iPAQ PDAs, built by Hewlett-Packard, are very powerful for a handheld computer; they include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, several gigabytes of memory and a fast processor. While they come with a default PocketPC 2003 operating system, an alternate operating system can be installed.
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Things you need
- CompactFlash memory card, 256 megabytes or more in capacity
- Computer that can read and write CompactFlash cards
Download the operating system to be installed, onto the computer. The details for this operation depend on the specific operating system being installed. For example, you can download Angstrom Linux for the iPAQ hx4700 from the "Downloads" section of the main GoWiki web page (see Resources.)
Make sure the operating system you want to install is compatible with your iPAQ model, by consulting the system requirements for the release. The developers of the operating system distribution being installed typically specify system requirements at a conspicuous location. That location depends on the specific operating system to be installed. For example, the Angstrom GoWiki contains detailed system requirements for Angstrom Linux.
Insert the memory card into the computer. Locate the files with the downloaded operating system using Windows Explorer. Open another Windows Explorer window with the contents of the root directory of the card. Copy the operating system files to the memory card on the computer, by dragging the files from the Windows Explorer window corresponding to the computer's hard disk to the Windows Explorer window corresponding to the memory card.
For example, the Angstrom Linux distribution consists of two files: "Angstrom-boot-2.6.21-hh20-r6-hx4700.exe"--a PocketPC executable bootloader file,--and "Angstrom-base-image-glibc-ipk-2007.12-hx4700.rootfs.jffs2"--the operating system image with all the files required to run.
Remove the memory card from the computer. Insert the memory card into the iPAQ. Follow the instructions to boot the new operating system from the memory card. The instructions are at an easy-to-find location that depends on the specific operating system being installed. For example, for Angstrom Linux, execute the bootloader .exe file by clicking on its on-screen icon. The bootloader will display the sources from which it can boot an operating system image. Choose "Loopback."
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