Writing PCMCIA cards using Memory Card Explorer

Introduction

The Memory Card Explorer, in short MCE, is a versatile application which allows to read and write linear flash PCMCIA cards. Reading and writing cards using the internal PCMCIA slot is relatively fast as writing, including verify, a 32MB card takes around 5 minutes. This article covers version 3.16, designed for Microsoft’s Windows NT4.0/2000/XP (32-bit only). This software has been designed by Elan Digital Systems Ltd. and released August 2002, currently archived on the Synchrotech Support Blog.

Requirements

  • PCMCIA slot in a physical desktop/laptop computer.
  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro
  • Elan’s Memory Card Explorer v3.16
  • PCMCIA card bin files for Tech2

Preparations

Install Memory Card Explorer v3.16, this guide assumes that the application have been installed in the default folder C:\ElanPCCard\Memory Card Explorer.

Discovering the PCMCIA memory resource

As this application isn’t aware of the plug and play functionality the MCE needs to be instructed to handle the PCMCIA slot on a particular memory address. This address can be found in the system configuration of Microsoft Windows XP. Please note that your particular PCMCIA adapter can be allocating a different memory page.

Click on StartRun and type the following command:

devmgmt.msc and press Enter.

Look for PCMCIA adapters and you may find for example O2Micro OZ6912 Cardbus Controller.

Double click on the defined controller and navigate to the tab Resources.

The Memory Range resource settings, for example FFAFF000-FFAFFFFF need to be noted as this is the start address of the controller. This is needed to tell the MCE application to find the PCMCIA card.

For this particular PCMCIA adapter the memory starts at FFAFF000-FFAFFFFF.

Formule: Eg: If the PCMCIA socket has a memory resource of FFA0FF000 then use this as a parameter to the MCE application.

Take the first four hexadecimals of the memory address: FFAF and add a w as a prefix and insert a d just before the last hexadecimal value, so this will combine into wFFAdF.

The command line, as an end result will be like:

“C:\ElanPCCARD\Memory Card Explorer\MCE.EXE” wFFAdF

Modify the shortcut

Right-click on the shortcut to Memory Card Explorer that was created in the installation process, click on Properties.

In the Target field, insert the command line defined in the previous step:

Click OK to save the modifications and close the Properties window.

Starting the Memory Card Explorer software

Start the application using the modified shortcut.

Click OK on the splash screen and wait for the PC-Card services to register.

Now the MCE will start and show any detected PCMCIA cards inserted in the PCMCIA slot.

To make sure that your PCMCIA card and the slot has been detected click on the i icon at the top of the main interface.

Now the application is ready for reading, verifying and writing yout linear flash card

Reading a PCMCIA card

To read the software from a card press the Read (new file) button in MCE:

Then choose a location on your computer to save the binary file at:

When you press Open MCE will start to read the software from the card.

Writing a PCMCIA card

To write new software to a card first press the floppy disk icon in MCE:

Then locate the binary file you wish to write to the card and press Open.

Then press the Write button in MCE:

A warning message will appear saying that the data on the card will be overwritten, press OK.

When you press OK MCE will start to write the software to the card.