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Re: How to install Fedora 7 to a CF card connected via IDE-CF adapter?

Jim Cornette wrote:
Phil Meyer wrote:

I don't know if I can add much to this discussion, but installing to CF
is something that we do here allot.

We have one 8GB CF card that when installed into the on board IDE controller of either Mother Board we use, the system will not pass post.

I think we have some that hang in Linux. past POST which need ide=nodma added. Sandisk was the brand with 16 MB and 32 MB sizes. The hang during POST I get occasionally with bad IDE disks but not so far with CF cards.

We have three types of 2GB CF cards that we currently use in production systems. We use two different mini-ITX motherboards. Neither motherboard can boot all three types of CF cards. Each can use two of the three.

Our Power PC embedded devices work with a very narrow range of cards. It is luck when a reliable card is found.

In the case of the 'common' CF card, it is very hit and miss. Usually the CF throws lots of errors during the install (or any heavy writes after the install) and often fails the install. In that case we avoid that CF card type in those Mother Boards.

Good call! They only seem to deteriorate from the initial conditions.

Many hours of research has revealed that CF are not all alike, and that NAND devices in general all have a 'controller' embedded on the card itself. These controllers are classified by type. To simplify, they are easy to think of as fixed disk, removable disk, and generic.

Thanks for the info. I knew the cards had a built-in controller but not that removable, fixed or generic were possible classifications.

Most of the CF cards that are labeled 'Industrial' are specifically made with a fixed disk type controller.

We're supposed to start using the "Industrial" cards and performing some modification which switches off and on power to the CF cards. The Industrial CF cards do not work without the modifications. Since it is surface mount and very low mil devices, we let the production facility on Norway deal with the modifications.

Secondly, not all IDE/CF devices are the same. Some are made to handle generic and removable media types, and some are not. It is unclear if these can be corrected in BIOS.

So for our requirements, we have to purchase CF cards in a batch, test the batch, and return and re-order a different brand if necessary.

Its a pain.  Brand and model number does not mean anything over time.

We have some product that uses USB Flashes which have a similar predicament. I tried to get two parts for test equipment from one ordering system into an ordering system where we could acquire the parts when I found out about their hit and miss batch ordering.

Many vendors would produce only 'fixed disk' type CF cards on a new card. Almost all 2GB cards, when that size was new, were 'fixed disk' type. Now days its almost impossible to find a 2GB CF card that is not 'removable disk'.

It will be interesting to find out what the devices are recognized with those having problems installing on 4GB and 8GB CF cards in IDE adapters. Hopefully they can figure out how to select the mode detected for these cards.

It would be interesting if people who have these cards and boot regularly could (a) note what shows up in POST, and (b) boot the stand-alone CD of FC7 (FC7 Live) and see if the device shows, what dmesg says about it, etc.

I have assumed that using expert mode even USB connected "thumb drives" could be installed. I haven't tried it, but I have seen a laptop boot of such a drive, so FC7 installed *somehow* and not with an IDE adaptor.

Note: I have read that Intel has a new CF process which will give about as many cycles as a hard drive, but I know zero about that being available to users, brands, etc.

Bill Davidsen <davidsen tmr com>
  "We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked."  - from Slashdot

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