SSD on the Netwinder

Jon Bradbury dr_zee at
Mon Apr 1 13:52:29 PDT 2019

Thanks both for your suggestions.

Here are some points to consider.

1. The boot partition is normal sized (that is, 1GB). I noted a problem formatting anything more than say 4GB with the makefs.ext2 program under the standard kernel.
2. I think the lock ups are IRQ timeouts (but there is nothing on-screen) but I see several other errors.
3. The SSD + SATA bridge both work fine when connected to my laptop, which has Ubuntu Linux (at least 5 years old). I’ve done all sorts of things (like, partition, format, copy whole systems across, delete, read) with zero errors. So I think the bridge, while being of questionable providence, is OK.
4. I think what I really need is a later kernel. Or some other boot images / tarballs to try. Does anyone have any? (esp. Debian)
5. I set up the partition table using what gparted calls “DOS” type. Have also tried GPT but the ROM does not recognise it.
6. On bootup it says NWLILO is not installed. How to install this? Maybe a boot manager started from a smaller partition can work better than the ROM?
7. Can we pivot_root on this Linux? Just thinking that a bootable partition plus root on another partition (with a different format / kernel) might work.
SSDs are supposed to use less current, but maybe not. I have a 12v PSU rated at 2A (which runs the HDD fine). Maybe more current is needed...

Thanks for your advice. Keep it coming – I’m listening! If we can crack this, I think we can give the winder a new lease of life. I see that, despite only having 64megs of RAM, it is much quicker with SSD as expected (when it’s not timing out). 


From: netwinder-request at
Sent: 01 April 2019 20:00
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Subject: Netwinder Digest, Vol 41, Issue 2

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