SD to CF adapters as IDE disk replacements

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Gullible Jones, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

    Joined:
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    I'm currently running Debian Jessie on a 1.2 GHz Dell Inspiron, with a little help from this thing:

    Code:
    [  1.320332] ata1.00: CFA: SINTECHI HighSpeed SD to CF Adapter V1.0, Rev 1.2, max UDMA/100
    
    and a run-of-the-mill 16 GB SDHC card.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7EgLkt64WtaMVN5Z1Z3VHBCWDg/view?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7EgLkt64WtaaGtEYXFZbWVWTE0/view?usp=sharing

    It boots in 15 seconds, and runs Iceweasel with reasonable interactive performance. And note, this is with a chipset issue that effectively limits it to UDMA/33. (Currently looking into how to fix that.)

    Color me impressed.
     
  2. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    OTOH, somewhat less than impressive is how the SD card just lost its partition table. In the first hour of use! Wow.

    Let's see if we can fix this...

    Edit: okay, partitions fixed for now. I think the issue was the swap partition - might be something mucking up with alignment stuff. Or possibly it didn't like me using GUID partition tables. Dunno.

    Edit 2: this seems to be the latter, the kernel apparently can't handle a GPT boot sector on some legacy machines. In particular, it seems to get very offended about GRUB boot partitions. Let's try again with MBR...

    Edit 3: ... nope. It loses the partition table reproducibly whenever I hit the power button, and does so *before* it actually powers down. Let's try disabling ACPI.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
  3. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    Okay, I *think* I got it. Updating GRUB2 config breaks the partition table completely for some reason. The solution seems to be to reinstall GRUB2 whenever updating the table. Still not sure why the power button breaks things, though...

    Whatever. I'll just use LILO.

    Edit: LILO fixes it. YAY!
     
  4. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    Update: the Inspiron has now replaced my EeePC as my main general-purpose desktop. Works very well ATM, with the sole exception of the rubbish ethernet card. We'll see how it is in 6 months I guess...
     
  5. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    Location:
    Southern Rocky Mountains USA
    There are native SD to IDE converters that might work better. The one I have is also from Sintech. It is a 40 pin IDE to SD adapter that I've used as an HD replacement for a really old system--an Amiga from the 90s. There is also a 44 pin IDE laptop version.

    I just set up a Mint Linux system on a 32gb SDHC card that boots from the SD slot on a Lenovo X201. I partitioned it with a root, swap and fat 32 data partition. Windows only sees the fat 32 partition. Getting that to work was kind of tricky but the rest was easy. I didn't have a spare partition to put Linux on in the main disk and this has worked out nicely. Grub works well with it.
     
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