If you insert a blank disk, the OF bootloader will give you an error and enter USB mode.
That's encouraging to know. Still waiting for the adapter. Damn slow airmail from Hong Kong! (at least the guy had perfect feedback on ebay).
If this works out I might want to add the info to the Gigabeat wiki page.
12/1/07 The adapter *finally* showed up from Hong Kong! Later today I will attempt to open up the F10 and install the thing. I found some drawings showing how to orient the connectors. Will chime in later with the story. I will have to make a custom build for the Gigabeat along the lines of the iPod mini with flash to remove the power down call to the ATA interface.
12/2/07 I replaced the HD with the CF adapter. After power up and getting the "no system" error message I plugged in the USB and the device showed up under Linux as /dev/sdc1. I ran fdisk on /dev/sdc and saw only one vfat partition but it was sized at 8gb not 16gb. I created the correct sub directories and installed the bootstrap files and unzipped my custom build rockbox system onto the root directory (modified ata.c with the flash memory fix).
The CF adapter module is smaller than the HD so I folded a few business cards around it to keep it from bouncing around inside the player.
Well it worked for a while. system info shows the disk as 15gb (correct value). The problem is that after a while I started to get disk errors (checksum, bad directory sector, etc). At one point it crashed and would not reboot. I got either a checksum error from the bootloader or a file not found error.
I tried to unzip rockbox.zip into the root directory but I got 'readonly file system' errors. I finally ran mkfs.vfat to re-create the file system, and re-installed everything. Now it is working again, with an occasional checksum error on powerup
(shutdown, restart and it works the second time). I sometimes have to turn off the battery switch to recover after a failed start.
Maybe the CF disk is a tad too slow for the system? Is there a way in software to add wait states? The CF conversion shows some promise, the player is a bit lighter now (CF module not as heavy as the HD).