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Help installing CHDK on very old A470 Powershot

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Help installing CHDK on very old A470 Powershot
« on: 22 / January / 2023, 12:38:23 »
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I'm having a lot of problems installing CHDK on an SD card. I tried stickx.sh, but it claims the card is write-protected (it is definitely NOT). So, now I'm trying to follow "Method 2 - Using CHDK itself to make the SD card bootable." The item 8  in the instructions contain advice "Turn on your camera by pressing the Play button (or using the Play switch on some cameras). Do not start the camera with the On/Off switch or this process will not work." However my A470 does not have a "Play" button or switch. And indeed the process does not work using the On/Off switch, although I can bring up the <ALT> menu  and complete the remaining steps. But of course the it will not boot to the CHDK menu.

So my question is how to I turn on my A470 without using the On/Off switch?

Thanks for any advice.
John

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Offline reyalp

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Re: Help installing CHDK on very old A470 Powershot
« Reply #1 on: 22 / January / 2023, 14:00:23 »
I'm having a lot of problems installing CHDK on an SD card. I tried stickx.sh, but it claims the card is write-protected (it is definitely NOT).
So, now I'm trying to follow "Method 2 - Using CHDK itself to make the SD card bootable." The item 8  in the instructions contain advice "Turn on your camera by pressing the Play button (or using the Play switch on some cameras). Do not start the camera with the On/Off switch or this process will not work."
However my A470 does not have a "Play" button or switch.
And indeed the process does not work using the On/Off switch, although I can bring up the <ALT> menu  and complete the remaining steps. But of course the it will not boot to the CHDK menu.
This instruction only applies to cameras which can be powered on by the play button. On cameras which can only be started with the power button, you should have whatever switch chooses between rec and play mode in the play position (from pictures, I think it's on the mode dial on this cam). Anyway, if you can access the "firm update" item, you've done what's needed, and if you can access the alt menu after doing it, everything up to that point has worked, so this isn't the cause of your problem.

Sounds like you got to the "Make SD Card bootable" step, but when you reboot, CHDK does not autoload.
1) The card must be locked to autoboot CHDK. When you start the camera with the card locked and CHDK does not boot, do you see a "Card Locked" message? If not, then either card isn't locked, or the microswitch in the camera that detects the lock isn't detecting it.
2) What size is the card? Old cameras like A470 can only start from FAT16/FAT12 partitions. Cards larger than 2 GB will generally be formatted FAT32 by default.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

Re: Help installing CHDK on very old A470 Powershot
« Reply #2 on: 23 / January / 2023, 11:39:49 »
Thanks for your reply. I was able to successfully install CHDK on the A470 and to get the motion detection script to function!

I think I was misled by the sentence "Do not start the camera with the On/Off switch or this process will not work." On old models or those without a "Play Button", it appears that it will indeed work of you start the camera with the On/Off switch. I don't know how much effort the developers want to put into supporting older (obsolete) cameras, but perhaps the guide to making SD cards bootable should have a caveat about older cameras.

I'll attempt some more serious motion detection later today and report results.

Again, Thanks.
John

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Offline reyalp

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Re: Help installing CHDK on very old A470 Powershot
« Reply #3 on: 23 / January / 2023, 13:23:43 »
I think I was misled by the sentence "Do not start the camera with the On/Off switch or this process will not work." On old models or those without a "Play Button", it appears that it will indeed work of you start the camera with the On/Off switch.
I updated the Prepare your SD card page on wiki to hopefully make this clearer.

Always a struggle to find the right balance between clearly covering the most common case, and covering every variation Canon did across 12+ years and 180+ models ;)
Don't forget what the H stands for.


Re: Help installing CHDK on very old A470 Powershot
« Reply #4 on: 23 / January / 2023, 16:45:05 »
Your improvements should help to reduce confusion.

I appreciate your efforts as an open source developer. Thank you.

Johh

Re: Help installing CHDK on very old A470 Powershot
« Reply #5 on: 24 / January / 2023, 11:59:17 »
FYI:

When I reported success installing and using CHDK on my A470, I neglected to mention that I was using an old Sony 2GB SD card that I found on ebay, Fat 16. So, I tried to install CHDK on a 16GB, FAT 32 ScanDisk SDHC card, nut the installation process was unable to make the card bootable. Nevertheless, the motion detect script seemed to work after running the firmware update procedure. Perhaps the HC cards are not compatible. Naturally I also tried it  on a 128 GB ScanDisk "Extreme" (whatever that is) card; attempting to format evoked "Memory card error" and the camera turned itself off.

So, I guess the lesson is to not use more advanced cards?


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Offline reyalp

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Re: Help installing CHDK on very old A470 Powershot
« Reply #6 on: 24 / January / 2023, 15:12:26 »
FYI:

When I reported success installing and using CHDK on my A470, I neglected to mention that I was using an old Sony 2GB SD card that I found on ebay, Fat 16. So, I tried to install CHDK on a 16GB, FAT 32 ScanDisk SDHC card, nut the installation process was unable to make the card bootable. Nevertheless, the motion detect script seemed to work after running the firmware update procedure. Perhaps the HC cards are not compatible.
It should be possible, but (edit: for cameras released before 2011 like A470) you have to make a dual partition card with a a bootable FAT16/FAT12 partition. This can be done with tools like Stick or CHIMP linked on the page, or manually with something like gparted, but many users encounter problems.

Quote
Naturally I also tried it  on a 128 GB ScanDisk "Extreme" (whatever that is) card; attempting to format evoked "Memory card error" and the camera turned itself off.

So, I guess the lesson is to not use more advanced cards?
Yes, SDHC only supported up to 32 GB, so it's unsurprising a camera released in 2008 fails with larger cards. SDXC supports larger cards, but only came out in 2009.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

 

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