HowTo partition and access multiple partitions SD cards on MS windows

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How to partition and use USB memory sticks and SD Cards
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The windows operating system per default uses different drivers for USB and SD cards in comparison to the ones used for hard drives and cfa devices. I presume this is due to security reasons, the default driver prohibits the partitioning of the device and displays only one drive to the system.

This can be circumvented by replacing the default driver used against the sd card device or the memory stick.
To achieve this follow the instructions given bellow.

1- download the required files :)
2- open windows devices manager
3- under disk drives, check for the devices that corresponds with your sd cardin my case:
SanDisk SDDR 113
4- open regedit and search for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Enum\USBSTOR
5- check for the row that corresponds with your sd card device. in my case:
Disk&Ven_SanDisk&Prod_SDDR-113&Rev_1.00
6- select that row and hit f2 to "edit" it. actually just copy the string :)
7- copy and save the string into notepad
8- unzip the driver.zip package and look for the file called:
cfadisk.inf
9- open it with notepad and search for a line that begins with:
%Microdrive_devdesc% = cfadisk_install
10- replace the string that precedes it with the string you just copied so that it looks like this (remember to add "USBSTOR\" in between. The end result should look like this:
%Microdrive_devdesc% = cfadisk_install,USBSTOR\Disk&Ven_SanDisk&Prod_SDDR-113&Rev_1.00
11- now go back to device manager, select the sd card and select properties.
12- go the the drivers tab and click update drivers.
13- select to manually search for the driver and direct it to the path where it is stored.
14- continue and finalize (if windows recommends to use the default or complains about not being able to verify the drivers just ignore and continue.
15- reboot is not necessary but is always good to do when working with drivers.
16- use the device as you please, you can now even install windows, linux or both on it ;)

PS: this is safe and shouldn't cause any misfortune on your computer, ofcourse unless yours is all ready hacked!

Original driver is downloadable at:
   Hitachi Microdrive - [url=http://www.xpefiles.com]www.xpefiles.com

[/url]
The hacked version is attached to this thread.

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Offline reyalp

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Re: HowTo partition and access multiple partitions SD cards on MS windows
« Reply #1 on: 20 / September / 2008, 16:30:40 »
Excellent.

One thing you might want to check is that write caching is still set for quick removal, or use the "safely remove hardware" icon. device manager->drives->select the drive->policy.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

After messing with various ways of doing this, it would appear that this is the easiest way to go. I can't seem to get any utility to flip the "removable" bit on the sd card. Does anyone know where this bit is? Is it in the MBR? Maybe I can just hex-edit it manually or something?

I primarily just use this computer anyway, but it would be nice if I could get this to work in any machine.

Also, the install wizard wouldn't "find" the driver itself. I had to go into "manually choose driver", hit "have disk", select the inf file, and force it to install basically.
« Last Edit: 22 / June / 2009, 21:44:53 by nimrod »

Since a590 now boots with 4GB and 8GB SDHC cards, I don't use the boot-if-locked option any more.  

To prepare a card from scratch, I zero the thing with linux (dd if=/dev/zero bs=4k of=/dev/sdX), format the card in camera, then copy the CHDK stuff and scripts onto the card from windows (win7beta at the moment).

I found windows to be more reliable rewriting the script (Linux box failed too many times).  

Also found the CHDK Menu 'Make bootable' creates some minor error on fat32 filesystem (doesn't affect file storage), windows complains when SDHC plugged in, offers to scan/fix the SDHC but doesn't actually report what was wrong. As I was focused on debugging a script at the time, I moved on without analysing what 'make bootable' changes on the memory card.

Nimrod, I don't know of a 'removable bit' on SDHC fat16 or fat32 filesystem -- unless they refer to formatting the thing as superfloppy (no partition table)?   Only other bit I can think of is the boot (or active) partition flag.



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Offline reyalp

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Since a590 now boots with 4GB and 8GB SDHC cards, I don't use the boot-if-locked option any more. 
You mean manually loading with "firm update" ?
Quote
I found windows to be more reliable rewriting the script (Linux box failed too many times). 
Are you unmounting before removing ?
Quote
Also found the CHDK Menu 'Make bootable' creates some minor error on fat32 filesystem (doesn't affect file storage)
The camera will only boot from fat16 or fat12, so using this option on a fat32 partition doesn't make sense. Note that this consists of writing the string BOOTDISK to the boot sector, not the partition table stuff.

I assumed the "removable" flag was an attribute of the reader or its driver, not the media. Hence the inf and registry hacking in the first post.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

You mean manually loading with "firm update" ?

Yep, much prefer that over the pop memory and switch lock, besides, I'm using MicroSD in adapter and the lock switch is loose (on 2 adapters), so I tape it up :)

Are you unmounting before removing ?

Yup, and eject too.  Again I didn't try hard, just went back to editing in windows with notepad :(  Sometimes load the script in vim on linux to find an offending line number ;)

The camera will only boot from fat16 or fat12, so using this option on a fat32 partition doesn't make sense. Note that this consists of writing the string BOOTDISK to the boot sector, not the partition table stuff.

I assumed the "removable" flag was an attribute of the reader or its driver, not the media. Hence the inf and registry hacking in the first post.
Oh okay, so the cam looks for that string.  And yes, the removable flag didn't ring a bell here.  I try to avoid windows technicals these days, prefer linux when close to the 'metal'.

I finally got my card partitioned properly, but for some reason the thing just won't boot automatically. If I manually load the FI2 file it switches partitions just fine, etc. I'm starting to think that maybe the lock switch on the thing is broken and essentially won't register as "locked" when moved into the lock position.

Any ideas? I've used CT etc to make the card bootable several times to no avail....

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Offline reyalp

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Do you get the card locked message if you put in a locked card and don't run CHDK ? If not, the switch that detects the lock is probably not working. There have been several reports of this affecting SX10 (and ISTR SX1) cameras. At least two members have successfully repaired them.

edit:
see http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php/topic,3374.0.html
« Last Edit: 27 / June / 2009, 00:32:06 by reyalp »
Don't forget what the H stands for.


Thanks reyalp! I got it working. See the other thread you mentioned for details.

In windows, does anyone know if there's some way to go back to using the large partition on a multi-partition card as a removable drive? I just hate how I can't turn off the write caching on the thing in "fixed" disk mode with the hitachi driver, forcing me to use the "safely remove hardware" thing on every single SD card, multi-partition or not.

Also, anyone know how to turn off the "recycle bin" on fixed disks?

Re: HowTo partition and access multiple partitions SD cards on MS windows
« Reply #9 on: 09 / December / 2010, 03:59:50 »
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How to partition and use USB memory sticks and SD Cards
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[...]

I went to the lengthy and REALLY ANNOYING registration process just to let you know how I much appreciate you posting this! I have been trying to solve this problem for quite a while, and this driver and the clear instructions solved the issue beautifully (I am using this to access a partitioned Microdrive on a CF express card Adapter, and it worked great).

Thanks to this tip, I was able to resuscitate an old laptop with no CD and NO USB, by loading software backups into the secondary partition of a Microdrive I fitted with a CF to IDE card adapter in place of the old, slow and very crowded, compressed existing hard drive!

In other words, thanks to this utility and your clear instructions, I was able to force my present computer to access the secondary partition so that I could transfer all the old apps from the CD backups I had made 10 years ago, avoiding the hassle and potential failure reading the old installation diskettes on the old computer, some of which were not readable anymore.

After a 10 year hiatus, I now have a functioning Windows for WorkGroups computer again, and I can read all the old stuff I created so may years ago and view it exactly how it looked with the original software that created it 15 years ago, with room to spare on a 1GB hard drive, on a system in which everything fits on a 256MB partition, and, best of all, without needing to keep hundreds of diskettes anymore :)
« Last Edit: 09 / December / 2010, 18:23:05 by Old Faithful »

 

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