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Hey there! I have a Symbian 1.05 / EPOC-based Ericsson MC 218 PDA. Despite being about 15 years old I still find it quite engaging so I'd like to see ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    Apr 2013
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    Question Dealing with nonstandard implementation of FAT16...


    Hey there!

    I have a Symbian 1.05 / EPOC-based Ericsson MC 218 PDA. Despite being about 15 years old I still find it quite engaging so I'd like to see what I can do about this rather sticky issue I'm having with it.

    It seems to use a nonstandard implementation of FAT16 on its CompactFlash card and neither Linux or dosfsck seem to be able to figure out what to do with it.

    After digging around I found the following most informative bit of information: http://web.archive.org/web/200309011...er/000284.html
    (Sorry you can't click it, I had to not post it as a URL so the board would accept it since I haven't made 15 posts yet)

    Essentially, EPOC writes a single "Free Entry" block at the end of the directory listing. The FAT standard says that the entire relevant *sector* for that directory should be nuked. You can guess what Linux does... *sigh* it reads in the entire sector... including a bunch of random junk past EPOC's "Free Entry" non-standard-end-of-directory-marker, which basically means that it takes all this junk into account, which ends up ruining the filesystem, besides making running 'find' impossible (since some of the random junk has the right bit set to look like a directory, which 'find' then tries to descend into...).... *asplodes*

    I need help :P

    I've tried to contact the developer with no luck. :/

    I've put this in Hardware but I should probably have put this in Programming (:P) because I need someone experienced with FAT(16) to figure out how to zero out the sectors as appropriate. I absolutely refuse to, er, *ahem*... "experiment" (with, say, the dosfstools (dosfsck) source code), for, uh, obvious reasons.

    I can't really use my CF card how I want to at the moment, not least because the PDA itself seems to crash if I try to install applications on the card (!!!) after I've mounted/manipulated it with Linux. So help would be appreciated! I don't really want to trust the card to ScanDisk, and Win2k's CHKDSK... thing... seems to do *zero*. (Don't have any other working Win installations atm.)

    Looking forward to your replies (and am very interested to see what people will come up with!)

    -i336/asmqb7
    Last edited by atreyu; 04-23-2013 at 01:59 AM. Reason: linkified the link

  2. #2
    Trusted Penguin
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    4,353
    hello and welcome!

    is there data on this CF card that you wish to preserve? if not, then (if it is removable) have you considered reformatting it with a standard Fat16 partition (using mkdosfs)?

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