Addendum to Cowon Q5W Hard Drive Upgrade

By | Aug 13, 2008


I had a couple of readers mention difficulties with upgrading the Cowon Q5W PMPs with larger hard drives.There may be an issue if you purchase a hard drive with no file system on it.  The drive I purchased for my Q5W upgrade was already formatted with the NTFS file system, and although the Cowon requires the drive to be formatted with the FAT32 file system, having no file system may not allow your Q5W to boot properly and be recognized as an external drive on your computer.  If this is the case, you may need to format your new unformatted drive first by placing it in a hard drive enclosure that has an ATA-100 interface, connecting it to a computer, and formatting it. These can be found online from numerous vendors such as this one.  Turns out one of the readers was able to resolve his issue.  The other sent his Q5 to me and I found a damaged/defective hard drive ribbon cable, but not before I had used my own hard drive enclosure to format his new drive.  So, I can’t confirm that having no file system on your new drive actually is a problem, but if it is, a cheap hard drive enclosure should solve the problem.

See the original Q5W Hard Drive Upgrade post here.

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4 Comments so far
  1. suni j November 19, 2008 2:22 pm

    alright mate im from the uk and have been reading upon you website!! am i right to belive with what you have done.. does the cowon on q5w now have windows xp?? if so would that enable me to do wireless networking via shared folders on my network? as i can not do it on ce for some strange reason also..

    http://www.toshibastorage.com/main.aspx?Path=StorageSolutions/1.8-inchHardDiskDrives/MKxx31GAxSeries

    this is a 24 gb hd is the the same connectors as your 100gb HDD?? please get back to me asap as i am realy intrested in doing this mod also would the 240 hdd be ok to use?

  2. rcgrabbag November 19, 2008 3:03 pm

    No, it’s still running Windows CE. I only upgraded the hard drive. I doubt you could get XP to run on it. The 240gb drive should work. Looks like it has the right connector.

  3. Matty February 2, 2010 3:33 pm

    I have a Cowon q5w, but the hard drive just took a crap. I’d like to replace it, but I lack the software to put back on it. If there is somewhere that I can get the necessary software, I’d love to know where. Loved the q5w for the playing music and for the GPS and would hate to no longer use it. Please let me know if there is something I can do. Thanks.

  4. rcgrabbag February 2, 2010 4:40 pm

    The software and firmware is available on the Cowon website here: http://www.jetaudio.com/download/

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