VOGONS


First post, by UltimateElectronic

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Question:
G'day all, is there any particular SD-IDE or CF-IDE adapter that anyone would recommend, if they're a good idea in the first place?

System specs:
433MHz Intel Celeron, 192MB SDRAM, PCChips M748LMRT with an (I think) SiS 620/5595 chipset. I'm wanting to either have Win98SE or Win2k SP4 on it.

Background information:
I'm a little concerned about the reliability of the HDD in the aforementioned system, I installed Win2k SP4 on it and it worked fine, after putting the computer into storage for a while, the OS wouldn't get past the "Windows is starting up" screen, even in safe mode, so I'm looking into possible alternatives to an HDD, so if there are any other better recommendations than the aforementioned alternatives, please let me know!

Thanks in advance!

Reply 1 of 16, by AngryByDefault

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Hi!

Regarding CF-IDE adapters I made a similar question recently, it seems that they are relatively passive, in the sense that they deal only with the size and layout of the connectors and don 't interfere with the data and protocols, so they are rather simple and mostly either do work or don't, and the general opinion is that they mostly do work.

These seem to be the most "tested" ones:

file.php?id=102303&mode=view

file.php?id=97585&mode=view

I got this one, because in the area the others were unreasonably priced, and so far I'm happy with it.
file.php?id=112278&mode=view

Some adapters you plug them directly to the IDE port, while you plug the IDE cable to others as If they were a standard IDE drive. Some have master/slave jumpers.

Startech seems to be a reputable brand for all this kinds of gadgets.
But I've seen many unbranded ones that look pretty much the same.

A few notes:
- Some users are leaning towards SD cards as they become much more available and cheaper than CF cards.
- Seems to me that CF cards might be a bit more durable (but then again, SD prices can make this moot)
- There are also SATA-IDE adapters that you could consider along with small-ish SSD drives. Howver do some research about the eventual lack of TRIM managemente in your OS.

Threads were I've found info in order to decide what to get for my system:

Is this CF-IDE adapter a viable option for DOS?

How to upgrade your (really) old computer to SSD

compact flash ide adapters

Quick Compact flash storage to backup my old IDE hard drive

HTH.

Reply 2 of 16, by UltimateElectronic

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AngryByDefault wrote on 2021-07-16, 12:49:
Hi! […]
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Hi!

Regarding CF-IDE adapters I made a similar question recently, it seems that they are relatively passive, in the sense that they deal only with the size and layout of the connectors and don 't interfere with the data and protocols, so they are rather simple and mostly either do work or don't, and the general opinion is that they mostly do work.

These seem to be the most "tested" ones:

file.php?id=102303&mode=view

file.php?id=97585&mode=view

I got this one, because in the area the others were unreasonably priced, and so far I'm happy with it.
file.php?id=112278&mode=view

Some adapters you plug them directly to the IDE port, while you plug the IDE cable to others as If they were a standard IDE drive. Some have master/slave jumpers.

Startech seems to be a reputable brand for all this kinds of gadgets.
But I've seen many unbranded ones that look pretty much the same.

A few notes:
- Some users are leaning towards SD cards as they become much more available and cheaper than CF cards.
- Seems to me that CF cards might be a bit more durable (but then again, SD prices can make this moot)
- There are also SATA-IDE adapters that you could consider along with small-ish SSD drives. Howver do some research about the eventual lack of TRIM managemente in your OS.

Threads were I've found info in order to decide what to get for my system:

Is this CF-IDE adapter a viable option for DOS?

How to upgrade your (really) old computer to SSD

compact flash ide adapters

Quick Compact flash storage to backup my old IDE hard drive

HTH.

Cheers for all of that, I'll have to have a look into some of those adapters, I wish that CF cards were more affordable... I suppose I could always go for an SD-IDE adapter. Do you know if they work? I'll also look into SATA-IDE adapters as well... So many options...

Reply 3 of 16, by paradigital

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The thing to consider is that CF cards ARE IDE, they conform to the IDE standard which is why the adapters are usually just interface adapters rather than active converters. CF cards are designed (industrial ones anyway) to deal with the kinds of reads and writes that an OS will be performing.

SD cards are cheaper, there’s no argument there, but they aren’t designed for those read/write operations, and are far more susceptible to the adapter themselves being compatible.

For instances where a PC is picky about what disks it will and won’t support, I’ve had far better luck with CF.

I tend to stick to Cisco CF cards as they really are designed to last and last. I’ve had even “decent” branded new CF cards die on me (like Lexar).

Reply 4 of 16, by AngryByDefault

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What @paradigital said is the key issue when choosing between CF / SD options.

Around here there are no SD converters available, so I ordered two from China but have not received it yet, and I honestly don't know if it will ever arrive.
So in the meantime, and because for me all of this is about playing, testing and learning, I bought the cheapest CF adapter + a used 4GB CF card. If the SD adapter does get here I will be able to compare them head to head, so both will be money well spent.

My "feeling" is that CF cards will be more reliable, but I will not use either one intensively, let alone hold critical files there, so having them die should not be a big issue (money aside).

What really bugs me about CF cards is that -around here- a 8GB, 16GB at most, costs me the same as a new inexpensive 120 GB SSD drive, and I seem to be unable to force myself to do such a purchase...

These two Phil's videos decided me to order the SD adapters, worth checking out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn9vwOf19XE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWYS5X1wSzU

Perhaps I should mention that I intend to stay in the realms of FreeDOS, OpenDOS, DOS (maybe) and mostly similar CLI only OSes, win XX is unlikely.

HTH

Reply 5 of 16, by UltimateElectronic

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paradigital wrote on 2021-07-17, 08:44:
The thing to consider is that CF cards ARE IDE, they conform to the IDE standard which is why the adapters are usually just inte […]
Show full quote

The thing to consider is that CF cards ARE IDE, they conform to the IDE standard which is why the adapters are usually just interface adapters rather than active converters. CF cards are designed (industrial ones anyway) to deal with the kinds of reads and writes that an OS will be performing.

SD cards are cheaper, there’s no argument there, but they aren’t designed for those read/write operations, and are far more susceptible to the adapter themselves being compatible.

For instances where a PC is picky about what disks it will and won’t support, I’ve had far better luck with CF.

I tend to stick to Cisco CF cards as they really are designed to last and last. I’ve had even “decent” branded new CF cards die on me (like Lexar).

Ahh that's good, I didn't actually know that industrial CF cards were designed to deal with the R/W cycles an OS would put it through. Good to know! Thanks for that!

Reply 6 of 16, by UltimateElectronic

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AngryByDefault wrote on 2021-07-17, 14:06:
What @paradigital said is the key issue when choosing between CF / SD options. […]
Show full quote

What @paradigital said is the key issue when choosing between CF / SD options.

Around here there are no SD converters available, so I ordered two from China but have not received it yet, and I honestly don't know if it will ever arrive.
So in the meantime, and because for me all of this is about playing, testing and learning, I bought the cheapest CF adapter + a used 4GB CF card. If the SD adapter does get here I will be able to compare them head to head, so both will be money well spent.

My "feeling" is that CF cards will be more reliable, but I will not use either one intensively, let alone hold critical files there, so having them die should not be a big issue (money aside).

What really bugs me about CF cards is that -around here- a 8GB, 16GB at most, costs me the same as a new inexpensive 120 GB SSD drive, and I seem to be unable to force myself to do such a purchase...

These two Phil's videos decided me to order the SD adapters, worth checking out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn9vwOf19XE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWYS5X1wSzU

Perhaps I should mention that I intend to stay in the realms of FreeDOS, OpenDOS, DOS (maybe) and mostly similar CLI only OSes, win XX is unlikely.

HTH

Yeah nah those things are hideously expensive. Most of them costing more than I'd be happy to pay. Thanks for the information! My plan is to run Win9x on the computers I'm using.

Reply 7 of 16, by SScorpio

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AngryByDefault wrote on 2021-07-17, 14:06:
These two Phil's videos decided me to order the SD adapters, worth checking out: […]
Show full quote

These two Phil's videos decided me to order the SD adapters, worth checking out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn9vwOf19XE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWYS5X1wSzU

Perhaps I should mention that I intend to stay in the realms of FreeDOS, OpenDOS, DOS (maybe) and mostly similar CLI only OSes, win XX is unlikely.

I'm using two of them, one was in a 486 that's been upgraded to a Pentium MMX system running DOS and it works without fuss. The other is an A64 Win98SE system, and again it works great with a 64GB card. I'm sure it helped me keep my sanity as I did a large number of Win98 reinstalls trying to figure out the get combination and order to install drivers. The low seek time make installing extremely quick it was 10-15 mins from starting install to being at the desktop.

My only complaint is they are just the board and I've been unable to find metal brackets for them. I have 3d printed brackets so I can access the card from the rear expansion slots of the computers. But the material flexes when removing and inserting the card.

Reply 8 of 16, by vstrakh

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Been using these cheap adapter boards in two systems, all ok, CF cards were running in UDMA on Pentium build:

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Apparently those were meant to host two cards, but I couldn't find dual-card version.

Later found this kind of SD-to-CF adapters. Works fine with card readers, and the x2 adapter even does RAID-0, exposing the "CF" card of the double size of inserted SD cards. But didn't use it as a HDD in PC's yet.

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Reply 9 of 16, by waterbeesje

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Another one here with the CF enthusiasm. I tend to put a CF adapter in every system that has support and unused ide connector.
Few years ago I bought a bunch of industrial cfs second hand, that had a previous life in Cisco hardware. All still work perfectly, but I only use them in dos/w311 for wear concerns. For w9x and above I always use real hard disks or SSD.

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 10 of 16, by MN_Moody

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I find CF cards work fine for DOS builds, however most common removable CF/SD cards were not designed to deal with the random read/write workload that Windows will impose, so I don't like throwing used CF or SD cards into any Windows build as primary storage. For Windows builds I go with traditional IDE spinning drives, an IDE DOM, or a small SATA SSD via an IDE adapter.

Reply 11 of 16, by UltimateElectronic

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SScorpio wrote on 2021-12-22, 14:11:
AngryByDefault wrote on 2021-07-17, 14:06:
These two Phil's videos decided me to order the SD adapters, worth checking out: […]
Show full quote

These two Phil's videos decided me to order the SD adapters, worth checking out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn9vwOf19XE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWYS5X1wSzU

Perhaps I should mention that I intend to stay in the realms of FreeDOS, OpenDOS, DOS (maybe) and mostly similar CLI only OSes, win XX is unlikely.

I'm using two of them, one was in a 486 that's been upgraded to a Pentium MMX system running DOS and it works without fuss. The other is an A64 Win98SE system, and again it works great with a 64GB card. I'm sure it helped me keep my sanity as I did a large number of Win98 reinstalls trying to figure out the get combination and order to install drivers. The low seek time make installing extremely quick it was 10-15 mins from starting install to being at the desktop.

My only complaint is they are just the board and I've been unable to find metal brackets for them. I have 3d printed brackets so I can access the card from the rear expansion slots of the computers. But the material flexes when removing and inserting the card.

Probably not what you're looking for as you have some already, but I guess something to keep in mind in the future, I think you can get the ones that come with metal expansion slot brackets. I'm not sure how well those adapters do/don't work in comparison to yours, but I know people who have had positive experiences with them.

Reply 12 of 16, by UltimateElectronic

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MN_Moody wrote on 2021-12-22, 16:12:

I find CF cards work fine for DOS builds, however most common removable CF/SD cards were not designed to deal with the random read/write workload that Windows will impose, so I don't like throwing used CF or SD cards into any Windows build as primary storage. For Windows builds I go with traditional IDE spinning drives, an IDE DOM, or a small SATA SSD via an IDE adapter.

Fair enough. I might look into IDE adapters, someone suggested that to me a little while ago, and it was something I hadn't properly thought about. I have an adapter that does the inverse (used for IDE drives on a motherboard with SATA), and I know that worked, so nothing stopping SATA to IDE adapters working I suppose.

Reply 13 of 16, by SScorpio

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UltimateElectronic wrote on 2022-03-29, 07:40:

Probably not what you're looking for as you have some already, but I guess something to keep in mind in the future, I think you can get the ones that come with metal expansion slot brackets. I'm not sure how well those adapters do/don't work in comparison to yours, but I know people who have had positive experiences with them.

I've only seen metal brackets on the CF2IDEs, if someone has found any for SD2IDE I'd be interested.

UltimateElectronic wrote on 2022-03-29, 07:43:

Fair enough. I might look into IDE adapters, someone suggested that to me a little while ago, and it was something I hadn't properly thought about. I have an adapter that does the inverse (used for IDE drives on a motherboard with SATA), and I know that worked, so nothing stopping SATA to IDE adapters working I suppose.

SATA to IDE adapters seems to work fine in my experience. You just run into the issue of a drive you need to mount that's not convenient to just eject and connect to a modern PC for data transfer. IMO it's still worth using an SSD, anything that can cut down on moving parts will generally hopefully be expending the life of your system.

Reply 14 of 16, by UltimateElectronic

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SScorpio wrote on 2022-03-29, 12:55:
I've only seen metal brackets on the CF2IDEs, if someone has found any for SD2IDE I'd be interested. […]
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UltimateElectronic wrote on 2022-03-29, 07:40:

Probably not what you're looking for as you have some already, but I guess something to keep in mind in the future, I think you can get the ones that come with metal expansion slot brackets. I'm not sure how well those adapters do/don't work in comparison to yours, but I know people who have had positive experiences with them.

I've only seen metal brackets on the CF2IDEs, if someone has found any for SD2IDE I'd be interested.

UltimateElectronic wrote on 2022-03-29, 07:43:

Fair enough. I might look into IDE adapters, someone suggested that to me a little while ago, and it was something I hadn't properly thought about. I have an adapter that does the inverse (used for IDE drives on a motherboard with SATA), and I know that worked, so nothing stopping SATA to IDE adapters working I suppose.

SATA to IDE adapters seems to work fine in my experience. You just run into the issue of a drive you need to mount that's not convenient to just eject and connect to a modern PC for data transfer. IMO it's still worth using an SSD, anything that can cut down on moving parts will generally hopefully be expending the life of your system.

Ohh right I thought you were referring to the CF-IDE adapters, yeah, I don't remember seeing any with metal brackets on them but I haven't looked that hard.

Yeah, mechanical things can be fragile...

Reply 15 of 16, by Sphere478

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Re: Socket 7 motherboard condition? Totem TM-586 TX4

Sphere's PCB projects.
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Sphere’s socket 5/7 cpu collection.
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SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
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Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)

Reply 16 of 16, by douglar

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vstrakh wrote on 2021-12-22, 14:48:

Apparently those were meant to host two cards, but I couldn't find dual-card version.

Later found this kind of SD-to-CF adapters. Works fine with card readers, and the x2 adapter even does RAID-0, exposing the "CF" card of the double size of inserted SD cards. But didn't use it as a HDD in PC's yet.

The double CF adapters are available on ebay, but they are expensive. There's a guy on ebay who sells 3d printed CF bay covers with the dual card CF adapter. Pretty much the same price as the people selling just the double adapters, but it includes 3.5 or 5.25 bay mount. Not a bad deal if you want the front mount.

I;'ve messed around with those SD-to-CF adapters. They are your standard Sintechi SD-IDE adapter with the FC1307a chip in a different form factor, slightly newer firmware. My experience is that those don't work well with the passive CF adapters. You need a CF adapter with a voltage regulator that supports 3.3v.