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Thread: Formatting CF card for a 486

  1. #1

    Default Formatting CF card for a 486

    I have an early 90's 486 laptop that I am replacing the HDD on. It seems like it's getting flaky, so I'm switching to a CF card that I bought.

    The laptop only has the one IDE port, so I have to perform the process on my windows 10 PC which has an IDE header on it.

    My question is, how should I copy the old HDD to the CF card? I was informed that I need to format the CF card in such a way that it has no "removable bit" (set on the drive to tell a modern OS that it is removable media, like a usb stick or an SD card.) in order to image to it. Although, I'm not sure if that is universally true, or if it's a limitation of certain imaging programs or some other thing.

    Is there anyone who has done this that could clear up for me the way to approach cloning my old HDD to my new CF card?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    The "removable bit" doesn't matter to 486-era OSs--you'll have issues with XP, but you're not going to put that on a 486 box.

  3. #3

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    it would probably be better to make a backup image of the old drive on the windows 10 machine, but to start fresh with a fresh DOS install on the new CF card... but thats just me, unless the original drive had some weird recovery partitions or something... but even so, i would try to find the original recovery media and do a fresh install anyways.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkdonut666 View Post
    it would probably be better to make a backup image of the old drive on the windows 10 machine, but to start fresh with a fresh DOS install on the new CF card....
    So, I was able to use DD (via clonezilla frontend) to image the HDD and copy the image to my CF card. Unfortunately, my laptop is having trouble recognizing the CF card. The bios sees the card there but says it isn't a valid hard drive or something. Dos doesn't see anything. I also tried Check It disk utility, and that sees nothing either.
    I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do because I don't know if it's the CF card or the adapter.
    The card is a 2gb verbatim card that others report working on similar setups. The adapter it the kind that has male pins on both sides that seems to be more recommended than the kind which plugs directly into a header. Also, the adapter does work in my windows 10 PC just fine.
    One thing that I can tell is that the windows 10 PC also uses a 3.5" to 2.5" IDE adapter with a ATX power adapter plug on the line. The laptop is natively 2.5", so no such adapter is used. (but one would assume it's not necessary)

    Can anyone think of a good path forward?

    Thanks

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by vol.2 View Post
    Can anyone think of a good path forward?
    Use a DOM. They're hassle free. There are 44 pin varieties made especially for laptops.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Use a DOM. They're hassle free. There are 44 pin varieties made especially for laptops.
    Do those DOMs support the ATA TRIM command like a modern compact flash card?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtherabbit View Post
    Do those DOMs support the ATA TRIM command like a modern compact flash card?
    From what I remember TRIM hasn't been an issue with the latest SSDs/DOMs/CFs and the like. Way back I had one of the first, an Intel 15 GB SSD, and it required that you ran a TRIM utility every once in a while. Later on it was like a 'built in' feature and you seldom hear mention of it anymore.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  8. #8
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    I have had really good luck with PATA->SD adapters myself. You can get a laptop 44 pin one for under $10 on eBay (or about $12 on Amazon) and I've found it performs at least as well as a CF card. Re: compatibility, this is no guarantee, obviously, but I've seen *zero* compatibility issues between the PATA->SD adapter with several different SD cards installed and my XTIDE cards while the majority of CF cards I've tested have issues. (Especially larger ones; by "larger" I mean greater than 512MB.)
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  9. #9

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    I bought a 44 pin DOM on ebay from a good seller. I also had to get a pin header to adapt it though because both sides are female.

    I'll see how it goes. Kinda sucks to be stuck with the CF card and adapter though. Wonder what I'll ever use it for? I guess maybe I can get a pcmcia to CF adapter and use it for storage or something.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by vol.2 View Post
    I bought a 44 pin DOM on ebay from a good seller. I also had to get a pin header to adapt it though because both sides are female.
    I don't know if that will work as is. I've found that I needed two pin headers to get my DOMs to work in a mobile drive rack designed for HDs with female connector for the HD. One to connect to the female IDE connector inside the mobile rack, a short IDE cable, then another header plugged into that short IDE cable to accept the DOM. Using just one header to plug the DOM directly into the mobile drive rack was useless. I didn't even attempt to diagnose the apparent cable pin assignment reversal from using just one male to male pin header -- I just went with what worked.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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