Vaio UX flash memory hardware modification

Project: Upgrade a Vaio UX50 with a 30Gb hard drive to 64Gb solid state using USB flash and memory cards.


    SanDisk 4Gb Extreme IV compact flash card
    Generic 16Gb compact flash card
    Lexar 4Gb USB flash memory
    Adata 16Gb USB flash memory
    SanDisk 8Gb micro sd card
    two generic 8Gb micro sd cards
    'spider' USB hub
    USB micro sd reader
    Photofast CR 5400 dual micro sd to pro duo adapter
    ZIF PATA to compact flash adapter

The hard drive has been removed and replaced with a ZIF to compact flash adapter.
The compact flash card must be set to fixed mode for the Vaio to boot.
A special SanDisk utility called ATCFWCHG.COM was used to enable booting from the 4Gb compact flash card.

The USB hub shown above before fitting inside the Vaio UX.

The input to the USB hub is connected to the ribbon cable normally going to the side USB port and one of the hubs four outputs is connected back to the side USB socket.
The USB hub is fitted into the space next to the compact flash slot.
The circuit board of the internal Lexar 4Gb USB flash memory can just be seen under the hub inside the Vaio at the lower left.
External USB boot and operating system install works through the hub.

With the rear panel open the 16Gb removable USB memory is accessable as is the micro sd card reader.
The rear housing underneath the rear panel was cut away to allow room for the USB socket and micro sd reader.
A magnetic latch holds the rear panel closed.
The housing on the Adata 16Gb USB flash memory was removed and the circuit board protected with clear heatshrink tubing.

Two 8Gb micro sd cards in a twin adapter. The drive appears as a single 16Gb volume.

16 Gb compact flash card in the standard PIO mode slot.


Project complete:
The internal 4Gb USB and the 16Gb compact flash and 16Gb removable USB have been set up as fixed disks using the Hitachi Microdrive driver.
With the remaining 8Gb micro sd card in the micro sd reader the total flash space is now 64Gb spread across all drives.

Disk speed tests: 50MB size, all results in MB/s

SanDisk 4Gb Adata 16Gb
Lexar 4Gb dual micro sd 16Gb micro sd 8Gb CF 16Gb (PIO mode)
Sequential Read :
7.891 13.693 0.825
Sequential Write : 12.618  8.588  
5.888 0.812
Random Read 512KB :
25.194   14.552 
13.667 0.568
Random Write 512KB :
1.458    3.425
1.577 0.473
Random Read 4KB : 8.165   
4.301    4.390 
3.994 0.773
Random Write 4KB : 0.100 0.015     0.037 

Extra item

4 x micro sd USB card reader

4 micro sd card readers
black heatshrink tubing

Vaio UX repairs available at axiom