Jaap's Psion II Page

The Psion Organiser II
Flashpak Instruction Leaflet

Note that this is the text of the 1993 edition of the instruction leaflet. The 1990 edition is also available, which is missing information about how to handle Flash packs that contain different versions of the flash driver.



NOTE: This leaflet ends with important information on different versions of the software used to drive Flash Datapaks. Even if you have used Flash Datapaks before, read this information before using this Flash Datapak.


Flash Datapaks use state-of-the-art technology to provide storage for your information. They do not rely on any form of battery to retain their contents (unlike RAM-based products), and contain no moving parts (unlike floppy disks). They use less power and are quicker to save information to than conventional Datapaks, thus extending the Organiser's battery life.

Flash Datapaks are suitable for all Psion Organiser II's, except model CM.


In order for an Organiser to access a Flash Datapak fully, special software must be loaded from the pack to the Organiser. This software will use about 4.5K of your Organiser's memory.

To install the software, switch off the Organiser, insert the Flash Datapak, and switch on again. With the main menu displayed, press the ON/CLEAR key an extra time. The software will be loaded, and a new menu item 'Flash' will appear near the end of the main menu. If the software is not successfully loaded, you must free some more memory before trying again. (Even if the software is not loaded, you can still read information from your Flash Datapak, but you cannot store new information on it - it will be "READ ONLY".)

Once loaded, the software stays in the Organiser until it is specifically removed or the Organiser is reset.

Using the Flash Datapak

Your Flash Datapak may now be used like any other Datapak, as described in your Organiser manual. As with all types of Datapak, when you delete or update information on the pack, it is 'crossed out' but still takes up space. Eventually the pack will become full, typically containing both deleted and current information, and you may wish to erase its entire contents and start again. Before doing so, you may also wish to copy the current (undeleted) data it contains to another pack - follow the instructions in your Organiser manual.

Erasing a Flash Datapak

For this, you require either another Flash Datapak or a Flash Datapak Formatter program pack. You may wish to use a mains adapter while formatting, in order to conserve your Organiser's battery.

Warning: after you have formatted the pack all the information it previously contained will be lost forever.

To erase a Flash Datapak, both the pack itself and a second Flash Datapak or Flash Datapak Formatter must be fitted in the Organiser at the same time. The Organiser should be switched off whilst inserting or removing packs.

With the packs inserted and the Organiser switched back on, the menu item 'Flash' should appear near the end of the main menu. If it is not already there, press ON/CLEAR again. Selecting 'Flash' will offer a new menu from which you may choose to format the Flash Datapak. Select the slot containing the Flash Datapak you wish to format.

You are then given one last opportunity to abandon the formatting procedure. If you continue, the Organiser will indicate the progress of formatting, which may take a few minutes. (Should you wish to interrupt the formatting process, press ON/CLEAR. Your Flash Datapak will then require formatting later.)

You will return to the main menu when formatting is complete. You can then begin to use your freshly formatted Flash Datapak.

Error messages will be displayed if you attempt to format any type of pack other than a Flash Datapak, or if you remove the pack too soon. You should never remove or insert a pack while the machine is switched on.

Note: A freshly formatted Flash Datapak has about 7K of space reserved for the program that enables an Organiser to access it fully. This program is automatically copied onto the pack during formatting; it is thus quite normal for a newly formatted Flash Datapak not to appear completely empty.

Removing Flash Datapak software

If you wish to remove the Flash Datapak software from your Organiser (to recover the 4.5K of memory it uses), first switch off and remove any program packs or peripherals. Then switch back on and, with the main menu displayed, press ON/CLEAR an extra time to purge the Organiser's memory of software from other program packs or peripherals.

The 'Flash' item will still be in the menu. Select it, then select 'Remove' from the menu that follows, and confirm by pressing the Y key.

An error message will appear if any software from other programs or peripherals is still resident in the Organiser, preventing the Flash Datapak software from being removed.

IMPORTANT: Software versions

If you have more than one Flash Datapak, they may have different versions of the controlling software. You must install whichever version is the latest. The earliest version of the software did not display a version number; subsequent versions display a version number when you select the 'Flash' option. (On XPs, the number is on the end of the menu.)

To use a second Flash Datapak. first note the version of your current software, then remove the software (as explained above). Now install the software from the new Datapak, and note its version number. It will probably be the same version, or a later one. You can now use both Flash Datapaks.

The new Flash Datapak may not work if you do not do this.

In the unlikely event that the new software is an earlier version that the software from your original Flash Datapak, remove the new software and re-install your previous software.

If you do have different versions of the software. then having installed the most recent version, you should format any Flash Datapaks which have the old version. (Otherwise, if you later used the old Datapak to format the newer one, the formatting process would copy the older version of the software from the older Datapak onto the newer one, and the newer Datapak might not work.) You can copy any data from the older Datapak ~ perhaps to the newer one - before formatting it.

Flash Datapak Formatters contain the same formatting software as Flash Datapaks themselves, and you can check the version number of the software in the same way. You must not use a Flash Datapak Formatter to format a Flash Datapak if the Datapak itself has a later version of the software. In this event, return your Flash Datapak Formatter to Psion for an upgrade.

© Copyright Psion PLC 1990

All rights reserved. This document and the programs supplied on a Psion Datapak or Psion Datapak Formatter are copyrighted works of Psion PLC, London, England. Reproduction in whole or in part including utilisation in machines capable of reproduction or retrieval, without the express written permission of Psion PLC, is prohibited. Reverse engineering is also prohibited.

The information in this document is subject to change without notice.

Psion and the Psion logo are registered trademarks of Psion PLC. Psion Organiser II, Datapak and Rampak are trademarks of Psion PLC.

V2.02 Jun 93
Part No. 6300-0041-02