Hot plugging CF cards safe?

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Don't Panic. Please wash hands.
  • I was looking for something else when I saw an IDE-to-CF adapter that goes into a slot on the back of the computer, so it's possible to insert and remove the CF card without opening up the computer.

    I ordered one, so now my question is: is it safe to insert or remove a CF card into a IDE-to-CF adapter when the computer is turned on?

    I currently have an original X-Surf card that I'm going to use with this adapter tomorrow as soon as the right power cable arrives, but I'm considering getting a Buddha card so I can boot from a CF card. So my question is for both of them, but I thought I'd just ask here in order to avoid posting the same thing in two places.

  • That was my first thought as well, but: if you but from a Workbench floppy, you can remove that no trouble. The computer asks you to put it back in when needed. (The Amiga was so much smarter than those modern computers.) Also, I had an issue with my HDD so I ran DiskSalv, and then effectively the boot volume has been removed. So I got periodic messages to please insert it.

    Not that it makes much sense to remove your boot device, so I don't plan on doing that.

    But more importantly, are there electrical or driver issues? Obviously CF cards are made to hot plug, but I doubt the IDE spec or the X-Surf/Buddha drivers were written with that in mind.

  • Electrical - No, as you noticed, CF cards are designed for it. But driver... i have no idea. I would assume that IDE drivers assume a HD, and dont like the device being removed.

  • Correct, the Buddha does not have any means for even detecting that a CF card has been removed. The only device we have that supports CF-card hot-swapping is the ACA500plus. It has a special circuit to switch power on/off on the "Aux" port, which is the only way to operate CF cards in IDE mode *and* support hot-plugging. The CF card specification excludes this option, but if you read between the lines, the detour of adding a power switch lets you provide the feature anyway.

    For the Buddha, I can only re-emphasize that it is an IDE controller, not a CF card controller. It does not support hot-swapping, and it does not have the same auto-mounter for FAT-formatted cards that the ACA500plus has.