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Thread: XP on CF II Drive

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate NOS TANG's Avatar
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    Question XP on CF II Drive

    Question for the masses.

    I have my car PC running XP Pro on a 4Gb CF II ripped from a Creative Labs MuVo II Mp3 player and no 2.5 hard drives installed. Its all built on a VIA MII 10000 board with an IDE / CF II converter mounted up front, along with the onboard CF II and PCMCIA slots in the back. Took some work to get it running, but I have to admit it is pretty cool once it became stable. I can pull the drive and stick it in my pocket when I leave the car and everything important goes with me. I can also swap it out for my 1Gb CF card and run Linux OS for some hard core war driving applications.

    Problem I have is this; Microsoft obviously does not want us to have this ability to take our OS with us in our pocket on removable media. This is made clear soon as you try and load Office or automatic updates. When you try to install Office to a removable drive, it prompts you for the CD at completion of the install process. Yes I had the CD in the drive, but it will keep prompting you until you want to throw the system through a window.. You hit cancel and it removes the install. After some online research I found no work around only others asking similar questions Then I decided to Ghost the CF from a 2.5 drive. This works great initially. You just install your XP and applications to the 2.5 drive, then insert the CF II drive and copy the running image to it. Tricked you M$ I said.

    So far so good, when I booted to the CF drive all is well and running, except for a page file. Seems once windows detects the OS on the removable drive, it can’t figure where to put it. Disabled the page file and it runs fine. Now I go to do windows automatic updates and once again M$ comes back to haunt me, “updates failed bla bla bla” . I don’t want to re-ghost my drive every time a new bug or hole shows up in their OS. I also noticed a few other apps I’ve tried to install halted when they saw C:”removable”. The system has ran stable with my current config for 3 months so I know this will work.

    I’ve also tried changing drivers, BIOS settings, file systems NTFS and FAT32, changing CF cards, different versions of Windows back to 98, nothing will change the drive type from removable. Have not tried different IDE to CF adapters since this one from Ituner’s is all ready mounted in the case.
    http://store.mini-box.com/ituner/cfdisk1c.html

    I did find that the new MuVo II players with the 4Gb drive have the CF function disabled, this is the only thing I have not tried yet.

    So what’s the fix here, is there something easy I am missing?
    How can we fake XP to think this CF II drive is a standard ATA/IDE hard drive?
    Has anyone else found this same problem with say a USB connected hard drive?
    What about XP Embedded, anyone running it and office on a removable media?

    Sorry for the length, wanted to dump it all on the table to ponder

    NOS


  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    yes... try those. they should work as a harddrive not removable drive...

  3. #3
    Rub One Out Motoko's Avatar
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    could i ask, what boot time were you getting? from post to music playing?
    CarPC status: iPod, 3,456,217 songs so **** you

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate e_z_street's Avatar
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    I have heard that the new MUVO's (series 2) don't allow for easy removal of the drive. I saw a creative mp3 player with a 5GB CF II drive that you can find for ~$200. Here is some info:

    http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Perma...3260040f1.aspx

    This is a very cool idea. The only thing is that these are microdrives, so they still have moving parts like a hard drive and they are still very expensive, even compared to 2.5" drives. I am already too broke to go this route, but good luck to all who try it out.

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate NOS TANG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iPal
    yes... try those. they should work as a harddrive not removable drive...
    Ipal, have you tested that IDE converter in XP you linked to? If so please PM me a screenshot showing the drive properties in windows. I may just pick one up to give it a try.

    Thanks

    NOS

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate NOS TANG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motoko
    could i ask, what boot time were you getting? from post to music playing?
    From hibernate its pretty quick, about 15 seconds or so to desktop. From a cold start its over 40 seconds. Shutting down unwanted services helped speed things up a bit. Since this is an actual Hitachi “microdrive” and not a “flash” card it takes about the same times as my old 4Gb 2.5 HD. Flash drives have that max write cycles issues.

    The big advantages I found over a standard HD is low power consumption, no heat generated, no noise, and it lets me stuff a MII 10k board and ITPS in a Casetronix mini cube 1 din case. The microdrives are also rated to withstand 20 G’s of force, so if you drive on rough roads it should take the pounding better than a standard hard drive that tends to develop bit rot when abused.

    E Z, thanks for the link. Since it also works in a CF II device I figure Windows will pick up on that and list it as removable in a PC, but I like the size. Can't wait for the 10Gb model to come out next.

  7. #7
    Drivesoft
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    It Might help

    I would like to first comment on the boot time topic. I see many people are thinking that Drivesoft system always uses XP EMB on compact flash. This is not always true. We install unit in industrial vehicle that we do use compact flash in but 99% of the multi media unit that we sell have 2.5 hard drives in them. We are getting our 6 sec boot time with XP pro and the same with XP EMB. We are using standby "STR". When we use Hibernation we get about8 to 10 sec start up. Also when I say start up I mean when the music starts to play. A while back some software company made a comment about how we boot fast with compact flash etc but he was just assuming that. One of the reasons we boot as solid and as fast as we do even on hard drives is because we are managing driver "load and order". This goes for shut down as well. We also write some of the drivers for the products we use which also help in standby issues etc. You should remember tat most PC product out there are all made to work on all pc's. Once you remove the ALL word and design drivers etc that work with only your product you get better results.
    Example: the new GM radios that have the LCD in the dash made by Delphi have a processor and an OS and so dose the BMW. Some is running CE. Why do they not crash like pc's do? Only because it was designed to do certain functions. We worked on some of theses unit in GM cars with them and see why they do not have problems. We are just doing the same thing they are but on a wider scale.

    Now far as your removable drive and XP issues.
    Try right clicking on the drive and go to properties. Then go to the hardware tab. then highlight the drive and select properties again. Then go to the policies tab and change the setting to "Optimize for Performance". This will also allow you to format removable media with NTFS. XP functions this way because it wants to handle removable devices fast so you do not need to click Safety Remove Hardware task first.

    Hope this helps. It works for most people.

    Drivesoft Support

  8. #8
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    Hey NOSSTANG, did you have to do any mods to the case to fit the MII in the casetronix? I'm trying to find a din size case for my MII. Since I'll be installing my OS on a CF card using the EWF trick (see other thread) I want to have as small a case as possible.

    *edit* You're talking about the Casetronic C134, right?

  9. #9
    Newbie
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    Try Solid state SCSI???

    34G of solid state ultra wide SCSI... yea it requires a different interface from what you may already have installed, but hey how cool would it be to go solid and large...

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    http://www.storagesearch.com/ssd-8.html

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate knubile's Avatar
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    I've read threads on the windowsforembeddeddevices forum, all saying to make sure the CF card you use appears as a fixed disk and not as removeable media. Looks like you need a new CF card.
    Does anybody know what brands appear as fixed disk?

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