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Thread: Compact Flash as swap drive

  1. #1
    Editable... jimbouk's Avatar
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    Compact Flash as swap drive

    Just wondering if anyone can help me out getting a CF card to work as a swap drive.

    I've got a 1gig CF card and a CF->IDE adapter, but it's still coming up as a removable drive. I'm on XP 64bit and there's no option to move the swap file to it. Is there a hack to stop it thinking it's removable?

    ps I know some people might say it's a bad idea to use a CF card for a swap file due to write limits on the card, but I've got a lifetime warrenty to play with so if it does go wrong I'll just send it back and go again

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    Pseudo-Mad Scientist Whiternoise's Avatar
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    Editable... jimbouk's Avatar
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    Yeah I've read a few guides like that but none of them seem to have any issues with the CF card not just being detected as a 'standard' harddrive. Maybe it's a recent update or a 'feature' of XP 64bit?

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    wouldnt the CF card be as slow as hell?

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Depends on the card. A regular no name card will be rubish as it is likely to be PIO Mode 4 as opposed to any sort of DMA mode.

    However, something like a SanDisk Extreme IV which is UDMA 6 would probably work quite well. 40MB sustained transfer rates and really quick access times would be nice.

    See these threads for some of my musings on these cards:
    http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=102673
    http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=104104

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    Editable... jimbouk's Avatar
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    Yeah I've got a 133x card from scan so it should be fast enough, and it's the very fast seek time that makes it good for swap.

    There seems to be something about the hardware ID of the card, I've seen mention of a dos tool to change it from 'removable' to 'fixed' which should make it work, but aside from the mention there's no other information on it.

    I'll give it a go on another computer when I can to see if maybe the bios/OS are being too clever for my purposes...

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    I shall be interested to hear how this turns out.

    My gut feeling is that if an application runs out of RAM forcing the OS to page data out to swap, then the miserable write speed of flash will make the system sluggish.

    That might be offset by the traditional Unix advice that putting your swap on its own drive to allows it to seek independantly of application data.

    But then the traditional Windows advice is to spend your money on more RAM

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    Pseudo-Mad Scientist Whiternoise's Avatar
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    Do you have to partition it in DOS or something..?

    http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/forums/s...21&postcount=8

    That seems to be what you're describing.. there are a few fixes further down the thread i think.

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