flash memory as a hard drive?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by FAST6191, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    Recently I have been toying with the idea of using flash memory in place of conventional hard drives for various things like industrial equipment (some of the vibrations can kill a drive rather quickly: I can sort radiation, magnetic fields and whatnot out but dampening unpredictable and frequently large movement means looking somewhere else is a good thing) and boats (same reasons as before, desire for no moving parts as well as power consumption the main reasons). Chances are there will be a speed boost but right now that is not really my driving reason for doing this.
    I know CF and IDE essentially one and the same ( http://www.digitalera.co.uk/catalog/Compac...pters-53-1.html , DS IDE interface for those that missed it: http://www.natrium42.com/blog/?p=39 ) but if there is another standard that is viable I am listening.
    I know there are laptop drives that do the job now ( http://www.overclockers.co.uk/productlist....id=14&subid=910 ) but they are obscenely expensive (best part of £600 for 64 gigs) and I know there are adapters already in the marketplace (which I may abuse a bit to pull this off) but I like the idea of knowing exactly what I have done for the drives and being able to replace stuff/tweak stuff at will (see below).

    Of course that is not simple enough for me so I was thinking RAID as with 16 gig CF cards being a halfway reasonable price for this sort of thing ( http://www.mobymemory.com/CompactFlash.asp ) we can start getting back into the arena of sensible sizes. Anything really large/write intensive can still be external though, writing is not done so often for these sort of things: my industrial side of things just checks against massive checklists/tables and the boat is mainly booting but by the time you get some software, charts, maps and info set up you are a nice chunk of space down. Also the idea of making a multi level RAID to help reduce downtime for industrial (computer controlled stuff is 24/7 and starting/stopping stuff is a best a waste of time and worst a failed run).

    Booting is not so much of a problem (most systems I use are happy to boot from just about anything) as I could just fire one flash memory through IDE/SATA in the worst case scenario and internalise something else for a RAID. I have no problems swinging a soldering iron and making PCBs.

    My question then is has anyone around here tried such a thing (maybe not the RAID but certainly the replacement with flash memory), in theory I can see no problems but the real world has a nasty habit of not being quite so simple.
  2. notnarb

    notnarb Not narbing it up

    Jun 18, 2007
    I don't see the issue, most bios's support booting to a flash drive (and, consequently, any memory card that may be in the reader too), and why would you need an array of disks? I can't think of much client side data entry needed in a workzone