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  #1  
Old 06-30-2009, 10:36 PM
guanghua19 guanghua19 is offline
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Smile Creative Zen Touch with 32GB Compact Flash (CF) Card

I have good news to share with all Creative Zen Touch fans. I have put a 32GB Kingston 133X CF card in a zen touch and everything works perfectly. I will describe the procedure a little bit and wish others may find this tutorial useful.



First Step, Disassemble the Zen Touch Player


Comparing to other “modern”mp3 players, zen touch is much easy to disassemble, loose the four screws on the rear plate, you can remove the plate. Note there is a screw underneath the “Warranty Void IF Broken” label.








Then, you will see the battery. Just remove it with a “-” screwdriver. You can remove the 4 screws in the two plastics. Then, you remove the plastics. You now have the motherboard of the player.






Remove two plastics in the top and bottom of the hard drive





Now remove the Motherboard,






Second Step, Change the hard drive

There are two screws on the front drive which hold the hard drive to the motherboard. You need to remove them first. Then you can pull the hard drive out.



Screws are removed on the motherboard







There are two types of adapters to covert your CF card to a 1.8’’ IDE hard drive.
One is named as “PA-CF18H” which has the same size of a hard drive. Another is called “CF-IDE44 Adapter V.B1”. The first one fits a little better. The second one is cheaper, but works just fine.






Adapters with CF Cards.






Most important thing is that not all CF cards can be used in the zen touch. The 300X transcend CF card does NOT work. I cannot load firmware to the card. The 512 Kingston Card is a quite old one, maybe 45X, but it works. I ordered the 32GB 133X Kingston card from newegg.com. It proves to be working well with Zen touch. I guess the Transcend 300X card in other capacity 16GB or 8GB will not work with the player.


Unfortunately, this 300X card does not work, cannot load firmware.






Third Step, Assemble the player and load the firmware to the CF card.

I am not describing this step. I believe most of you are able to do it. Search the forum is need.



Final 32GB Creative Zen Touch (The Kingston 32GB is from Newegg.com for $68)









Firmware loaded, (it shows 3076.3MB)











Q & A


What tools do you need to do the mod?


Two screwdrivers one is “+”, another is “-” shape. The “+” need to be small enough to handle the 8 screws. I have a set of screwdrivers form local Lows years ago.





What else do you need?


One 32GB Kingston 133X CF card (you can choose the capacity you like), and
One adapter (either one in the picture works, Search “CF IDE Adapter” on ebay you can find them.

What is the cost?


CF ($68) + Adapter ($2) = $70
Actual cost for me is a little higher, I bought quite a few adapters to try.





Other questions, you can PM me. Wish you will do this too.
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2009, 01:31 PM
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coachop94 coachop94 is offline
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Great work there. I wonder if the card will work on the ZVM?? I may have to try that out. The Adata cards are hard to come by now. Thanks for posting this.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:41 AM
guanghua19 guanghua19 is offline
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I think so, the Kingston card is 133X. The speed is similar to a hard drive.
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  #4  
Old 07-07-2009, 10:56 AM
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Albinoni Albinoni is offline
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Great post well done

Questions:

1. So after this changeover, the first thing to do is to update the Firmware?
2. Why does the Firmware show 3078MB is that the size of the file ?
3. Whats your response on batt life, the touch originally had 24hr batt life
which was great for a IDE HDD player.

4. is the sound quality still the same i.e very good ?
5. Wonder up to what size capacity CD card will this take ?
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  #5  
Old 07-07-2009, 01:50 PM
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coachop94 coachop94 is offline
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Since the mod is similar to the Zen VM the steps after changing the drive would be the same. Formatting the drive would be the first thing & then uploading the firmware.The drive he used is a 32GB CF card which formats to the number you see.After I did my ZenVM the battery life was closer to the manufactures claimed time with the settings I normally use. So yes improved.The player boots faster but loading files takes longer (I'm not sure of the speed of the card I used) SQ is the same. I would say for sure it could take a much larger CF drive but the cost would be exspensive until the larger cards come down in price.
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2009, 02:08 PM
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Man, this is cool as hell! My brother is looking to get rid of his Zen Touch and I might just take it off of his hands..
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2009, 04:01 PM
guanghua19 guanghua19 is offline
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coachop94 basically answers all question. One nice aspect, when modding the zen touch, is that you can disassemble it without any damage to the case or the inside logic board. Many new players are hard to take apart.
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2009, 09:34 PM
guanghua19 guanghua19 is offline
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An update on this: I have loaded a 16GB Kingston Pro 133X card again to another zen touch. I can confirm that 16GB CF card works perfect as well.
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  #9  
Old 07-12-2009, 02:35 AM
Gradius Gradius is offline
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Probably until 233x will works fine, you can also try 166x and 200x.

Gradius
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  #10  
Old 07-12-2009, 04:04 AM
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coachop94 coachop94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guanghua19 View Post
coachop94 basically answers all question. One nice aspect, when modding the zen touch, is that you can disassemble it without any damage to the case or the inside logic board. Many new players are hard to take apart.
That is true. The Zen VM is probably the easiest to disassemble of the newer players to replace or mod the drive to a CF card.
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2009, 02:09 PM
guanghua19 guanghua19 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
Probably until 233x will works fine, you can also try 166x and 200x.

Gradius
I am waiting for others to try and report what card is working and what is not. So far, I know that 16GB and 32GB Kingston 133X Pro CF cards work well. A 512 slower CF card (very old) works find.

A 4GB 300X Transcend card does not work. I cannot load firmware in the card. Possibly other 300X Transcend cards will not work as well.

If you are trying other cards, please report back. Others may find the information useful.

Last edited by guanghua19; 07-12-2009 at 02:19 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2009, 11:06 AM
andreboba andreboba is offline
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Anyone have a clue if the Kingston CF 133x 16gb will work in a Zen Microphoto??

It's a cheaper $ replacement than a transcend CF card, would really help to know before I lay down cash for it.
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  #13  
Old 09-22-2009, 11:33 AM
cyberlord_64 cyberlord_64 is offline
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I did everything exactly like in this tutorial except of the 32gb kingston card (i used the 8gb kingston 133x which i assumed would be the same). The firmware update worked just fine and everything appeared to work but when i add music to my zen, regardless of it being mp3, wma, wav the file is being destroyed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I usually am a do-ti-yourself kinda guy but this time i am REALLY stuck!
Did this happened to anyone? If so is this fixable?
Thank you in advance for your time
P.S i could give more details if necessary.

Last edited by cyberlord_64; 09-22-2009 at 11:35 AM. Reason: wrong cf card brand name
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2009, 01:28 AM
Gradius Gradius is offline
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Your CF is new?

Also, somes CF cards have a little switch, it works the same way it was with floppy disks, read only or RW capable. Verify if isn't that.

Good luck.
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  #15  
Old 10-24-2009, 05:25 AM
guanghua19 guanghua19 is offline
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Strangely enough. I do not have any problem with the players that have 16GB and 32GB cards. Both players work well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberlord_64 View Post
I did everything exactly like in this tutorial except of the 32gb kingston card (i used the 8gb kingston 133x which i assumed would be the same). The firmware update worked just fine and everything appeared to work but when i add music to my zen, regardless of it being mp3, wma, wav the file is being destroyed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I usually am a do-ti-yourself kinda guy but this time i am REALLY stuck!
Did this happened to anyone? If so is this fixable?
Thank you in advance for your time
P.S i could give more details if necessary.
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  #16  
Old 01-29-2010, 11:01 PM
hood hood is offline
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This Modification is awsome. I had a hard drive go bad in a 40 gig touch. I used the 16gb kingston and it worked great. The only warning I would like to add to this post is make sure you read the firmware instructions, especially about the windows media 10 (do not try this with 11). Also when searching for the adapter on ebay I was searching "44 pin". If you search "44pin" with no space you can get the adapter for 1.99 from an american seller "if you are in the united states" and not have to get it from a hong kong seller and have the duties on it. Thanks for this awsome post

Last edited by hood; 01-31-2010 at 11:44 AM.
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2010, 12:36 PM
rawe rawe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guanghua19 View Post
Wish you will do this too.
Did it (same card and adaptor ; PA-CF18H from ably.com.tw ) - works fine!
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  #18  
Old 08-04-2012, 08:30 PM
Fenrir007 Fenrir007 is offline
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This thread is old, but I'd like to post some feedback for future reference. Just used this method on a very old hdd busted zen touch, and it worked wonderfully. The flashcard I used was a 32gb x233 Transcend card, which was properly recognized as such. So, since everyone was wondering - yes, x233 will work. Bought both the CF card and adapter (used the big one) from dealextreme. PS.: My "ok" button was busted. For some reason, after the operation, it came back to life! Hooray!
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  #19  
Old 04-27-2013, 08:45 AM
Bulldogtech Bulldogtech is offline
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Thumb Up Creative Zen Touch with 32GB Compact Flash (CF) Card - success!

guanghua19 you're a legend. New life for a Zen Touch that had a failed hard drive (Hitachi Travelstar, aka the "baby deathstar" given the Deskstar/Travelstar's rep for failure). Used the larger adapter (from LinITX.com) and a 32Gb Kingston 266x (Amazon.co.uk).

Couple notes for anyone else who wants to try this, I had a lot of trouble getting the firmware reset so this will help others I hope:
1) It's not enough to do that and roll back WMP to WMP10 and remove ALL Creative software and Zen drivers before attempting to upgrade.
2) It MUST be done from Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or earlier. Service Pack 3 screws up the process and you will not be able to complete the firmware reload (you'll probably find it will say the player's not connected etc).
3) After an afternoon of unsuccessful attempts, I realised that #2 was the problem. Not worth uninstalling all the stuff from #1 and the service packs and updates, takes FAR too long.
4) If you've got a spare hard drive and access to a Windows XP Service Pack 2 disc:
a) Download WMP 10 to a USB stick drive before doing anything else, and - if necessary - obtain a Windows XP Pro disc or image (and burn a DVD from that image). Copy the Zen FIRMWARE ONLY to the stick too, you won't need the rest of the Creative stuff for this bit AT ALL, just the firmware.
b) Disconnect your hard drive (if you're using your normal PC, don't wanna wipe your drive!!)
c) connect up spare hard drive
d) Install Windows XP - skip the key entry, it will just whine about 30 days left for activation. This install won't ever be connected to the 'net, and it's temporary.
e) Install WMP 10 from your USB drive.
f) Connect the Zen, get it in recovery mode if necessary (Reset hole, hold Play/Pause, release)
g) run firmware update mode on the Zen
h) run the firmware update app from your USB drive
i) Fingers crossed it'll start doing what mine did, updating. You might find it already has the same firmware you're installing - re-install it anyway
j) Zen will reboot after installation, and you should now have a 32Gb capacity and connectivity to Vista and Windows7 with drag&drop capability.

So, thank you guanghua19 - the original idea is still sound advice. Got my own Zen Touch (above was a fix for the future wife's Zen) which still works, but thinking on trying this with an IDE to SDHC adapter on mine. Even lower on the power consumption than a CF card, even less weight, and lower cost than a CF card. If I get round to it, and it works, I'll post an update.

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