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Thread: XP on Microdrive

  1. #1
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    XP on Microdrive

    Hi all

    Is it possible to install a bootable xp pro onto a microdrive or similar solid state device, use that as the os, and have an ide drive for mp3 and all programs?

    Mainly for speed of loading

    if its possible, what size device will i need?

    Im pretty sure my gigabyte motherboard(p4 etc) supports usb boot, so i assume a cf or pcmcia to usb converter would do the job.

    Any help appreciated

    James

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate euro320i's Avatar
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    I spent many hours thinking along the same lines. There are DOC "Flash Drives" that you can get up to 6G that are pure silicon. XP needs over a gig to install, plus all the auxilliary proggys that you need. NinjaMonkey managed to cut down our requirement for HD space with his version of D3. I was thinking of a DOC for the boot and proggy with a portable 2.5in HD USB device for all the files, mp3, divx, DVD.

    o/______\o
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    '94 320i


  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate NOS TANG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo1978
    Hi all

    Is it possible to install a bootable xp pro onto a microdrive or similar solid state device, use that as the os, and have an ide drive for mp3 and all programs?

    Mainly for speed of loading

    if its possible, what size device will i need?

    Im pretty sure my gigabyte motherboard(p4 etc) supports usb boot, so i assume a cf or pcmcia to usb converter would do the job.

    Any help appreciated

    James

    I run XP Pro and all my other apps on a 4G CFII drive, MP3's I store on a USB drive. This lets me take the music with me in the house, work and the car. I had a few issues with loading XP on the CFII but used Ghost to image the OS onto the drive and all has been fine.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS TANG
    I run XP Pro and all my other apps on a 4G CFII drive, MP3's I store on a USB drive. This lets me take the music with me in the house, work and the car. I had a few issues with loading XP on the CFII but used Ghost to image the OS onto the drive and all has been fine.

    I have ghost but have not tried it yet. Does ghost make a pure image copy or does it also help manage porting an image to a different style/model hard disk?

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate NOS TANG's Avatar
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    Ghost will adjust the size to fit the new drive. I went from a 2.4G laptop drive to a 4G CFII with no problems. You can install directly to the CFII drive from a CD but I found several issues here.
    First, it would only install using NTFS and not FAT32. That's fine for me..
    Second, after the install Windows finds the CFII drive as removable media drive. This caused problems when I tried to install MS Office, AVG antivirus and several other apps. All failed to install.
    Third, on boot up I got a unable to create page file error. It was always there when I checked but the error pops on every boot.

    Fix was to install everything on the 2.4G drive "disable page file" then ghost the full install to the CFII drive. Now the only hang up is windows updates fail due to the removable media issue. Not sure if all the CFII drives and adapters share this problem, but no one has been able to answer that question on here. All these problems would be gone if I could just make Windows think this is an ATA drive.

    Also check out the threads here on XPe. I have been considering giving it a try also since it is more compact then a full XP install.

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate euro320i's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS TANG
    Also check out the threads here on XPe. I have been considering giving it a try also since it is more compact then a full XP install.
    Do you use a Microdrive CFII or a regular silicon based unit? There are threads that mention silicon based CF drives die after 10,000 or so read write cycles. I have also read up on WINXP embedded.. also winxp lite. I bought win98lite but am not too happy with it.

    o/______\o
    (oo_OO_oo)
    []o-----------o[]
    '94 320i


  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate NOS TANG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euro320i
    Do you use a Microdrive CFII or a regular silicon based unit? There are threads that mention silicon based CF drives die after 10,000 or so read write cycles. I have also read up on WINXP embedded.. also winxp lite. I bought win98lite but am not too happy with it.
    I used an Hitachi 4G microdrive out of a Muvo II Mp3 player. That write cycle issue was my main concern also. I have another 1G micro and a couple 256M sandisk cards that I am going to try XPe on this weekend. Since I often add and remove apps for testing, XP pro has done fine so far.

    NOS

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate EBFoxbat's Avatar
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    First, use nLite. nLite is a program that takes an XP install CD and takes out literally anything you don't want. It will also allow you to build SP2 into the install so you don't have to install it later. I say SP2 is manditory because it fixes some USB issues. By removing things you don't use (calculator, paint, IE, SCSI and other drivers, etc) you can get XP down to a tiny install (I've installed it fine down to ~200 MB, but I've read of smaller installs)

    Regular silicon based units do have write limits. Usually (I think) 100,000 writes or so, which on an average PC is only a month or so of use. Disable cacheing in XP (search for how to) and XP will no longer write at all. I could be mistaken, but I think that will also let you hard-shutdown without worrying about OS curruption.

    XPe shows promise, but it's only available in trial versions that expire after 180 days and even that's hard to get. I think that will be the way to go once it goes public and is out of beta form.
    ,./(0)3

    '04 Canyon 4x4 pickup

    [---PC on hold----working on external fiberglass "tool" box---]

  9. #9
    Low Bitrate bLindmOnkey's Avatar
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    Nos Tang: Does Xp run any faster running from a CFcard?

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate EBFoxbat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bLindmOnkey
    Nos Tang: Does Xp run any faster running from a CFcard?
    Nope. And USB support through BIOS is USB 1.1 and that's ridiculously slow to run an OS (except some Linux) on
    ,./(0)3

    '04 Canyon 4x4 pickup

    [---PC on hold----working on external fiberglass "tool" box---]

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