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Old 03-06-2011, 04:51 PM
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razorblader razorblader is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 138

Hi fabarati, good to know there are still other X5 connaisseurs out there.

The card I'm using is a Transcend SDXC 64 GB Class 10 which cost around 100 Euros. It's this one:

The CF-To-IDE adapter used is the same model that dfkt used (see first post of this thread), I bought it on eBay for a few bucks a while ago. I alleviated the 'protruding jumper' problem by gently bending the jumper pins forward with the jumper in place. Worked like a charm.

Edit: I ended up using the CF-to-IDE adapter shown below because it has the some form factor as a 1.8" HDD and there is nothing that 'sticks out'. The master/slave mode selection (set it to master) can be done elegantly with a mini switch.
I purchased the adapter for 10 bucks on eBay. The other adapter works as well but this one is just better suited for the task IMHO.

The SD-to-CF Adapter used is this one:

It's of very good quality and the SD card 'clicks' into place for a reliable connection. I found it on eBay and it cost around 16 bucks.
There are cheaper ones, I got one of those too but this one is mechanically superior and it supports CF true IDE/UDMA mode.

Got mine here:

After doing some research into SDHC/SDXC compatibility I realized that current SDXC cards are glorified SDHC cards with capacities higher than 32 GB and a few people on various forums theorized that it shouldn't be a problem to format an SDXC card with FAT32 instead of exFAT which is standard with SDXC cards. Here is where the trouble starts...

Windows won't format your SDXC card with FAT32, nor will the Panasonic formatter tool, both 'recognize' the card as SDXC and offer the possibility to format it with exFAT or NTFS.

You got 3 easy choices:

1. Format the card on a Linux box.

2. Use guiformat, a FAT32 format tool with a GUI under Windows.

Find it here:

Set allocation unit size to 32768 and do a quick format.

3. Use this command line tool under Windows:

It's the mkdosfs application which someone ported to Windows. The usage is explained in the link I posted, it contains the dl-link as well.

Command to format the card:

mkdosfs -v -F 32 -n name X:

where X: stands for the respective drive letter and 'name' represents the volume label that you choose for the drive.

I'm sure there are other tools which might work but that's what I used. I recommend to use guiformat.

After you format the card you can copy files to it and all looks dandy as long as you use it under Windows. I then proceeded to test the card with my Cowon D2+ and long story short it wouldn't recognize the card.

Copied the necessary files for the X5 on it and tried it with the adapters in my X5L, again, no luck.
After a bit more testing I realized that there had to be something in the MBR of the card that made it impossible for the Cowon players to recognize/use it.

Looking for a tool to be able to analyze and edit the MBR I found MBRWizard which works great. It allows you to backup the MBR of (removable) cards/drives, you can restore it and you can view and edit the information as well.

Find it here:

Upon analysis of the MBR data of the card I realized what the problem was. The MBR of a drive contains a partition 'type' entry which basically describes which filesystems are supported on the medium and in the case of the SDXC card that entry reads 07-NTFS indicating NTFS and exFAT compatibility. So simply re-formating the card with FAT32 doesn't do the trick alone, you also have to change this entry to 0C-FAT32X with the MBRWizard command line tool. Info on the usage of MBRWizard can be found here:

To get a list of all connected drives run this command in MBRWiz:

MBRWiz /list

This will give you a nice overview of all drives with all the relevant information. Identify the disk # of the card and change the partition type with the following command:

MBRWiz /disk=n /part=1 /type=CH

where n stands for the disk number you identified with the list command.

After the partition type entry change the D2+ had no problem recognizing the card and using it and the X5 boots the original FW as well as Rockbox.

Average sequential read and write speed is around 13MB/s with the card in the X5. Copying a folder with 2.68 GB took about 4 minutes.

Mission accomplished.

Last edited by razorblader; 03-11-2011 at 03:40 PM.
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