[Beowulf] Re: real hard drive failures

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Feb 1 10:50:28 PST 2005

At 10:07 AM 2/1/2005, Mark Hahn wrote:
> > > on that note, though - does anyone have comments about booting
> > > machines from flash?
> > >
> > I've booted a mini-ITX system from flash,
> > the distribution in question was a wireless access point.
> > All you need is a CF to IDE adapter.
>I don't really see those much at all.  perhaps I'm not using
>the right search terms.

Try JKMicrodevices or ituner.com or www.mini-itx.com or 
www.damnsmalllinux.org or wwww.logicsupply.com or www.epiacenter.com

(google for "compact flash mini-itx" )

They run about $15-$20, depending on configuration, and there's nothing 
special about them for MiniITX.. they should work on anything.

There ARE rumored to be "difficulties" with how the CF is formatted in some 
contexts, but I don't know any details.  Maybe it has to do with whether 
the BIOS supports the "virtual" head, track, sector details?

I've also heard that one cannot boot "Win xx" from CF, but have no reason 
to see why this would be so (it's a disk drive, after all...)  Maybe with a 
PCI<>CF adapter it's a problem?

>have you looked into booting from usb-flash?  that would be very
>much dependent on bios, of course, but far more accessible.

Oooooh... that didn't work so well for me on the various machines I tried 
it on.  The IDE/CF is essentially bios independent (to the BIOS, it just 
looks link another IDE drive).  The USB drive has to have all the USB stuff 
up and running first.

>thanks, mark hahn.

James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875

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