XPe moving from HDD to CF


Scott Kelly

I have an old XPe project that I want to look into moving from a 20gig HDD
system to a large Compact Flash replacement. It is XPe SP2.

The project has a C: partition with the Windows O/S and a D: partition with
application's data on it and then an EWF-DISK area protecting only the C:

Here are my questions:

- Some of the older articles in this group talk about DMA vs non-DMA CF
cards. Are the big cards (>4gb) nowadays all DMA cards?

- I'm looking at the 5gb-8gb Seagate ST1 type cards. Anybady recommend or
NOT recommend this cards? Any other cards to recommend? How about the IDE
to CF adapters. I saw CFADPT7 on eBay that is DMA enabled.

- I read about people who continue to use EWF-RAM area to reduce the
physical writing to the CF card to improve longevity. My app is actually a
voice mail device that reads and writes voice messages, etc. Has anyone
computed the lifespan of the CF cards - and if so - what was the formula?

- Does anyone have any pointers for converting my existind Target Designer
project from an HDD based to CF based project? If the file image would fit
.... is there any reason that you couldn't take the existing HDD project and
throw it on a CF card?

- I've read where people have to use special utilities to make a CF card
bootable? Is this a current concern or has that gone away?

- I haven't rebuilt my project since 11/16/2004. Back in 9/2003 I applied
some QFEs. Any recommendations to getting my libraries up to date?



Wow, youve got some work to do.
I have some ideas for a few of these questions.
no specifics on hardware, just XPE Configuration

Compact flashes support something like 10,000 or maybe even 100,000
writes to the same block of Ram. The issue is that windows boot
process repeatedly writes same areas. Most CF will have "Wear
Leveling" software, that will distribute multiple writes to the same
file evenly across the disk, reducing this problem somewhat. Use of
EWF is generally stated as REQUIRED for running XPE on CF.

Yes it will, but you want to add the EWF components, and get it working
on the HD. Run the FBA, make sure its all working on your HD, then copy
the post-FBA image to the CF. There are a few issues, such as whether
you need to run the cloning step and such.

You can use EWF Ram mode, or use a Disk overlay pointing to someplace
besides the compact flash if you still have a hard disk that's not
being used to boot from.

Probably. Search this newsgroup for info on Hitachi Drive format, or
maybe look at the new Technology Preview FP with USB boot.

Moving to SP2 requires installing a big database update to an installed
SP1 configuration, and then applying some 15 or so QFEs from the OEM
Website. If you can order an SP2 install CD that would be probably be
much easier than downloading. Basically you need to register for the
OEM site and start downloading.

Good Luck.



Silicon Systems claims an endurance spec of 2,000,000 writes on their CF,
and it is not supposed to become corrupt if it is performing a wear leveling
operation and the power goes down. With 6-bit ecc and single-layer nand
technology it looks like the best vendor I've seen. DMA mode 0-2 are
supported on most CF's I've seen, including this one. Also they have a
white paper that you can use to estimate the useful life of a CF given the
number of writes and some other params. Contact them for the doc if

This product also reports as a "fixed" volume so you don't have to chase
down some nutty vendor app to flip the fixed/removal status bit to "fixed"
(assuming you want multiple partitions on the cf). You can directly
partition this CF as if it was a HDD assuming you use their "IDE flash
drive" product. BTW, no experience with the Seagate cards.

You would still want EWF, redirect pagefile, etc off to an unprotected
volume as mentioned in the XPe TD help.

BTW if you upgrade to SP2, I was told on another post that the QFE's are
cumulative. If so, you would only need to install the last one. Or, maybe
that is wrong, and you need to install what MS calls a "rollup", which is a
accumulation of prior fixes. For example:

"XP Embedded SP2 December Security Update"
This XP Embedded SP2 Database update addresses two (2) new or reissued
Microsoft Security Bulletins. Additionally, this update rolls in all
previous SP2 database security updates into a single update.

Which is at:

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