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Booting Laptop in Alternate Mode

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  • Booting Laptop in Alternate Mode

    I have a general problem, and a unique idea for fixing it. I just need a crap load of help to figure out how to do it. I have an HP ZD8000 Laptop (P4 3.0Ghz, lightscribe, 1 GB ram, 80 GB HD) that I want to use to build a carputer. Seeing as how this is my only laptop at this time, i would like to be able to use it out of the car as well. (already have a quick mounting option taken care of) I wanted to know if anyone had devised a method of either detected hardware or whatnot to boot on using a different profile that would be the correct resolution (currently run 1680x1050, too much for a xenarc) and start the front end. My only idea so far that i doubt would work is to have a USB harddrive and attempt to make it a primary drive while switching my laptop to the "slave when primary is present" state. Any help is apprectiated.

  • #2
    Use a docking station and hardware profiles.

    Your idea of booting to an external USB HDD could work as well, but you run the risk of accidentally deleting something crucial from the OS on the portable HDD.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


    • #3
      What I do with my laptop:

      I create two user accounts and setup my xp pro for fast user switching.

      When I boot the laptop, I get to pick between two accounts - my regular user account (that i use for school, work, etc) and an account i created called carPC that has a heavily tweaked desktop - huge icons, single click navigation, etc - i will show screenshots later.

      this way, depending on what you want to use it for, you simply select the correct user account. u dont even have to put passwords on them so it wont be too annoying.

      If you want to boot off of an external drive for your carPC needs, you can set the boot order to USB then ONBOARD/IDE disk.

      that way, if it detects a usb drive is connected, it'll boot off of there. if there is no usb drive connected - ie u are sitting at home - it'll boot off the hard disk normally. this is really fast and u dont need to do anything, just plug in the usb drive and turn the beast on.

      lemme know if this helps!
      - sh00k
      Duct tape and a Bandana for the win, b!shes!!!

      My Setup:

      Cost so far: Less than a grand ;]

      Economy/Commuter cars + Computers = many entertained miles


      • #4
        That was my idea also. I tried it and I could not get it to work.

        I wanted to use my laptop at home and in the car, so I bought a dell docking station and a 120 gig usb hard drive. My idea was to hook up the video, audio, and the usb hd to the docking station. So I installed a modified version of windows xp on the usb harddrive.

        It would boot to the usb hd just like I wanted as long as it was connected to the usb ports on the laptop. However, when I connected it to one of the usb ports on the docking station, it would not boot. I couldn't figure out why, so I eventually gave up. If anybody has any ideas, please let me know!