I recently purchased an 8GB Patriot CF card, like this one .

I also have a Syba CF/Sata adapter.

I put these together into my mini-itx computer (connected via Sata cables, not USB) and booted an IPCop install. After going through all the options it gets to the point of creating the partitions and it returns an error saying it cannot partition the drive and then restarts.

I thought maybe I would have to format the CF card before I can install Linux, however when I use the Syba Sata converter with the USB cable option on my main PC (which runs Win7) I cannot format the drive. It detects it as a Mass Storage Device, but gives me no options to do anything (it does not even appear to let me transfer files).

Do I need to format the CF card before I can install IPCop v2.0.3 on it? Or is there potentially an issue with the CF card I purchased?

1 Answer 1


No, you should not be required to format the CF card before installing Linux. The Syba adapter should present the CF storage to the computer as a fully-writable SATA drive, and should thus allow the Linux installer to partition and format it. The fact that the installer cannot write to the CF leads me to suspect that at least one of a few things could be true:

  • Perhaps the CF card is write-protected somehow?
  • Perhaps the CF card is not installed correctly, or is faulty?
  • Perhaps the CF adapter device is not installed correctly, or is faulty?
  • Thank you for the feedback! I didn't believe it needed to be formatted but I wanted to make sure as I have never used CF as a substitute for a hard drive. Do you know if there is a way to determine if a CF card is write-protected? I don't really have a way to determine if the Syba or the CF is faulty, however, as I do not have a CF card reader nor another CF card to test. I might go pick up another CF card to test the Syba, but when I did plug it in via USB to my PC it was detected, I simply could not read/write files to it as a normal USB drive would allow.
    – SirCobalt
    May 1, 2012 at 20:08
  • @SirCobalt - Best way to test the CF is to get a card reader, and then use it to see whether you can format/read/write the card. As for write-protection: It looks like most/all CF cards don't have a physical write-protect switch like many SD cards do, so the card probably won't be write-protected. May 1, 2012 at 21:53
  • Thank you very much for the assistance! I will definitely pick up a separate card reader to test out the CF card and post back here with the success/failure of that.
    – SirCobalt
    May 2, 2012 at 0:13
  • So I picked up a card reader and tried to access the CF card, and I'm no CF expert... but it didn't seem to work properly, imho. My PC detected it, and it told me I need to format the new drive before I can use it, but when I try to format it, it cannot detect the drive size and then it says it cannot format the drive when I try. I am thinking perhaps this CF card is faulty?
    – SirCobalt
    May 3, 2012 at 1:22
  • 1
    Had to be the CF card, as I purchased another one from Transcend and it installed the first try. Thanks for the assistance @Steven Monday!
    – SirCobalt
    May 8, 2012 at 13:40

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