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Thread: Booting off of a USB/Firewire removable hard drive

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    Booting off of a USB/Firewire removable hard drive

    Has anyone here successfully used a USB 2.0 or firewire hard drive as their boot drive? If so, what motherboard and O/S were used?

    I think this is the only way I can have a carputer in -40C temperatures in Canada. If I use a USB HDD, then I can bring it inside with me easily and I won't have problems with it booting.

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    Maximum Bitrate freestyler's Avatar
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    it's not a big deal, I've had no probs leaving my drive in during the -20 cold snaps we had here in MN last winter, and that includes turning the computer on right away and not letting it warm up

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    Maximum Bitrate Marsupial's Avatar
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    freestyler: -20 and -40 is not the same. Believe me, it takes a while for enclosed equipment to heat when faced to -40.

    Jackboot: according to what I saw, you could get a pretty good "flash drive" that is IDE, there is even one guy on the forum that sells some of those with military specs - no moving parts would not mind cold temps.

    other then that, I don't know about booting from USB or whatnot. Sorry
    -Mars

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    Maximum Bitrate freestyler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marsupial
    freestyler: -20 and -40 is not the same. Believe me, it takes a while for enclosed equipment to heat when faced to -40.
    really? I thought they were the same...

    fact of the matter remains the drive will operate in cold temperatures without concern

    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/...Cooling-c.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by freestyler
    really? I thought they were the same...

    fact of the matter remains the drive will operate in cold temperatures without concern

    http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/...Cooling-c.html
    I hope you are right -but you are the first one on the board that I have heard to claim that below freezing temperatures are not a concern for booting up a computer...

    ...in fact, users have posted that temperatures as mild as 0 degrees celcius have caused their hard drive to not boot properly. For this reason I'm trying to find out if I can use a removable hard disk as my main drive / boot disk. I am looking at a 40GB USB 2.0 drive that *doesn't* require any external power and only costs $150...

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    Maximum Bitrate freestyler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackboot
    I hope you are right -but you are the first one on the board that I have heard to claim that below freezing temperatures are not a concern for booting up a computer...

    ...in fact, users have posted that temperatures as mild as 0 degrees celcius have caused their hard drive to not boot properly. For this reason I'm trying to find out if I can use a removable hard disk as my main drive / boot disk. I am looking at a 40GB USB 2.0 drive that *doesn't* require any external power and only costs $150...
    weird...yea i've been running mine for the past 3 years in the cold weather without any probs

    i've talked with people at seagate (one of the manufacture locations for parts of the harddrives is here in minnesota) while on a trip to their plant for school about harddrives in cars and they said the cold shouldn't have any probs.

    just as a note i've only been using western digital drives so far, nothing else.

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    I just bought a seagate 3.5" 7200 RPM 80GB HDD...hopefully it doesn't give me any problems in the winter! But if other users experiences hold true to me, I won't be able to boot below freezing. Seagate lists the operating temperature of their drive from 0 degrees celcius up...

    Freestyler: I just noticed that you are in Minneapolis...I am from Western Canada but I am here in Plymouth, MN for work for another 2 months...

    How cold have you operated your system in your car?

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    Quote Originally Posted by freestyler
    it's not a big deal, I've had no probs leaving my drive in during the -20 cold snaps we had here in MN last winter, and that includes turning the computer on right away and not letting it warm up
    I have to agree with you and I am right next door at Minot AFB, North Dakota. It gets Hella cold here.
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    Maximum Bitrate Marsupial's Avatar
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    Freestyler: you in Minesota, right? How cold of a winter you got there?

    think about having your hard disk starting to spin at minus 40 farenheit. This is not going to happen on the first try. It is bad for the step engine. It can be stored at that temp, but operation temp is generally either 10 celsius to 60 celsius or 0-80celsius.

    the standard freezer is at -5, the standard winter day at -10 in Montreal, and the cold january days normally -25/-30. Lately we had exceptionally cold days of -40 plus windchill during winters - my cousin in Iqaluit, Nunavut have warmer winter then that...

    There are lots of concerns about cold small mobile parts and hard disks in freezing conditions.
    Some says "let it warm up before booting", some say "if it don't boot power it off then on".
    I believe if you can avoid it, go for it.

    jackboot: If you gather more info on that, please keep us posted.

    This said, I will start doing some testing with my laptop HDD this winter.
    -Mars

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    Maximum Bitrate freestyler's Avatar
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    i've had mine running at -25 before without any problems (well the LCD didn't like it)

    yes -40 is colder than -25, if you are that worried about it then don't do it, not like i care

    besides...harddrives are cheap, if it goes bad then get another

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