Making microSD cards usable for the Z2

Hi folks.

Some of you may have experienced the effect, that some microSD cards refuse to work
in the Z2. Either they are not recognized at boot (but maybe when inserted later), or they
produce reading errors at boot or later when trying to install additional programs.

I had the same problem. In fact, only one of my many cards was able to boot completely
in the Z2.
But the cards worked fine in mp3 players and USB card readers.

So where’s the problem?

I bought a new 16GB microSD card, that I planned to use in my mp3 player.
And even this card didn’t boot. The Z2 started to boot, but then reported lot’s of I/O errors.

I once bought an USB stick, that claimed to be a 16GB, but in fact was a fake with only
4GB.
Since then, I always check new flash media when I get it.
Formerly I used for this the windows program “h2testw”, that you can get here.

It’s a german site, but the program is also in english.
It fills your media with test data, reads them, and then tells you whether there are errors, or if something has been overwritten (which is a sign of fake media).

And so I did with the 16GB microSD card (under windows). It was ok.
Afterwards I deleted the FAT partition on the card and generated a new EXT3.
Then I put z2sid on it and tried to boot.

It worked!

Then I took the other cards (mostly 2GB), that didn’t work in the Z2, and used the same
procedure.
But as I didn’t want to boot into Windows again, I searched for a linux alternative to h2testw and found F3.

It does exactly what h2testw does, and using it, I could also make the other cards usable
for Z2.

Maybe this method helps also other Z2 users, that have trouble with their cards.
I’d like to get some feedback.

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One Response to Making microSD cards usable for the Z2

  1. Sascha Kruse says:

    Hi,

    I’ve got 2 micro-sd cards with a mini-sd card adapter here. Both work flawlessly with my other computers. f3 also reports both to be fine. But both cards won’t work in my z2 (even after testing them with f3). I can boot my z2 from the cards but it seems the z2 can’t write properly to the card. Either there’s nothing written at all to the card or the written file contains errors. This makes the z2 unusable for me atm :-(
    I’ve tried it with ext2,3 and 4.
    FWIW both cards are 4GB big, one is from sandisk, the other one is from kingston.

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