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WM 6.1 upgrade & SDHC-compliance report: x51v, hx4700, Universal, Wizard

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#1
Menneisyys

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As promised in my previous article, I’ve taken a deep look at the latest Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrades for the Dell Axim x51v, HP iPAQ hx4700, HTC Universal and HTC Wizard. All the reviewed ROM versions are based on Windows Mobile 5.2.19209 (Build 19209.1.0.2). I run some VERY thorough SDHC conformance tests because, unfortunately, most (as far as the reviewed models are concerned, all – note that, in this regard, I haven’t tested the Universal) plain WM5 / WM6 devices can NOT be easily made SDHC-compliant. This means you MUST upgrade these devices to some of the newer ROMs (including the ones I’ve reviewed) in order to gain SDHC support. Note that I’ve devoted a separate section (at the end) to my test results showing the results of my trying to “hack” the non-WM6.1 ROM-based devices to accept SDHC cards with the latest hacks available.

HTC Universal

One of the best ROM’s for the HTC Universal (a.k.a. i-mate JasJar, Qtek 9000, O2 XDA Exec, SPV M5000, MDA IV/Pro) is that of Ranju. The latest version is v7.6 and is available HERE. There isn’t much to this ROM: you only download the RAR file, uncompress the EXE inside and run it for the upgrade to be done.

HTC Wizard

For the Wizard (a.k.a. i-mate K-Jam, T-Mobile MDA Vario, Qtek 9100, MDA Vario, XDA mini S, SPV M3000, VPA Compact II, Dopod 838), I’ve tested XDA-Devs forum member character’s AMP (the download URL is in THIS post). It’s a single NBF file. To flash it onto your Wizard, download for example THIS file and, after decompressing it into the same directory as the decompressed nk.nbf, run ROMUpdateUtility.exe. It uses the traditional RUU interface you may already know well enough.

HP iPAQ hx4700

Kozhura (latest version: R4), who was the most famous cooker on the iPAQ, has quit cooking in the meantime. As far as the current, post-Kozhura ROM’s are concerned, see them HERE. Of them, I’ve tested VIET PDAV61KBD (the uppermost link there).

To flash this ROM, you will need to download Bootloader from HERE. Make sure you do everything following the tutorial HERE, NOT in the official Bootloader tutorial. The reason for this is simple: the latter fails to mention you must switch to the bootloader mode before cradling your hx4700 / running Bootloader.

Unfortunately, there’s still no sign of a SDHC-compatible ROM version for the iPAQ as can be seen for example HERE (this has also been mentioned in the chart)

Dell Axim x51v

You’ll most probably want to install makuu's A06 privß06p "Pure" available HERE.

As it doesn’t come with a runnable EXE file either (unlike the Universal ROM), you’ll need to learn how to operate the bootloader mode of your PDA. Don’t be afraid – it’s easier than you might think. There’s even a great video tutorial on doing this HERE. Note that the only difference between the video and what you need to do is the newer ROM version linked above. Otherwise, you need to do exactly the same as is explained in the video. (To quickly recap it: format a non-HC SD card with FAT32 ( format p: /FS:FAT32 /q if you prefer direct commands), transfer the DiAd_K_AximX51v_WM6_A06ENpriv.nb0 and DiAd_K_AximX51v_WM6_A06ENpriv_nb0.crc onto it, insert the card, simultaneously keep the power and the Wi-Fi (upper button on the left side) buttons depressed, quickly reset and keep the two buttons depressed. After a “SD Image Update” screen comes up, release the buttons and wait until “DiAd_K_AximX51v_WM6_A06ENpriv.nb0” is displayed below the label. Just press Action two times and the flashing process will start. It’s indeed very easy.

Note that I've thoroughly tested this ROM version with 2700G-enabled games (the 2700G can only be found in the Dell Axim x50v/x51v); they worked just great.

Feature / benchmark chart

Note that, as has already been pointed out, these ROM’s are all based on the latest 5.2.19209 (Build 19209.1.0.2) version of the operating system. I’ve run several tests, measured the reset / boot-in times, the free memory, the A2DP compliance. As can clearly be seen, the figures and the compliance reports are VERY good - take a look at, for example, the really-really boot-in time of the hx4700! Also, memory consumption is minimized, particularly when you use storage cards. In previous operating system versions, inserting a memory card could easily result in the free (dynamic) RAM's dropping by a whopping 5-6 Mbytes. This isn't the case with any of the tested ROM versions. Great work!

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Addendum – pre-upgrade SDHC test results

With the memory card manufacturers’ producing 4+ GB SDHC, miniSDHC and microSDHC cards in quantity and at a pretty low price, it has become essential to offer SDHC compliance. I’ve made some serious tests with both the generic and, when available, model-specific drivers available in THIS XDA-Devs thread.

I’ve also very thoroughly tested XDA-Devs forum member OllieD’s brand new SD-Settings 3.0 build 1337, a switcher app coming with the above-introduced Ranju v7.6 ROM for the Universal and available for a separate download HERE, should you want to play with it. (ONLY do it if you’re ready to hard / clean reset your device: it has messed up some of my Pocket PC’s royally, making it fully unable to read any SD cards any more!)

x51v WM5 official A12 ROM version, standard SDHC_WM6WM5.zip: can access files up to 2 (4?) GB? Everything after that is invisible / unaccessible. OllieD’s switcher makes things even worse: after switching to anything SDHC in it, no cards will ever be readable, not even non-SDHC ones after switching back to normal SD mode from OllieD’s switcher app.

WM6 Wizard (running WM6.0: mfrazzzXDA Mobile 6 Release 5 FINAL): nothing (not even non-HC cards) works after installing the Wizard-specific driver CAB (SDHC Support Kit hurricane and QTEK9100.cab) instead of the SDHC.cab file in SDHC_WM6WM5.zip. Unfortunately, not even installing WM6.1 will help: it seems the hardware is simply incompatible; also see THIS post on this.

iPAQ hx4700 WM5 AKU 3.5.2: nothing (only the standard cards), not even with the switcher (tested both modes). Currently, there’s no SDHC-compatible ROM either.

All in all, with the Dell Axim x51v, the generic drivers didn’t help. However, upgrading it to WM6.1 does result in flawless SDHC support. The same can’t be stated of the hx4700 and the Wizard, unfortunately. (However, it's still really worth upgrading: the new WM6.1 version, for example, REALLY reduces the compaction outage, compared to the WM5 AKU3.5 one!) Also note that I haven’t tested the Universal’s upgradability (it was already upgraded to the SDHC-compliant WM6.1 when I first thought of testing its hackability with older ROM versions). One thing is for sure: under WM6.1, it supports SDHC flawlessly.

I'll keep you noticed when (and if), for example, the hx4700 receives SDHC support.

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#2
Menneisyys

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UPDATE (04/14/2008):

1. OllieD has uploaded his full hack HERE (see discussion HERE). You might want to give it a try if you are absolutely sure your phone / PDA hardware supports SDHC and don’t want to upgrade to a cooked, already SDHC-compatible ROM. It MIGHT work.

2. Note that the ROM’s I’ve reviewed are just one of the many available. For example, for the x51v, Lenny’s ROM is also excellent; I’ll try to review it some day and compare it to that of makuu.

3. Also note that, as far as the iPAQ hx4700 ROM’s are concerned, there are slightly improved versions of the reviewed PDAV61KBD fixing, for example, the lack of the above-mentioned cursor mode switcher link. sanjay1951 has also released a lite version of the ROM removing bloatware like Internet Explorer, games, WMP, PowerPoint and some other less-useful software like BT Phone Manager. Algasystems and Da_G have also released some slightly updated / teaked ROM’s. These ROM’s are all linked from the main hx4700 WM6.1 thread. Make sure you check out the individual posts discussing these ROM versions; the thread starter post also lists the number of the post containing the related info. For example, sanjay1951’s latest (and, therefore, most recommended) two versions (a full and a “lite” version) are explained in detailed in post #425; that is, HERE.

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#3
awarner

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Don't forget any form of flashing with unauthorized ROMs are done at the users own risk.
I managed to screw my Universal up using the link above, managed to revive and complete the upgrade using the guide HERE.

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#4
Menneisyys

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UPDATE (05.03/2008): For my just-published HP iPAQ 210 in-depth review, I’ve thoroughly tested the (multimedia) performance of the tested WM6.1 ROM’s and found them excellent. Also, I’ve specifically tested whether the ImageOn and the 2700G driver is correctly utilized by multimedia player apps aware of them in the iPAQ hx4700 and the Dell Axim x51v, respectively. They are. All in all, well done ROM cookers :D

See see Section 1.4 HERE for more info & numeric results (cross-posted to: PPCT, AximSite, XDA-Devs, BH, HF, MoDaCo.)

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#5
nokorsoft

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great, thank, i'll try it on my phone.

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