I have acquired a Sony MSX HB-501 F (F stands for France, it only defines the keyboard's layout).

It is fully functionnal, I can play games from cartridges on it and it displays MSX-BASIC if no cartridges are inserted.

The problem is that I got it without its original manual, and so I have a hard time figuring out how some features work.

As it was a high-end personal computer at the time, I read that it has a few office programs in ROM, such as an address book and an agenda.

I know that if its in the computer's ROM, the settings must be saved to a data cartridge (there were 4KB data cartridges) or cassette tape.

My only problem being that I don't know how to run those programs from the ROM. Moreover, I'm not even sure there are any program in ROM as I couldn't find any relevant documentation on how to run them, I could only find mentions of their existence.

So, is there really any program stored in ROM on an Sony MSX HB-501 apart from MSX-BASIC? If so, how can I run them?

  • Hi you could take a look at the MegaFlashROM SSC+ SD which you can load code from in to memory
    – Tony blank
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 3:31

1 Answer 1


The 501 series only came with the bundled productivity software on tape, unlike earlier models like the HB-101P and HB-201P that had it in firmware.

The provided English software on tape is the same as the built-in firmware on HB-101P and HB-201P. HB-501F

If you look at this description for the 101 series, for example, it states that

The firmware is launched automatically when you boot the machine. It's an English version of the original Japanese software ... from MSX-BASIC, you can go back to the Personal Databank with CALL HITBIT or _ HITBIT. HB-101P

Its a menu you're presented with immediately that you have to exit out of to get to actually drop down to BASIC.

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