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Thread: CF card procedures?

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate knubile's Avatar
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    CF card procedures?

    I've been digging through the posts and am having a hard time finding a definitive solution for setting up a CF card.
    I have a Lexar and there's no utility to set it as a fixed disk. From what I understand using bootprep and FAT32 gets you around this. Is that right?

    These are the instructions from SFiorito. Are these still relevant? Or is this old experience?

    1) Get a DOS bootdisk and put bootprep from XPe on it.
    2) I set up my system with the CF card by itself on the primary controller and my DVD and HDD on the secondary controller. Since my slim DVD can only be master, my HDD was slave.
    3) Boot up to DOS and run fdisk, then format c:, and finally run bootprep /dc (/dc denotes the c drive, /dd d drive, and so on).
    4) Copy the files from your HDD to your CF. I used knoppix to do a copy. Don't just use the DOS copy command because it'll ignore hidden files. Using knoppix it was pretty quick. Originally I tried partimage on knoppix until I realized it wasn't worth the extra steps.
    5)Shutdown and remove your HDD. Reboot and it should boot into XP from your CF card. The first time you boot it MAY not load EWF properly. I think this happened for me because I had my HDD still plugged in, but I just shutdown, removed it, rebooted, and EWF was back fine.

  2. #2
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    Yeah, you just need to run fdisk, then format, then bootprep, then copy files over. Try just booting to DOS first to make sure it works. Just run fdisk, then format c: /s, then reboot. If it doesn't boot into DOS then you've got problems.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate knubile's Avatar
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    I have it set up on as a secondary master with my laptop drive(with OS) as primary master.
    Think all this will work if I do by booting from the laptop drive?

  4. #4
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    Can you boot to DOS? If you can boot to DOS then you're fine. Just make sure your do fdisk, format, bootprep in that order when you're ready to set up XP. You need to remove your HDD before you boot XP from the CF card so you might as well set the CF card as primary master and the HDD as secondary slave.

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate knubile's Avatar
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    I put the CF card as primary and the HDD as secondary.
    fdisk format bootprep... all good.
    Used ghost partition to partition to copy the EWF enabled image from the HDD to the CF card.
    When I try to boot, no dice. It just hangs.
    I reboot and try safe mode. I can get to that prompt with F8(how far into the XP load process is that?).
    I can see it loading drivers and it hangs part way through, not always the same driver. I'm so close. Not sure what it is.
    Any thoughts?

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate knubile's Avatar
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    BTW. The file system I'm using is FAT32.

    I wonder if this my problem is caused because I don't have a util to make the CF card appear as a fixed disk.

  7. #7
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    Can you try just copying the files over rather than ghosting? I tried partimage one time (from the Knoppix CD) and it screwed up the boot sector. Well, at least you're getting to NTLDR so that's a good sign. I wonder if maybe it's the same IDE cable issue I was having? Are you using a 40 conductor cable or 80 conductor cable (80 is for ata66+ drives). I was told that IDE-CF adaptors need the 40 conductor cable. Also, try messing with your DMA settings in the BIOS. Do you know if your card supports DMA or not?

    *EDIT*: You should still be able to boot with a removable drive.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate knubile's Avatar
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    definitely a 40 conductor cable. I'll check out DMA settings and try a straight copy. What should I copy with? xcopy?

  9. #9
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    yeah, xcopy with support for hidden files. If not just use a knoppix cd to copy or just unplug the two drives and put them in another windows pc.

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate knubile's Avatar
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    No dice. I tried xcopy with hidden files. Similar errors. Then one of the tries resulted in an error saying windows could not be loaded because windows\config\system is corrupt. My windows\config\system folder is empty. Not sure what's going on.
    When I boot into the HD the CF card appears as removable media. I really get the feeling it's because of this.
    Or maybe the CF - IDE adapter. It seems to hang the system sometimes. Acronis TrueImage(kinda like ghost) seems to die when it tries to analyze the CF card. I couldn't restore the HD image made by it. I had to use ghost and drive image to try.
    Good thing I have another CF adapter on the way.
    If that doesn't do it, I don't know what will.

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