Solved: External USB 3.5 Inch Hard Drive Enclosure Bootable?

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kirby_t07

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Due to problems with my operating system on a laptop with no cd-rom drive I decided to try an boot it up off an external drive. I bought myself a 160gb External hdd but it turned out not to be bootable, with a bit more caution this time i looked out for bootable external hard drives. I have a desktop system with a spare 3.5" hard drive, so an enclosure seems sensible i just needed to know if anyone is for sure about any cheap enclosures that are bootable, once i have the hdd in its enclosure im fine for sorting out my bios etc but i just need anyone with some knowledge on it to tell me for sure because i can only find one manafacturer that will say theres is bootable!

:)
Theo Kirby - Toulouse
 

JohnWill

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You can't boot Windows from a USB/Firewire drive because the controllers are initialized during the process and the boot fails. You can boot Linux from a USB device.
 

kirby_t07

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Why is that? how about programs like Bart Pe? i wouldnt mind a version of ubuntu linux either but could you explain why it wouldnt work, surely if the drive is bootable then the os doesnt notice a difference? isn't their some way of disabling the controllers?
 
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Good Evening Gentlemen, I was thinking about a similar problem recently but haven't gotten around to trying it.
Johnwill might have an opinion on this.
If we have a problem system like this and are able to load a Linux operating system, say for instance this Puppy Linux, then we copied the entire Windows operating system CD across to the hard drive, Then shut everything down, Then booted with a floppy like Madboot, Then try to begin a Windows install from the Windows system on the hard drive. Do you think that would give a load?
(I haven't tried it)
Cheers, qldit.
 

kirby_t07

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Isnt the boot operations on a cd-rom different to that of a hdd? say i did have a bootable external drive, or for example a 1gb flash memory (most of which is bootable) and then copied either a linux cd onto it or a windows xp install disk then surely it wouldnt accept it unless you wrote some code that would fool the bios into thinking that it was a cd? im out of my depth here, just a thought... I heard of an external hdd that you could buy that came pre-installed with Linux so you could carry your os and files around with you. I am not bothered about linux/windows but the only problem is the like of support of linux for wireless adaptors and file sharing.
 

JohnWill

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IMO, Linux doesn't lack support for wireless adapters or file sharing. :)

I confess that I don't know if you can boot the Windows-PE from a USB device, never tried it...
 

kirby_t07

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I used ubuntu for a couple of weeks, to install any wireless device you had to download an emulator for windows drivers which involved all sorts of writing complicated commands in the console. Then chosing the right one. Then typing in your WEP key. For me in then still didn't work. Excuse me if im wrong for other versions of linux but i consider that not particularly supportive. As to joining a microsoft created workgroup to share say a cd-rom drive i saw the size of some online tutorials to it and just didn't bother. Maybe easy for people that understand it better but until Linux works to allow people to plug an adaptor in and automatically chose a network then its not going to catch on for anyone but IT pros. Not that i dont like linux. Its free and supported by awesome user communities.
 
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kirby_t07 said:
I used ubuntu for a couple of weeks, to install any wireless device you had to download an emulator for windows drivers which involved all sorts of writing complicated commands in the console. Then chosing the right one. Then typing in your WEP key. For me in then still didn't work. Excuse me if im wrong for other versions of linux but i consider that not particularly supportive. As to joining a microsoft created workgroup to share say a cd-rom drive i saw the size of some online tutorials to it and just didn't bother. Maybe easy for people that understand it better but until Linux works to allow people to plug an adaptor in and automatically chose a network then its not going to catch on for anyone but IT pros. Not that i dont like linux. Its free and supported by awesome user communities.
Good Morning kirby_t07 What you describe is accurate, most newbies have problems getting online with Linux let alone anything else. This Puppy Linux is different, it has a Wizard-Wizard, sounds funny, but there are so many wizards in this distro that the unique method to overcome those problems you mention, that the WW apparently evolved. It can run off a flashdrive or virtually anything that is available to the processor. The more I play with it the more astonishing it becomes. If you tried Ubuntu I suggest you will find Puppy is light-years in front as far as versitility is involved. The support forums it has are full of vibrant excitment with new adherents that suddenly find they can do virtually anything they could in windows without the restrictions.
"I was so impressed I bought the company"! (not quite, LOL!)
Qldit.
 
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Good Morning Chaps, sorry here is the site http://www.goosee.com/puppy/
The newest version is 1.0.7 mozilla (63 megs) well worth a play. It can be added to with an awful lot of other programs. (all free)
It runs entirely from a Ramdrive so it is very interesting.
I would be interested in your comments Johnwill. It is a waste of time in processors less than a pentium-200. needs more than 90 megs of memory to be able to remove the CD. 128 megs is good.
Has some very polished programs.
qldit.
Cheers, qldit.
 

JohnWill

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I don't have a system with less than 256mb, and the slowest system here now is an 800mhz P3. :D
 

kirby_t07

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Hey me again, i tried to install what you mentioned and i cant quite understand the instructions to install it onto a usb key, i cant see where im going wrong but i download the latest version and follow the instructions to install but i dont seem to have the .COM file that im supposed to have. I havent written it to cd, just un-iso'd it, but in the instructionts it says you can do this. The instructions are old though. Any way any of you guys would help out? should i post this in the linux section??:confused:
 
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I haven't tried out external USB devices much but I have done a post reporing Puppy is the only distro that can be installed and booted from a USB external hard disk. Think I tried Slax, DSL and Mepis at that time but they failed. DSL has no problem to get into a USB pen drive though.

I believe the USB response is too slow for a normal Linux designed to run on an internel disk. During a boot up you can see the kernel says "waiting for the /dev/hha3 to appear" and then hanged fro not syncing or panic.

One way to describe it is a 5-star "kernel" is about to give order to commence attack on a bridge head with tanks, planes, mortars fires and a large standby army but is told the convoy carrying the ammunition and fuel is 50 miles behind because there is a bootle neck crossing the USB River! So if you are the 5-star Kernel what would you do?

You will find most of the distros can be installed in to an external hard disk but booting them is a totally different matter. Not even the boot loader Grub can be booted up in an USB hard disk. Special tratment to the kernel and ram disk are needed to boot Linux off an external hard disk.

If you look at how Puppy does it you will find it has to use a boot loader Syslinux designed for a floppy drive even though in an internal disk Puppy uses Grub as the boot loader. The syslinux works like a street corner hot dog store. Everything is open up for buiness when you go there but on completion everything is neatly packed into a file bearing no resemblance to an operating system.
 
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kirby_t07 said:
Hey me again, i tried to install what you mentioned and i cant quite understand the instructions to install it onto a usb key, i cant see where im going wrong but i download the latest version and follow the instructions to install but i dont seem to have the .COM file that im supposed to have. I havent written it to cd, just un-iso'd it, but in the instructionts it says you can do this. The instructions are old though. Any way any of you guys would help out? should i post this in the linux section??:confused:
Good Morning kirby, I would suggest you try making the bootable CD from the ISO file and booting from that, select option 4 from the booting menu as it starts, this will ensure nothing is installed anywhere apart from ramdrive. (hopefully)
Check to see that the thing appears to operate properly, (one mouse click stuff) when you feel it has copied correctly and looks like a "goer" if you select Start > Setup > then the drive you want to install to, with luck it will perform that action.
It is pretty straight forward.
I understand any flashdrive should be empty before trying this.
I don't know if the USB-1 / USB-2 problem affects it.
This will be interesting to see how you go.
Cheers, qldit.
 
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By the way there is a drive mouning program in Start > Utilities. I am not sure if the flashdrive needs to be mounted before you begin this procedure or whether it does something different.
Ensure all drives are unmounted before you shutdown.
qldit.
 
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