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USB Thumbstick Embedded OS?

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  • USB Thumbstick Embedded OS?

    Ive had this idea for a few years but its just started to become really possible with the recent drop in usb thumbstick prices.

    Has anyone successfully emedded an OS onto one of these? Im having problems getting an OS into one.

    My idea is for a 512MB or 1GB thumb drive to contain the OS, drivers, and media control software only, then you can plug in say an 80GB travelstar into the front console of the car via usb kit, to access media. (or leave it plugged in at the motherboard permanently)

    A few good things come to mind like incredibly fast boot times, perfectly stable OS, extremely low power consumption, and incredible durability and ruggedness.

    Ive managed to install simple boot disks (dos, win98) to the thumbdrive and boot off of them. But I cant seem to get a working OS onto one. Even win98SE would run perfectly stable on one of these. I would even be cool with being able to get a small Linux distribution to boot up, but all the ones I find either dont install to the thumbdrive properly or dont work at all.

    Maybe a compact flash card with an IDE connector would work?

    Any tips, or sure fire methods to get this working would be absolutley awesome. Im sure its possible and would benefit a lot of people.

  • #2

    Lots of good info lurks in these forums. Go out there and get it!


    • #3
      have you tried searching this subject? you replied less than 2 mins after i made the post. do you just run around telling people to search?


      • #4
        Originally posted by hydraulix
        have you tried searching this subject? you replied less than 2 mins after i made the post. do you just run around telling people to search?
        No, I searched this exact subject on my own not one week ago and read a handful of threads about the pros and cons of doing this. I'm a linux guy, and I've made a couple of LiveCDs using Gentoo. I understand the process for Linux, but not for Windows. So I searched to see what other people were able to do with Windows.

        Here's one example:

        As you can see, I searched for "os boot usb". Yes, the thread I linked to is talking about CF cards, but the same concepts apply. Small footprint with minimal size and writes. All data stored on a separate disk, slow boot times due to terrible random access speeds, etc.


        • #5
          yet no one has successfully done this? this is the entire point of the thread. has ANYONE successfully done this or something similar? if so what are your results?


          • #6
            I have done it, plug in USB flash, install linux, boot.


            • #7
              what distro? and what installation method did you use? how was boot time?


              • #8
                Same as my CF card, boot off the slack cd, fdisk and install just what was needed/wanted.