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Old 19-02-2019, 08:41 AM
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Question CF card as boot drive

I would like to configure CF card as boot drive for my Fujitsu Stylistic 1000 pen comp (I know.. it is old... but I am older )
OS in question are DOS and w'95.
Long time ago HPUSBFW did the job for DOS with one CF card (I don't have it here), but not with others.

Yesterday I was playing with 2GB SanDisk, all seemed to be OK, card was recognised by BIOS as ATA drive, but it wouln't boot, it says I/O error

Another 32MB card prepared with Rufus is not recognised by BIOS (it displays cilinders/heads bout capacity is 0B (card works normally as such)


I have read on many places it may be fixed/removeable (MBR) status, but Rufus is supposed to deal with this....


Or is it card size (to big for 486 100MHz processor)?
Any thoughts?
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Old 19-02-2019, 09:52 AM
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thoughts: first check your usb drives are authentic size
second 486 may be old for using usb drives. is it supported by the motherboard? you may be able to use another option to connect a usb drive via an adapter of some sort.

try using a linux distro to figure out getting bios settings working with the usb stick then switch to dos/w95, this way you deal with the hardware config first and dont waste time trying to troubleshoot dos drivers etc when it could be hardware. simplify, in other words, break down into steps to get parts working first then move on to software. Carefully read up on all the bios settings too, some of those old ones do different things than you might expect today or work in conjunction with other settings.
work with smaller usb cards initially, test them for true size and cylinders etc then see if the bios starts to match the numbers. could also be a fsb speed issue though i doubt it where timings are too slow to reliable communicate with the modern storage devices (again look into adapters).
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Old 19-02-2019, 10:12 AM
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Thing is, this computer actuall works with one of my CF cards (512MB.. Kingston?
Fujitsu Stylistic 1000 doesn't have USB, so CF memory works as ATA drive mouted as fixed drive).
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Old 19-02-2019, 11:20 AM
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Hence my suggestion for adapters, usb to pcmcia? usb to rs232? usb to floppy? floppy replacement using sd cards? usb doesnt need many pins and serial data is typically standardised (trully standarised) so might be to find out if someone has hacked one and directly soldered in a usb socket to the pcmcia or serial ports. I did similar to one of my asus eeepcs to convert a usb port to an internal high capacity boot drive . should be doable but getting it to boot from the usb might be problematic. what boot options does it have by default and can you try to repurpose and un-needed one with some form of adapter. there are plenty of weird adapters out there that not just allow square plugs to fit round holes but also translate the interface and voltages etc to allow twoway communication. been wondering about doing similar with old Sharp Zaurus. If it works with a CF card I bet there are MicroSD to CFD adapters out there and maybe you can chuck in a 64gb microsd in via that? Again though start small, find adapter to try, use old small reliable authentic microsd card and increase size until no longer works as there could be a limit, doing odd stuff like this expect some limitations. There will be some memory/storage addressing limits involved I expect. What about just the largest CF card you can buy? worth trying? been years since Ive used one but thinking on it my nikon has SD and CF card (as a backup i think, but i only use high quality tested SD cards and never had to take the CF card to my computer). Whats the normal boot drive? can you replace that? these days you can buy replacement for Amiga floppy drives that are a hardware emulator and use an SD card that can store a whole collection of floppy images and have a button to swap the emulator from internal drive address to external for games using miltiple disks. Not sure there would be much of a retro scene for your fujitsu but i bet there is some, F made some very cool practical gear, actually many Japanese companies did, so I wouldnt be surprised if your problem ws solved long ago but maybe be locked away on Japanese language sites and forums.
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Old 19-02-2019, 12:16 PM
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Went home for lunch break and tried old 8MB cf..

Recognised correctly by BIOS, so far so good. Now I have to try and place DOS on it and see what happens.

32MB card was configured with DOS image (so parttition size is only 1.44MB), but no joy, still I/O error.



I have one ~200MB ATA drive that is OK, I will try to put w'95 on it (I have to remember how I did it last time..... )
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Old 19-02-2019, 01:36 PM
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Bojan .....I have a PCMCIA Card that has 2 x USB on it.
If you think you could use it....I'll give it to you for the cost of Postage.

Col...
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Old 19-02-2019, 01:39 PM
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Why not w98SE? should be same hassles if any as w95 and the best windows of that era. Personally I'd be going for a linux distro but up to you. Ive had success with puppylinux on old niche hardware but tinycorelinux may be more appropriate and I might look at my old P90 Thinkpad to see if I can put it to use . also got a 286 portable toshiba I want to salvage its contents (book drafts) I used to use it just to play Moria on its orange screen plasma screen, nice unit shame to see it sitting not uing electricity for no good reason, then theres the SGIs and amigas Ive still got. pah!
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Old 19-02-2019, 02:04 PM
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Try formatting the CFCard as FAT, not FAT32.... the BIOS probably can't read the sectors as the block size is not compatible.
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Old 19-02-2019, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sil View Post
Why not w98SE? ....
Steve,

The main reason for w'95 is pen driver and other Stylistic_1000 specifics - I am not sure if all this work on w'98 ( I remember I was thinking about it ~10 yo when I bought it on ebay for ~$10 or so).
But my biggest problem at this moment is how to recover the system (w'95) that I had and which worked OK until last night.
I am not sure how I did it last time - I think I copied the whole lot from smaller PCMCIA ATA drive (which is now having bad sectors and also refuses to boot.

Or, I installed it from floppies - have to see where the floppy drive is (it has non-standard connector... )


Col, thank you for the offer, I'll PM you if I do not have it already..
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:21 AM
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Success with DOS (Rufus, then installation from original floppies), and it works.

However, w'95 (and w'98) refuses to re-boot during installation process, BIOS message is "invalid drive, replace disk").
This is strange, because all system files appear to be present...

Unfortunately, I do not have lap with double PCMCIA slot, to fit original HDD and try to repair it...
And I do not have DOS support for PCMCIA, to try to fix the HDD with ScanDisk or similar. Bugger..

Last edited by bojan; 02-03-2019 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:06 AM
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In order to access my faulty PCMCIA HDD and try and fix it, I need this adapter:
http://eshop.sintech.cn/pcmcia-to-id...ter-p-443.html
It seems it is not available at the moment...
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Old 17-03-2019, 07:35 AM
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I am now convinced my problem is with 8.3 naming formatting/conversion, but still not sure how to overcome this... even the system from w'95 startup disk cant read longer file names, while they are clearly and properly displayed from w'7 using CF card reader.



The problem of course is also our short memory... no-one (including myself) remembers the details from only 25 years ago... and everything related to the issue I managed to find on the web so far is.. well, dis-orientating, confusing and fragmented.. useless in other words





Quote:
Originally Posted by bojan View Post
Success with DOS (Rufus, then installation from original floppies), and it works.

However, w'95 (and w'98) refuses to re-boot during installation process, BIOS message is "invalid drive, replace disk").
This is strange, because all system files appear to be present...

Unfortunately, I do not have lap with double PCMCIA slot, to fit original HDD and try to repair it...
And I do not have DOS support for PCMCIA, to try to fix the HDD with ScanDisk or similar. Bugger..
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Old 17-03-2019, 11:48 AM
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Bojan the other issue with 8.3 file names is no spaces or odd chars...
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Old 19-03-2019, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavytone View Post
Bojan the other issue with 8.3 file names is no spaces or odd chars...
Yes...

BTW, yesterday I tried one of installations from web (21 floppies)...
I copied image of startup disk to one floppy, and the rest of installation files I exctracted into separate directory on working, empty PCMCIA HDD.. (I did not have enough good floopies, some of them I tried had bad sectors after formatting (?!)

Installation behaved exactly as before - all goes well, but on reboot, there is that "invalid system disk" message...

Today I ordered another CF card from vendor on ebay (with w'98 which worked OK last time all the way (apart from driver issues).. which I reformatted and used for w'95 installation.
I want to see what exactly is different in terms of formatting and disk organization...
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Old 19-03-2019, 04:37 PM
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Cool

It works!
After buying more cf cards, some more searching the web, and reading installation instructions that i found there (!!! ), and use of fdisk, formatting (with /s parameter (it seems this was crucial here) and running setup, I have (again) my tablet for reading books before sleeping (except it is significantly faster now).
Well.. it's OK now.
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