appreciate this was a long time ago, but you may be interested to read my post on a similar subject (booting from CF)... http://communities.intel.com/message/88409#88409
I was lucky to have tried a non-UDMA CF card first...
Thanx for your post! Actually i forgot to post here that i managed to boot, and this project was a success, and it is closed already. Several dozen of small www servers running from CF. I slightly reroute CF adapter so it became dma enabled. This is the only way this motherboard bios can find ata disk.
For bootloader i disabled packet mode and i disabled update mode
And then for the OS itself i switched to PIO back.
Fow OS (FreeBSD) i setup in /boot/loader.conf