Forums

CompactFlash IDE - not recognized

Started by Kapp December 21, 2006
 am converting an old laptop into a digital picture frame. My thought was
to create a small XP (nlite) with the apps I need (slideshow, wireless, vnc)
on a hard drive and then copy it over to a CompactFlash which I would then
replace the laptop harddrive with. I've got a nice tight version on a hard
drive (under 500Mb) ready to put onto CF.

Problem: it doesn't appear that the BIOS I have will recognize the CF as a
drive. I am using a 44-pin CF/IDE adapter I picked up on the internet. Using
a desktop, I confirmed that the adapter works (of course I had to adapt IT
to 40 pin IDE) and actually got the desktop to DOS boot from a formatted CF
(two actually, a 1.0GB Sandisk and a 512MB PNY). Unfortunately, hooking it
into the old laptop (DELL Inspiron 3500) the BIOS doesn't see it and thus
fdisk gives me "no fixed disks present."

Questions: Anyone have any thoughts on how to get around this? Perhaps a
different adapter? Am I lost for this laptop? I ensured it is the latest
BIOS version (for this inspiron Rev A14). I can proceed with using a hard
drive but the thought of using the CF really appeals to me. One thought I
had as to why the BIOS is not recognizing it was whether it has to do with
the CF card being marked as "removable". However, because it works on the
newer desktop I wonder if this could be it. Other than that, my limited
experience in these matters leaves me clueless!



Kapp <kappjack@NOSPAM.hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:458aa5c0$0$27103$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
> am converting an old laptop into a digital picture frame. My thought was > to create a small XP (nlite) with the apps I need (slideshow, wireless,
vnc) Try a PCMCIA CF card adapter. I'm using one here on an IBM 755C 486DX2-66 8MB 300MB HDD Windows 95 machine. It works ok with a 512MB CF card in an adapter. Recognises it as a mass storage device too, without needing drivers.
Kapp <kappjack@nospam.hotmail.com> wrote:
> different adapter? Am I lost for this laptop? I ensured it is the latest > BIOS version (for this inspiron Rev A14). I can proceed with using a hard > drive but the thought of using the CF really appeals to me. One thought I > had as to why the BIOS is not recognizing it was whether it has to do with > the CF card being marked as "removable". However, because it works on the > newer desktop I wonder if this could be it. Other than that, my limited > experience in these matters leaves me clueless!
I've seen CF adapters from a Germany company, that relied on using IDE cable select - see http://www.unixwiz.net/techtips/ide-cable-select.html These require your PC and IDE cable to support cable select. These adapters are a royal pain - which is maybe why the original owner sold it :-( Jim
"Kapp" <kappjack@NOSPAM.hotmail.com> wrote in message 
news:458aa5c0$0$27103$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
> am converting an old laptop into a digital picture frame. My thought was > to create a small XP (nlite) with the apps I need (slideshow, wireless, > vnc) > on a hard drive and then copy it over to a CompactFlash which I would then > replace the laptop harddrive with. I've got a nice tight version on a hard > drive (under 500Mb) ready to put onto CF. > > Problem: it doesn't appear that the BIOS I have will recognize the CF as a > drive. I am using a 44-pin CF/IDE adapter I picked up on the internet. > Using > a desktop, I confirmed that the adapter works (of course I had to adapt IT > to 40 pin IDE) and actually got the desktop to DOS boot from a formatted > CF > (two actually, a 1.0GB Sandisk and a 512MB PNY). Unfortunately, hooking it > into the old laptop (DELL Inspiron 3500) the BIOS doesn't see it and thus > fdisk gives me "no fixed disks present." > > Questions: Anyone have any thoughts on how to get around this? Perhaps a > different adapter? Am I lost for this laptop? I ensured it is the latest > BIOS version (for this inspiron Rev A14). I can proceed with using a hard > drive but the thought of using the CF really appeals to me. One thought I > had as to why the BIOS is not recognizing it was whether it has to do with > the CF card being marked as "removable". However, because it works on the > newer desktop I wonder if this could be it. Other than that, my limited > experience in these matters leaves me clueless!
I recently had a similar experience. I originally tried the same process: setting up a small partition on a hard drive and copying it to a CF card. No dice, despite trying to ensure the MBR was correct - I suspect there are differences in MBRs between hard drives and CF cards that I've not fully understood. What eventually worked for me was to hook up the CF card (via a CF/IDE adaptor, like you) and install XP on it directly. (I also turned off virtual memory in XP in an attempt to reduce writes to the CF.) This took a while, since CF writes are slow, but it booted and ran fine. XP still sees it as a removable drive (and complains if virtual memory is left on, probably quite rightly). Steve http://www.fivetrees.com
UPDATE:   Got it working. I had to use the SanDisk utility to mark the CF as 
"fixed."  Once I did that the laptop BIOS had no problem seeing the CF via 
the CF/IDE adapter.  I have copied over my 420Mb XP installation and the 
laptop picture frame works great.

"Kapp" <kappjack@NOSPAM.hotmail.com> wrote in message 
news:458aa5c0$0$27103$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
> am converting an old laptop into a digital picture frame. My thought was > to create a small XP (nlite) with the apps I need (slideshow, wireless, > vnc) > on a hard drive and then copy it over to a CompactFlash which I would then > replace the laptop harddrive with. I've got a nice tight version on a hard > drive (under 500Mb) ready to put onto CF. > > Problem: it doesn't appear that the BIOS I have will recognize the CF as a > drive. I am using a 44-pin CF/IDE adapter I picked up on the internet. > Using > a desktop, I confirmed that the adapter works (of course I had to adapt IT > to 40 pin IDE) and actually got the desktop to DOS boot from a formatted > CF > (two actually, a 1.0GB Sandisk and a 512MB PNY). Unfortunately, hooking it > into the old laptop (DELL Inspiron 3500) the BIOS doesn't see it and thus > fdisk gives me "no fixed disks present." > > Questions: Anyone have any thoughts on how to get around this? Perhaps a > different adapter? Am I lost for this laptop? I ensured it is the latest > BIOS version (for this inspiron Rev A14). I can proceed with using a hard > drive but the thought of using the CF really appeals to me. One thought I > had as to why the BIOS is not recognizing it was whether it has to do with > the CF card being marked as "removable". However, because it works on the > newer desktop I wonder if this could be it. Other than that, my limited > experience in these matters leaves me clueless! > > >
"Kapp" <kappjack@NOSPAM.hotmail.com> wrote in message 
news:458f29d2$0$20022$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
> UPDATE: Got it working. I had to use the SanDisk utility to mark the CF > as "fixed." Once I did that the laptop BIOS had no problem seeing the CF > via the CF/IDE adapter. I have copied over my 420Mb XP installation and > the laptop picture frame works great.
Very interesting. I shall hunt down the SanDisk utility. Thanks. Steve http://www.fivetrees.com