[NTLK] The Battery on This Card Must be Replaced: Flash Cards and Batteries

From: Ryan Vetter <physicalconstants_at_yahoo.ca>
Date: Sun Mar 01 2009 - 20:50:53 EST



I have seen this error message before, and, upon inserting a brand new, unused Newton branded 1 MB Flash card, it has reared its ugly head again:

"The battery on this card must be replaced. Your information may be lost."

I did some research on old NTLK posts, and some other Newton sites... the consensus was such that, it is a bug in the Newton OS and can safely be ignored: an update to the latest Newton OS is supposed to "solve the problem". Unfortunately, the card is not recognized when the Newton thinks the battery in the Flash card is dead... and, my Newtons are running the latest OS.

After reading Apple's MessagePad 2000 Manual, I now realize that it is not a bug, because Apple built this into the OS for those Flash cards that have batteries in them:

"Changing batteries in a storage card

See your storage card instructions to determine whether the card has a battery. If it does, you must change the battery when you see a message that the card's battery is low. To change the battery, follow the instructions that came with the card." (MessagePad 2000 User's Manual, p. 208: Apple Inc., 1997.).

There still may be a software bug in that the Newton may think a card's battery is dead when in fact it is not, or when the card does not have a battery, but it is a legitimate error message that detects dead batteries in storage cards - as is implicit in Apple's instructions, some cards indeed have batteries, whereas some don't.


I thought to try and "kick start" the card and inserted it into my PowerBook Wallstreet. It recognized the card, and I formatted it and erased it. I then took it out and inserted it into the Newton: no error message. I even installed some packages to it. But when I removed it and inserted it back into the Newton, I got the same battery error message, and the card was no longer being recognized. Then I got a hold of a Newton 1 MB Card package (original). It contained a battery and instructions for installation. I was using the card where there was no battery installed. Once I installed the battery in the card, it worked perfectly, and continues to do so, with no error messages.

So just to clarify, this error message is not a bug in the software, and some Flash cards do in fact have batteries: 3v watch batteries. Be sure to check that a battery is installed, and, if one is, you may need to replace it.

All the best,


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Received on Sun Mar 1 20:50:55 2009

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