Linux on HP IPAQ h1940/h1945

August 7, 2006

First of all, i've read around the h1940 and h1945 are the same hardware- just different model numbers to express what channel they were sold through.

This tutorial is adopted from the original at

In the event you screw something up (as I did) and you can't get a successful boot going, these steps will get your IPAQ back to their original state. Note that this will not help those that screwed up their primary bootloader. Those people will need JTAG to flash the first 256 bytes. As a side note, my original IPAQ software version was 1.0. You'll notice the image below will bring it up to 1.1 which is indeed newer and pretty-er.

First, download the image h1940_r2sd.img.bz2 from

Stick your SD card into your Linux PC and erase it:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/device bs=1k
Unzip the image:
bunzip2 h1940_r2sd.img.bz2
Put the image on the device:
dd if=h1940_r2sd.img of=/dev/device bs=1k
Make sure and cleanly eject the SD card (ensuring the image is flushed):
eject device

First put the SD card in the device, then do a hard reset using these steps:

- Press and hold the Power button
- Press and release the Reset button
- The LCD turns off
- When the LCD turns on, immediately release the Power button

You should get a message asking if you want to load the image from the SD card. To say yes, press the middle button of the joypad.

Wait for the flash to finish (this can take several minutes).

Do a hard reset again (power and reset together, then release both).

All done.

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Comment August 2, 2007 by anonymous
so what did you finally do for linux on your ipaq?
Comment August 13, 2007 by digitalpeer
I never got it past a locking bootup and didn't feel like fooling with it. The hardware support on the h1945 has yet to be completely backward engineered.
Comment August 15, 2007 by Tracy
bummer ... I've finally succeeded in backing up the contact / task data and completely reloading the ROM image and restoring it, so I'm confident to screw it all up ;) - perhaps opie?
Comment December 11, 2007 by Neeeves
How stable is linux running on the H1940? I'd like to get a navigation system on it. Is there any option really usable, or do I need to stick with windows? (argh!) Tks!