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Thread: CF Card for Windows XP OS boot???

  1. #1
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    CF Card for Windows XP OS boot???

    I've seen & read some stuff about people using Compact Flash memory cards hooked up to their motherboards to be used as the driver for the operating system. Is this the most efficient (and quickest) way for my in car PC (still in the design stage) to boot up. If so what exactly do I need to add to a M10000 MB, how much & is it worth the extra cost over a 2.5" hard drive. And what kind of power draw does it add over using just a single hard drive?? Anyone know what size card I'd need to run XP on a CF card, 256Mb, 512Mb??? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Newbie iamag35man's Avatar
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    Not a good idea

    I tried this about a year ago. I bought a CF to IDE converter and a 1 gig Lexar CF. I installed XP but after about a week it would stop working and wouldn't boot. I tried to reformat the card with no luck. After trying several different brands of cards and killing them all I called the company that made the CF to IDE converter. They told me that all CF cards have a limited number of write cycles (around 10-30,000 depending on brand). XP is constantly writing information back to the swap file. There are also a lot of other things that Windows is writing back to the HD in the background you don't see. After doing a little research I found that XP just wasn't going to work. The only solution I could come up with was to use Linux and have it boot in a read only mode.

    Hope this helps
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  3. #3
    FLAC
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    You could probably find info on the web about how to make an XP read only image. and use an extra harddrive as the data drive for registry, swap file, ect.
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  4. #4
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    Try using an IBM Microdrive CF card. That should have many more write cycles; it is basically a very very small hard drive.

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
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    Three words.

    "Drive On Module"

    Superior to CF/Microdrive solutions that you people try and use.

  6. #6
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    hmm do these drive on modules have unlimited write cycles or something?

  7. #7
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    2.5" & 3.5" IDE FLASH DRIVES


    These flash drives are faster, ruggedized and can operate in a extended temperature range. They have the same form factors as the regular 2.5" rotary laptop hard drives and are the direct drop-in replacement for them. They are the great choice for the rugged PCs, industrial PCs and embedded PCs.

    Please click here for more info of the IDE flash drives.

    C AND flash-based technology
    C Supports capacities from 32MB up to 2GB unformatted. Great choices for the rugged PCs, industrial PCs and embedded PCs.
    C Come with one 40-44 pin or one 44-44 pin IDE ribbon cable
    C Fully IDE compatible; conforms to ATA/ATAPI-4 specification
    C Read/Write unit is 512 bytes (sectors)
    C High reliability based on internal ECC (Error Correcting Code) function
    C Master/Slave selectable
    C Installation as conventional Hard Disk Drive
    C No drivers or proprietary BIOS needed
    C Supports extended operating temperatures from -40E - +80E

    http://www.psism.com/ideflashdrive.htm

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate starfox's Avatar
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    If you want to use Windows, you'll have to use Win98 or one of the earlier operating systems and build a boot image on the CF that'll create a rather large ramdisk and copy the whole OS to it, then load windows off the ramdisk. The decompressing stage may take a while though.

    Linux is easier for this, build your OS using a large initrd (like LEAF does).

  9. #9
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    In short.....

    So after reading these posts let me see if I've got this right??

    A CF card is much better as a "read only" drive for the operating system as long as you have an additional hard drive to enable all of the multiple write cycles XP carries out. I was going to add an additional hard drive just for storage so this may work.

    But my question remains, how large a CF card would I need to hold the XP operating system???

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate
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    Quote Originally Posted by englsh
    So after reading these posts let me see if I've got this right??

    A CF card is much better as a "read only" drive for the operating system as long as you have an additional hard drive to enable all of the multiple write cycles XP carries out. I was going to add an additional hard drive just for storage so this may work.

    But my question remains, how large a CF card would I need to hold the XP operating system???
    Just the OS? 1GB is big enough for a normal XP install, 512MB would be plenty for an nLite.

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