Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Making a CF card bootable

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

  • Making a CF card bootable

    Hi guys,

    has anyone got any suggestions as to how to make a CF card bootable. I have followed sFiorito's instructions, and can format the card in Fat16, fat32, or NTFS. The card is then visible in dos (xcept ntfs) xp and knoppix, but I can't seem to make it bootable !

    I have tried formatting it with a win98se boot disk, it won't boot. I have formatted it with xp, and then tried to sys it with the 98 boot disk, no joy. I have even formatted it knoppix, and still no joy. The card holds data which is visible with all three OS's.

    I have to say I am stuck ! It is a cheap 512MB card from ebuyer, but I want to test for myslf the pros and cons of booting from CF v booting from disk. There doesn't seem to be a lot of difference, but call me "thomas" I want to see for myself.

    I thought to make a card bootable you just needed a bootloader in a specific place on the disk and bobs your uncle, so much for what I know ! Neither fdisk, cfdisk, or Partition Magic can sort this out, what have I missed ?

    Tired and depressed from the UK !
    M1000, 512MB, 512MB CF, 6GB Disk (4200rpm),
    DVD/RW, Dynamix 8" screen, M2-ATX, Custom case,Too many hours building and rebuilding and rebuild.......

  • #2
    What motherboard are you using and how is your CF card connected to your system? CF-IDE adapter, USB card reader, or MII CF slot?
    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


    • #3
      kpjuk,

      First question is what OS are you planning to install on the 512 CF?

      XP won't fit on less than a gig, 2000 I have installed on a smaller CF and 98 or lower I have not tried.

      Next, I experienced similar problems to you when I setup my CF as the boot drive. I am using a 4Gig Microdrive, but it still suffers from the same problems. First thing I have to suggest not setting up the machine with the CF for the 1st install. I was able to do an install from a XP CD using NTFS only, FAT32 failed on the first reboot every time. Same issues using 2000, but that is expected. However after getting it installed I got page file errors and I could not install many applications because XP tagged the CF as a "Removable Drive" and software like AVG, MS Office, and many other apps won't install to that drive.

      My cure was to install everything I wanted to a regular hard drive and then use Ghost to make an exact copy "image" and place it onto the CF. This bypassed the major problems for me and made it bootable. I keep a bootable 2 CD image of my original install to save time. I have also used 7tools partition imager with no luck coping from the HD to CF, it says it's exact but it will not boot when done. Also I notice that 7tools says the CF is invalid data type when I read it on another XP machine. So there is something about the CF drives that MS can't [or doesn't want you to] understand.

      Last there are these options, find a manufacture that makes an ATA only CF style device. The issue here is that CF cards have a hardware or hard coded setting that says they are "CF formatted" and or ATA compatible. DOS sees that CF in the hardware description and does not like it for some reason. I have used a drive tool to set every block to "0" on a CF card and it made no difference. But I do know there are ATA format only CF cards out there, Drivesoft uses them but would not elaborate on their source.

      The "new" silver case Creative Labs MuVo II Mp3 player uses a 4Gig ATA only CF drive and I think the IPOD mini uses this same drive. They removed the CF format from these units and made them ATA only to keep people from popping them open and stripping the drives for digital cameras. Hence they may have made them PC compatible at the same time... Have not personally tried a new one yet, but for less than $200 for a 4 gig drive you may want to buy a MuVo II and play with it. The older version is what I ripped my 4 gig from.

      Also suggest looking at using XP embedded, several guys here us it and I have been playing around with it. Like Ghost your making an image and placing it on the CF drive. You will need to setup the PC with XP first to get the hardware configs, or use the dos boot disk program to do the same. From what I have found it should run on about any CF card out there. There is another image based loader app based on XP but I don't recall them name at the moment. Search "CF" here and you'll find it for sure. So best I can say, image a bootable drive and copy that to the CF and I'll bet it boots, beyond that best of luck.

      Hope this helps

      Comment


      • #4
        You shouldn't have to use Ghost or any other imaging program to boot off a CF disk. Even on a removable CF disk I can boot by simply running fdisk, formatting to FAT32, running bootprep (from XPe to allow FAT drives to boot into XP), and then just copying my XP installation from the HDD to the CF disk (just copying the files over). I always test a new CF card by just running "format c: /s") to make it boot into DOS. If that works then I know I can boot it into XP. But if he can't even boot into DOS that means something else is wrong.
        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


        • #5
          There's a nice HP utility I use to make my USB-keys bootable, might work for your cf card. Don't be fooled into thinking that this will only work with HP devices.

          Edit: This utility has also worked for me to make external USB hard drives bootable.

          http://h18007.www1.hp.com/support/fi...oad/20306.html
          Dr. Ron Paul for President 2008

          Hope for America - http://www.ronpaul2008.com

          Who is Ron Paul? - Why do we need Ron Paul?

          __________________
          CarPC Newbs Start Here: All your questions answered, as if by E.S.P.

          Comment


          • #6
            SFiorito, what CF adapter are you using??

            I am using a ituners model in the car PC and a sandisk USB adapter in the house. I've experimented with both and had the same problems. Maybe your CF adapter is a better design. I do know some of the IDE versions may not be bootable..

            Comment


            • #7
              I've used 2, one from l0gicsupply.com and the other from acscontrol.com. The l0gicsupply one was slightly faster. I also was able to boot DOS from a cheapo USB card reader.
              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


              • #8
                Originally posted by NOS TANG
                First question is what OS are you planning to install on the 512 CF?

                XP won't fit on less than a gig
                I think you'll find that it does ... guys have XP installs fitting on 256CF's
                Caputer Mk. II
                '02 VX Holden Commodore Series II Executive
                MII12000, 512MB RAM, 60GB HDD (5400rpm), 16X DVD, TS200V
                Morex 60W DC-DC, Custom S/SDC
                OS/Software: Developing...

                Comment


                • #9
                  what about xD cards?? is it possible to boot from them? I guess it must be, you can get an adapter to use an xD card the same as a USB memory stick...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the feedback guys, in the formatting and reformatting, I am wondering if I have screwed up the disk geometry ? The disk is a 512MB card, but when formatted it reports only 497MB ? 15MB is quite a chunk to "lose".

                    I have tried the HP USB tool, it works great for my USB drives, allows me to boot from them, although only DOS, I have given up trying to get Windows booted from one, as I have found with the 2 USB disks I have that they are not that quick, re: access times.

                    What is frustrating is that I did have the disk booting to DOS (many hours ago) but I can't seem to get it booting to DOS now ....... but don't you just love a challenge !

                    I have formatted the drive under XP to NTFS, and have downloaded a diskclone freeware prog, to see if it will boot as an NTFS disk..... worth a try, but I don't expect it to work. If it won't work for DOS (Fatxx), then It ain't going to work for XP(NTFS)


                    regards
                    KPJUK
                    M1000, 512MB, 512MB CF, 6GB Disk (4200rpm),
                    DVD/RW, Dynamix 8" screen, M2-ATX, Custom case,Too many hours building and rebuilding and rebuild.......

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Update

                      tried cloning the drive, and swapping the hard disk and CF card, then rebooting..... won't reboot ! I just can't get the CF card bootable ! There must be a way.....

                      kpjuk
                      M1000, 512MB, 512MB CF, 6GB Disk (4200rpm),
                      DVD/RW, Dynamix 8" screen, M2-ATX, Custom case,Too many hours building and rebuilding and rebuild.......

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What CF-IDE adapter are you using. What type of IDE cable are you using? It may need to be the older style 40 conductor (ATA33) cables, not the new ATA66 or ATA100 cables. That's what got me the first time too. Your best bet is to install XP on a hard drive and then just copy over the files to your NTFS formatted CF drive (or FAT, but you need to run bootprep on it).
                        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


                        • #13
                          Da, Daaahh,
                          (emulated windows start up sound !)

                          It's working ! The only thing I changed was to put the CF/IDE adaptor at the end of the IDE lead instead of in the middle. I then ran fdisk /mbr, rebooted, ran fdisk to reset the partition, rebooted, tried to sys it, with no luck. Thought I would give bootprep a try just in case, and blow me the bugger fired up !

                          Lots of problems still, in an effort to save space my nLite config puts the docs/settings onto drive D:, but in this config drive D: is the DVD drive (Doh!), so one step forward and you know the rest.....

                          Thanks guys for your perserverance. Still not sure why the CF won't boot to DOS, but hey who cares.

                          Now for a new nLite config, and some test time on CF v 4200 Hard drive.

                          Thanks for the help and support.
                          KPJUK
                          M1000, 512MB, 512MB CF, 6GB Disk (4200rpm),
                          DVD/RW, Dynamix 8" screen, M2-ATX, Custom case,Too many hours building and rebuilding and rebuild.......

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If your drive is NTFS formatted you don't need bootprep. Bootprep is only needed for FAT partitions, so I'm guessing your CF disk is FAT, right? It's better that way when using EWF anyhow. I wouldn't get my hopes up WRT the speed of your CF card. Unless it's a SanDisk UltraII, Extreme, or ExtremeIII it won't be very fast. Those 3 cards are the fastest out there. I've tested all 3 and they work great, but if you just bought some cheapo 512MB card it probably won't be very fast. I've gotten XP down to 200MB so far and have never needed to move any directories. Just make sure you disable paging and hibernation (if you don't plan on using it). I've noticed with the latest nLite that even when I select "Disable paging file" that XP still creates a pagefile.sys on my root so I need to disable paging again manually, reboot, and then delete the file myself.
                            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


                            • #15
                              Thanks SFiorito,

                              I am guessing that this current 512MB card is going to "upgrade" my digital camera, but I really wanted to get this working to see which direction my installation overall should go in. I probably should have read up a bit more before I bought the card, but it was only for playing with anyway. As I bought a 512MB memory card, for my M10K I should have gone for the 1GB CF disk, but didn't realise the size of the Hiberfil.sys is directly proportional to your memory count (DOH!) hindsight as they say......

                              Anyway, I want to do a comparison of CF boot performance against the old 4200 disk I have at the moment. I haven't invested in my final disk yet, and if the improvement is only slight, I may hold out for a 7200 disk when they drop to sensible pricing instead of going for the 1GB mem card, I don't have temperature issues here in the UK, so I am looking at the CF for performance not Temp / crash proofing ! Decisions decisions.....

                              to nLite v8 and beyond .........

                              I will post my findings later.
                              M1000, 512MB, 512MB CF, 6GB Disk (4200rpm),
                              DVD/RW, Dynamix 8" screen, M2-ATX, Custom case,Too many hours building and rebuilding and rebuild.......

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X