Old Windows on CF cards?

Greetings,i am about to create an old OS collection,mainly 16bit Windows versions,maybe then also 9x,oldest NT,OS/2,etc.
As it is hard to get small HDDs for systems limited to FAT16,i am thinking about using an IDE-CF adapter in Latitude's C510's easy removable HDD caddy & the old OSs install to CF cards.
Can i ask U,what is the swap activity for the oldest versions of Windows(1.x,2.x,3.x,95,98,ME,NT 3.x,NT 4) & can i disable swapping or minimize swapping on some of it(which,how?) with enough large RAM(it has now 256MB,i am thinking about add a 512MB to 2nd(now empty slot) to get 768MB RAM) to avoid using swap file as much,as possible to prevent often rewrites of CF's flash memory to avoid it's quick degeneration & soon fail.
I have some CFs from my old-dead camera,i would like to use them for these old OSs with no or minimal swapping,as i know,high swapping kills flash memories quickly,that is the reason,i prefere HDD over SDD for new OSs & OSs with enabled hibernation,i hope,old OSs swapps much less & will not kill a flash very soon,fix me,if i am wrong.
Thanks for all advices.


  • edited May 2020

    Swapping didn't exist on 1.0, and only on 2.X, 3.X in 386 enhanced mode. Not off the top of my head, but there are ways to disable paging, web search it.

    If you can, I would instead recommend using Microdrives as storage. They're a little fragile being teeny spinning hard disks the size of a thicker CF card with identical format. They top off with a 30MB/s speed so they're not as fast as a CF card but with these old OSes optimized for slower drives it's not much of a problem.
    Stay away from Seagate ones, they're not completely IDE compatible. I actually ran NT3.51 rather well on an IBM/Hitachi branded 4gb drive which was my previous storage method on my Nikon D2x. This drive was in an adapter in the HDD media bay accessory on my D600. Be sure to run a complete disk test if you opt to buy microdrives.

    However, you may be able to change the location of the pagefile to another drive so that's an option as well.

  • Windows 1, 2, and standard mode Windows 3 will discard and reload segments. That reload cycle won't involve any writes. With 256+ MB, making a relatively modest RAMDISK to hold all of the Windows 3 or earlier executables will reduce the loading times to the absolute minimum. Unless you try one of the non-MS patches, with 768 MB and Win9x, making a RAMDISK for swapping would allow the excess RAM to be used since Win9x was limited in the amount of RAM it could access.

  • Thank U very much for all the advices.
    All other r clear to me,but about Microdrives:I did not considered them as an option,because i have read,they r discontinued & i do not found them available nowhere.Do exist a way to get them?
    Another thing:I never created RAMDISKS,can som1 post a how to?
    I assume,it must be created after every boot & then redirect pagefile,Temp,etc there,can it be done by added commands to Autoexec.bat ?
    I also recently noticed article about MS DOS 7.1,with CD ISO download,it is interesting to me,as most of my machines has no FDD & i heard USB external FDD is useless for DOS,i plan to buy a FDD module for my Latitude C510,but bootable DOS CD may allow me to run DOS also on laptops without FDD option.
    Do some1 tryed it?
    Is it really bootable?
    I believed,DOS cannot directly boot from a CD.
    As Windows 3.x can be just copied,i thinking about add its files to that ISO be4 burning to create a Windows 3.x Live CD.
    May it work?
    What versions of 16bit Windows can run on DOS 7.1 & what hacks i must do to do it work together(Win16 with DOS for Win32)?
    It would be better to use DOS 6.22,but it has no CD version.
    & for standard floppy installs(where i have FDD),how to convert a Floppy image to real floppy disk?
    I have a functional laptop with DOS 6.22,so i can create DOS install flopies by it,but when i will need older DOS(i.e.3.30 for Windows 1.x),i must download floppy image & convert it to real floppy & none of my machines with internet access has FDD,can i use USB FDD for write the floppy image to real disk?
    With which program?
    Or can i hack DOS 6.22 or 7.1 to accept Windows 1.x?
    Thanx 4 all suggestions.
  • edited August 2020
    A little pro-tip, "you" is spelled with three letters, as is the word "are". "One" and "for" should not be replaced with numbers. You sound like a retard. It won't kill you to type a few extra characters. Remember, this is an English language forum. We don't speak Twittish here.
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