PowerBook G4 boot from Compact Flash

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Blazemac, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. Blazemac macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2007
    First of all, hey everyone, I have a quick question for the board and was wondering if anyone would help me in my experiment that I’m sure someone else out there has tried.

    What I am thinking about doing is taking my PowerBook G4 and purchasing a PCMCIA Compact flash adapter and an 8GB Compact Flash card, and using them as my Boot Drive, and my 100GB hard drive as my data drive.

    I am currently running tests on my Flash drive and using it as a boot drive. I have done this without any troubles, have tested it twice now.

    What I would like to do is be able to fully boot OS X.4 via the CF and have my disk drive free for all of my programs/Data for especially Final Cut Pro.

    What I am testing is the boot and read run time from my flash drive and they look hopeful.

    Does anyone know if this is possible to do?

  2. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    I've heard some claim that (most) PCMCIA adapters + (most) compact flash cards run like a clogged drain. Dunno. I've used USB Flash drives for Linux for a while and found speed varies greatly among different brands/models of USB Flash drives. Higher price = greater speed, generally speaking. If possible, probably best if you could find some real world speed benchmarks for specific devices before you buy anything.

    You should be able to find something online about the booting subject, esp. among the Linux world. I think it was the Puppy Linux forum that had a thread on flash card booting a while back... (or maybe it was DS Linux?)

    Booting OS X from flash
  3. leiniesred macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2008
    TiBook G4/400 running from CompactFlash

    My original Tibook G4/400 (clocked at 550) is running from CompactFlash(CF) right now.

    The computer serves "kitchen duty" as a general e-mail, web browsing, VPN back to the office, DVD viewing, Itunes, streaming audio rig.
    the performance is just fine. It is at least as fast as the Seagate 160GB drive I was using, and certainly faster than the original 20GB 5400 RPM drive.

    Space: 8GB sounds pretty small, but it is big enough for general computing. I have about 4GB free on the 8GB card with all the applications I need on a portable rig. I run OS X 10.4.11. My options for adding storage include the PC Card slot on the side. or USB1.1 devices.

    Weight: Frankly, the laptop feels the same. We're talking a few ounces here.

    Power: Run time increase by 10% or so. (not a huge deal)

    Noise: Silent computing. (Unless the CPU is hammered to the point the fan turns on.)

    Cost/GB of storage: About 20x the cost of a hard disk at this point!

    Where to stick the CF card options:
    The Tibook can actually boot from USB1.1, the PC Card Slot, or the IDE port. You can get an adapter for CF cards for any of these locations.
    USB1.1 is too slow to be any fun.
    PC Card slot: Get yourself a $6 CF -PC Card adapter. CompactFlash complies with the PC Card standard, but the pin spacing is different. The adapter is a straight-through device. No brains = low cost and 100% compatibility. get a CFI/II card in case you want to add a type II device later (like a microdrive)

    Hard drive mini IDE cable: I use an ADDONICS Mini IDE to CF adapter. It is about $25.

    CompactFlash card selection: The only "trick" to booting from CF is to make sure you get a UDMA compliant CompactFlash card. I use a Transcend Extreme X266 8GB card. It is UDMA4 and PIO6 compliant. My good ol' TiBook has an ATA66 hard drive controller so it is UDMA4 too! Transcend's CF cards are an excellent value/performance compared to Sandisk's offerings. 8GB of fast CF is about $100 from Transcend.

    So there ya have it. It isn't a big deal. Just make sure you get a UDMA compliant card for your bootable macintosh solid state storage on a budget project.
  4. Iteranium macrumors newbie


    Jan 4, 2009

    I got an 2004 iBook G4 with 1,2 gHz and a 80GB HDD right now. I really like the Idea to have it run perfectly silent, but I am a little afraid that the Speed with a 8GB or 16GB CF Card would not be the best. Additionally I would use encryption since it is a mobile device.

    And with the space as well, Tiger would use some space, how much is left for programs, if you cut down on languages and printer drivers?

    Oh, how is it with writing cycles, since OS X writes log files the 1000 cycles should be uses pretty quickly.

    leiniesred, I guess you got some experience with the matter by now. Should I give it a try or just stick with my regular HDD?

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