Home AMX User Forum AMXForums Archive Threads AMX Hardware

Compact Flash Cards

2456

Comments

  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    Apparently, the problem was how Cygwin handled my CF reader. I abandoned that approach too. Since I had no luck with Knoppix, I downloaded Slax instead, and had not trouble at all booting from that CD.

    The most annoying part was determining what /dev the card reader was. On my system, it showed as /dev/sda. It mounted my C drice as read-only, but not my external drive (which I use for backups), so, to make my life easier, I wrote the images there and restored directly from it. It was auto-mounted as /mnt/sdb5.

    It was not necessary to mount the card reader under Slax.

    To make the backup: dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt/sdb5/panel.image
    To restore it: dd if=/mnt/sdb5/panel.img of=/dev/sda

    That's it. I had a bad CV-7 that I had just gotten a replacement CF for, and interestingly enough, it came on a 256M card instead of the 64M that came with it. Since I had purchased a few 64M cards already, I grabbed another CV-7 the shelf and imaged that one, then restored it to one of my new cards. It had an out-of-space message at the very end, of a single byte shortage. Since the image I backed up had no user pages, I figured this was probably blank space anyway, so I used it anyway. Worked fine.

    I also tried restoring the image to the corrupt card, but it crashed and burned halfway through with an IO error, so I suppose when they go it's a hardware failure, not a trashed file.
  • joelwjoelw Junior Member Posts: 175
    I think the trick in Cygwin is to use the CF card device name from
    cat /proc/partitions

    Glad you got something working otherwise.
  • jp1016jp1016 Junior Member Posts: 32
    Hi there =D
    I'm a complete noob on Linux based systems. Would it be asking too much wanting a complete tutorial on how to recover a corrupt CF card?
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    jp1016 wrote: »
    Hi there =D
    I'm a complete noob on Linux based systems. Would it be asking too much wanting a complete tutorial on how to recover a corrupt CF card?

    First, you need an image from a good one. By far,the easiest way is to buy a license for WinHex and use that to make and restore an image. The other methods in this thread are fine if you have a Linux partition running and some familiarity with Linus commands; otherwise, it's too much bother.
  • jp1016jp1016 Junior Member Posts: 32
    Man, I already have a license for Winhex, and it is up and running. I also have an image of a working mvp 7500. I just don't know how to format the card, so that I can restore the image to the file. I can't format it under windows, right? It would become a Fat structure.... I don't understand much of this, sorry.

    Thanks in advance.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    jp1016 wrote: »
    Man, I already have a license for Winhex, and it is up and running. I also have an image of a working mvp 7500. I just don't know how to format the card, so that I can restore the image to the file. I can't format it under windows, right? It would become a Fat structure.... I don't understand much of this, sorry.

    Thanks in advance.

    I've never had to format the card. I just popped a brand new card into my reader, and told WinHex to restore the image. You shouldn't have to - the formatting is part of the image.
  • jp1016jp1016 Junior Member Posts: 32
    Man, I believe I must be doing something wrong on winhex, because I can't restore the image to the card. Can you describe to me, step by step, what I must do on winhex? I'm trying to use the "Disk Cloning" tool, but I'm not sure if that's the right way.

    Thanks again
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    Dang! Firmware update failed on 2 Moderos and I think my cards are trashed. I have a spare CF card but it's 4GB. If I copy a good 64MB or 512MB image to the larger CF card, does anyone know if it will still be bootable or will I have to make any modifications to the image?

    We need a better/safer system for updating firmware. I always get a 40-point rise in my blood pressure and beads of sweat on my head whenever I update firmware on panels.

    --John
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    There are some hardware/software combinations on the market that will duplicate a CF card bit for bit without concern for the format or contents of the card. This would be an option for creating a CF that might work in an MVP panel.
    Just use an image copy on a Mac or any other unix box and you are done. Make backups of any card in a CF card based device in case it gets corrupted, then simply restore the card to another (new) CF card. On windows one can use programs like Acronis or any other able to duplicate a disk (Nero, DaemonTools, etc). Basically the CF card is FAT formated but need to have special boot files which are different for the devices. If you want to put in a larger card, just dd the old card to the new one and you are all set. Acronis is able to image an (old) to a (new) disk, the new being physically larger.

    Done this the other day on an NXI-ME260 and all worked fine.
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    Chip Moody wrote: »
    I've had success taking the CF card from a master that's completely locked up, putting it into my laptop, and copying files from a working CF card onto it to get the master to boot again.

    What I haven't had success with is taking a CF card that I formatted as FAT on my laptop, copying same files onto it, and trying to use that to boot a master. :(
    Chip, this is basically because those cards are based on a Master Boot Record (MBR) and it has to have some value in pointing to the VxWorks image to boot. So, you either image a card, or take an original card and copy files. Formatting on a different hardware like a laptop and only copying files wouldn't transfer the required MBR. I haven't researched what is exactly contained withing the MBR though. Never devices like Modero use Linux but their cards can still be imaged and transferred to newer cards (and larger too if the hardware can address the larger CF).
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    jeffaco wrote: »
    One would think that you can write a "block copy" type application, such that a "good" CF card could be copied (block for block, bit for bit, without regards to file format) and create an identical file format on a second CF card *OF IDENTICAL SIZE*. One would think this could be done without hardware (other than getting access to the CF, like via PCMCIA or something).

    Know of any software that can do that? It was pretty dang painful when I needed to send back an MVP-8400 due to a corrupt CF, when the hardware was otherwise perfect ...
    Jeff, on Windows you best use Acronis (MigrateEasy). It is intented for disk migration and makes 1:1 image copies of disks. It even can image an old disk to a new one larger in size (in fact resizing the original image but leaving every information intact).
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    If you have that all covered, you can in fact do an upgrade. However, there is a limit. The mainboard itself can only "see" a certain amount of memory - or perhaps can only accept a certain size card. This is why the upcoming Duet firmware requires the new masters. Expanding to that size card requires, as it was told to me, some very hokey manual modifications to the mainboard, which includes soldering jumpers and cutting circuit board lands. For obvious reason, AMX doesn't want to go there, therefore the new master requirement.
    Dave, Duet requires the new master not because of CF size (which can be easily upgraded) but because of the larger memory on the mainboard which isn't upgradeable at all!
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    The Modero CF cards are formatted under Linux.
    The CF cards will have several partitions, and it is not that simple to just copy files from an older to a new one. I believe that also some of these partitions will have different rights. AMX uses a special script to create the CF cards.
    Acronis MigrateEasy is able to copy partitions with everything bit-identical *and* even resize to a larger size CF card. No problems there.
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    jeffaco wrote: »
    It really surprised me that the Sandisk 512MB card didn't work. Usually, CF cards provide an IDE interface for compatibility. The fact that both the Sandisk 512MB card and the SimpleTech 64MB card both used the IDE driver in Knoppix verified this. So, I'm surprised and a little perplexed by these results.
    Jeff, each disk has some identification string so it could be that the hardware is checking that string and continues to boot only after it matches some pre-defined value. This is easily implemented in hardware and could be a trick from stoping people using other cards. If they are using some hard to find cards this can be in fact a very successful way to restrict copying cards.
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    Physically transferring data to the larger card is no problem, but does anyone know if a Modero will boot with a larger card or if I'll have to make some modification to the image so that the panel doesn't fail with the larger card? Not looking to get more memory out of the CF, just looking to utilize the already paid for blank CF card sitting on my shelf.

    Thanks,
    John
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    Physically transferring data to the larger card is no problem, but does anyone know if a Modero will boot with a larger card or if I'll have to make some modification to the image so that the panel doesn't fail with the larger card? Not looking to get more memory out of the CF, just looking to utilize the already paid for blank CF card sitting on my shelf.

    Thanks,
    John

    I've done it. I have images of some panels in various sizes, but by no means all possible combinations, and putting a "small" image onto a larger card works just fine. The panel just doesn't see the extra memory because the image tells it it's only so big.
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    Thanks Dave! Worked perfectly.

    By the way for those who are looking for a simpler solution than working with Unix/Linux DD command, I found a freeware program that can do Raw image copies of CF cards, USB sticks, or any drive on your machine. It runs in windows and (quoted from the developer) "allows drives with an unknown file system to be copied (including from console game machines, data recorders, mac etc)."

    http://www.roadkil.net/program.php?ProgramID=22

    I just used it to backup a Modero CF card onto my 4GB CF card and restored the image on the two cards damaged during the firmware transfer. Both panels were under warranty so it saved AMX the cost of shipping me new cards, and now I don't have to sweat as much everytime I update firmware on these panels.

    The freeware program is only 367k and finished in about a minute per card. I did test all 3 of the CF cards I made/restored and they all work perfectly, including the original card from which I took the image.

    --John
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    And by the way, I don't think Acronis True Image and Acronis Migrate Easy work with CF cards. They're more designed for IDE drives. Same with Norton Ghost.

    --John
  • chillchill Luddite Posts: 186
    Yes, you can do this

    I didn't find this thread until after trying to copy flash card images. The bottom line is that it worked like a champ on the first try, for both an NI-3100 and an NXT-CV7. Here's what I did:

    Plug the Netlinx's CF card into a USB card reader, then the reader into the computer's USB port. Next,
    # dd if=/dev/da0 of=ni3100_3.50.430 bs=1048576

    Unplug the reader, swap the card for a blank one, plug the reader back in, and
    # dd if=ni3100_3.50.430 of=/dev/da0 bs=1048576

    Each copy took about three minutes thanks to my old, slow USB 1.0 card reader, but both the NI and the panel booted right up from the copied card.

    Further details:
    - Both the NI and the panel came with 256MB SanDisk cards. The card I copied onto is a 512MB SanDisk. These are all "regular" CF cards, not Ultra or Extreme or anything. Controllers and touchpanels may very well use different filesystem types, but dd doesn't care.
    - I did this on my home desktop PC, which runs FreeBSD 8.0. I didn't even attempt this on Windows, anticipating problems like what has been discussed upthread.
    - The resulting filesystem on the copied card will be the same size as the one on the original card. So my target card was 512MB, but "became" 256MB after the copy. There may be a way to use the card's full capacity; I have not investigated this.
    - On FreeBSD (possibly Linux too) you need permission to access the CF card's device special file. I could have edited some files to give my user that permission, but for an experiment like this it was easier to just su.
    - Larger block sizes did not seem to speed up the copy any. I expect that the bottleneck here was USB 1.0.

    Hope somebody finds this useful.
  • fongslbfongslb Junior Member Posts: 30
    MVP-7500 CF Backup

    Hi everyone, I am trying to backup a MVP7500 before doing a firmware update. Followed the instructions using Linux dd command. The new CF looked fine from /proc/partitions, but failed to boot up the MVP (just got stuck at the AMX logo).

    I'm using a Lexar CF for the backup. I've read that there are folks who have had problems using non-SimpleTech CFs. I don't have any other brand CFs to test.

    cat /proc/partitions basically looks like
    64256 sdb
    1136 sdb1
    1536 sdb2
    50176 sdb4

    for the disk structure of the image.

    Regards,
    Brian
  • vegastechvegastech Junior Member Posts: 369
    Is there a size of CF Card that I should try to stay under when looking for something to test with? It's hard to find 1GB CF cards, let alone 512s or 256s. I was gonna go to Frys to pick one up, but are there different versions I should stay away from?
  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,906
    You can purchase the same exact 512MB cards that they use for about 20% the cost, just search for the manufacturing code. Combine that with cloning a good 512MB with Paragon - it's a quick 5 minute fix.
  • chillchill Luddite Posts: 186
    vegastech wrote: »
    Is there a size of CF Card that I should try to stay under when looking for something to test with? It's hard to find 1GB CF cards, let alone 512s or 256s. I was gonna go to Frys to pick one up, but are there different versions I should stay away from?

    I don't know why it would matter, as long as the card has enough space for the image you're copying. I'd go with the smallest I can find (seems to be 2GB at the usual online outlets), just because they usually cost the least. Note that if you do the copy using dd, the original filesystem gets copied to the new media. So if you're copying, for instance, a 128MB image to a 2GB card, the new card will end up with 128MB of usable space on it.
  • vegastechvegastech Junior Member Posts: 369
    copying with a single CF card reader?

    Is there a way to do this with the Roadkil software? It is asking for a destination disk, but I only have the single CF card reader on my laptop. Am I going to have to get a second reader for this?
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    vegastech wrote: »
    Is there a way to do this with the Roadkil software? It is asking for a destination disk, but I only have the single CF card reader on my laptop. Am I going to have to get a second reader for this?

    I'm not familiar with that particular software, but generally, there is an option to copy the CF to an image file, which you store on your hard drive. Then you open the image, and write that to the new CF.
  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,906
    It appears Roadkil's disc image will do what we're talking about - creating an image then writing it back to another source. I assume you're using Raw Copy?
  • jisaacjisaac Junior Member Posts: 34
    Just so i understand this,
    1) I have to physically open a master to access the CF card
    2) Does the working master CF have to be the same model as the master being recovered? i.e. do i need CF from an NI- 700 to flash my bricked NI-700?
    3) will any CF reader/writer do? i have a laptop with XP or a macbook, what are folks using?

    this is very timely as i have a bricked NI-700 and a newly bricked NI-2000.
  • PhreaKPhreaK Posts: 966
    1) Yes, but it's nice and easy to do. It sits there in a nice mount, can't miss it once you take the case off.
    2) Yes.
    3) As far as I know. Personally I use a USB to CF adapter without issue.
  • vegastechvegastech Junior Member Posts: 369
    Issues?

    I'm having problems with both versions of the Roadkil.net software - the raw copy lets me copy the file to my local hard drive, but then I can't select that image again to copy it to another CF card. The disc image fails when trying to copy the image. I only have a single CF card reader on my laptop, otherwise I would do a card-to-card copy. It also won't let me select my optical drive, likely since it's a removable bay device. Is there other software that I should try? (hopefully for windows?)

    I added my USB flash drive into the mix, copied the known-good CF to it, and then copied the image from my flash drive to the new CF card. Plugged it in, booted panel, but it won't get past the AMX boot screen. My flash drive is 1GB, so I would assume that when the image copies back to the CF card, it is considered a 1GB image. Since I'm running windows, I can't format the drive as anything other than fat32 or fat16. Should I just bite the bullet and download linux?
  • jisaacjisaac Junior Member Posts: 34
    Im definitely doing something wrong here..
    1) opened my bricked (all led on) NI 2000 and removed CF card
    2) Connected my kingston card reader to dell XP laptop
    3) popped in bad card
    4) opened a CF file (copied to my hard drive) given to me that is supposed to be for NIx000
    5) i opened the "good" CF file folder and highlighted all folders, sub-folders and files
    6) right click, copy
    7) opened a window with blank CF card (removable drive E), click--paste
    8) files copy over
    9) eject new CF card from card reader
    10) insert into NI2000, power up, still bricked
    11) ????
Sign In or Register to comment.