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Can I use any CF card with a bootable IDE adapter?
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Author:  smilingcrow [ Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:46 am ]
Post subject:  Can I use any CF card with a bootable IDE adapter?

I’m not clear on whether I need a specific type of CF card to use with a Compact Flash to IDE adapter; which I will use as a bootable drive. Are there CF cards specifically specified for such purposes?

Author:  loz [ Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I use any CF card with a bootable IDE adapter?

smilingcrow wrote:
I’m not clear on whether I need a specific type of CF card to use with a Compact Flash to IDE adapter; which I will use as a bootable drive. Are there CF cards specifically specified for such purposes?

At my knowledge any will fit the purpose.
But, there are some incompatibilities. Under certain circumstances (if both IDE were used in my case), CF fail to boot (at differrent stages depending on the CF).
If you can make a test with a spare CF, note the brand of the chips (Toshiba or Samsung), and get a similar chip-branded CF.

Author:  mellon [ Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:30 am ]
Post subject: 

There could also be problems with the CF disk identifying itself as a removable storage device. This causes problems on some operating systems (WinXP at least) as the OS does not want to put the swap file on a removable disk.

As far as I know there are three types of CF IDs: removable, fixed and automatically sensing. Fixed and autosensing should be perfectly ok with an IDE adapter. The problem is that only few manufacturers clearly state the ID type.


PS. I haven't really looked that deep into the CF ID issue, it is possible that I'm wrong. I'm only speaking from practical experiences with a limited number of CF cards.

Author:  loz [ Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:53 am ]
Post subject: 

Never had such problems with Linux and tens of CF.

Author:  smilingcrow [ Wed Nov 01, 2006 6:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I use any CF card with a bootable IDE adapter?

loz wrote:
But, there are some incompatibilities. Under certain circumstances (if both IDE were used in my case), CF fail to boot (at differrent stages depending on the CF). If you can make a test with a spare CF, note the brand of the chips (Toshiba or Samsung), and get a similar chip-branded CF.
Thanks Loz, I am thinking of using a dual adaptor so I’ll keep this in mind. If I use a dual adapter, does this mean that each card will be seen as a separate drive or just as one? The adapter only uses 1 ATA channel.

mellon wrote:
As far as I know there are three types of CF IDs: removable, fixed and automatically sensing. Fixed and autosensing should be perfectly ok with an IDE adapter. The problem is that only few manufacturers clearly state the ID type.
Thanks. Do you know how I can check the ID types of my CF cards?

Author:  loz [ Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I use any CF card with a bootable IDE adapter?

smilingcrow wrote:
loz wrote:
But, there are some incompatibilities. Under certain circumstances (if both IDE were used in my case), CF fail to boot (at differrent stages depending on the CF). If you can make a test with a spare CF, note the brand of the chips (Toshiba or Samsung), and get a similar chip-branded CF.
Thanks Loz, I am thinking of using a dual adaptor so I’ll keep this in mind. If I use a dual adapter, does this mean that each card will be seen as a separate drive or just as one? The adapter only uses 1 ATA channel.

Sorry, I don't know dual adaptors (I don't even see what it looks like).

Author:  highlandsun [ Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:40 am ]
Post subject: 

Dual adapters will show as two drives, one master and one slave.

Author:  smilingcrow [ Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I use any CF card with a bootable IDE adapter?

Thanks Highlandsun.
loz wrote:
Sorry, I don't know dual adaptors (I don't even see what it looks like).
It has a connector on each side of the adapter for a CF card.

Author:  mellon [ Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Can I use any CF card with a bootable IDE adapter?

smilingcrow wrote:
mellon wrote:
As far as I know there are three types of CF IDs: removable, fixed and automatically sensing. Fixed and autosensing should be perfectly ok with an IDE adapter. The problem is that only few manufacturers clearly state the ID type.
Thanks. Do you know how I can check the ID types of my CF cards?


At least Silicon Systems has nice documentation for their CF line: http://www.siliconsystems.com/silicondrive/index.aspx under "Form factors and data sheets". Those CF's are a bit expensive however, about 500e for 4GB (extended temperature) the last I saw. Guess it's the fancy features and the MIL specs ;) It might be possible to get some generally usable information (CF ID registers for example) out of that documentation.

Author:  smilingcrow [ Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks Mellon, I just ordered a CF IDE adapter two minutes ago, so I guess I'll find out pretty soon if my CF cards are good to go. I'm going to use Linux, so I'm not sure if it has the same issues as Windows with placing a pagefile on removable media. Hey its Linux, I can always change it. :)

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