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Sharing QNX SD image to a window user (SD card programming)

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Sharing QNX SD image to a window user (SD card programming)

Postby _KB_ » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:17 am

Hi,

My system runs under QNX 6.5.0 and everything is stored on a SD card.
What is the best way to deploy a copy of the system on a blank SD card?
The basic idea is to share the image with a Windows' user who can then program a blank SD card and use it on his embedded target (running QNX of course).

So far I've made a raw copy of my SD with "HDD Raw Copy" freeware (on Windows).
I've got a *.img file.
With this file I've been able to clone several SD cards.

But a problem occured when we sent the *.img file to one of our subcontractor.
They tried to load the file on a SD card they have bought (same reference and capacity obviously). But it seems the copy I've made is bigger than the SD capacity of their SD card.

I suspect that my method to duplicate SD with QNX filesystem is not the way to go.
It seems that for a say 4GB SD card, the exact size in bytes is not always the same and the raw copy can't work everytime.

If you have others ideas to copy and share images from a SD card which contains a QNX6FS environment feel free to share.

Thanks.
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Re: Sharing QNX SD image to a window user (SD card programmi

Postby Tim » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:22 pm

We've used both Clonezilla (free) and Paragon (semi-free) to do hard disk images of our QNX systems (both QNX 6 and 7).

We've not had any problems with either one as long as the receiving disk (the one you are copying to) is larger than the original. You might have them try an 8 Gig SD card and see if it works for them (it would just waste 4 gigs which I doubt you care about given SD cards are so cheap now).

Tim
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Re: Sharing QNX SD image to a window user (SD card programmi

Postby _KB_ » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:18 pm

Thanks Tim for the reply.

The extra 4GB are wasted you say? This means unreachable by the system?
In other words, is it safe to do so (copying 4GB image on a 8GB)?

Suppose I'm stuck with my 4GB image and our subcontractor has already bought 4GB SD cards.
Is there another way out of it?
Can I just make a dump of the active data (approx 100Mo)?

Extra question: is there a tool running under Windows to format an SD (qnx6 filesystem obviously)?

thanks.
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Re: Sharing QNX SD image to a window user (SD card programmi

Postby Tim » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:57 pm

It's totally safe to do the copy. By wasted I mean there is no access to the other 4 gigs because the partition table gets copied as part of the image and that table only contains the partition data from the original 4 gig drive.

I've done a similar thing under Windows when replacing a Mirror RAID drive that went bad. The original drive was 500 Gigs and those drives are all but impossible to find for sale now. So I just put in a 1 TB drive and told the RAID to rebuild and it all went fine (tested the new drive booted just fine) and I just have 500 Gigs of wasted space (BIOS shows 1 TB drive but Windows only sees it as 500 Gigs).

If the subcontractor has bought a whole lot of 4 gig SDs then I'd suggest they send 1 of them to you (or you buy 1 of the exact model they bought). Then install QNX on that drive, dump your 100MB worth of data on it and then take a new image. That image should then be installable by them since it will be the exact same size.

Tim

P.S. AFAIK, there is no tool under Windows to format a QNX filesystem. When you move to 6.6 or 7.0 you have to create your own QNX boot image (no more booting from a QNX install CD-Rom). Then you put that boot image on a USB thumbdrive and boot QNX from the thumb drive and finally format the Harddrive for QNX. If there was a way to directly do it from Windows I am sure they'd just have you plug in your HD via a USB/SATA port and format it directly instead of going the QNX boot image thumbdrive route.
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Re: Sharing QNX SD image to a window user (SD card programmi

Postby _KB_ » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:49 pm

Thanks again it helps à lot.
I've told them to send me one of their card.
Problem is, they have bought the same model as ours in the first place. My image should have fit in.

There are plenty of topics out there with people facing the same ploblem as I am. It is not related to QNX (people are reporting issues with raspberry images). It seems that an SD card size varies among batches!
So if I redo another image from the SD I got from them, it could work with several of their cards and fail with others.

I think my best shot is to redo an image from an SD <4GB...
Problem is, I don't have any and it seems difficult to find 1 Or 2 GB SD nowadays..

This leads to my final question : I have a 1GB Compact Flash. Do you Think I could format it, dump my 100MB data, make an image and load it to my 4GB SD ? I mean it's Flash anyway isn' it ?
Will have a try tomorrow.

Thanks.
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Re: Sharing QNX SD image to a window user (SD card programmi

Postby _KB_ » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:04 am

_KB_ wrote:This leads to my final question : I have a 1GB Compact Flash. Do you Think I could format it, dump my 100MB data, make an image and load it to my 4GB SD ? I mean it's Flash anyway isn' it ?
Will have a try tomorrow.

Thanks.


It looks good! 8)
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Re: Sharing QNX SD image to a window user (SD card programmi

Postby nico04 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:25 am

hi,

An image file is raw binary data present on media when dumped.
You can "cut" it provided the removed part contains no necessary data.
I mean, if you partition your media with 4GB - 100MB, you can safely remove 100MB of data from your media image.

Nicolas
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Re: Sharing QNX SD image to a window user (SD card programmi

Postby Tim » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:07 pm

_KB_ wrote:
_KB_ wrote:This leads to my final question : I have a 1GB Compact Flash. Do you Think I could format it, dump my 100MB data, make an image and load it to my 4GB SD ? I mean it's Flash anyway isn' it ?
Will have a try tomorrow.

Thanks.


It looks good! 8)


Does this mean you have it working with a 1 Gig image that you copied onto your 4 Gig card? That should definitely work.

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Re: Sharing QNX SD image to a window user (SD card programmi

Postby sieudot » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:13 am

You must to have a larger SD card to do this.

Trying R-Drive Image tool to duplicate your card's image, it works fine!
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