Like I promised before, I bought a copy of Dimitry Grinbergs “PowerDrive” two days ago.

Powerdrive allows (among other things) usage of any CF Card instead of the internal Microdrive.

The first part is fairly simple: Put PowerDrive on a SD Card and start the application. PowerDrive will then patch the OS on the Microdrive and will then copy the operating system to the SD card.

Now we come to the tricky part: PowerDrive will power down the Microdrive and you have to exchange it with the CF Card – while the LifeDrive ist switched on! (Don’t use any metal tools to pry the Microdrive loose…). After that is done, PowerDrive will repatition the CF Card and write the OS ono it. At this point you are given the option to change the size of the memory-portion used as “RAM” – everything between 16KB and 4GB is safe.

tn P1060390 Teaching an old LifeDrive new tricks

Twice the memory of an ordinary LD (Hands still shaking)

tn P1060391 Teaching an old LifeDrive new tricks

128 MB internal memory – big enough for me

I can’t show you the size of the internal drive since PalmOS refuses to display the size of drives > 4GB properly. But since I filled my LD with 7,5GB of pictures, videos and mp3s it really works as advertised.

Next thing to talk about is speed: According to VFSMark my CF Card is more then three times faster than the old Microdrive! This won’t make the LD as snappy as a TX – there’s still some lag when you start a big application – but you can hardly notice it (TCPMP needs less than 1 second to load its 2.1MB into the real Ram). The remaining lag might be the result of the LD still powering down the drive. That’s a great way to conserve energy when you still use the Microdrive – with a CF Card installed, this should be obsolete. Maybe Dmitry can fix this in a future version.

What’s left is a long-term test of the power consumption after the surgery. Since CF Cards draw a lot less power than a Microdrive, I expect a huge increase in running time.

My conclusion so far: 16 bucks (about 10 Euros, if you live in Europe) that are worth every single penny. Just imagine the money you save on cheap CF Cards (you can get the 32GB Card from Adata for around $150).

After my tests with the small Card are done, I’ll switch to a 32GB Adata

Related posts:

  1. PowerDrive — Give your LifeDrive a Few Extra Gigs
  2. LifeDrive – the obituary
  3. Would you like to use SDHC Memory Cards on your TX, T5, or Lifedrive?
  4. The Treo 650 SD Card Giveaway-Mysteries of memory-explained
  5. Mysteries of Palm OS Memory Part two – SD card or internal RAM

17 Responses to “Teaching an old LifeDrive new tricks”

  1. what card model is that?
    looks uber-generic :)

  2. are you serious with Adata? i have very bad experience with their SD card, but maybe i got wrong serie or something… it was loosing data, so i had to change it for new one, didn’t helped…at the end i switched to another mark and since then no problems at all. i don’t know much about CF so o look for recommendations

  3. The CF Card is an OEM from Samsung. Generic but cheap and fast :D

  4. Oliver, thanks for the review, very very detailed.
    Using Powerdrive you still have to use UDMH to fix the dyn heap issue???

    greetings from Argentina!!


  5. Yes, dynamic heap is untouched by this operation.

  6. will this program work if i already have a 4gb cf card and want to switch to a 32 gb card?

  7. Hi,
    IMHO yes – but I am not the resident LifeDrive expert, so ;) .

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  8. You’ll need to reformat the cards imo… Each has its own unique ID that PowerDrive uses that keeps you from simply copying the data from one to the other…

  9. My MicroDrive is dead so I cant get the PalmOS from it can someone send it to me over E-mail at [Removed at request of author]

  10. My MicroDrive is dead as well so I cant get the PalmOS from it can someone send it and any other software I might need to me over E-mail at

  11. Hello,
    I am very sorry – but we can NOT upload any LifeDrive images for copyright reasons…

    Asking at 1src could help, however!

    All the best
    Tam Hanna

  12. Powerdrive has no option to use a Rom-Image. Try to get in touch with Dmitry – he might be able to sell you a CF-Card with a pre-installed PalmOS.

  13. Jmod:

    I will put you in contact with Dmitry right away! :)


  14. Could someone remove my E-mail from my last post(August 3rd, 2008 at 9:13 pm) I am getting lots of spam because I posted it here thanx.

  15. Hi,
    I also removed it from his second post…even though I don’t think that this will still help him now…

    All the best
    Tam Hanna

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