Palm TX vs the SanDisk 4.0GB SDHC card: Why won’t it work?

I have a Palm TX which I was given as a gift and which I’ve grown to love. It has successfully used SanDisk 1.0GB SDHC cards w/o incident. It has successfully used SanDisk 2.0GB SDHC cards w/o incident. Recently, BestBuy, CompUSA, and Circuit City all had a sale selling SanDisk 4.0GB SDHC cards plus a USB Interface plug for $50.00. Happy as a clam that I could finally fit all my portable US map software on one card (and freeing up the rest for documents, spreadsheets, and MP3s) I went out and bought one. I fought the evil plastic packaging with my Leatherman and valiantly raised aloft my prize. I inserted it into its little plastic interface plug and verified it worked. Imagine my shock, however, when I insert it into my TX only to find that it will not read the card!

Now I’ve already verified that the card is not defective; it is readable by my PC via 2 other interface connectors other than the one it came with and it will successfully receive and create copies of files via Windows filemanager. I’ve verified that the TX card slot is not defective; it reads both 1.0GB and 2.0GB cards perfectly. So, what gives?

I guess my question is in three parts:

  1. What’s wrong (why won’t it read the new larger card)?

  2. Is there a way to fix this? (… or even a work-around?)

  3. Has anyone else here had this same problem and if so, how did you deal with it?

2GB is frequently the maximum size of a FAT16 file system (4GB is possible with 64kB clusters, but that’s usually not supported).

Here is the Wikipedia page for the Palm TX. About half-way down, one finds:

Do you have the driver referred to in the above quote? (If not, check to see if you can download it from Palm.)

Hope this helps…

Antonius Block has the FAT16/FAT32 bit down correctly. Also note however that SDHC is a different format of card than normal SD, even though it looks the same, and it requires that the device it is being used in explicitly support SDHC. While devices supporting SDHC can support normal SD, it doesn’t work the other way around. It’s kind of like CD vs. DVD. They look (more or less) the same, and DVD players/ROMs will support CDs too, but CD players/ROMs can’t read DVDs.

There is supposedly a cobbled-together FAT32 driver for PalmOS 5.4+ (sorry, no link; I don’t know if it’s even still floating around) but I’ve never tried it, and most reports said it didn’t work, or may only work with certain 4GB SD cards.

There is no fix for the lack of SDHC compatibility, though. That’s a hardware issue.

Missed the edit window. Here is Sandisk’s explanation of SDHC (PDF warning): link

I’d wondered about the SD vs SDHC issue, Mindfield, but the OP contains:

However, the various Sandisk cards currently available show only SD up to 2GB, then only SDHC above 4GB. Count Blucher, can you give us part #s for the 1GB and 2GB cards you tried?

The Palm page on [ says that “newer devices” (including the Palm TX?) definitely do not support SDHC, so as Mindfield points out, that’s a total dead end.

However, one can find 4GB cards that are SD (not SDHC); they just don’t seem to be available from SanDisk.

[URL=http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070713203614AADJjc7]Here](http://kb.palm.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE?New,kb=PalmSupportKB,CASE=obj(34080),ts=Palm_External2001) is a recent relevant thread from Yahoo! Answers. It confirms that 4GB works, but not SDHC. (I would have posted this earlier, but was thrown by the OP’s claim of that “1GB and 2GB SDHC” cards worked for him.)

Here is an old site discussing what 4GB cards work in a TX – even if certain models are no longer available from the manufacturers, I bet examples can be found on eBay.

whips card out of device

expletive deleted

The cards that work are 1.0 SD and 2.0 SD, not SDHC. Other than that, they look the same. Maybe this is why BestBuy/CircuitCity/CompUSA were pawning them off at $50 each. I don’t have the packaging; just the items. I’d be lucky to get store credit for them (if anything at all). My best defense is that I showed the salesperson my TX and they pointed me to these… but if I had researched it more fully first, I wouldn’y have made the mistake.

Still money is very tight; I have to try.

I think that perhaps the OP had confused SD with SDHC with regards to the 1-2GB models; SDHC does, after all, stand for “Secure Digital High Capacity” so it doesn’t make much sense creating SDHC cards in lower capacities. As far as I know, 4GB is the smallest SDHC available. There is indeed overlap here though, as Transcend, PNY, OCZ, and a few others also make 4GC SD cards. (I use a 4GB OCZ SD card in my PocketPC and it works great.) Sandisk never made a 4GB SD card to the best of my knowledge, though. (I looked, but the only brand I found that I trusted enough to work well was OCZ)

I havn’t owned a TX – I left the Palm PDA platform after the T5 to get a PocketPC (but returned with a Treo in addition to it) so I didn’t know that it supported FAT32, which rather surprises me. I would not recommend eBay as a source for SD cards though. The ratio of counterfeit to real cards there is horribly skewed, especially for Sandisk and Kingston. You might be a bit safer looking for non-Sandisk and non-Kingston cards, as I don’t know if any other companies have been counterfeited, but my trust in buying SD cards off eBay is almost nil. (I was suckered into a fake 2GB Sandisk once. It wouldn’t even format properly.)

Count, if I were you I’d take the card back and get whatever they give you, and maybe just exchange for a high speed 2GB card. Either that or, if you really want a lot of storage in a handheld form factor, sell the TX and use the money towards a Dell Axim X51v. It has two slots (SD/SDIO and CF/MD) and fully supports FAT32, so you can get some high capacity cards and use those. I have both an 8GB Seagate Microdrive and a 4GB OCZ SD in mine, so I end up putting all kinds of movies and TV show episodes on it. :slight_smile: