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Thread: Guide to using FBWF on Windows XP Pro

  1. #11
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    The problem with mathematically calculating Flash wear is that it simply does not work like that. File systems like FAT and NTFS are not designed to be used on Flash! They make constant writes to the same location, over and over, sometimes racking up hundreds of writes to the same location every minute (defraggers, for example). Typical file systems will very quickly wear out a Flash device, as evidenced by the constant failure of Flash memory cards and USB sticks. Some people have tried (and in the case of Linux, succeeded) in creating a Flash friendly file system that tries to spread out wear across the device. But since Windows can't read those file systems (without additional software), they aren't commonly used. Instead, people continue using the good ol' FAT file system for most Flash sticks, wearing them out in short order when most of the other cells never see much action at all.

    Sssssoooooooooo.... long story short, Flash is more susceptible to damage than most people seem to realize. That's why it's so important to run a write filter on any Flash device (and I think EWF has a lot more potential than FBWF since it prevents even filesystem maintenance writes - the worst of them).

    If only EWF weren't so buggy...

  2. #12
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    well the thing is, I live in southern ontario, summers can be (including this weekend...)insanely hot, 32*C yesterday, and thats without humidity, and our winters are harsh, as low as -20*C (and colder!).

    I want to use a CF card for my OS with EWF or FBWF (not sure which one yet), and then another CF card without EWF(is that smart?) for my Frontend(centrafuse) and GPS(iguidance). Then get a USB drive with all my music on it. Does this make sense? The last thing I want is harddrive issues in our extreme weather.


    Help me out!

  3. #13
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    I was planning on using a hard drive in the car but when I got in yesterday morning it was already uncomfortable to ride in. I also live in southern Ontario and damn it's been hot lately. I'm second guessing the whole hard drive set up I have.

    Anyway, my contribution to this thread:
    I found out that if you set it up properly, you can just create separate partitions on one large drive, one that's protected by EWF for hibernation and static files like drivers, and then another one that has settings files and music that can change at any time.
    Thing is, if Windows sees two drives at hibernation, they'll both be protected. So unmount the larger dynamic drive, remove its drive letter, then hibernate. Then when you start up, give it a drive letter by means of some BAT script and then all will work wonderfully.

  4. #14
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    Falcon, technically you are right, and this may have been true for older flash drives, but all modern flash devices that I know of employ "wear-levelling" techniques. This means that writes are transparently relocated (by the firmware on the flash device) to areas of less wear.

    See http://corsairmemory.com/_faq/FAQ_fl...r_leveling.pdf for more details.

    Also read http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html for some clarity about the myths of flash wear. (please note that in his example he uses a drive with 2,000,000 write erase cycles, at 80mb/s. The average drive we'd use would have 100,000 write erase cycles, at ~22mb/s)
    According to these calculations, my drive will last
    Code:
    100,000 (write erase cycles) x 8192MB (capacity) divided by 22MB / sec = 1.2 years
    Maybe not the 6 years I quoted earlier, but 1.2 years, if I wrote 24/7, is still a very long time!

    Riz

  5. #15
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    just bought a 4gb Sandisk extreme iv and sintek cf-ide adapter, cant wait!

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by vip3r87 View Post
    well the thing is, I live in southern ontario, summers can be (including this weekend...)insanely hot, 32*C yesterday, and thats without humidity, and our winters are harsh, as low as -20*C (and colder!).

    I want to use a CF card for my OS with EWF or FBWF (not sure which one yet), and then another CF card without EWF(is that smart?) for my Frontend(centrafuse) and GPS(iguidance). Then get a USB drive with all my music on it. Does this make sense? The last thing I want is harddrive issues in our extreme weather.


    Help me out!
    With those temps you would probably be fine with a hard drive but a CF card will give you faster boot times.

  7. #17
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    I have tried this out and it doesn't appear to be working for me. FBWF is never actually started as FBWFMgr states that the Current Session state is disabled and will be enabled on next reboot. I reboot and still the state is disabled. Any ideas?

    DVT

  8. #18
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    Do you have EWF running, or anything else that may not allow the changes to be saved? Make sure you've added the right volume with the add volume command.
    Failing that, double check the registry entries?

    Let me know how it goes
    Riz

  9. #19
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    FBWF works well when you install as described in the first posts.
    But it has some massive drawbacks in the commit function that should write files to disk:

    1. the commit cant create folders
    If you create a new folder while the volume is fbwf protected you cant commit that.
    If you install a software that creates a new folder an put files in there the commit for the files throw out an error
    So it is impossible to create new foldes while fbwf is active on the volume

    2. You cant delete files with the commit function

    Nevertheless i use it because its really fast.
    I added a shutdown script to xp which writes all files to disk when i shutdown.
    This can be done in the group policies. start mmc.exe and add group policies snap in.
    you will find the setting in Windows Settings -> scripts Startup / Shutdown.

    If it helps somebody, here is the vbs script:


    'Settings:
    volume = "c:"

    Call DetectifActive()

    Function DetectifActive ()
    Set WshShellDetect = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    Set WshExecDetect = WshShellDetect.Exec("fbwfmgr /displayconfig")
    isactive = LCase(WshExecDetect.StdOut.ReadAll)
    If InStr(isactive, "filter state: enabled.") <> 0 Then
    Call StartCommit()
    End If
    End Function

    Function StartCommit ()
    Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    Set WshExec = WshShell.Exec("fbwfmgr /overlaydetail") 'get the contents of the overlay
    fbwfoverlay = LCase(WshExec.StdOut.ReadAll)
    folders = Split(fbwfoverlay,vbNewLine)
    For each folder in folders
    result = 0
    dirstartpos = 0
    dirlength = 0
    grabpos = 0
    commitfile = ""
    If InStr(folder, "file") <> 0 then
    dirstartpos = InStr(folder, "\") ' returns the position of the directory start
    dirlenght = Len(folder) ' returns the lenght of the string
    grabpos = dirlenght - dirstartpos + 1
    commitfile = Right(folder,grabpos)
    Call commit(commitfile)
    End If
    Next
    wscript.sleep(500)
    End Function

    Function commit (file)
    helpchar = """"
    Set WshShellCommit = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    Set WshExecCommit = WshShellCommit.Exec("fbwfmgr /commit " & volume & " " & helpchar & file & helpchar)
    commitoutput = LCase(WshExecCommit.StdOut.ReadAll)
    End Function

  10. #20
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    Aug 2007
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    Hi guys

    Thanks for your input in answer to your questions, I am using a fresh build of XP SP3 which has never had EWF installed. Have doubled checked that I used "fbwfmgr /addvolume C:".

    All files were taken from the feature pack 2007 for Embedded and the reg settings were copied and pasted from the original post in to a .reg file.

    The only difference between my install and Craptree's is the that he used SP3 RC1 I am using the final release from M$.

    I have tried on a freshly built virtual pc as well today but still no luck. I assuming that you have checked at a command prompt that FBWF is actually enabled in the current session on your install? I have used EWF alot in the past and found it very handy for CF cards but sadly no file pass through which is exactly why I would like to get FBWF running.

    DVT

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