HP5500 - Installing GPE / Restoring PocketPC


There are several ways to install Familiar/GPE onto a HP5500 from a Windows-based PC. This set of instructions are my very simple no-frills method borrowed from http://www.handhelds.org. Full instructions can be found there.

Installing Familiar/GPE

  • Install ActiveSync on your Windows PC.
  • Place BootBlaster3900-2.6.exe and bootldr-pxa-2.21.12.bin into your ActiveSync Documents folder on your Windows PC.
  • Transfer (sync) the files to your HP5500 using ActiveSync.
  • Start BootBlaster on the HP5500:
        Select "Start -> Programs"
        Tap on "File Explorer"
        Tap on "BootBlaster"

    If you want to backup your PocketPC prior to installing GPE, follow these steps. It should be noted that these steps will NOT preserve any data. Any data/files should be backed up using ActiveSync.

  • In BootBlaster, Select "Flash -> Save Bootldr gz Format"
        The Linux Bootloader will also boot PocketPC.
  • Select "Flash -> Save Wince gz Format"
        This step may take a few minutes to complete and the iPAQ should let you know when it is finished.
  • Transfer (sync) the files to your Windows PC using ActiveSync.
  • Install the bootloader by selecting "Flash -> Program"
        This will display a list of files.
  • Select "bootldr-pxa-2.21.12.bin" from the list of files.
  • When the bootloader has finished installing, the iPAQ will ask you to reset the iPAQ. Reset the HP5500 by holding down the joypad while pushing the reset button (on the bottom of the iPAQ) with the stylus.
        NOTE: The image on the screen will freeze during this reset.
  • Re-seat the HP5500 onto its cradle.

    Access the HP5500 through minicom, kermit, or Hyperterminal. The settings are 115200 8N1 with no flow control. Make sure you have the jffs2 file, bootgpe-v0.8.4-h3900.jffs2 , ready to upload through ymodem.

  • In the terminal window, press the enter key to get the boot> prompt.
  • At the "boot>" prompt, enter "load root"
  • Send the jffs2 file to the HP5500 using ymodem.
  • Wait ... forever ... for it to download to the HP5500.
        My hyperterminal session took approximately 40 minutes.
  • At the next "boot>" prompt, enter "boot"

    The HP5500 should boot GPE. Once it is up and running, it will ask for the root password. You can use this password to access the iPAQ via the screen or through hyperterminal. When you are ready, contact Albert to register your HP5500 and to gain wireless network access. Finally, issue the following commands to update/upgrade GPE.

  • ipkg update
        There is an error in /etc/ipkg/familiar-v0.8.4-universe.conf
        I had to add +quot to the following line (second from the bottom)
        src/gz universe-common-locale-en http://familiar.handhelds.org/releases/v0.8.4/universe/common/locale/en
        so it looks like this:
        src/gz universe-common-locale-en http://familiar.handhelds.org/releases/v0.8.4/universe/common/locale/en+quot
  • ipkg upgrade    

  • Restoring PocketPC

    Restoring PocketPC is very simple.
  • Hold down the joypad and press the reset button with the stylus.
  • At the "boot>" prompt, enter "load root"
  • Send the wince image, hp5500_image, to the HP5500 using ymodem.
  • Once the image has been downloaded, enter "boot wince" at the "boot>" prompt.

    If you do not want to use the handhelds bootloader, you can restore the original bootloader.
  • Hold down the joypad and press the reset button with the stylus.
  • At the "boot>" prompt, enter "load bootldr"
  • Send the bootldr image, bootldr.gz, to the HP5500 using ymodem.

  •   This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants #0435454 and #0454432, and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.