|Compact Flash and CFast have become attractive options to use as a replacement for hard drives for a variety of reasons:|
List of Operating Systems We've Tested to Boot with our CF / CFast Adapters
Booting Windows XP off the SATA to CF Adapter (ADSACF)
A Transcend 2GB Industrial Compact Flash with UDMA Fixed Disk Mode feature was used to do a fresh install and tested to successfully boot various Operating Systems using our SATA to CF Adapter. To ensure compatibility and improve speeds, a Compact Flash media with UDMA Fixed Disk Mode is recommended. Compact Flash media without this may not boot properly. To improve boot times, reduce footprint, and minimize the amount of writes to the CF, follow the procedure below to remove unneeded processes and components.
Booting Windows XP off the IDE to CF Adapter (ADIDECF)
Note: The instructions below are applicable for those who would like to optimize their Windows OS prior to transferring the installation onto the CF card, or for those with CF cards of smaller capacity (500Mb - 2Gb) and are unable to directly install Windows onto their CF card.
After cloning the IDE hard drive to the CF card insert the CF card to a laptop CF Adapter and plug it to the laptop’s IDE or SATA connector.
After cloning the IDE hard drive to the CF card insert the CF card to the CF Adapter and connect to the desktop’s IDE Channel (Same IDE connection where you removed the local disk).
System Configuration used for this Instruction:
Laptop with Intel Celeron M processor 1.40GHz
with 248 MB of RAM
USB card reader/writer for CF card
Sandisk 4GB CF card
Step 1 - Build system using a hard drive
Windows XP Home/Professional requires a minimum of 1GB of hard drive space, so the first step is to build the system using a standard hard drive. Do a fresh install of Windows on your hard drive.
Step 2 - Turn off Virtual Memory
Turn off virtual memory, so as not to create paging file on the drive. This is done by right clicking My Computer on your desktop > Properties > Advanced tab, under Performance select Settings. Under another Advanced tab, click the Virtual Memory button Make sure to select No paging file and click the Set button then OK, then reboot. This will not improve performance, but will have a great decrease of number of writes to the CF card.
Step 3 - Slim the Windows installation
Remove unnecessary Windows components and features using a program such as XPLite or NLite. Note that this step has a large impact on system performance, but may also disable functions used by the system.
Step 4 - Transfer Files
Using Norton Ghost
Using another Operating System
Step 5 - Replacing the hard drive
Remove the hard drive and place the CF adapter in the same position on the same IDE channel. This allows the system to correctly detect the CF card for booting.
Note for Desktop application: Make sure to connect to the same location on the ID Bus (e.g Master Drive, Primary IDE channel) or you may receive an "NTLDR is Missing", or boot failure error when the computer attempts to boot the Operating System. It some situations it is possible to modify the boot.ini file to indicate the correct hard drive channel and position.