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Old 01 April 2012, 15:27   #1
Old Fool
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Compact flash adapter for 2 CF cards

It would be nice to have 2 4gb cf cards as a hard drive with A1200 so you could easily back up your files with copy paste method. No worry if the other card will fail you have always a working hard drive in Amiga containing all the precious files

That's why I'm asking which one of these is better in this purpose?

1. http://www.vesalia.de/e_ide25cfx2hdd.htm

2. http://www.vesalia.de/e_cf2xide40ladapter.htm

The price is same. Has anyone had experiences of either of those adapters?
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Old 01 April 2012, 15:31   #2
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There's one by INdividual Computers, isn't it?
Anyway, from those two, the first one already has a 2.5" port do i'd go for that, but you'll need the HD craddle.
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Old 01 April 2012, 15:38   #3
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Ok thanks for the answer. I don't have the cradle so maybe the second one would do the thing. I remember how it was difficult to live with 2,5" IDE hard drive cause it was loose and moved here to there all the time.
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Old 01 April 2012, 15:54   #4
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But the second one needs a 3.5" to 2.5" adapter and then you need to power it from the floppy connector or elsewhere. I believe the first option is best, even if you don't have the cradle you can probably safely let it rest on top of the motherboard.

Even if you put the 3.5" adapter you linked to it will be loose and move around if you don't have the cradle.
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Old 01 April 2012, 15:58   #5
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Good point Akira! The 1. adapter can be attached with ordinary 2.5" 44-pin cable to the mobo so this would do the trick with less hassle. I can always build some kind of mechanism to hold it steady.
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Old 01 April 2012, 16:07   #6
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By the way will the CWB easily detect this kind of system? I mean if the other CF contains my current CF-card from my single HD system and to the other slot I put another CF card that have WB3.1 (later to wipe it out to make perfect back-up copy via CWB). The adapter must have some kind of switch master / slave to boot the OS from the right card...
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Old 02 April 2012, 00:47   #7
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Originally Posted by Old Fool View Post
By the way will the CWB easily detect this kind of system? I mean if the other CF contains my current CF-card from my single HD system and to the other slot I put another CF card that have WB3.1 (later to wipe it out to make perfect back-up copy via CWB). The adapter must have some kind of switch master / slave to boot the OS from the right card...
If you are looking to insert both CF cards in the adapter and have one configured as Master and the other as Slave, then it would seem that the second (40-pin) adapter is the one you require, since no Master/Slave mode selection is mentioned for the 44-pin adapter on the first link.

Be careful, though. Both are described only as 'HDD replacement'. You need to be certain that two CF cards mounted in these adapters will appear as two independently-addressable hard drives configured as Master and Slave on the IDE channel, and not, for example, as a single hard drive configured as Master or Slave with a total capacity equal to the sum of those of the CF cards.
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Old 02 April 2012, 13:03   #8
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If you are looking to insert both CF cards in the adapter and have one configured as Master and the other as Slave, then it would seem that the second (40-pin) adapter is the one you require, since no Master/Slave mode selection is mentioned for the 44-pin adapter on the first link.

Be careful, though. Both are described only as 'HDD replacement'. You need to be certain that two CF cards mounted in these adapters will appear as two independently-addressable hard drives configured as Master and Slave on the IDE channel, and not, for example, as a single hard drive configured as Master or Slave with a total capacity equal to the sum of those of the CF cards.
Thank you for the info!

Yes I have some certain concerns about this. One is will the HD Toolbox recognize the other card also and will it be possible to make same kind of partions as the master card have (that contains my current OS with games and such). I wish also that two cards doesn't cause any problems with all the software I'm using...
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Old 02 April 2012, 20:54   #9
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Never used a dual CF adapter, but I'm quite happy with this backup method:
I use the windows program PD Image Creator to make an image of the whole card.
The image can then be mounted in WinUAE, and you can transfer files to the card or another card.

It also lets you write back the whole image to the card (or another identical card), but I've been told such a full block by block write messes with the wear leveling of the card, and should therefore be avoided.
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Old 02 April 2012, 22:29   #10
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Originally Posted by Old Fool View Post
Thank you for the info!

Yes I have some certain concerns about this. One is will the HD Toolbox recognize the other card also and will it be possible to make same kind of partions as the master card have (that contains my current OS with games and such). I wish also that two cards doesn't cause any problems with all the software I'm using...
You're welcome. Please note, however, that I have no experience myself of configuring a dual CF card adapter for use on my A1200's IDE controller.

The real problem is that all CF card adapters (both the IDE and PCMCIA types) are notoriously difficult to assess for compatibility with the Amiga without practical experience of a particular make and model. Having said that, I should imagine that Vesalia would not be offering those adapters for Amiga use if they were not compatible, so you've nothing to worry about on that issue.

However, I know for sure that dual CF-IDE adapters fall into at least two categories:
  1. Those which will not allow configuration of two cards as Master and Slave, respectively, and
  2. Those which will not - even when fitted with a single card only, and whether it is configured as Master or Slave - allow another device to be connected to the same IDE channel to make use of the unused mode!
When fitted with two cards, you might reasonably expect these two types of adapter to have those characteristics I described in my last post.

That is, you would expect the first type to be (i) of total capacity equal to the sum of the individual card capacities, (ii) configurable as Master or Slave and (iii) that it would co-operate with another device connected to the same channel and configured as Slave or Master, respectively.

On the other hand, you would expect the second type to be (i) able to configure the two cards as independently-addressable Master and Slave devices and (ii) unable to accommodate another device on the same channel.

In reality, though, it doesn't seem to be that simple...

The good news is that this configuration problem is the only one you will face. Solve this, and all the HDToolbox, OS and software problems will go away.

Last edited by prowler; 03 April 2012 at 20:43. Reason: Typo.
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Old 03 April 2012, 14:41   #11
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Thanks again Prowler for great info!

Yes I unfortunately now how some CF adapters won't work with A1200! Therefore I wouldn't want to ruin my system that I finally got working

Well must see that PD Image Creator will it be better device for back-ups. I'm not keen on taking the cover of all the time to access my CF-card inside the A1200 but maybe I can deal with that.
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Old 03 April 2012, 19:29   #12
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I use 2 CF adapters on a 3 way 44 pin Ide cable, one is set as master and one is set as slave.

The only drawback is you need a card in the master adapter if you have a card in the slave adapter or the machine wont boot.

It's worth noting that this happens on my adapters, others have stated that there are adapters that don't suffer from this issue.
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Old 04 April 2012, 01:20   #13
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I recently bought a dual CF HDD adapter from vesalia and haven't been able to get it working properly... I haven't really spent all too much time on try to solve the problem, but it is one of those where the CF cards are on the same side of the pcb and facing two different directions. I fear that maybe its one of those adapters that you manually need to add jumper pins to for some odd reason.
But as for the two links you posted, both seem to look like they would be fairly compatible, I would go for the second option.
If I get my adapter to work and figure out how to properly set up and run everything, I'll let ya know.

Good luck!
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Old 04 April 2012, 10:02   #14
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I recently bought a dual CF HDD adapter from vesalia and haven't been able to get it working properly... I haven't really spent all too much time on try to solve the problem, but it is one of those where the CF cards are on the same side of the pcb and facing two different directions. I fear that maybe its one of those adapters that you manually need to add jumper pins to for some odd reason.
But as for the two links you posted, both seem to look like they would be fairly compatible, I would go for the second option.
If I get my adapter to work and figure out how to properly set up and run everything, I'll let ya know.

Good luck!
Thanks for this! Yes, please inform how things are going with this!
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Old 25 May 2012, 14:13   #15
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I'm now close to order this just to try it out:

http://www.vesalia.de/e_ide25cfx2hdd.htm

If there is a someone that have bought this same device and have had problems to get it work with Amiga i would really appreciate if he/she would say it right now
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Old 29 May 2012, 12:31   #16
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I bought two of those, but I have not yet tested them. If you like, I can stick 2 CF cards in it and into an A1200 and see how it behaves.
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Old 29 May 2012, 16:48   #17
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Well, they pop up as two different cards in windows atleast. Same as if you were to plug them in individually. One of the cards I put in was from my camera. I wanted to copy the images from it before testing it in the Amiga but its soooo slow. I've now waited for 2 minutes for it to load the icon images for ~20 pictures. Had to abort it as it totally hung. I put it in my other external CF reader and no problem moving the images over.

More to come.

Update, well, not sure what to tell you. I have a 1 GB kingston and a 4 GB kingston in it. Both look good at first glance, but the 1 GB card just wont work as it should. I pop it in the normal CF reader and all is well with it. I run an error scan (with HD Tune PRO 5.00) on it and its fine. As soon as I pop it in the new adapter and run an error scan on it, its ok for about 2-3 seconds, then it finds an error and just hangs the whole program.

I loaded it in winuae and even winuae hangs totally when trying to read the configuration from it.

I removed the 4gb card but no difference. I put it on the other side (other slot). No difference. Just not reliable with the 1GB kingston card. Worth noting is that the 1GB card works just fine in a real amiga with another CF->IDE adapter.

Popped only the 4gb card in and no problems what so ever.

Pop 1gb card back in external CF reader, no problem with it, so its defenetly the new adapter.

Could it be the adapter? I bought two so tested with the other one as well. Same thing.

Ran the Ultimate Boot CD and totally wiped off all partitions from the 1gb card. No difference.

Pop in a small 40mb CF card. No problem

Seems to have no problems with the 4GB card and a 40Mb card. Formatted one as PFS/3 and the small one with FFS. Looking good.

Popped it into the Amiga 1200 and .. it only saw DH1 which was not bootale. Of course, the card you want as DH0 and be bootable should be the top card. Switched them over and it boots nicely. You'll need idefix or something else to see the other card once booted.

At first when I tried to connect the IDE cable, it would not fit. The plastics on the "disk" is too narrow. Then I figured out what the little adapter that came with the "disk" is for. Its a small extension to the IDE socket so that a normal cable fits. This makes the disk about 2cm longer so if you have a tight fit, it will be even tighter, especially if you plan on using the default hard disk cradle in the 1200.
2 screws fit though if you plan to use it. More then enough and since its a little bit longer, there is no problem reaching/replacing both CF cards without disassembling much.

In conclusion, they work very well. I like the solid feel to them. Only question is why it does not like my 1BG kingston card. Also, why make the housing so tight that you can not fit a normal IDE cable to it without a small extension. 2-3 mm less plastic would have made the cable fit directly instead.

Also, if you decide not to use it, the small extension piece fits nicely directly to the amiga IDE port. You can then save it from wear if you switch harddrives often. Or you can use it to raise the ide port a bit. Very good for those other CF-IDE adapters without a cable as you wont have to remove/cut the top shield plating for them to fit when the IDE port is raised 2 cm.






Last edited by Turran; 29 May 2012 at 22:46.
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Old 30 May 2012, 00:47   #18
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I run an error scan (with HD Tune PRO 5.00) on it and its fine.
Hi Turran,

Thanks for mentioning the program. A useful addition to my toolbox.
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Old 30 May 2012, 14:25   #19
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Turran, thanks A LOT for your simply great answer

My only question remains does the use of idefix cause any compatibility problems when playing WHDLoad games? That is if you want to use the second card that have to be handled by software since both cards use the same IDE-slot.
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Old 30 May 2012, 14:28   #20
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Also I have read many posts that claim that idefix won't work properly with CF cards at all...
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