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Thread: Flash OS

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate BiohazrD's Avatar
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    Flash OS

    I have seen that some people have their OS loaded onto a flash card, thus giving a extremely fast boot time (DriveSoft uses this as well). How do you do this?
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  2. #2
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    Just put the flash card in and install the OS on it. Assuming you're using an ITX MB with built in support it should show up as a drive.
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  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate Change's Avatar
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    Make sure in Windows to disable the swapfile on the flash disk, or in linux disable the swap and use the no atime option in your fstab. This will prevent excessive writes to the device (flash devices have a limited number of write cycles in their life).

  4. #4
    See me in my wet t-shirt. stevieg's Avatar
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    You can also get IDE adapters if you don't have a compactflash et al port on your motherboard, i.e.

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  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate Don 944 LA's Avatar
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    Just like everyone is saying.

    I'm going to be using a 512mb CF card ( $40 EvilBay )
    Instead of using Win XP, I'm going to be using XP Embedded. XPE is a snapshot of just the parts of the OS that you need, so you have a very small OS footprint. I will also have a laptop drive for file storage. If either breaks, it's a quick change without having to reload and tweak.

    You can also here, as there is allot of talk about that type of setup.

    I am wondering if I partition the CF Card and have the OS on one partition, then the files that change on another ( like settings ini and playlists etc...). I believe that the solid state CF cards don't have a write limit, just the CFII of Micro-Drives.

    Can anyone give info on those questions ??

    Sorry if I hijacked thread.

    Don

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate brooksware2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don 944 LA
    Just like everyone is saying.

    I'm going to be using a 512mb CF card ( $40 EvilBay )
    Instead of using Win XP, I'm going to be using XP Embedded. XPE is a snapshot of just the parts of the OS that you need, so you have a very small OS footprint. I will also have a laptop drive for file storage. If either breaks, it's a quick change without having to reload and tweak.

    You can also here, as there is allot of talk about that type of setup.

    I am wondering if I partition the CF Card and have the OS on one partition, then the files that change on another ( like settings ini and playlists etc...). I believe that the solid state CF cards don't have a write limit, just the CFII of Micro-Drives.

    Can anyone give info on those questions ??

    Sorry if I hijacked thread.

    Don
    Not all correct. Compact flash cards do have a write limit. CF type II cards are like microdrives which have platters in them like HDD. Most likely, compact flash cards have a write limit of 1-10 million write cycles. Again, the best option, if using xp/linux is to turn off the swap file. For our applications, the swap file should not impact the overall performance much since we are using the system for a limited application. This option will work best if you have a lot of ram since operations will swap in ram and not to the drive.
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  7. #7
    FLAC MP3DUB's Avatar
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    Also worthy to note, while flash memory will have next to 0ms access times, the max transfer rates on flash is only 9~10mbs, which is much slower than a modern ide drive. So it's not necessicarily the magical superboot solution people make it out to be.
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  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate Don 944 LA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP3DUB
    Also worthy to note, while flash memory will have next to 0ms access times, the max transfer rates on flash is only 9~10mbs, which is much slower than a modern ide drive. So it's not necessicarily the magical superboot solution people make it out to be.
    will that be the case in a mall footprint OS.. by the time an ide spins up etc.. couldn't the OS be loaded already by flash ..
    I'm still in assumption mode, no fact to back it up

  9. #9
    FLAC MP3DUB's Avatar
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    An ide hdd has spun up to operating speed before the post process finished, which isnt even to device initialization, which is still before booting, so both flash and ide will be primed to go by the time the system is ready to start booting an os. Win98Lite (or something similarly small) would probably see the greatest results from being loaded from flash, as there are still numerous files that have to be loaded to ram, but the footprint of those files are tiny compared to xp.
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  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate NOS TANG's Avatar
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    I have been running XP Pro on a microdrive for some time now. Biggest problem I found is that XP doesn’t like the “C” drive being a removable media. Page file is off but still finding a lot of things that are not working correctly. Trying to work out these issues and a way to convince XP this is just another ATA device. Was thinking maybe XP embedded might work better. I posted a question about this here: XP on CF II Drive

    Anyone who has seen this before please comment..

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