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Boot from Portable USB Hard Disk ?How?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by bme, May 10, 2006.

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  1. bme

    bme Thread Starter

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    I have a portable USB 2. hard disk with 40GB capacity. How can I make this bootable? I know a flash disk can be made bootable as I have one using hp utility. But it wom't work on the portable hard disk.
    thanks!
     
  2. prunejuice

    prunejuice

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    What is it you wish to boot? An OS?
     
  3. clmowers

    clmowers

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    If you BIOS supports it, under the boot order set it to USB first. One of my pc has a option for a USB-hd in the boot order screen.
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    If you plan on booting Windows, I'll save you some time, it won't work. :) Windows resets the USB controllers during the boot and the boot process fails.
     
  5. bme

    bme Thread Starter

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    Yes I wanted to boot the same way as UBCD or a flash disk.
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    You can boot Linux or MS-DOS from a USB hard disk, just not Windows.
     
  7. bme

    bme Thread Starter

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    John,
    Please direct me to a site that has a step by step on how to make my ext.hd bootable.
    thanks!
     
  8. prunejuice

    prunejuice

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    I can help you, but you need to tell us:

    1. If your computer is capable of booting from USB (Should be a BIOS setting under Boot Order or something...)

    2. What OS/program you wish to boot up into.
     
  9. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    JohnWill, I've been booting XP off a thumb drive ever since several months ago when I started my truck PC project (posted when the DIY thread opened) and was trying to get XP to boot off a compactflash card. It can be done, and works very nicely. :)

    Although, I've switched to embedded linux since then. Mainly GeexBox, Astlinux, DSLinux, etc.


    Anyway,
    How to boot XP from a USB 2.0 Hard Drive. Follow instructions here: http://www.ngine.de/index.jsp?pageid=4176

    Make sure you read the forum thread on the linked site, there's some "gotcha" points to be aware of and some fixes that aren't spoke about on the above page. http://forums.ngine.de/viewtopic.php?t=1243&sid=97249998fe28d4940382b322536c6024

    I have a customized XP booting off my 1gb thumb drive on my CLE266 based itx board. :)

    You'll need to check all the USB boot options in bios, I believe my 1gb thumb boots as a USB floppy. :confused:
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Yes, you can boot it if you tinker with the configuration. Most folks aren't likely to want to go to that amount of trouble. I also wonder how long before a service patch nukes the capability. :D I'd also point out this guy just developed this procedure, it's not like it was around before a couple of months ago.
     
  11. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    The guy just posted the precedure in a place where you wouldn't have to look all over the net for it. The precedure has been around for awhile. Otherwise, I wouldn't have my thumb drive. Obviously, he's worked some kinks out of the precedure, since I created an image using ghost and transfered it to the drive without the swap enabled, and with all the updates I could get already installed. Also, I used the PE files, so it's was Fred Langa style. You can find articles about it dating back to 2004.

    Anyway, it is possible then and now.
     
  12. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Yep. If you search around you will see it has been available certainly more than a couple of months ago. Didn't' think you would have any need to exaggerate on this.

    Nice find. Thanks for pointing it out
     
  13. qldit

    qldit

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    Good Afternoon Gentlemen, excuse my impertinence, but what (if any) advantage is there with XP on a removable drive, surely it would be machine specific, speed limited, and no extra benefit than a removable HDD caddy.
    Certainly an interesting exercise.
    qldit.
     
  14. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Can't answer for the others. Sounds like at least one person wants to and another has already done it. And someone took the time to figure it all out.

    But for me, it would come in very useful. Not so much for having multiple computers with the same drive. But the ability to boot to with different external drives on the same computer. For testing purposes this would mean I don't need to manually connect and disconnect the IDE cables so often. Certainly would be much easier just to plug in a different USB device.
     
  15. qldit

    qldit

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    Yes but a removeable hard drive caddy simply slides into a front 5.25 bay and if you have several caddies it is extremely useful. No leads to play with or whatever and the other fitted hard drive has the other operating system if a drive and caddy is not fitted.

    I seem to have problems whenever I try to place non specific XP operating systems in other machines, that was my reasoning.
    qldit.
     
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