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cheap sandisk SD or CF for thin clients

Big Rebates on Sandisk Fast Memory Cards...

nice prices for SD and CF after rebate (in form of Visa Prepaid Card).
e.g. 16 GB CF for $75 if you buy 3.

chieh, did you ever try using those CF to IDE adapters for any of your laptops?

Sat, 31 May 2008 22:45:49 +0000

Unfortunately I had not. It's one item on my long to-do lists. However, I have thought about using a Seagate ST1 to get around the limit CF read/write problem:

Seagate 5 GB ST1 Drive in PCMCIA

They are relatively cheap. And I found a good source for them. 5 GB is just adequate for a Windows XP Professional installation. And all data are store externally on a SD Card.

I have tested this setup at work on an ancient Sony VAIO PCG-748 that Paul gave me to play around with. I put in a 4GB hard drive with about 1.5 GB of room left. So the Seagate ST1 is more than sufficient if you are willing to use external flash drives for storage.

What's in your mind? What are you going to do with the 16 GB CF?

P.S. On my Camera Hacker web site, I wrote about all different kind of storage converters. SD -> CF, microSD -> MS, etc. . . . so you might have more options than you know.

Chieh Cheng
Sat, 31 May 2008 23:37:11 +0000

I am just looking at options to upgrade the flash storage on the thin clients that I bought. They come standard w/ only 256MB of flash (in the form of Disk On Module). 4 GB DOM costs about $100 shipped, while 4 GB of CF can be as low as $30 (but requires some jerry-rigging). The upgrade is only necessary if I decide to install full XP vs keeping XPe.

Wow, I didn't know ST1 microdrives are that cheap on eBay. How do they perform compared to solid state CFs?

XPe has a feature called EWF (Enhanced Write Filter) to write protect partitions.
How to use Enhanced Write Filter (EWF) on removable media

Sun, 01 Jun 2008 03:07:39 +0000

Any particular reason why you want to install XP vs keeping XPe?
CF for $30 sounds rather expensive. Unless you are talking about the 8GB or more.

Microdrive use to be faster than CF. But their spin up time is extremely slow compared to the instant on CF. Even so, the Microdrive spin up time is extremely fast compare to modern 2.5" and 3.5" drives. The Microdrive spins down when it's not being used. I don't know how they compare to current generations of CF, considering the no new Microdrives (in CF form-factor) are being mass produced. But flash memory has always been slow from the get-go.

I wonder if the EWF is what they used to emulate the CD-ROM partition on the AcomData E5 HybridDrive External Hard Drive

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 01 Jun 2008 05:25:22 +0000

Just in case XPe is less compatible somehow. I've never played with it before, so I am not a 100% sure.

The $30 4GB CF I saw were 233X, slower ones are probably cheaper.

The ST1 5GB are available at for $9.95. Is that a good price?
Seagate ST1 5GB CompactFlash Type II Card

Sun, 01 Jun 2008 10:16:34 +0000

Sounds decent. I think that's about the same price as I last checked.

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 01 Jun 2008 10:20:46 +0000

another option...
Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 19:34:05 +0000

That's very interesting. I guess it's good on saving hard disk space.

Did you get your thin client yet? Have you decide which storage path you are going to go?

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 03 Jun 2008 23:23:08 +0000

i might also try installing windows fundamental on my asus eee. saves me from running nlite.

haven't gotten them yet. they're being shipped from Canada. so it's taking awhile.

i might get these, since it's a drop in replacement.
1GB IDE Flash Module (44-Pin Horizontal)

turns out the T5710 has a little less room inside than the T5700, so the CF w/ the adapter might be too tight off a fit.

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 23:59:16 +0000

what are you gusy talking about?

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 00:02:44 +0000

So I take it that you bought a T5710. I would probably modify the T5710, if it can be easily done, to take a CF card and an adapter. Like maybe cutting a slot on the side of the case or something. If that works, it'd kill two birds with one stone, because the CF Card becomes externally changeable. Anyway, I'm just pondering, because I haven't seen the inside.

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 00:08:49 +0000

i bought a lot of 3 T5710s.

here're some pictures of the insides of the T5700 vs T5710 (2nd post down): . . .

there're also some info on speed comparison between using the compact flash and DOM (disk on module).

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 22:56:06 +0000

That web site needs an account to view threads. I haven't been able to log in . . . :-( I'll let you know when I do.

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 23:35:41 +0000

Well, it's been hours and I haven't gotten my activation e-mail. so I guess I won't be able to see it.

So what are you going to do with 3 of these things?

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 05 Jun 2008 07:26:29 +0000

one to drive my magicjack, one for my brother, and one for me.

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 17:59:34 +0000

So why is it that you need a magicjack? Don't you already get free calls from your cellphone?

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 05 Jun 2008 18:15:47 +0000

We make a lot of calls to Canada (free w/ Magicjack). Plus our AT&T cell phone reception at home is horrible.

For $20 a year, it's a steal. We still have our regular landline for $12/month for 911. We used to pay $25/month just for the addition of unlimited local calling. So that's already a savings of $156 in the last year alone (not to mention long distance charges we paid). In addition, I spoofed my outgoing caller ID for Magicjack, so it looks like it's calling from my home phone.

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 19:33:03 +0000

I see. Make sense.

The hard drive on my Windows server started making whining noises two days ago. So I may have a chance to try the CF adapter and Seagate ST1 idea real soon . . .

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 05 Jun 2008 19:55:02 +0000

if you're interested in getting one, these are potential ones to bid on (the first one ends tomorrow) if you can get it below $100 + shipping. there're multiple bidders, so use a sniper.

HP T5000 T5700 T5710 Thin Client 1.2GHz 512/256 XPe

HP T5000 T5700 T5710 Thin Client 1.2GHz 256/256 XPe

i also found a place that sells the pci chassis for the t5710 for $25 + shipping:

Tue, 06 Jun 2008 19:48:51 +0000

Did you get your thin client?

I finally ordered the CF to notebook IDE adapters. Then I bought some Seagate ST1 5GB Microdrives . . . yesterday . . .

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 10 Jun 2008 17:45:49 +0000

i got them this past saturday. turns out they have 512MB Flash and 256 MB RAM and XPe takes up less than 200MB. they boot up in about 20 to 30s, not too shabby, probably faster if the flash's xfer rate is better. been trying to reflash the OS using a utility provided by HP, but it requires a bootable USB key, and none of mine seem to work. i will probably use an old hard drive and see if that would work.

how much did you pay for the adapters and microdrives? i see the adapters on ebay for around $5 or $6 bucks. regular store sells them for $20! ST1 (5GB) for $15 and ST1.2 (8GB) for $22.99

CF Hard Drive Adapter from Addonics

i like the mounting bracket on that page, maybe i will just dremel a slit on the side of the case like you suggested and run a 44-pin cable in, with the adapter mounted on the outside.

Wed, 11 Jun 2008 00:33:28 +0000

I ordered from DealExtreme. The CF to Notebook IDE adapter was $2.82 (free shipping). So I bought several of them. I also bought a notebook hard drive size adapter for $4.63 for my Windows notebook server, which has a slide in hard drive bay. :-)

Then they also had a lot of other cool stuff that I wanted/needed for a long time and had been putting off buying. Price were excellent, so I added them all to my cart . . . Everything came out to be $154.84. :-(

Then I went on eBay and bought four Seagate 5GB ST1 Microdrives for $34.99 (free shipping).

So, I'd say if everything works out, then I'd say the Seagate 5GB ST1 Microdrive and the CF to Notebook IDE adapter combo costs $11.5675 each. Not bad for keeping some slim notebooks and thin clients alive.

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 11 Jun 2008 00:57:00 +0000

if you ever plan on using regular CFs and not the microdrive...

info on setting up EWF on XP
Configuring multiple EWF volumes

i need to do this on my EEE.

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 16:16:01 +0000

maybe i should have bought these instead...
Good working used Computer P3 733MHz 128MB 10GB

amazing how cheap of a machine you can run XP on...

Tue, 17 Jun 2008 22:53:24 +0000

Yes . . .
Microsoft Windows XP runs pretty fast on old computers!
Older Computers Serve Well as Remote Terminals

I've been recycling old and slow laptops ever since.

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 17 Jun 2008 23:02:22 +0000

Finally got one of the thin clients going running my Magicjack. After all the money, time and effort, I am saving about 11W of power (probably $1.50 of electricity a month). I guess the journey is the reward. Plus I freed up a laptop for other uses.

I just ordered 2 8GB microdrives from for $15 a piece + shipping/tax. Still need to source some CF adapters and 44-pin IDE cables.

Fri, 27 Jun 2008 16:07:11 +0000

So are you running Windows Fundamentals or Windows XPe on that?

Chieh Cheng
Sat, 28 Jun 2008 19:17:41 +0000

I'm using XPe for now as its footprint is less than 200 MB.

I received my 8GB microdrives today (1 day turnaround!). Unfortunately, one of them was defective and has since sold out of them. Wish I had bought them sooner as these 8GB drives cost twice as much on eBay. The one that does work reads fine from my Kingston multi-reader, so I don't have to go buy a new one like you did.

I still have to figure out what kind of CF-IDE adapter to get (i.e. whether the connector is perpendicular to the board or not). Do you know where they sell cheap 44-pin cables? The ones on eBay are still pretty expensive. I thought I would find them on, but no cigar.

Sun, 29 Jun 2008 02:16:54 +0000

Yah, that's too bad. 8 GB for $15 is very inexpensive.

I'll look around for the ribbon cable and let you know if I see any cheap ones.I have never looked into 44-pin notebook ribbon cable before. So I don't know how much they go for. What is the least expensive one you found?

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 29 Jun 2008 04:08:35 +0000

I just found this reasonably priced one:
Two 44 pin laptop/2.5" IDE High flexible ribbon cable

Previously, I was seeing them for $15 + shipping.

Mon, 30 Jun 2008 23:37:19 +0000

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