CF2IDE Disk Failures?

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CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby NerdIt » 2017-12-08 @ 01:14

Anyone else with a CF2IDE setup get those random read\write drive failure errors? They started off pretty minimal but seem to be happening more as i do more operations with my new DOS-Rig.

Tends to happen sometimes during file transfers, or when loading a bigger game like Quake. Has crashed the system mid-game a few times before. Usually if it happens while i'm at the prompt i can just hit Abort or Retry and it'l start functioning again.

I'm using one of those generic "Transcend" (anybody else use them?) 4gb CF cards and a Syba adapter off Ebay. It wouldn't be the IDE controller would it? Iv tested it with an original IDE compatible hard drive off a Win98 machine and it seemed ok, but i admittedly would not trust the drive for use long term. Plus, the convenience of easy file swaps with a modern PC are great.

Maybe its just the card? I'd be curious to know how meany people have gotten one of these to work clean and without issue or if there's something i overlooked. I just set it up as a regular hard-disk. Haven't messed in the bios too much.
Last edited by NerdIt on 2017-12-08 @ 04:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby r.cade » 2017-12-08 @ 01:25

Cheap Chinese electronics are unreliable. That is the trade-off... :)
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby NerdIt » 2017-12-08 @ 01:35

r.cade wrote:Cheap Chinese electronics are unreliable. That is the trade-off... :)

Thats a fair point! But in that regard would it be the Adapter itself or the CF Card that should be replaced?
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby notsofossil » 2017-12-08 @ 04:51

I think the issue is your CF card. You need a high quality one by Sandisk or Kingston. The low end/no-name ones are really hit or miss. I have a brand-less 1GB card that is crazy fast, another that is 4GB and it is slow.

The average CF2IDE adapter is a purely passive adapter, there's no logic conversion. It should work just fine therefore, there's very little that could go wrong. An adapter like SD2IDE requires a bridge chip which has a lot of potential for sluggishness and problems. I just don't trust those types of adapters.
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby NerdIt » 2017-12-08 @ 05:12

notsofossil wrote:I think the issue is your CF card. You need a high quality one by Sandisk or Kingston. The low end/no-name ones are really hit or miss. I have a brand-less 1GB card that is crazy fast, another that is 4GB and it is slow.

The average CF2IDE adapter is a purely passive adapter, there's no logic conversion. It should work just fine therefore, there's very little that could go wrong. An adapter like SD2IDE requires a bridge chip which has a lot of potential for sluggishness and problems. I just don't trust those types of adapters.


That might just be, i'm noticing the card is starting to crash more too (haven't seen it die on me when i transfer files on my win10 machine yet though, heh)

Got any recommendation for specific types from those brands? I'm looking at maybe a SanDisk Ultra 8gb (nothing in the extreme line). Just planning on running DOS so nothing too fancy i'd imagine?
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby notsofossil » 2017-12-08 @ 05:19

Sandisk Ultra or anything 266x and higher should be good for DOS. I like Sandisk Extreme for Windows. I know, they don't do fixed disk mode, but Win9x and WinNT up to XP don't seem to care if you install in the right way.
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby konc » 2017-12-08 @ 08:02

Most of the times it's the card, and most of the times people believe it isn't until they try a different one :lol:
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby BeginnerGuy » 2017-12-08 @ 08:42

I've had a couple minor nuisances with my Transcend 300x 4GB card that I just got off of ebay. One example I can recreate is saving a modified file in MS-DOS Editor is prone to causing a bit of a system halt. Other than that it's "good enough".

I highly doubt it's the adapter and likely just the card itself. I ended up using a 2gb WD drive as my main and the cf card as a slave for now loaded with games and apps.

Just supporting the point that it's hit or miss depending on the CF card. Grab a sandisk and cross your fingers :P
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby derSammler » 2017-12-08 @ 08:45

I would not use anything else than industrial-grade CF cards as a hard disk replacement. Consumer-grade cards are good for cameras and similar stuff, but not for use as a HDD replacement. They will die fast and have almost no overprovisioning.
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-08 @ 10:42

derSammler wrote:I would not use anything else than industrial-grade CF cards as a hard disk replacement. Consumer-grade cards are good for cameras and similar stuff, but not for use as a HDD replacement.
They will die fast and have almost no overprovisioning.

I am of your opinion (though I'm experimenting with both types now and then). Since you mentioned it, overprovisioning is an interesting topic.
I just wished there was more in-depth information available. I remember, about last year or so we had a discussion about it here at vogons
(the thread originally was about SD cards, but we went a tiny bit off-topic. :sweatdrop:) : viewtopic.php?f=46&t=50012
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby .legaCy » 2017-12-08 @ 10:52

r.cade wrote:Cheap Chinese electronics are unreliable. That is the trade-off... :)

I agree, but in the case of CF to IDE it is just a connector style converter, like if you wanted to plug a 44 pin ide hdd on a 40 pin ide connector, or those AT style connector to PS/2 style connector, there is no logic or controller into the CF adapter, LGR had the same issues on his 486, i use CF to 44 pin IDE on my Compaq LTE 5300 with a SanDisk 2GB CF and it never gave me any problem at all, since the day of installation to this day it neer gave me any issues at all.
derSammler wrote:I would not use anything else than industrial-grade CF cards as a hard disk replacement. Consumer-grade cards are good for cameras and similar stuff, but not for use as a HDD replacement. They will die fast and have almost no overprovisioning.

the problem is the write cycles, on MS-DOS usually you have way less writing to the disk(most of the time will be save files from some game) compared to Windows.
But hey if my CF card dies i can get another one with ease online, not a big deal, after all it just save games that you will lose.
On my Socket 7 i'm using SD to IDE, i think they are a little bit more prone to errors and stuff because it is not as simple as CF, it has to convert the SD interface to IDE interface,not just the connector, but i didn't had any issues.
As soon as my vlb video card arrives i will use another SD to ide on my 486, but on my short tests the sd to ide worked perfectly on my 486.

@OP
If you can, try another CF card and/or ide controller.
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby r.cade » 2017-12-08 @ 12:43

I have had bad CFIDE adapters also. The cheap ones are unsheilded and soldered poorly and will have errors if you move them around or touch them while in operation. Some just don't work at all out of the package due to bad joints. I've had luck re-soldering all the connections to secure them.
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Re: CF2IDE Disk Failures?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2017-12-08 @ 20:33

I have a 2GB CF card in my Packard Bell and once in a while, it causes the system to go slow. I'm going to install the new Maxtor 60GB HDD that I got a month or so ago in the system, have the CF card hooked up to where the CD drive is, and copy every single file and directory from the CF card to the HDD.

New C drive: Maxtor 60GB HDD (will format as 2GB)
D drive: 2GB CF Card (transfer files over easily to the HDD via xcopy command after installing MS-DOS 6 and upgrading to 6.22)

That, and sometimes my Packard Bell takes a while for it to turn on mainly because of the CF-IDE adapter. The CF card is a SanDisk Ultra, which does work in other computers.
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