I'm very, *very* close now. After getting things running on the Transcend 266X card, messing around with the card slots and nearly having a heart attack when I got a sudden BIOS-level black screen saying something like "IDE-0 failure" (*while* working in Windows!) and the computer subsequently not starting up or recognizing any CFs in the adapter for several hours (I'm not even sure how I fixed it), I decided I wanted more speed if this was going to be a real, viable solution.
So, I followed Tekkaman_Slade's directions from 11/8 (BootPrep, Format FAT32, install XP, etc.), and voila!
, I am now running a blazing fast shock-proof WinXP system (relatively, compared to all other CF solutions including a MicroDrive, and the original 1.8" hard drive).
BTW, in retrospect, I agree with both:
Stay away from the Transcend cards.
as well as Sito
The Transcend 266X is a bit of a rip-off in my opinion.
While it might be true as Sugo pointed out:
With random write of small files, the performance can take a big hit.
at the same time, obviously Lexar is doing something
right, because their card is very, very fast. I'm going to venture a guess that the SanDisk Extreme IV would yield similar results, but require the same tweaking to get it working with WinXP.
I have only one problem left: I cannot figure out how to install the Hitachi MicroDrive drivers so that Windows sees the card as a fixed disk and not removable. I didn't think it'd be a big issue, until I discovered that various things such as NTFS drive attachment (making one NTFS drive "look like" a folder on another drive; i.e. making "My Documents" point to another drive), and even installing software, don't seem to like working if Windows sees the system disk as a removable disk.
I downloaded both the 2GB/4GB as well as 170MB/340MB/etc. drivers from Hitachi, but they would not install, even manually (system said "The specified location does not contain information about your hardware"). I even tried manually editing the .INF file, to no avail. Can Tekkaman_Slade or someone else perhaps explain exactly how to get that part working?
Other than that, everything is working great so far. I used the web browser on the elevated subway heading into work this morning and the speed, plus not worrying about vibrations damaging the hard drive, were beautiful things indeed. Oh, and a little off-topic, but I was pleasantly surprised how readable the X40 screen is with the backlight turned all the way down and using only daylight.
With the Transcend 266X I had actually gotten to the point of disabling various Windows services to try and tweak things faster (it actually worked, but caused some other problems), but now the Lexar is so fast I'm happy just doing a few basic and obvious speed tweaks (disabling swap file, NTFS file access time logging, System Restore (which isn't showing right now because Windows isn't on a "fixed disk"), etc.).jamiphar
By the way, where have you guys bought the dual adapter from?
I got it from PCMall, http://www.pcmall.com/
, and their part # is 7315179. Retail price is $29.99 plus s&t, though I have a reseller account with them and so didn't pay full price. You may be able to find it elsewhere cheaper.
For jamiphar's other question about upgrading MP3 recorders, and in reference to aboveliquidice's comment:
people have definitely replaced some the IPOD HD's with CF, but I do not own one - thus I know little about it.
Only the iPod Mini (*not* Nano) will take a CF card directly. And, I've heard (but not confirmed, since all the cards I've been playing with recently are of course compatible) the card must support IDE mode. There are adapters available for the full-size iPod (perhaps to upgrade an older 5/10/15/20/30GB unit; kinda' pointless on the newer models with huge hard drives except for shock resistance) but otherwise a CF will not directly go in them. And since jamiphar was talking about an MP3 "recorder", it's probably not an iPod anyway (?). But my formerly 4GB Mini is now nicely running one of the 16GB 133X Transcend cards that didn't make the cut for my ThinkPad speed-wise (BTW, copying music over was also very slow--I left it on overnight to copy over 12.5GB of music--pretty much setting in stone that the Transcend cards are *really* bad for extended write sessions)!
My next steps, after getting software installed (which will partially require fixing the "removable disk" issue), will be getting hold of a Delkin CardBus adapter for my "semi-external" CF card, and getting a 4GB SD card and trying that out. I'll report on the findings, as well as battery life under average usage, as I use the system. Meanwhile, if anyone can help with the MicroDrive drivers issue it would be appreciated.