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# 19736 28-Feb-2008 16:22
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Been looking at using a USB flash or other flash drive for main OS boot in a HTPC, and wondering what the best option is for mounting this and connecting to the motherboard.

Ideally I need a short USB header -> USB socket cable, but I can't find any NZ suppliers.

Another option are flash drives that can be directly MB mounted, but again I can't find anyone in NZ.

Next are IDE -> Flash converters, but this would raise the cost quite a bit.

Last option is fitting a USB based flash card reader that I can mount on the motherboard, but this would probably take up a hard drive slot for mounting purposes. Anyone know of a good alternative.


Steve




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC a Technology Evangelist and Product Manager. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


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  # 113591 28-Feb-2008 17:19
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Making up some USB socket -> header cables would be a pretty easy task. The main thing is where you mount the drive!

How reliable are USB flash drives as a main boot disk? What would the average MTBF be with a system that is used continually?

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  # 113593 28-Feb-2008 17:22
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If you are talking about a type A socket on a small bit of PCB to which a flash stick could be attached/retained, the PCB itself could be bolted to a mount in the PC case, and a short cable with type A plug on the end to connecct to PC, then I have not seen one either, but to produce one would not be a lot, PM me if you need more assistance.

Cyril

 
 
 
 


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  # 113594 28-Feb-2008 17:29
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cyril7: If you are talking about a type A socket on a small bit of PCB to which a flash stick could be attached/retained, the PCB itself could be bolted to a mount in the PC case, and a short cable with type A plug on the end to connecct to PC, then I have not seen one either, but to produce one would not be a lot, PM me if you need more assistance.

Cyril


I'm assuming he means straight into the USB header on the motherboard.

The easiest way would be to simply chop the plug off a USB cable and crimp the cable to the appropiate pincs on a 10 pin IDC plug.





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  # 113596 28-Feb-2008 17:36
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http://www.supertalent.com/products/stt_usb_detail.php?sid=642e92efb79421734881b53e1e1b18b6
Easiest way, however i cant find any NZ suppliers either.

I have a USB 2.0 pci card with 4 ports, one is internal on the other end of the PCB.
Similar to this:
http://c1com.co.nz/shop/step1.php?number=13162
$20, if you cant find a DIY solution + extra 3 usb ports.

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  # 113597 28-Feb-2008 17:38
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Steve I guess you  are right, you can get typeA cable-end sockets, however not common, and still no way to teather the stick. A PCB socket is common as, so a small PCB with appropriate holes to both cable tie stick down and to put a 3mm bolt though to some steel work, and a cable, either type A plug on end or as you say an IDC straight to the motherboard header.

Cyril

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  # 113598 28-Feb-2008 17:40
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So something like this to connect to the motherboard and then the flash drive on?




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  # 113599 28-Feb-2008 17:40
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eXdee, nice solution but bit pricey i suggest, mine would be around $5 in bits plus a flash stick for a cheap as you can find, depending on size.

Edit, manhinli thats a good solution and a great price till stocks are exhausted.

Cyril

 
 
 
 


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  # 113602 28-Feb-2008 17:48
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What about a cheap-as PCI USB expansion card, mine has 4x external USB ports and 2x internal.









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  # 113603 28-Feb-2008 18:14
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The cases we use for myPVR actually come with a USB header -> USB Socket adapter so that we can fit a USB IR receiver internally. Problem is I can't find anyone in NZ that stocks these sorts of cables

For an example look at the top cable in the image below


If you get the correct type of flash drive they are rater at 100.000 write cyles which should last more than a couple of years.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC a Technology Evangelist and Product Manager. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


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  # 113605 28-Feb-2008 18:22
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You need to know that:

1) Using PCI USB card, you will not be able to boot off USB Flash drive as it is not native to the BIOS bootup.

2) Using USB Flash memory reader will not give you the ability to boot from either as the USB Flash memory reader needs to be recognised by the BIOS.

3) To boot from USB device, you must rely on BIOS-level USB boot sequence, which mean make a custom USB Pinheader to USB Flash memory and mount internally. Which lead on to the next question, how long before the Flash memory repetitive R/W cycle start to deteriorate the memory itself.

Although, I think either Samsung or someone else, recently announce the use of CF Flash memory onto CF-SATA attachment, and a chip to randomly write to the memory location/block on the CF that it will not read/write to the same location in few hundred years at all.




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  # 113608 28-Feb-2008 18:36
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chiefie: You need to know that:



1) Using PCI USB card, you will not be able to boot off USB Flash drive as it is not native to the BIOS bootup.



2) Using USB Flash memory reader will not give you the ability to boot from either as the USB Flash memory reader needs to be recognised by the BIOS.



3) To boot from USB device, you must rely on BIOS-level USB boot sequence, which mean make a custom USB Pinheader to USB Flash memory and mount internally. Which lead on to the next question, how long before the Flash memory repetitive R/W cycle start to deteriorate the memory itself.



Although, I think either Samsung or someone else, recently announce the use of CF Flash memory onto CF-SATA attachment, and a chip to randomly write to the memory location/block on the CF that it will not read/write to the same location in few hundred years at all.


The bios on the motherboards I'm using will allow options 2 + 3 with no issues, plus a 100,000 + RW cycle should suffice for the life of the unit.

Steve




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC a Technology Evangelist and Product Manager. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


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