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Booting XP from a USB or Compact Flash Card

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  • Booting XP from a USB or Compact Flash Card

    Frequently Asked Questions about Booting from Compact Flash

    Does using a CF card make XP boot faster?
    Your mileage may vary. This thread should help answer this question.
    What is the advantage to booting from CF
    Mostly, that your system is not tied to a mechanical disk drive. Disk drives can fail from vibration, heat, cold, shock. CF cards use less power as well.
    Are there downsides to CF cards?
    CF cards only support a limited number of writes (don't worry, it's "lots"), so you want to ensure that your XP install will write as little as possible to the card.
    How does it work?
    CF cards have a finite number of "writes" that can be made to them. This is the reason that XPe (embedded) is used to write the files to the card. First, MinLogon can optionally be used to help reduce boot times. Then a product called nLite is used to strip XP down to a bare minimum to fit on the card and EWF (Enhanced Write Filter) is used to reduce writes to the card. A procedure called HORM (Hibernate Once, Resume Many) is also used to reduce writes to the card.
    Will any Compact Flash card work?
    The only real caveat is: how FAST do you want to boot. Some older cards don't actually support IDE emulation mode (though those would be too small to be considered, anyway).
    Article written by BugByte, SFiorito, Wimster, thumper_svx.