TrueIDE is a converter that allows you to use up to two Compact Flash cards with your IDE controller. TrueIDE even permits the use of CF cards that regular (passive) converters will only show as removable devices. The active part of TrueIDE parses the data stream that is exchanged between IDE controller and the CF card, and whenever the IDE controller checks for removability, TrueIDE will report back that the media is fixed . This will allow installing and booting any operating system from a CF card.
IDE connector TrueIDE features two 40-pin IDE connectors, so you can mount the adapter either horizontally or vertically.
TrueIDE comes with two CF slots, one acting as IDE Master and one as IDE Slave drive. You can easily swap the Master/Slave setting by pressing and holding Reset for four seconds. This can be used for easy multi-boot, or for creating a remote rescue system.
To install TrueIDE in a computer, connect the adapter to a free IDE-port of your harddisk controller. The location of the connector can be found in the manual of your mainboard or IDE controller. TrueIDE has two connectors that face in different directions. Only one of them may be used at the same time. Please mind the correct orientation of the adapter. Pin 1 is marked on the adapter, and it must be connected to pin 1 of the IDE connector. TrueIDE requires power, which is fed through the white 4-pin connector. The connector shape is identical to the 3.5 power connector of a disk drive and should be available on every PC power supply. Adapters from other power plugs are available from your reseller. Please mind that TrueIDE requires both voltages on this connector, +5V and +12V.
TrueIDE can be equipped with one or two CF-cards. If you only use one slot, the slot itself will determine if the card is master or slave, which is marked next to the slot o the adapter. If you use two cards, one will be master, and the other will be slave.
Swapping Master And Slave
If TrueIDE is equipped with two CF-cards, master and slave can be swapped by pressing and holding the reset button for more than three seconds. This way you can build a hardware-multiboot system without having to install a boot manager. The second system may for example be a rescue-system that allows remote maintenance. To undo the card swap, just press and hold reset again for more than three seconds, or power-cycle the system.
IDE command parsing
TrueIDE has active components that can intercept the communication between IDE-controller and CF-card. When the controller checks for the card size, the removable-bit is being corrected to ensure compatibility with every operating system. This way, every CF card appears as a fixed drive, regardless of the vendor's setting, so a difference to a mechanical harddisk cannot be told by the drivers.
CF card compatibility
There are rare exceptions where TrueIDE cannot make every CF-card compatible with your computer. Some cards take a very long time after power-up to function properly, which is made even worse on TrueIDE, as power is cut from the card during a reset. In that case, we recommend to either use a different CF card, or a different IDE driver with a longer timeout on drive identification.