Monday, January 28, 2008

Putting an OS on CF

I bought a cheap CompactFlash-to-IDE adapter to use with a Lexar 266x CF card. After figuring out which one is pin 1 on the IDE socket and how to use the 3-pin jumper to set master/slave - the instruction sheet and markings are very scant at best, I tried to install an OS directly. The result is: nothing worked so far. Here're the things I tried:

  • I made the CF the only device on the primary IDE. Windows XP and Server 2003 would simply hang upon booting from CD. Ubuntu 6.06's graphical installer would fail as well, but I could indeed mount the CF (shown as /dev/hda) with its FAT partition (dev/hda1) after the installer quit into bash.
  • The device is shown as floppy with no disk under an Win2003 installation (takes a very long time for the system to boot). I guess the card is marked as removable somehow, which probably contributes to the Windows installer failure.
  • Acronis Home will identify it as a 3.84 Gb drive after thinking for a while.
I'll probably try a cloned installation later.

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