[rescue] CF + IDE in Tandy 1000RL?

Nate Raymond nraymond at gmail.com
Thu Jul 14 14:46:40 CDT 2011

On Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 3:20 PM, Ethan O'Toole <ethan at 757tech.net> wrote:

> Hello,
>  I've rescued a Tandy 1000 RL that has a ~32MB IDE drive in it that has a
> questionable future.
>  Anyone know of a solution to connect a CF to an XT IDE interface? 8 bit
> IDE I guess?

What I recollect on the topic from reading lots of things over the years and
some experience:

CF uses the IDE protocol but in a different pinout.  IDE to CF doesn't touch
the protocol, it just adapts the connector.  However, I have read reports
that some adapters are made better than others and work better than others,
but I've never read an explanation of exactly why that would be.

CF cards typically report themselves as removable media, which an IDE hard
drive never would, and that can cause problems when using a CF card in place
of hard drive for some controllers or operating systems.  Years ago SanDisk
provided a proprietary utility at customer's request for changing how their
CF cards report themselves, but they stopped providing it at some point,
though I did find a copy elsewhere on the internet a few years back.

Different brands of CF cards have different controllers, and some support
DMA, and some don't.  DMA support can be important when using CF cards with
certain IDE controllers (I've seen lack of DMA support cause issues when
trying to use some CF cards as boot devices with at least some operating
systems).  I want to say SanDisk also had a utility for turning DMA on and
off on their CF cards, but I'd have to go digging to verify that.

I seem to recall having the best luck in the past with Transcend CF cards,
which I know had good DMA support and in general weren't problematic when
using them like a hard drive.

- Nate

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