The Windows CE 2.0 ROM Upgrade

CE 2 ROM Chip P1 SideThe phenomenal demand for information that we receive each week requesting information on this humble chip is astounding.

The fact remains that there are still a substantial number of Windows CE 1 users out there who never knew that there was a ROM upgrade path for their device.

This section is here primarily to answer your questions on the ROM upgrade. We post all the information that we receive regarding the upgrade here on this site. Please only contact us directly if you have information on obtaining ROM upgrades. If you have questions regarding ROM upgrades please post on the forums

We cannot provide information on the location's of ROM upgrades in country's that are not specified at the bottom of this article. Please do not ask us if we know where you can purchase upgrades. All the information we have available have is posted here on this page.

If you wish to use the Forum hpcBay area to make a request for a ROM upgrade, all registered users are welcome to do so, however users should be sure to view previous listings and appreciate how infrequently the chips come up before posting.

 

What is the ROM Upgrade?

ROM Chip size comparisonThe CE 2 ROM Chip upgrades the H/PC operating system from Windows CE 1.0x to Windows CE 2.0.

Windows CE 1 was short lived. By the time most OEM's were fluently rolling out CE 1.0x devices, Microsoft had released Windows CE 2. Some OEM's offered the upgrade for free*, to existing customers, as well as creating new hardware devices with native support for the new platform.

The majority of the new generation of devices contained faster processors and double the memory capacity of its predecessors.

H/PC Manufacturers which made ROM Upgrades available for their CE 1.0x devices included hp, Casio, Compaq, NEC and Philips.

See Also: History of Windows CE

Should I upgrade my device?

The answer to that is Yes. Unless you can afford to buy a new H/PC, or update to a newer model this is the best course of action for all Windows CE 1.0x users. Updating the ROM module will provide added support and functionality for the device, far surpassing the abilities of Windows CE 1.

Updating to Windows CE 2 will allow you to install and use a wider range of hardware and software applications by many different developers. You will find that obtaining software for your device is easier as there are more developers for the platform. There are very few developers still writing for Windows CE 1.

Having CE 2 will also allow you to upgrade your host PC to a newer operating system than Windows 95 or NT 4.0. Windows 98, Millennium, 2000, XP and 2003 are fully supported with some additional, free software as are Office 97 (Windows 98 - 2000 only), 2000, XP and 2003. With CE 2, using third party software you can also connect to non Microsoft Operating Systems and Office Productivity suites on your host PC.

Finally the OS and security enhancements that come with CE 2 complete the package.

 

What do I get with the ROM Upgrade?

The contents of the Windows CE 2.0 ROM Upgrade depend largely on the features offered by the device OEM. While the core operating system is universal, the installed software can vary. For example not all devices will have Pocket PowerPoint or Voice Recorder. OEM's may also add their own, or third party applications to the ROM chip

As an example the hp 300 Series ROM upgrade offers the following over and above the Microsoft applications:

  • bsquare Fax Professional v3
  • bsquare bFind
  • hp Month-at-a-Glance

In addition, the upgrade also includes new or significantly updated versions of:

  • Microsoft Pocket Word
  • Microsoft Pocket Excel
  • Microsoft Pocket PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Pocket Outlook
  • Microsoft Pocket Internet Explorer
  • Windows CE operating System GUI and shell components

For more information on Windows CE 2.0 please see the History of Windows CE section.

 

Is there a ROM upgrade available for my device?

The following table lists devices which had CE 2.00 ROM Upgrades issued in 1997.

Device

ROM Upgrade Available

Upgrade Type

Casio CASSIOPEIA A-10

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

Casio CASSIOPEIA A-11

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

Casio CASSIOPEIA A-11 Plus

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

Casio CASSIOPEIA A-50

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

Casio CASSIOPEIA A-51

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

Casio CASSIOPEIA A-51V

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

Compaq C120

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

Compaq C120+

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

Compaq C140

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

Ericsson MC12

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

Hewlett Packard 300LX

No

 

Hewlett Packard 320LX

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

HITACHI HPW10E4

No

 

HITACHI HPW10E4MB

No

 

LG Phenom GP40M

No

 

NEC MobileGear MC-CS11

No

 

NEC MobileGear MC-CS12

No

 

NEC MobileGear MC-CS13

No

 

NEC MobilePro 200

No

 

NEC MobilePro 400

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

NEC MobilePro 450

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

Philips Velo 1

Yes

Daughter Board (ROM Chip)

These devices do not meet the minimum specification for use with Windows CE 2.11 (H/PC Professional) which is the next step up the H/PC Operating System Ladder.

 

What do the OEM's say about obtaining the Upgrade?

Hewlett Packard

Below is a message from HP Jornada commenting on the availability of the ROM upgrade. As you will see they deny the availability of the ROM upgrade even though it is still available. Obviously someone in the hierarchy of Jornada someone has made a decision to try and push users to buy new devices.
HPC Factor believes this to be a mistake on the part of Jornada. More»

Ericsson

Below is a the official Ericsson Press Release from December 1997 announcing the immediate availability for the Ericsson MC12 Windows CE 2.0 ROM Upgrade. More»

Casio

September 8, 1997--CASIO COMPUTER CO., LTD., in conjunction with CASIO, INC., announced today a free Windows® CE 2.0 ROM upgrade program for new purchasers of the market leading, CASSIOPEIA Handheld PC. The Windows CE ROM Upgrade Kit will be available for CASSIOPEIA Handheld PC's - A-11, and A-11 Plus. The upgrade kit can easily be installed and requires no special tools. More»

 

How can I obtain the Module?

The module is Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) software. This means that it can only be distributed through the OEM, or with the OEM's express permission. As a result, unless you try for an on-line auction site, your best and only safe bet is to go directly to the OEM

The module is old hardware, and understandably the OEM's want you to go out and purchase a new device, as a result contacting the Sales department for the upgrade should be your second port of call, We advise that you first contact Technical support. This may seem strange, but it is where our users report having the best luck in tracking down the module here in the United Kingdom.

Users should also be aware of the HPC:Factor forum resource hpcBay. hpcBay is a free service provided by us to users, providing them with a place where they can request, trade and sell Handheld PC hardware and software.
All users seeking ROM upgrades should look through the hpcBay and consider the merits of posting a request.

View hpcBay

Europe:

In the United Kingdom, the ROM Upgrade has been found to be available from hp Jornada Technical Support.

North America:

HP - In the United States, the ROM Upgrade has been found to be available from the hp replacement parts service.
The Module is available via a Independent Distributor; Code Micro, shipping available to the United States & Canada (Sold Out)

NEC - Information on the Mobile Pro 400 / 450 upgrade can be found by clicking here

South America:

None

Australasia:

None

Asia:

None

India:

None

Pole's & Other locals:

None

The absence of places to obtain the ROM upgrade is due to user reluctance in contacting us back with information on where they obtained it. As a result we feel that spending our time answering questions on obtaining the module from users around the world is not justified. All contact's to us regarding the ROM upgrade will be replied to with a link back to this page. If you have any further information as to the availability of the ROM module, please contact us with the details.

1 Thanks to Mike Carter for providing us with information on this link

* Note: The free upgrade is no longer a standing offer from hp or Casio. All references to the upgrade on their web site are now deemed invalid by hp Jornada - Confirmed January 2001