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Boot From a CompactFlash Card

Gordon Kelly


UPDATED: Boot From a CompactFlash Card

Cool peripherals time again...

If you can't a) wait for and b) afford an SSD then Brando has come up with an ingenious (and upgradeable) alternative: a CompactFlash to SATA hard drive adaptor.

As the description suggests - nay, explains - this lets a CompactFlash Card be used just like a standard hard drive and given that the format now comes in sizes up to an SSD matching 32GB and can offer data rates in excess of 50MBps this is a pretty fantastic bridging idea. It also enables users to easily upgrade according to budget.

Dealing with the nitty gritty, the adaptor supports both CF types I and II, DMA and Ultra DMA modes, teeny dimensions of 75 x 51 x 6mm and 14g and compatibility with Windows XP, Vista and Linux - sorry Mac types.

Two bundles are available: just the adaptor itself for a bargain $25 (approx £12) and the adaptor with internal and external power supplies (should you wish to hook it up to a desktop array or run it externally) for a mere $35 (approx £17). Note an SATA cable comes separately.

So if you're healthily adventurous you know what to do…

Updated: I've been doing a little digging here following an email from reader Gergely in Hungary (we're feeling very international right now). He correctly points out that flash memory cards tend to have limited write times - something that will get chewed up quickly on a constantly indexing system like Windows Vista (and to a lesser extent, XP).

Brando agree with this (and are likely to place a notice on the product) so tread carefully and don't buy any old CF card...


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