Subject: 2GB Toshiba PC Card works except for booting
To: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Miles Nordin <carton@Ivy.NET>
Date: 10/31/2001 19:47:11
> BUT you CAN'T use it as ROOT drive in a MobilePro 770[.] The
> circuitry of MP770 isn't capable of running PC-Cards with power
> specs that exceed the values of IBM's 1G Microdrive. After booting
> from a CF-Flash Disk it is possible to insert the Toshiba Harddrive
> (or an old 340MB Microdrive) as 2nd drive
The problem might not be power. According to posts about a month ago,
WinCE is deliberately crippled to work with FLASH media only, not
physical wdc-ATA disks. The two are of course almost identical in
their drivers, but WinCE includes code to query the disk and ask,
``are you ATA-FLASH, or plain ATA?'' If the disk responds ``plain
ATA'', WinCE simply refuses to use it.
I guess the CF Microdrives must respond to this mysterious
undocumented query with ``ATA-FLASH'' even though they are not FLASH.
That would explain why they work for booting, and would certainly fit
with their marketing towards digital cameras.
I have a cheapo Taiwanese enclosure for standard 2.5" notebook drives
that terminates in a hard-wired PC Card. I put a 20GB IBM drive into
it, and it works almost fine with my MP800, even power-wise (if I
don't plug in the enclosure's external power brick, every couple
minutes under heavy use the drive will switch off, report 'lost
interrupt' on the console, and then continue. using the power-brick
makes this stop happening, but even when it happens the drive seems to
mostly work, modulo probable inconspicuous corruption).
This real-2.5"-disk enclosure-arrangement, of course, responds ``plain
ATA''. As expected, it does not show up in WinCE at all, but it works
just fine in NetBSD. I can even use it as the ``root'' volume,
through a procedure I will describe below. Obviously since WinCE
deliberately ignores it, I cannot run pbsdboot or load the kernel from
this 20GB drive.
I believe when there is not enough power, you should expect the disk
to not work, or work intermittently, under _both_ WinCE and NetBSD.
Since your Toshiba 2GB disk works under NetBSD but not WinCE, it is
probably the ATA-Flash vs. ATA-plain crippling built into WinCE.
Also note that ``CAN'T use it as ROOT'' is very different from ``can't
boot off it.'' I suspect the latter limitation is the true one. If
you want to use a disk as root that you can't boot off, simply do
1. Insert a WinCE-friendly disk like Flash or Microdrive
2. Copy pbsdboot.exe and pbsdboot.ini to \My Documents
3. Run pbsdboot. Run it from \My Documents.
Use the ``Pause before boot'' option.
Press Boot. You can read /netbsd off your WinCE-friendly disk's
FFS partition if you like.
4. When the ``last chance before boot'' dialog comes up, remove the
WinCE-friendly disk and insert your desired ``ROOT'' disk.
5. Press OK.
If you can really, honestly get 340MB Microdrives to work under NetBSD
on machines that can't boot from them (and you aren't just
speculating), that would be interesting, and would certainly perturb
BTW, what is up with your mailer? Many lines are longer than 72
characters, and you seem to be using bang (!) as some kind of
paragraph-separator. Maybe it is just getting munged in the list
archive, but you should really look into that.
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