Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: can i use a usb hd to boot up with?

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    13

    can i use a usb hd to boot up with?

    or do i need a build in hard drive with a mini desktop pc.

  2. #2
    FLAC Chairboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,380
    Depends entirely on which motherboard you're using. Some can, some can't. Do you have one already? If so, post the model number and we'll take a stab at it.
    Chrysler 300 - Fabricating
    http://hallert.net/

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate crooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Everett, WA
    Posts
    467
    USB hard drives are typically very slow, anyway. I think most people use an internal drive or CF for their boot, and a USB drive for their media.

  4. #4
    FLAC Chairboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,380
    Crooper: Might want to double check your figures there, an external USB 2 drive has a maximum theoretical throughput of 60 megabytes per second. This is faster than many notebook hard drives. It's not a huge bandwidth difference.
    Chrysler 300 - Fabricating
    http://hallert.net/

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate JimmyFitz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    735
    Quote Originally Posted by boysettingfires View Post
    or do i need a build in hard drive with a mini desktop pc.
    It is easy to do UNLESS you want to boot into Windows. If that is the case, you will have to perform some trickery because Windows doesn't allow booting from removable media. Look at the threads on how to boot from compact flash and you will find methods to configure the system that work around the windows limitation. As someone else already said though, your particular MOBO has to be able to support it too.
    ~Jimmy

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    791
    Quote Originally Posted by Chairboy View Post
    Crooper: Might want to double check your figures there, an external USB 2 drive has a maximum theoretical throughput of 60 megabytes per second.
    the key word being "theoretical"...

    in reality, the "effective" USB2.0 transfer rate tops out around 40MB/s. and that is the maximum speed for large file transfers when no other device is sharing the USB BUS. in most cases you will have several devices sharing the USB BUS, and you will not be transferring one large file, so you can expect the average USB2.0 HDD transfer speed to be significantly lower

  7. #7
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    SE Ohio
    Posts
    54
    Not so much trickery.

    Check out this website that has some utilities I just found that lets you boot off of a USB device (in this case USB flash media). I found it tonight since I'm planning on installing XP on an 8GB SD card.http://www.usboot.org/tiki-index.php
    If you're not paranoid, then you're not paying enough attention. -kmfdmk.com
    http://www.mymp3car.com/MP3Car/PSUpower.asp

    1985 Supra 7M-GTE
    10.4" Planar LCD
    ECS GOAL3+ mobo w/ 512mb + 8GB sdhc
    Edimax EW7318USG Wifi w/ 7 db Ant.
    USB GPS

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate JimmyFitz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    735
    Quote Originally Posted by kmfdmk View Post
    Not so much trickery.

    Check out this website that has some utilities I just found that lets you boot off of a USB device (in this case USB flash media). I found it tonight since I'm planning on installing XP on an 8GB SD card.http://www.usboot.org/tiki-index.php
    Yes it is. I have done it, have you?

    While it isn't that hard to do, the results were not something that I would recommend as desirable.
    ~Jimmy

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate crooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Everett, WA
    Posts
    467
    UDMA-5/ATA-100 (modern laptop hard drive) is 100 megaBYTES per second, whereas usb 2.0 is 400 megaBITS per second. Divide bits by 8 to get bytes, which comes out to 50 megabytes. These of course are theoretical speeds, and real world performance usually doesn't come close to that.

    In addition, usb throughput takes a hit with cpu usage, as it's controlled by the cpu -- and we know that the cpu is often at 100% during the boot sequence.

    Might as well use a CF or IDE to boot and usb drive for your media.

  10. #10
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    7
    It is possible to boot Windows XP from a USB drive and I have a modified install image around somewhere that I have used to prove this. You probably won't notice any difference in performance but it depends on what you are used to. I used a 2.5" 5400 external USB to boot a laptop so performance was expected to be high anyway.

    However, there is one big reason why Microsoft don't support this. Plugging devices into the USB bus can cause the bus to re-initialise (it's a valid thing to do and perfectly normal). Unfortunately, not very helpful if you are running your OS from a USB device.

    Full instructions for doing this can be found here http://www.ngine.de/article/id/8.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-12-2008, 02:15 PM
  2. USB hub does not always initialize on boot
    By d_sellers1 in forum General Hardware Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-29-2006, 04:41 AM
  3. Slow Boot With USB DVD
    By thenick100 in forum General MP3Car Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-25-2006, 12:25 PM
  4. Slim Panasonic DVD & a HD thru USB Hub?
    By d_sellers1 in forum General Hardware Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-28-2004, 09:08 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •