Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

booting from flash card faster than HD?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • booting from flash card faster than HD?

    I'm just starting to think about my carPC and I have numerous questions and hurdles to get over before my system is built properly (as would most people). My first consideration is storage...

    a) I figure booting off a flash card could be faster and more efficient, plus this would allow that much more music storage on the HD. Is that correct?

    b) It appears that mini-itx boards have a single pci slot. How to fit fm tuner and soundblaster into the mix at the same time?

    c) How, using a single user screen is the system integrated to using both radio functions and mp3/cd functions? (usually those third party tuners come with their own software. Does Winamp take care of this?)

    d) I know this is a newbie thread, so I don't expect the majority of people here to already have a carPc, but I'm curious for those of you that do how many can't live without their carPC now that it is installed?

    Thanks for your advice and opinions

  • #2
    Originally posted by ecolner
    a) I figure booting off a flash card could be faster and more efficient, plus this would allow that much more music storage on the HD. Is that correct?

    b) It appears that mini-itx boards have a single pci slot. How to fit fm tuner and soundblaster into the mix at the same time?

    c) How, using a single user screen is the system integrated to using both radio functions and mp3/cd functions? (usually those third party tuners come with their own software. Does Winamp take care of this?)

    d) I know this is a newbie thread, so I don't expect the majority of people here to already have a carPc, but I'm curious for those of you that do how many can't live without their carPC now that it is installed?

    Thanks for your advice and opinions
    a) no, plus you'll knacker it in no time due to excessive writes.

    b) you can get a pci splitter i think.

    c) various custom interfaces are available. look in the software forums.

    d) i have one but i can live without it - i have beer

    GingerPrince

    Car changed for TVR Griffith 500, so computer de-installed. Using a Dension 100ix w/60Gb HD unit in the interim.

    Carputer Install - http://www.stuffandting.com/carputer/
    CarBox Software -- http://www.stuffandting.com/carbox/

    Comment


    • #3
      b) I have an FM tuner, and a soundblaster (audigy 2 nx). I don't use the one PCI slot

      d) I can live without it driving in town. I can't live with out it on longer trips (even if i know the route) or any trip i haven't taken before.

      a), c), see above post
      car computer rev 5: 8" lilliput and usual suspects

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ecolner
        I'm just starting to think about my carPC and I have numerous questions and hurdles to get over before my system is built properly (as would most people). My first consideration is storage...

        a) I figure booting off a flash card could be faster and more efficient, plus this would allow that much more music storage on the HD. Is that correct?

        b) It appears that mini-itx boards have a single pci slot. How to fit fm tuner and soundblaster into the mix at the same time?

        c) How, using a single user screen is the system integrated to using both radio functions and mp3/cd functions? (usually those third party tuners come with their own software. Does Winamp take care of this?)

        d) I know this is a newbie thread, so I don't expect the majority of people here to already have a carPc, but I'm curious for those of you that do how many can't live without their carPC now that it is installed?

        Thanks for your advice and opinions
        A) Yes of course if your willing to fork out the money to have a flash car big enough to Support your os, and also have an internal flash drive. USB can be quite a bit slower than having an internal one.
        B) External Fm Tuner, USB
        c)Media Engine Comes with FM and MP3 Support
        D)Living with out, yes. It is not my family or blood or for that matter my beer. Just a hobby.

        Keep searching the forums, most of the questions have usually allready been asked and answered.

        Comment


        • #5
          regarding nighthunter's A)

          unless you're going to fork out over a grand- that is, if you were considreing compact flash, smart media, etc- it will NOT be faster.
          car computer rev 5: 8" lilliput and usual suspects

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ecolner
            a) I figure booting off a flash card could be faster and more efficient, plus this would allow that much more music storage on the HD. Is that correct?
            and

            Originally posted by GingerPrince
            a) no, plus you'll knacker it in no time due to excessive writes.
            Well yes and no to both of these responses...

            What you really want is an EIDE based flash drive that attached just like a hard drive to you PC (via the EIDE bus). This is very shock resistant, instant on, and fast to READ from.
            It is NOT fast to write to (in fact it is very slow), and has a life associated with how many write can be done to it (usually about 100,000. which is not alot).

            Windoze likes to cache memory to the hard drive, so you would as GingerPrince put it "Knacker it" in no time, IF you used the normal ATAPI.SYS driver that is normally used for hard drives.

            What you want to do is to replace ATAPI.SYS with a special device driver that allows reads to come from the flash hard drive, and write to go to a simulated hard drive in memory (i.e. RAM). What this mean is that all writes to the "hard drive" would be lost, but it would not "knacker up" (love that term) your flash drive!

            This is the same approached used when booting Windows from a CD-ROM only PC (as is done in slot machines!).

            Also, these flash drives are not cheap and pretty small, typically a 650 MB drive is around $200 US. For that kind of money you can get hundreds of GBs in a hard drive.

            Chris

            Comment


            • #7
              How to write new ATAPI.sys

              Mister Six, have you ever seen a good tutorial on this subject of ATAPI.sys. I'm probably going to experiment using the flash card because I figure that the largest card I'd have to purchase would be 64mb... That's only like $50 extra and if I can get fast startup it would be well worth the extra money and code. I have experience coding c-sharp and java, but I have never written a device driver in either language (currently taking assembly language course in college). So, if anyone finds a tutorial on how to accomplish caching re-assignment it would be really helpful. Of course, I'll be looking as well.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ecolner
                Mister Six, have you ever seen a good tutorial on this subject of ATAPI.sys. I'm probably going to experiment using the flash card because I figure that the largest card I'd have to purchase would be 64mb... That's only like $50 extra and if I can get fast startup it would be well worth the extra money and code. I have experience coding c-sharp and java, but I have never written a device driver in either language (currently taking assembly language course in college). So, if anyone finds a tutorial on how to accomplish caching re-assignment it would be really helpful. Of course, I'll be looking as well.
                You are opening a can of worms!! Good for you!

                Writing drivers for Windows is one of the most difficult programming exercise possible under Windows. There are several good books written on the subject, and you will need the DDK (driver development kit) from M$ ("Microsoft"). Try some searches for WDM or Enhanced Write Filter or EWF.SYS.

                Here are a couple of links to start with:
                MSDN
                as well as
                meta link page

                Here is but one example of the kind of drive you would want to use.
                Simple Technologies

                If I where you I would look for a EIDE flash drive manufacturer who already has a write filtering driver available, would save you alot of work!

                Chris

                Comment


                • #9
                  thanks chris. I agree that it would be a great deal of work (only because I have no idea how to make it happen). But I'm gonna look for that manufacturer before delving into any drawn out flash drive project of my own. There might even be some mad scientist in his basement who's done it. It's a giant planet =)

                  I have more question still, on less technical topics.

                  - Is it possible to get hifi using Epia onboard sound without the SoundBlaster or is it pretty much manditory purchase for audiophile quality?


                  - What is the solution for putting fm tunner and other cards onto a board with only a single pci... internal usb wires?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    theres a few on the side where the other ports are

                    im pretty sure that there is a plug on the board for adding a few more

                    USB ports, that is
                    "You can't kill a revolutionary, 'cuz you can't kill the revolution." ~RATM

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wouldn't setting the swapfile to another drive be sufficient, instead of writing a custom ATAPI.SYS?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, that would help, but I am assuming that he is not going to have ANY hard drive in his system.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Mister Six: Thanks for the info. I'd go in the same direction - I want an IDE flash drive. I'd get a 2 gig Flash IDE drive and install all required software.
                          I need the Flash since our winters will kill most HDD you'll find, but still will get one 20 gig extended temp. HDD for data. This said, I would require to get the data drive to be optional.

                          therefore, I would rely only on Flash IDE and memory.

                          I plan on using win98se since I don't need anyof the XP's visual and its smaller.

                          Wouldn't it be ennough to Disable the swap file and use 1 gig of memory (98 requires less then that if I'm right, no?)

                          My question is the next: do I need to hack ATAPI.SYS or disabling the swap would be sufficent?

                          also, how come its the ATAPI.SYS file... somehow I tough ATAPI was CD-ROM/ZipDisks..?

                          How would we go for change it? can we hack it from the win98 boot disk???
                          -Mars

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Marsupial
                            I need the Flash since our winters will kill most HDD you'll find, but still will get one 20 gig extended temp. HDD for data. This said, I would require to get the data drive to be optional.
                            I am jealous, I have just the opposite problem, it gets too hot here.
                            For your HDD I would recommend a removable tray based drive, that way you can take if out and not leave it in the cold car.
                            Originally posted by Marsupial
                            I plan on using win98se since I don't need anyof the XP's visual and its smaller.
                            Well, your right, the hard drive space consumed by the Win 9x series is less, but I still wouldnt use any of them for an embedded application like this.
                            The Win NT family (NT, 2000, XP) are all much more stable than the 9x family, I guess if your just playing music you dont really care if you have to reboot it now and then.
                            Originally posted by Marsupial
                            Wouldn't it be ennough to Disable the swap file and use 1 gig of memory (98 requires less then that if I'm right, no?)
                            Yes, as long as you keep tht memory footprint of all combined applications and windows under 1 GB that should work as well.
                            Originally posted by Marsupial
                            My question is the next: do I need to hack ATAPI.SYS or disabling the swap would be sufficent?also, how come its the ATAPI.SYS file... somehow I tough ATAPI was CD-ROM/ZipDisks..?How would we go for change it? can we hack it from the win98 boot disk???
                            Doing what your suggesting (no swap, big memory) would be better than mucking around with the driver (if you can guarantee that everything will fit in memory), actually, if my memory server me correctly, I dont belive you can implement a write filter driver with Windows 9x. ATAPI works with all IDE based devices.

                            Chris

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey don't get me wrong, we get extremely warm during summer, but electronic components that overheat works better then frozen mecanical head motor

                              I had a friend from pasadena coming a few summers ago, and she could not witstand our heat+humidity. Its not exactly warmer, but humidex kills us

                              This said, I realised in another thread that 9x or ME can handle maximum 512 Mb of RAM. But another member is using ME with no swap file and it works great. I think that I'll use 98se with no swap file.

                              I don't mind much for stability, as 98 needs reboot only once in a day or so, and even long runs are like 6 hours in the car before shutdown. I will not use hibernation mode. Always hated that.

                              So I think I'll just flash the system with no swap and be fine with it.

                              thanks for the info!
                              -Mars

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X