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XP Pro on CF card working!!

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  • XP Pro on CF card working!!

    I know SFiorito has achieved this already, but I will detail my experience here.
    Also, this turned out to be a really long post, but please read through it all. I kept it to the point.

    1st I tried a cheap CF-IDE adapter off ebay with a Lexar CF 1gig card with no success. You can find my emotional roller coaster of a thread in this forum.

    Then I came to the conclusion the Lexar simply will not work. I had another CF card from here on the way. I sold the Lexar card to a friend and bought a 1gig Sandisk Extreme CF card.

    The same disk image I tried with the Lexar worked with the new CF card adapter and the sandisk on the 1st try!!!!!!

    I have the CF card partitioned into 2 partitions. One for the OS with EWF enabled(see EWF thread) and a smaller 100meg partition where I have Frodoplayer installed. This partition will be for any other software that requires persisted writes to the CF card.

    This is my current setup and it works like a charm.

    I was curious to know if the problem was the CF adapter or the CF card in the 1st setup. I no longer have the Lexar to try out, so I tried the cheapy CF adapter from ebay with the Sandisk, and it works! It is much slower though. The boot up time was an extra 15 seconds!

    Now i'm pretty sure the Lexar was the problem then, but it was getting half way through the boot up process. It was close. The only way I can be 100% sure is to try it with the new CF adapter, but I can't cause I don't have the Lexar anymore. If anyone succeeds with any brand of CF card besides a sandisk please let me know.

    So, back to my current setup. The Sandisk card works fine without setting it to fixed disk using Sandisk's utility, however, the second partition does not appear in windows. Windows will only show the 1st partition of removable media.
    I too my CF card to a buddy who has the utility. He set it to be a fixed disk and voila! XP now sees both partitions.

    So, to summarize the final requirements:

    1. Sandisk brand CF card
    2. Set to fixed disk if you have more than 1 partition. If not, fixed disk is not neccessary.
    3. From my one comparison of only 2 adapters, cheapy ebay adapters are slower! The one from prism(link above) is amazing. It even fits in laptop drive locations. The screw holes are the same, but you will need spacers for clearance of the PCB pins.

    Now I know you are all curious about the boot up times.
    Boot up times are not that much quicker. About 5 seconds faster compared to the laptop drive. 32s compared to 37s. Factor in some human error in the timing and that's not really a big improvement. The key advantage here though is the shock resistance and weather proofing.

    So with my new CF card for the OS and apps, my laptop drive is in a USB enclosure holding all of my media. The important results are:

    1. Shock resistant. The only moving parts in my system are now the CPU fan and the case fan.
    2. Weather resistant. A must in these -30C days here in Ottawa, Canada. My laptop drive would need about 10 mins to warm up before the bios could find it.
    3. Boot times are no really improved, but more importantly are not increased.

    In conclusion using a CF card over a hard drive is a must for those in cold weather conditions and pretty much makes your system shock proof. These two advantages may not be important for many, but for others this is a big step forward for in car computers.

    Ok, i'm tired of typing now and my eagles are losing, so I'm half happy from because of this car pc stuff and half ****ed because there's another eagle injured on the field right now.

    Feel free to ask any questions.

  • #2
    Nice work. Do your boot times include the bios post? How long is your bios post time?Did you use bootvis or a stopwatch?
    Carputer installed!!!
    Nlited XP+Minlogon, EpiaM10k, 512mb, Seagate 40 gig 2.5" HD, FM Dlink usb radio, DWL122 USB Wifi, XMD1000 tuner, PT5071 6 amp regulator, Xenarc 700TSV, and 1 ikea key box.

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice! So with CF cards, is there still the question of lastability? I read somewhere that CF cards only have a limited number of reads/writes before they are cactus...

      Comment


      • #4
        cool. thanks for the post, it helps me to decide wether to go on cf card over 7200rpm hdd.
        [....99.9%]
        [HW] 566eMHz/128mb/6gb, FlyVideo3k, RandMgps, M1-ATX, 7" Lilliput, VGA2AVadptrFor2ndVideo, 4CH/100rms, 10"Sub, 40AhDeepCycleTank
        [....99.8%]
        [SW] XP/MMC/FP:D3,FlyTV/AxifeFM,CarMM?
        [Working on] puttingBackEvrythg.

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        • #5
          Which Sandisk are you using?

          I`m waiting for the SanDisk Extreme III
          20mb/sec
          133x

          Looking good just cant wait to try it out..
          knubile can you post ur nlite installation guide just a quick list of things you removed from XP and anything u did to increase the boot times.

          thnx

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          • #6
            Thanks for the post, this is nice 2 know!
            List of front-ends/usefull apps
            XTroniC | XTroniC Direct

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            • #7
              Excellent post, thanks for clearing things up!

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              • #8
                Knubile,

                I have been following the threads posted by you guys and have also got the same sort of boot times. How are some people getting 20 second boot times and less as stated in other threads? Is this possible?

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                • #9
                  Garb-E,
                  My Cold boot time is 24 sec this is with XP SP2 Minlogon and EWF.
                  I presume it could be to do with the spec of Knubiles laptop?
                  I`m using a desktop Pentium 2.4ghz 768mb ram 20GB HD 7400rpm
                  I will be using nlite and the new CFC card when it comes
                  so we will see what new boot times I get.

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                  • #10
                    .

                    I'm curious did you use minlogon or just EWF ?
                    Progress [I will seriously never be done!]
                    Via EPIA MII
                    512MB RAM
                    OEM GPS (embedded)
                    nLite WinXP pro on
                    1GB Extreme III CF card
                    Carnetix 1260 startup/ DC-DC regulator
                    Software: Still, re-Writing my existing front end in .Net

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SlashEMc2k
                      Garb-E,
                      My Cold boot time is 24 sec this is with XP SP2 Minlogon and EWF.
                      I presume it could be to do with the spec of Knubiles laptop?
                      I`m using a desktop Pentium 2.4ghz 768mb ram 20GB HD 7400rpm
                      I will be using nlite and the new CFC card when it comes
                      so we will see what new boot times I get.
                      Ok so with 1GHz machine with 512 ram and 7200 hard drive 30 seconds is about as good as its going to get from a cold boot?

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                      • #12
                        Very cool congrats on achieving your goal
                        DICE Los Angeles
                        ]

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                        • #13
                          Did you use FAT or NTFS? Not sure if that'll make a significant speed difference. Did you also use all the latest reg entries I added to that web page I posted a couple weeks ago? I noticed that XP was trying to run chkdsk at each boot up which was costing me a couple seconds.
                          EWF, HORM, MinLogon on XP.

                          Zotac ION Atom N330, 2GB low-profile RAM, M3-ATX
                          Win Embedded Std 2011 RC
                          OCZ Vertex Turbo 30GB SSD
                          Lilliput 629 Transflective, WRX Screen Mount
                          BlueSoleil BT, i-Blue GM-2 GPS, DirectedHD Radio, Andrea Mic
                          VoomPC 2

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                          • #14
                            Just curious: what is better in terms of speed: ntfs or fat and why?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              MSFT claims FAT will tend to perform better for XPe, so that's what I used. I haven't done a test with NTFS though. My cold boot times hover around 19-22 from BIOS POST.
                              EWF, HORM, MinLogon on XP.

                              Zotac ION Atom N330, 2GB low-profile RAM, M3-ATX
                              Win Embedded Std 2011 RC
                              OCZ Vertex Turbo 30GB SSD
                              Lilliput 629 Transflective, WRX Screen Mount
                              BlueSoleil BT, i-Blue GM-2 GPS, DirectedHD Radio, Andrea Mic
                              VoomPC 2

                              Comment

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