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Old 09-14-2015, 01:58 PM   #1
trodas
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Question Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Segate 13G ST313021A on Pentium 90 @ 125MHz:



Average - 6.4MB/sec - now this is SPEEED! :p

...

I wonder, if anyone have in operation slower HDD

...

Therefore I wonder, if someone have a experience with replacing such SLOOOW HDDs with PATA to CF adapter and CF card(s)? The latest models promise very fast speeds - 160MB/sec is quite above PATA possibilities:


SanDIsk Extreme PRO 32G CF card

...and since the adapters are just wires, connecting the CF card to PATA interface (CF cards work on same PATA interface!) and only in best cases, you can choose the voltage (3.3V or 5V) and you get the power and activity lights:


DeLock 91620 PATA to CF

...then there should not be any problem of using CF cards as old PATA HDD replacement(s). Only problem I hear, that there should be changed bit on the card somewhere, that change the device type from removable to fixed. Then it should act as normal HardDriveDevice.

But maybe I missed something...? Do anyone have experience with this? Could someone share tips, software for the change (from removable to fixed) and experience in general?
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

what your talking about is down to the wiring on the adaptor.
my notes have this:
Quote:
solder a link between pins 34 and 40 it runs at full speed (UltraDMA6 133Mbytes/s)
however, i cant remember if those are the CF pins or the IDE pins or if it's for a 40pin or 44pin interface!
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

160 MB/s rating is bullshit on a PATA interface, just like an Adaptec 29160 SCSI card on a regular PCI slot. Can't get more than 133 MB/s.
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Last edited by Per Hansson; 09-15-2015 at 03:12 AM.. Reason: removed quote of OP
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Never had issues throwing a CF card in as an IDE replacement. No need to do anything about removable, especially on something that old.

I've done IDE CF replacements in everything from 386s to Powermac 6400s and no issues at all.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

That ST313021A is seriously bottlenecked, you should be able to see the inner track speed reduction on this disk too... plus it's only showing up as 8GB? And your CPU usage is really high? Might get better throughput with a working DMA/UDMA system? You'll need it for the SSD anyway.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

CF to IDE works fine, but usually it's hard to get DMA mode working.
And CF cards usually have really poor performance with small writes.
Without doing some tweaks to the OS it's possible wear them out quite quickly.

Fix the problems you have with the system first, because a CF is not going to be faster in any way.
You don't have working DMA mode, probably stuck in some of the PIO modes.
And the BIOS is limiting the drives capacity.
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Last edited by Per Hansson; 09-15-2015 at 03:21 AM..
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Hansson View Post
You don't have working DMA mode, probably stuck in some of the PIO modes.
If in PIO mode, you usually see it crawl at 5 MB/s or less. Often because of bad connection.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Slower...

geode# hdparm -tT /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
Timing buffer-cache reads: 50 MB in 0.54 seconds = 93620 kB/s
Timing buffered disk reads: 12 MB in 3.11 seconds = 3942 kB/s

This disk is stuck in PIO4...
I'm getting ready to re-purpose this machine...
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Uhh, and in what way do you feel that the average sequential read rate of 6MB/sec shows that it's not in PIO mode?!
It fits perfectly with PIO mode 2
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progra..._ATA_interface
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Hansson View Post
Uhh, and in what way do you feel that the average sequential read rate of 6MB/sec shows that it's not in PIO mode?!
It fits perfectly with PIO mode 2
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progra..._ATA_interface
I know when Windows goes to PIO mode, you're lucky to see 4 or 5 MB/s.
(That's despite the PIO spec is up to 16 MB/s, but never saw close to that on a system that downgraded to PIO mode.)

And TBH, would be worse on an NT-based Windows version than with Windows 98, because of the NT-family's Windows size alone.

OTOH, sometimes, you don't notice much if you forget to have DMA enabled on Windows 98. But, probably will notice some annoying lag.

Going to PIO on Windows 2000 and later would be torture.

(PIO is a red herring meaning you need to check the ATA connections.)
Likely screams cheap Chinese adapter!

And keep in mind that the max PIO specs usually mean burst rate of memory transfer, not the physical disk!

HD Tune also has a bad habit of reporting the wrong burst rate, sometimes lower than the physical disk speed!

Last edited by RJARRRPCGP; 09-15-2015 at 08:04 AM..
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:02 AM   #11
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

check the bios settings - it may be forced.
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Old 09-15-2015, 09:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

PIO mode will automatically kick in if the host detects read/write errors.
In XP you had to do to device manager and the IDE controller, find the one with the HDD then uninstall. It showed it was in PIO mode IIRC. When the PC was rebooted it re installs DMA correctly.
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:25 PM   #13
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Who made the IDE controllers on this P5 machine? Hopefully it's not some buggy IDE chipset (at least I recall that in Linux the CMD640 and RZ1000 IDE controllers that were specially handled, perhaps with PIO modes because of hardware bugs) and the Windows drivers did the same thing.

Might want to try sticking in a PCI IDE controller that has known working DMA or UDMA if it has PCI slots. If this is a VLB IDE controller... SOL?
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by diif View Post
PIO mode will automatically kick in if the host detects read/write errors.
Soo true! It's usually a bad ATA connection. And possibly can be caused by the CMOS being corrupted.
(Don't forget to clear the CMOS, change the CR-2032 battery, load optimal defaults and save changes to the CMOS.) (A.K.A. NVRAM)

Last edited by RJARRRPCGP; 09-15-2015 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 09-15-2015, 09:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

if you get errors - replace the cable.
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

I notice a strange discontinuity in the access time graph at the 30% capacity mark. I've never seen anything like that before.

The sinusoidal transfer rate is also weird. Could you rerun the benchmark using a short-stroke setting of 100MB and 1GB? This will expand the first part of the graph.

Are you overclocking the I/O bus to 37.5MHz? If so, then that may be the problem.

I'm guessing that your drive should have a maximum transfer rate of around 16 - 17MB/s at the outermost tracks.

Examine the UDMA_CRC_Error_Count SMART attribute under HD Tune's Health tab. That should tell us if there are interface errors, possibly due to cabling or overclocking.

Here is the SMART report for my own ST313021A:

http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/Smartctl/13gb.log
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stj View Post
if you get errors - replace the cable.
+1
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:30 AM   #18
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Agree with the others, before you do anything else, make sure you check "Use DMA" in device manager for that hard disk. Then reboot and see the difference.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:17 PM   #19
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Red face Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Well, DMA is used, so there is no difference after reboot. It might, however, be related to PCI bus clock 41.7MHz (FSB 83MHz).

Curiously as long, as the S3 Trio64 GFX card is used, it works stable (PCI latency 42). When swaped to ATI Rage XL, Win fail to boot and Win install fail to start.

It looks working, tough, using the CF card adapter. Interesting...


Anyway:

Well, since SanDisk is not going to reply, I tried with the default 5V setting the DeLock adapter I mentioned earlier with very old, 0.5G CF card SanDisk SDCFH. It does support PIO 4, but no DMA and the speed is very slow:



Tested on ASRock 775Dual-VSTA (P4, 3.8GHz WinXP, alligned). Also works (or more precisely, get detected) on the target Asus TXP4-X, so so far, so good. Except the speed, lol.

Now the question is - what voltage to use for the SanDisk Extreme PRO 32G CF card and how to change the removable bit to fixed, so there will be the caching in Windows possible.


...


Well... first the good news: I tried 3.3V first and the good news are, that SanDisk Extreme PRO 32G CF card works well with 3.3V settings! There are the result, enabling Smart a 32bit mode transfer did nothing, PATA133 is supported, but it is not going to get higher. Sadly. Still, I think that this is a reasonable speed improvement:


(ASRock 775Dual-VSTA, 3.8GHz P4, 2G DDR2 Crucial Ballistix rams)

However, now to bad news. The CF card is completely useless, unless someone tell me how to change the removable bit to fixed. Period. You cannot use the CF card for anything w/o that. Two examples:

I use Mini Tool Partition Wizard Pro to setup the drive on boot CD - it let me allign the partitions - when creating second partition (one 4G FAT32 for OS, rest for DATA and NTFS = usable settings for waza), it tells me, that I cannot use that partition under Win, as Win recognize only ONE partition on removable device. I was like... that it is, I'm screwed.

So for lolz, I started the install. It want well even at 83MHz FSB with the ATI Rage XL card (IDE HDD refused to work under such conditions, it worked only when S3 Trio64 is used as graphic card at that clock), but then I get to the drive partitioning and problems arise. D partition is invisible (unpartioned space, lol) and there is no way to create a new partition there, because on removable drive, only one partition is supprted. So OK, I try installing and using only the 4G partition... but no! It cannot install, because this partition is NOT compatible with WinXP.
(additionally the card then refuse to work in any PC... formating in my Nikon Coolpix 4300 camera was the only way to fix the caard :-O )

So basicaly, w/o the change from removable to fixed, any usage of any CF card as HDD replacement is doomed.

...

I'm quite mad at SanDisk - they should rename themselves as ScamDisk, because they are selling not CF cards, but CF compatible *) cards, with the *) exception for the possibility to change removable to fixed bit. I believe, that there is open possibility to lawsuit against SanDisk and any other CF card producing company, that produces products, that does not meet the CF card specifications. Because this is false advertising and misleading labeling of product. This is not a CF card, period.
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Old 09-18-2015, 05:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: Change old low HDD to a CF card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trodas View Post
Well, DMA is used, so there is no difference after reboot. It might, however, be related to PCI bus clock 41.7MHz (FSB 83MHz).

Curiously as long, as the S3 Trio64 GFX card is used, it works stable (PCI latency 42). When swaped to ATI Rage XL, Win fail to boot and Win install fail to start.

It looks working, tough, using the CF card adapter. Interesting...


Anyway:

Well, since SanDisk is not going to reply, I tried with the default 5V setting the DeLock adapter I mentioned earlier with very old, 0.5G CF card SanDisk SDCFH. It does support PIO 4, but no DMA and the speed is very slow:



Tested on ASRock 775Dual-VSTA (P4, 3.8GHz WinXP, alligned). Also works (or more precisely, get detected) on the target Asus TXP4-X, so so far, so good. Except the speed, lol.

Now the question is - what voltage to use for the SanDisk Extreme PRO 32G CF card and how to change the removable bit to fixed, so there will be the caching in Windows possible.


...


Well... first the good news: I tried 3.3V first and the good news are, that SanDisk Extreme PRO 32G CF card works well with 3.3V settings! There are the result, enabling Smart a 32bit mode transfer did nothing, PATA133 is supported, but it is not going to get higher. Sadly. Still, I think that this is a reasonable speed improvement:


(ASRock 775Dual-VSTA, 3.8GHz P4, 2G DDR2 Crucial Ballistix rams)

However, now to bad news. The CF card is completely useless, unless someone tell me how to change the removable bit to fixed. Period. You cannot use the CF card for anything w/o that. Two examples:

I use Mini Tool Partition Wizard Pro to setup the drive on boot CD - it let me allign the partitions - when creating second partition (one 4G FAT32 for OS, rest for DATA and NTFS = usable settings for waza), it tells me, that I cannot use that partition under Win, as Win recognize only ONE partition on removable device. I was like... that it is, I'm screwed.

So for lolz, I started the install. It want well even at 83MHz FSB with the ATI Rage XL card (IDE HDD refused to work under such conditions, it worked only when S3 Trio64 is used as graphic card at that clock), but then I get to the drive partitioning and problems arise. D partition is invisible (unpartioned space, lol) and there is no way to create a new partition there, because on removable drive, only one partition is supprted. So OK, I try installing and using only the 4G partition... but no! It cannot install, because this partition is NOT compatible with WinXP.
(additionally the card then refuse to work in any PC... formating in my Nikon Coolpix 4300 camera was the only way to fix the caard :-O )

So basicaly, w/o the change from removable to fixed, any usage of any CF card as HDD replacement is doomed.

...

I'm quite mad at SanDisk - they should rename themselves as ScamDisk, because they are selling not CF cards, but CF compatible *) cards, with the *) exception for the possibility to change removable to fixed bit. I believe, that there is open possibility to lawsuit against SanDisk and any other CF card producing company, that produces products, that does not meet the CF card specifications. Because this is false advertising and misleading labeling of product. This is not a CF card, period.
That my friend is a Windows problem. This is a DRM implementation to go along with the Windows antipiracy crap. Linux, DOS, Unix, Solaris, BSD, OSX, Android all work from removable media. So will Windows CE/Mobile/RT It's the rest of the versions that shit themselves.
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Last edited by goontron; 09-18-2015 at 05:30 PM..
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