How to make more partition on Psion CF card
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Thread: How to make more partition on Psion CF card

  1. #1
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    How to make more partition on Psion CF card

    Hi all.
    We are discovered hidden feature of the Psion OS file system. Yes, Psion machines support more partitions on one CF card.
    Make more partitions on CF card is very useful practise for large (>256MB) CF card. You achieve better order in data on your card. You also shorten time when Psion read directory structures on selected small volume than read directory structures one big volume with many subdirectories.

    Read more at: http://portal.vakoveverky.net/modules/articles/

    Regards,
    Poke.

  2. #2
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    Very interesting article. I wonder if you could use XTM and DOS on a nB/S7 itself to partition a CF...?

    Martin

  3. #3
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    This has been mooted in the past, but it is nice to see it work in practice. Is anyone else surprised by the drive letter allocations?

    You could get many more drive letters (all the way up to Y: in theory) by using the SecureDrive program to create virtual partitions on the primary partitions.

    All we need now is FAT32 support, a CD-RW driver.......


  4. #4
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    Originally posted by donkeyontheedge
    You could get many more drive letters (all the way up to Y: in theory) by using the SecureDrive program to create virtual partitions on the primary partitions.
    True. Also YFH Subst or DriveMap available for free on my pscience5 website. Also View+...

    Martin

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up

    Not really surprised, but this is something not done before. Very interesting is that Epoc natively recognizes these partitions as separate disks and you don't need any software for it!

    Another advantage is speed. Secure drive is (not freeware) quite slow for development (I know, it was not intended for such work). Subst-ing, I never got used to it...

    I have 1GB disk on my NB and the performance was, with one partition, BAD.

    Now, my disk is partitioned, files are sorted and moved to different disks; and the speed is much better.

    My recommendation!
    osg

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by MartinG
    I wonder if you could use XTM and DOS on a nB/S7 itself to partition a CF...?
    I've had a play and it turns out that XTM treats the Psion's drives as networked drives instead of fixed drives - so FDisk won't work in this situation. Anyone got any clever suggestions for how to partition CF cards under windows? Or alternatively how to make them appear to be fixed disks so that many of the standard utilities can cope?

    Martin

  7. #7
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    As it is an emulator, probably not...

  8. #8
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    Partitioning is absolutely essential for CF cards larger than 1-2GB, since you can't have a single partition that large. Plus it saves a lot of wasted disk space. CheckDisk also runs quicker, since it has less to look at!

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by cshandley
    Partitioning is absolutely essential for CF cards larger than 1-2GB, since you can't have a single partition that large. Plus it saves a lot of wasted disk space. CheckDisk also runs quicker, since it has less to look at!
    Quite so Chris. Still need to figure out how to do it when all my PC's are running Windows tho'...

    A couple of ideas have come to mind:

    1) I wonder if the new distributions of Linux that run on Psions would let you partition a CF?

    2) I've seen it suggested ina couple of places that it might be easier to partition a USB flash drive than a CF. I have a CF-USB convertor which seems to make the CF appear as a generic USB flash drive. I've more experimentation in this direction to do as well...

    Martin
    Last edited by MartinG; 06-29-2005 at 06:56 AM.

  10. #10
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    CF cards larger than 1-2GB, since you can't have a single partition that large
    surely, CF with one 1GB partition works on all ER5 machines, including 5MX, MC218.

    In theory, FAT16 supports up to 4GB disk, in theory it is also achievable by Epoc (32bit number volume size).

    Math behind this:
    256 bytes per sector,
    256 sectors per cluster = 65536 bytes per cluster
    FAT16 = max. 65536 clusters per disk => 4GB (2^32)

    Has anyone proved that this won't work on EPOC?

    Chris,

    but you are right, so big disk isn't usable on EPOC anyway. Mainly the speed would be issue.
    osg

  11. #11
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    surely, CF with one 1GB partition works on all ER5 machines, including 5MX, MC218.
    I don't own a 5mx, but there have been some reports which made it sound like the 5mx can't handle more than 1GB.

    Netbook/etc are known to work with 2GB.

    There have been reports indicating that 4GB does not work. I understand that 4GB is supported by only *some* implementations of FAT16, so this is not such a surprise. But even if it did work, I wouldn't advise it from a compatibility view point.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by osg
    Secure drive is (not freeware) quite slow for development (I know, it was not intended for such work)
    Sorry, I cannot understand what do you mean
    Are you stating that the development of Secure Drive freezed or that Secure Drive disks are slow for use?

    Leonid (Leo)

  13. #13
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    I can think of one certain way to partition a CF card - but it involves using my old Thinkpad Laptop :/ i.e Put it in an adaptor in the PCMCIA slot, boot to DOS and use FDISK to partition it. I did this recently to produce an HD-Less system I could use to create a "Psion 4".

    My version of Partition Magic on Windows XP lets me format a USB Hard-disk, so maybe it would do the same for a USB reader with a CF card in it - not tried this yet!!

    Another idea is a CF-IDE adaptor on an IDE channel... That would work.

    All a bit fiddly though isn't it?

  14. #14
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    originally posted by Leo
    Are you stating that the development of Secure Drive freezed or that Secure Drive disks are slow for use?
    SecureDrive disks are slower. Read/Write time is higher comparing to standard CF card. I have had "development" disk on the SD disk, but I moved back to CF disk due to compilation speed.

    Anyway, Robin Hood has my deep credit for this (and not only this) excellent application. It's a pitty he left psion programming.
    osg

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by osg
    SecureDrive disks are slower.
    No, they are not!
    The speed of SecureDrive disks depends highly upon the way they've been created and the application using it.
    I have a CF card formatted with 32K cluster size, and a Secure Drive disk with Block size 1024, and cache size 64K.
    It seems to be faster then a CF itself in many cases except of sequential writing.
    E.g. I highly recommend to move Mail folder to SecureDrive disk from D: or E: to gain speed.

    Leonid (Leo)

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