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Archiving CF Images

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Making Multiple CF Images

Why?

Now that you can make a CF image and have a good backup ROM, it's time to experiment and tweak your Audrey to your liking. How about a slimmed down version with all extraneous programs deleted, how about a dedicated web browser version, how about a mp3 player to hook up to your stereo? The possibilities abound.

Except, once you get a version you like, what happens if you need to use the Audrey for other things? Here's an idea for how create a library of various Audrey ROM images on your hard disk for future reference: as incremental backups or as a quiver of pre-made Audrey ROM configurations to swap in as the occasion demands...

This is a bit cumbersome, but if you have to have multiple images this could be handy assuming you:

  • Keep a "Master CF" that will always boot on the Audrey w/ fs-cifs installed and working networking w/ the USB Ethernet adapter.
  • Have a second CF that you can use as the carrier for the new image after you resore off of the "Master CF".
  • Don't mind using your hard drive as a repository/library for all those 16,384 KB CF images.

Making your Image Library

  1. Create a folder/directory on your Desktop and make it available for file sharing (in Windows, right click on the folder and select "Properties". In the window that comes up, find the "Sharing" tab and activate sharing for this directory. Make sure you give it a share name, let's call it "AudreyShare" in this example. Don't assign any passwords and select full access.
    Note: If you decide to activate ANY file sharing under Windows, make sure you have some sort of firewall protection or else you are open to anyone on the internet if you are on a broadband connection!
  2. Mount a shared directory off your desktop onto the audrey, I'm currently using #:fs-cifs:
    fs-cifs -a //Desktop_Name:192.168.###.###:/AudreyShare /mnt guest guest
  3. Copy the filesystem to the shared directory:
    cat /dev/fs0p0 /dev/fs0p1 > /mnt/image_9-14-01
  4. Your flashable image should be on your desktop's Hard Drive now. Do it some more as you want to create more images at a later time:
    cat /dev/fs0p0 /dev/fs0p1 > /mnt/image_9-25-01
    cat /dev/fs0p0 /dev/fs0p1 > /mnt/image_xterm
    cat /dev/fs0p0 /dev/fs0p1 > /mnt/image_mp3
    ...
    etc...you get the picture.

USE your Image Library

  1. At a later time, when you want/need to restore one of these images (assuming your Audrey still works, if not boot off that "Master Backup CF" to re-create a working Audrey), you insert your target CF and type:
    devb-cf
    fs-cifs -a //Desktop_Name:192.168.###.###:/Share_Dir /mnt guest guest
    cat /mnt/image1 > /dev/cf
  2. Then boot your new CF.

MAKE SURE YOU REMOVE THE CF IMAGE FROM THE SLOT BEFORE UNPLUGGING YOUR AUDREY. NOT DOING SO WILL CORRUPT YOUR IMAGE.

I have created image files using steps 1-3 onto the desktop's Hard Drive successfully, but haven't tried doing steps 4 and 5. Think this will work? I don't see why not. Certainly cheaper than buying up a whole bunch of CF cards. Now you only need 2.

Maintaining a library of working Audrey Images on your Hard Drive is also alot easier than constantly re-creating images from your "Master Backup CF" image from scratch.

Alternate Method: Using an External CF Reader/Writer jhd3rd over at the Linux-Hacker forum writes in with this method:

Just wanted to share the method I've been successfully using to keep multiple images on my hard drive. This method is nice because you only need one CF card, and that card doesn't have to be dedicated to the Audrey. I have been using the CF card from my digital camera, and it works fine for flashing the Audrey and still works in the camera (after reformatting). And since I already had a CF card and USB reader, I didn't have to buy anything extra. Nothing really new here, just using a combination of different methods posted before.

  1. Back up your Audrey using the "cat" method that has been described in a number of posts.
    devb-cf
    cat /dev/fs0p0 /dev/fs0p1 > /def/cf
  2. Put the CF into a USB reader (I have a $20 Zio reader) on a Windows box and use the Gemulator explorer to save the image to a file on your hard drive.

You can do these steps over and over and store as many images as you like with descriptive file names. When you need to restore an image:

  1. Use the Gemulator Explorer to write the image file back onto the CF card. An anonymous user writes in with the following info: "I had some problems archiving a CF image to my windows 2000 machine using a SanDisk USB reader. Gemulator explorer just didn't work. SanDisks usbcftest.exe program *might* work, but ONLY as administrator. As administrator in win2k, my SanDisk SDDR-31 did finally read the image finally using usbcftest.exe, though with some errors reported at the end of the read. The image looks to be the right size, though I haven't flashed the audrey with it yet. "
  1. Flash your Audrey with the CF card. Unfortunately, I had to use this method several times over the past weekend while I was trying to get Xphoton working, so I know that it works. I think in order for this to be successful, you will need to use the same CF card (or same size and type) when you save and restore. BTW, I am using a 64MB CF card, which works fine, but it means that the image files are each 64MB since Gemulator creates an image of the entire disk.

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