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  • Flash OS

    I have seen that some people have their OS loaded onto a flash card, thus giving a extremely fast boot time (DriveSoft uses this as well). How do you do this?
    Quick! To the Popemobile!

  • #2
    Just put the flash card in and install the OS on it. Assuming you're using an ITX MB with built in support it should show up as a drive.
    89 Mustang (Autox, road race, and cruiser)
    93 Escort (Daily Driver)
    84 Dolphin RV (Soon to be Carputer Heaven)

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    • #3
      Make sure in Windows to disable the swapfile on the flash disk, or in linux disable the swap and use the no atime option in your fstab. This will prevent excessive writes to the device (flash devices have a limited number of write cycles in their life).
      System status: in progress

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      • #4
        You can also get IDE adapters if you don't have a compactflash et al port on your motherboard, i.e.

        http://linitx.com/index.php?cPath=39...43406c9ba7fb08
        Ford Focus MP3 : www.stevieg.org/carpc Blog Updated 29 January 2009!
        Car PC Status: Complete - Undergoing Software Redevelopment

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        • #5
          Just like everyone is saying.

          I'm going to be using a 512mb CF card ( $40 EvilBay )
          Instead of using Win XP, I'm going to be using XP Embedded. XPE is a snapshot of just the parts of the OS that you need, so you have a very small OS footprint. I will also have a laptop drive for file storage. If either breaks, it's a quick change without having to reload and tweak.

          You can also here, as there is allot of talk about that type of setup.

          I am wondering if I partition the CF Card and have the OS on one partition, then the files that change on another ( like settings ini and playlists etc...). I believe that the solid state CF cards don't have a write limit, just the CFII of Micro-Drives.

          Can anyone give info on those questions ??

          Sorry if I hijacked thread.

          Don

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Don 944 LA
            Just like everyone is saying.

            I'm going to be using a 512mb CF card ( $40 EvilBay )
            Instead of using Win XP, I'm going to be using XP Embedded. XPE is a snapshot of just the parts of the OS that you need, so you have a very small OS footprint. I will also have a laptop drive for file storage. If either breaks, it's a quick change without having to reload and tweak.

            You can also here, as there is allot of talk about that type of setup.

            I am wondering if I partition the CF Card and have the OS on one partition, then the files that change on another ( like settings ini and playlists etc...). I believe that the solid state CF cards don't have a write limit, just the CFII of Micro-Drives.

            Can anyone give info on those questions ??

            Sorry if I hijacked thread.

            Don
            Not all correct. Compact flash cards do have a write limit. CF type II cards are like microdrives which have platters in them like HDD. Most likely, compact flash cards have a write limit of 1-10 million write cycles. Again, the best option, if using xp/linux is to turn off the swap file. For our applications, the swap file should not impact the overall performance much since we are using the system for a limited application. This option will work best if you have a lot of ram since operations will swap in ram and not to the drive.
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            • #7
              Also worthy to note, while flash memory will have next to 0ms access times, the max transfer rates on flash is only 9~10mbs, which is much slower than a modern ide drive. So it's not necessicarily the magical superboot solution people make it out to be.
              -Nick

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MP3DUB
                Also worthy to note, while flash memory will have next to 0ms access times, the max transfer rates on flash is only 9~10mbs, which is much slower than a modern ide drive. So it's not necessicarily the magical superboot solution people make it out to be.
                will that be the case in a mall footprint OS.. by the time an ide spins up etc.. couldn't the OS be loaded already by flash ..
                I'm still in assumption mode, no fact to back it up

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                • #9
                  An ide hdd has spun up to operating speed before the post process finished, which isnt even to device initialization, which is still before booting, so both flash and ide will be primed to go by the time the system is ready to start booting an os. Win98Lite (or something similarly small) would probably see the greatest results from being loaded from flash, as there are still numerous files that have to be loaded to ram, but the footprint of those files are tiny compared to xp.
                  -Nick

                  _____________________________
                  Since when is insanity a bad thing?
                  www.mp3vw.com

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                  • #10
                    I have been running XP Pro on a microdrive for some time now. Biggest problem I found is that XP doesn’t like the “C” drive being a removable media. Page file is off but still finding a lot of things that are not working correctly. Trying to work out these issues and a way to convince XP this is just another ATA device. Was thinking maybe XP embedded might work better. I posted a question about this here: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=32882

                    Anyone who has seen this before please comment..

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                    • #11
                      Oh, I'm not talking XP, I'm talking about XP EMBEDDED..

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                      • #12
                        I use xplite and 98lite. With xplite I have not been able to get xp small enough to fit onto a 1gig cf card. But, I have managed to create a version of winme small enough to fit and it runs media engine and mediacar with no problems. The biggest issue I see with xp embedded is getting all of the devices to work and the cost.
                        Check out my hopefully useful site...

                        www.hobbybotics.com

                        It's still under design but it is functional

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                        • #13
                          This might help: From Drivesoft

                          I would like to first comment on the boot time topic. I see many people are thinking that Drivesoft system always uses XP EMB on compact flash. This is not always true. We install unit in industrial vehicle that we do use compact flash in but 99% of the multi media unit that we sell have 2.5 hard drives in them. We are getting our 6 sec boot time with XP pro and the same with XP EMB. We are using standby "STR". When we use Hibernation we get about8 to 10 sec start up. Also when I say start up I mean when the music starts to play. A while back some software company made a comment about how we boot fast with compact flash etc but he was just assuming that. One of the reasons we boot as solid and as fast as we do even on hard drives is because we are managing driver "load and order". This goes for shut down as well. We also write some of the drivers for the products we use which also help in standby issues etc. You should remember tat most PC product out there are all made to work on all pc's. Once you remove the ALL word and design drivers etc that work with only your product you get better results.
                          Example: the new GM radios that have the LCD in the dash made by Delphi have a processor and an OS and so dose the BMW. Some is running CE. Why do they not crash like pc's do? Only because it was designed to do certain functions. We worked on some of theses unit in GM cars with them and see why they do not have problems. We are just doing the same thing they are but on a wider scale.

                          Now far as your removable drive and XP issues.
                          Try right clicking on the drive and go to properties. Then go to the hardware tab. then highlight the drive and select properties again. Then go to the policies tab and change the setting to "Optimize for Performance". This will also allow you to format removable media with NTFS. XP functions this way because it wants to handle removable devices fast so you do not need to click Safety Remove Hardware task first.

                          Hope this helps. It works for most people.

                          Drivesoft Support

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Drivesoft
                            Now far as your removable drive and XP issues.
                            Try right clicking on the drive and go to properties. Then go to the hardware tab. then highlight the drive and select properties again. Then go to the policies tab and change the setting to "Optimize for Performance". This will also allow you to format removable media with NTFS. XP functions this way because it wants to handle removable devices fast so you do not need to click Safety Remove Hardware task first.

                            Hope this helps. It works for most people.

                            Drivesoft Support
                            First let me welcome you to Mp3car, glad to see you guys joining the ranks of developers here sharing information. I hope you find this site as helpful as most of us do. Can't think of a unsolved problem that someone here hasn't been able to fix, including that little XM PCR deal that allowed to us adjust XM's attitude for them in under 30 days

                            That said, let me further test your knowledge of the compact flash solutions. I checked the settings you listed above and found on my box using an IDE/CF II adapter and running a Hitachi 4GB micro drive that the "Optimize for Performance" option does not exist. "Enable write caching" is the only listed option for that device. Is this because I'm all ready running NTFS on the drive? My secondary 1Gb micro running Fat in the VIA card bus slot gives the options you listed but not the 4Gb that’s my primary C drive.

                            Second, what have you ran into regarding software installs on the removables? I found a bunch of apps like Office XP, Windows updates, AVG and many others that just won't install to a removable device. To get past it I did the first install on an IDE drive then used Ghost to create an image that I loaded to the micro drive. Fixed most everything but Windows automatic updates, and that one you truly need if you plan to be connected to the net without getting your car hacked....

                            I've tried everything but changing to XPE or CE to work around it. 2000 and XP just won't accept the fact that C:\ could be a removable drive and it works hard to try and change your mind also. I would rather stick with Pro and have the option to add and remove programs on the fly then have to rebuild my image every time I get a whim to try out some new apps.

                            Any suggestions on how to trick XP into thinking it's just another IDE in there?

                            Cheers,

                            Nos

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                            • #15
                              Some interesting links to XPE boot time + flash.

                              http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/de...SP1_CF_EWF.asp

                              http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en...asp?frame=true

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