it reduces the available
storage capacity a bit. Given the capacity of the cards, this
shouldn't be much of a problem for "typical" calculator files.

With a card inserted, there's a slight delay before anything
visible happens when turning the calculator on. I've surmised that
the delay depends on (besides the speed of the card) the size of
the FAT. Since for a given card size, FAT32 allows more entries in
each FAT, and each entry is larger, this can be annoying with
large capacity FAT32 cards. I don't think it would be a problem
with a 64MB card, but it can be very annoying with larger cards
with small clusters. If you find it to be a problem, try using
FAT16, or increase the cluster size, thus decreasing the number of
FAT entries. Of course you'd have to use something other than the
49g+ for such "customized" formats. The 49g+ doesn't give you any
options as to how it formats a particular card; that depends only
on the card's capacity.

You could also use [ON]&[F4] (together) to get to a tests screen,
then press [9] (CARD) for a TEST/FORMAT screen, then [2] (FORMAT)
for a "last chance to bail out" screen, then [1] to actually start
formatting. Note that you'd have to invoke a warmstart [ON]&[F3]
or a paperclip warmstart to back out of this method.

Yet another way is to use [ON]&[F6] to get to a different tests
screen, then [-] (CARD), then [2] (FORMAT), then [1] to actually
start formatting. With this method, after backing out to the tests
screen, you can just press [ON] (REBOOT) for the warmstart.

Formatting via the tests screens seems to work with some
mis-formatted cards that fail from the filer.

Oh, also note that the 49g+ allows you to store files with names
that differ only in case. This is nice as long as you leave the
card in the 49g+, but it confuses the heck out of MS Windows (and
I suppose maybe other OSes), and it's very easy to trash such
files if you try to do anything with them in your PC.



By the way, for those still using a ROM revision earlier than
2.00, the procedure above using the [ON]&[F4] keys is the only one
available on the calculator.

The 49g+ can use a "MultiMediaCard" (MMC) as well as a "Secure
Digital" (SD) card. Differences are that MMC card have a bit more
available capacity, lack the "lock" switch and a small notch on
the right side, have seven contacts instead of nine, and are 2/3
the thickness.

Of course the MMC also lacks the "security" features of the SD
card. These "security" feature are meant to limit the distribution
of copyrighted content. I don't know; maybe they could be used by
someone selling applications for the 49g+.

The SD card's lock switch position is ignored with ROM revisions
earlier than 2.00 (you can indeed write to a "locked" card), but
works as expected with 2.00 (attempting to store to a locked card
results in a "Disk Protected" error).

An MMCplus should work, but should
function as an ordinary MMC in devices (such as the 49g+) not
designed to take advantage of the extra I/O lines. Don't be
expecting the dramatic increase in speed from using one.

The smaller size cards are available pretty cheap on eBay,
although older cards typically seem to be slower. I expect that
even an "8MB" card would be plenty big for typical calculator
uses. But note that ROM 2.00 formats 8MB cards to FAT12, which it
won't read from or write to.

Regarding my "64MB" capacity MMC, here are some numbers that I've
come up with. Note that I'm treating 1MB as 2^20=1048576 Bytes
here, although the card manufacturers consider 1MB to be 1000000
Bytes. SD cards will have fewer total sectors available, because
some capacity is used for "security" purposes. The FAT16 boot
record was tweaked with a disk editor. For FAT16, the root
directory can hold up to 512 entries if the filenames all comply
with "8.3" all capitals DOS "short" file naming conventions; a
"long" filename directory entry is larger, thus fewer can fit in a
given directory. "Your mileage may vary."

Total sectors (unformatted):

Formatted FAT16, 1KB clusters
Reserved sectors:
Sectors per FAT:
244, allowing up to 62462 entries for clusters.
Sectors used in both FATs:
Sectors used for (nominal) 512 entry root directory:
Total sectors used up for formatting:
Sectores left for files (including subdirectories}:
1KB clusters for files (including subdirectories):

Formatted FAT32, 512B clusters.
Reserved sectors:
Sectors per FAT:
973, allowing up to 124542 entries for clusters.
Sectors used in both FATs:
Sectors used for (initial, 1-cluster) root directory:
1 sector: 512B=0.5KB~0.0005MB
Total sectors used up for formatting:
Sectors left for files (including larger root directory and subdirectories):
0.5KB clusters for files (including larger root directory and subdirectories):

I expect that it would be a long time before I maxed out this card
in terms of either total file sizes plus slack space or maximum
number of files, regardless of whether I format it FAT16 or FAT32.

Regarding the connectivity kit and USB driver on the CD-ROM, if
it's lower than Version 2.2 Build 2353 with USB driver Version
1.2, then remove them (if already installed) and imstall the
current versions instead.



After posting, I noticed that the FAT32 format from the 49g+ left
a bit to be desired, so I tweaked things to increase the available
capacity slightly. Here's what I have on it now.

Total sectors (unformatted):

Formatted FAT32, 512B clusters.
Reserved sectors:
Sectors per FAT:
965, allowing up to 123518 entries for clusters.
Sectors used in both FATs:
Sectors used for (initial, 1-cluster) root directory:
1 sector: 512B=0.5KB~0.0005MB
Total sectors used up for formatting (including initial root directory):
Sectors left for files (including larger root directory and subdirectories):
Total 512B clusters:
512B clusters left for files (including larger root directory and subdirectories):


I'm trying to follow you here: are you saying a good way to update the ROM is to first format an SD card of 16 MB or greater in the calc under ROM 1.23, then load ROM 2.0 onto the card from the pc, then upgrade the calc from the card?

I'm in no way criticizing, I find this highly interesting. I went through three of the 49+s some time ago and gave up on the machine. Now that word has come out that newer serial numbers with the new ROM are working, it's getting my hopes up again of trying another 49. What is it about these HPs that gets me going? Egad, a nerd addiction...


From what I understand, the FAT32 support wouldn't fit in the space allocated for the ROM updater. For this reason, upgrading from the SD card needs fat16. Upgrading via USB does work well once you get the hang of it, but I generally just use the card as it is faster than opening the conn4x program.



In response to...

"I'm trying to follow you here: are you saying a good way to update the ROM is to first format an SD card of 16 MB or greater in the calc under ROM 1.23, then load ROM 2.0 onto the card from the pc, then upgrade the calc from the card?"

... Yes, this is what I did. I tried several times just loading the two files onto the SD card and then inserting it into the 49G+ (then holding teh +/-, resetting, updating ROM,... via SD card, etc) but this never worked after multiple attempts. Then I hit something on the calculator (can't recall what I did!) and formatted it to the calc's FAT16 using its ver 1.23. I felt like I was starting to get somewhere after several hours of trying. A lightbulb appeared over my head and I went back to the PC, copied the ROM 2.00 update files back to the SD card, and tried it again in my 49G+. This time it worked perfectly. A quick test of my keypad indicated it was working much better than before. I won't know until I balance my checkbook tonight and use it at work this if it will be satisfactory, but at least it is much better.

Hey anyone,... how did I format the new SD card in my calc? I can't remember which buttons I pushed!


I'm trying to follow you here: are you saying a good way to update
the ROM is to first format an SD card of 16 MB or greater in the
calc under ROM 1.23, then load ROM 2.0 onto the card from the pc,
then upgrade the calc from the card?

Yep, you've got it. Of course you could also use some other device
to format the card to FAT16, but it has to be FAT16 to use the
card for reflashing the ROM.

As Tim mentioned, you can also upgrade the via USB.

Personally, I've gotten in the habit of using the card for all
upgrades and file transfers, but USB works fine too, at least with
Windows. But don't even bother with trying the "connectivity kit"
on the CD-ROM; get the current kit from HP's Web site.

For anyone with a Mac, try Michael Heinz's
HPConnect. It's
reported to be very good for file transfers, although I don't
think it includes anything for ROM upgrades.

For anyone using Linux, ask on the comp.sys.hp48 newsgroup.




Personally, I've gotten in the habit of using the card for all
upgrades and file transfers, but USB works fine too, at least with

Works with Linux, too. As long as you have a working USB implementation. The newer distros all include kernel 2.6, whcih does a much better job with USB. The best software I've found to drive the connection is
hptalx. The same software works great with the HP-48[SG][X+].

Oh, and the copy files to a formatted SD card technique works great in linux too. 8)

Edited: 2 Oct 2005, 10:13 p.m.


I just came across a great place that further explains the 49G+ but I think I'm the last person to see it. In case there are others out there that need help with their 49G+ w.r.t. SD cards, check out the following link

and go to the "Using a Secure Digital Card with ROM 1.22" section.

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