Using the Image Configuration Editor tool which comes with Windows Embedded Standard 7, I'm creating an answer file to install on a Mini-ATX board whose main storage drive is a CF card.

While I'm able to load the Image Builder [again WES7] on the device via USB, when the windows 7 setup reaches "select and format disk", the table is blank. The CF card does not show up as a valid device.

Using the command-line utility, I am able to run wmic logicaldisk get name to find the device, of which I can then navigate to and explore the files, so the CF card is definitely working.

Are there known issues between Windows 7 and CF cards? Are there specific drivers that are needed to make it appear? While it is my first contact with the CF card, I'm performing an upgrade, as the CF card has been used to boot Windows XP for many years.



I believe the behavior depends on how the CF slot is connected to the system. If it is presented as a PATA device in the BIOS, it should see it in the list. You may also have better success using a CF card that has its Fixed Disk bit set instead of being seen as a removable disk. If the CF slot is connected via USB internally, you will need to add the Bootable Windows USB Stack.

  • It was appearing as a removable disk and was connected via IDE. As described in your answer, the bootable windows USB drivers were the key. By plugging the CF card into the device via an USB adapter I was able to select the device as the target. Thanks! – BlackBox May 16 '14 at 21:47

Some CF cards advertise themselves as "Fixed". Others advertise themselves as "Removable". It is a field in the ATA IDENTIFY DEVICE packet.

In general Windows does not want your boot device to be removable.

CF card manufacturers often offer a utility to switch the card's internal firmware from fixed to removable. You might have to contact the manufacturer's techsupport to obtain the utility.

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