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Booting Win XP off of a USB Drive and then using EWF?

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  • Booting Win XP off of a USB Drive and then using EWF?

    I was looking to start building my other systems in the rear, but I am kind of playing with different ideas but need advice and helpful opinions.

    One thing is that I didn't want any moving parts, but since these are budget systems, that gets rid of using SSD on these. The price per gigabyte is just to much. I have now become interested in maybe using a thumb drive. I know they are not as fast as a HDD, but 35 mb read and 30 write is so so. I see that they have extreme compact flash cards that read and write up to 90 mb, but they are also too pricey. I also want to use EWF, this should extend the life of the thumb drive because normally its the writing that kills it?

    Once I get Windows XP to boot on a flash drive, then setup EWF, the write speed will no longer matter since it is going to RAM now. Am I right on that? What will I be able to with a PC setup in this configuration? These systems I simply want to access music and movies from the main PC, watch DVD movies, and browse the internet. Thats it! I of course would like this all to be done via Centrafuse. I am thinking maybe I will go with CF2 because CF3 has too many effects going on.

    What else should I know, and also is HORM possible? Now I am aware that this configuration takes time to boot. I hear about one minute, which is not a concern to me. What I am concerned about is system stability and system use. i don't want the person to feel like they are using a dinosaur.

    The system specs are:

    Intel D945GSEJT mini-itx Mainboard (1.6 INTEL ATOM N270, single core)
    2 GB of RAM
    Windows XP / EWF / maybe HORM?
    USB Thumb drive with 35mb read and write.

    PS: What are your thoughts on a Windows XP network boot rom? Is that the same as this, but I am accessing the info from someplace remote?
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  • #2
    Maybe I am oing about this all wrong. Maybe I should try venturing into a different OS for the personal computers. I think maybe I should do some research into Linux *cringes*.
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    • #3
      i like the idea of usb thumb drive OS, but in reality they are too slow and too much of a hassle. SSD are now sub $100, you won't be able to find a 32gb usb drive nearly as fast and reliable as SSD. Stick with a cheap usb instead, especially if your environment isn't sub 0*C.

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      • #4
        I personally would look into trying the RC of Windows embedded 7 because you can use HORM with that, and perhaps with use a small 4 GB CF card to boot from then leave the ability to have the user put in a flash drive to play their music off of.

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        • #5
          if you are really keen on pendrive. Here is what i had experimented with good result: buy an OCZ Rally2 USB drive and head over to pendrive linux and follow one of the tutorials.
          I think i successfully installed linpus lite at one point on usb stick that yield pretty good bootup and nice interface, except i couldn't get the TS to work properly.

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          • #6
            I was doing alot of research and I have kind of started to eye leaving Windows all together. I saw Ubuntu and I have fallen in love. I only need the setup to do very limited things, and since it doesnt use alot of system resources, it may actually feel fast on a 1.6 single core atom.

            The TS is a big thing, because on my setup it is switched between computers via a KVMP switch. I was looking at the OCZ Rally 2 for the drive. I only really want 2GB of storage space. i dont need 32GB. Does Linux have a EWF type mode?
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            • #7
              they have 4gb rally2 as well i believe, but so far its been the fastest usb drive i have.
              ubuntu should work especially with linuxice

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ZX1Cruizer View Post
                I was doing alot of research and I have kind of started to eye leaving Windows all together. I saw Ubuntu and I have fallen in love. I only need the setup to do very limited things, and since it doesnt use alot of system resources, it may actually feel fast on a 1.6 single core atom.
                Just make sure you have a keyboard for each system... Linux combines the excitement of editing config files for everything other then the basics with the joys of searching forums for every task

                to build on meryan00's comments, 7embedded is designed for booting from a usb drive but its probably out of your price range. I wouldn't even recommend horm just set things up right.

                everyones comments are pretty spot on with thumbdrives...so i''ll just add this:
                If you look for readyboost certified drives thats a good way to weed out the good ones and then just compare the specs of whats left.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
                  Just make sure you have a keyboard for each system... Linux combines the excitement of editing config files for everything other then the basics with the joys of searching forums for every task

                  to build on meryan00's comments, 7embedded is designed for booting from a usb drive but its probably out of your price range. I wouldn't even recommend horm just set things up right.

                  everyones comments are pretty spot on with thumbdrives...so i''ll just add this:
                  If you look for readyboost certified drives thats a good way to weed out the good ones and then just compare the specs of whats left.
                  Well each system has a keyboard, but its on the KVMP switch. I do not know if that will be an issue.

                  i am hoping that since I am doing basic stuff I can avoid all the forum searching, lol.

                  The Win 7 embedded, does it work fully though. Liek can I do what I would normally do on a PC with HDD. I read that to do it with XP you have to do all this [email protected] to get it to work. I dont think I need HORM either. Is only going to be read only and it will most likely have a different passenger everytime.
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                  • #10
                    The Linux stuff is killing me lol..... I just realized I bought 5 HDD. If I cant get the hang of LinuxICE (which is starting to confuse me), I can then try Win XP with EWF/HORM.
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                    • #11
                      if your main concern is to not have any movable parts, then just get a low cost SSD. but don't bother with CF or USB because it's just not worth the trouble. years ago I was messing with USB booting XP, but it's a major pain. The embedded OSes (both XP and Win7) support it far more easily though. And yes, Win7 Embedded is fully compatible with Win7 retail. It all depends on what you are removing, but again unless you're willing to spend money on the tools and licenses it's probably overkill for what you're trying to accomplish.
                      EWF, HORM, MinLogon on XP.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SFiorito View Post
                        if your main concern is to not have any movable parts, then just get a low cost SSD. but don't bother with CF or USB because it's just not worth the trouble. years ago I was messing with USB booting XP, but it's a major pain. The embedded OSes (both XP and Win7) support it far more easily though. And yes, Win7 Embedded is fully compatible with Win7 retail. It all depends on what you are removing, but again unless you're willing to spend money on the tools and licenses it's probably overkill for what you're trying to accomplish.
                        I agree. All I simply want is a low budget unit that boots into windows, then open Centrafuse. The only thing I really want CF to do is music, video, maybe chat, light games, dvd and internet. Thats really all. I was looking into LinuxICE but the more I get into it, the more I do not like all that stuff to remember and config files to change. At this point my moving parts logic is out the window. i never had issues with HDD in the past, so I am not going to worry. These units do not need ultra fast booting. As long as they boot in about 15 seconds (which they can since nothing is really connected to them, only a KVMP and a user device).

                        Can you help me to understand EWF, what windows version is needed? This should be done with full windows? or can it be one that has been slightly nLited? I took all the language packs out of mine. Then all I need are those 3 files?
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