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Thread: booting up from a usb disk-on-key

  1. #1
    Newbie knight17's Avatar
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    booting up from a usb disk-on-key

    Hi people
    Ive seen some people use a cf card as a booting drive because it boots fast.

    My question is:
    can i boot up a xp system with a 256/512MB USB Disk-on-key?
    (if you dont know what i mean its a flash memory with usb interface)

    It also has security advances that you can plug in and out the USB key and if case of stealing the USB key is with you and the theif cant use the computer... just a thought

  2. #2
    Raw Wave
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    You can but it depends if your motherboard allows Boot from USB in the BIOS.

  3. #3
    Newbie knight17's Avatar
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    Do you know any motherboard that boots from USB? i just want an example

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate Change's Avatar
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    To make a USB key bootable:
    Download HP USB flash disk utility: http://h18007.www1.hp.com/support/fi...oad/20306.html
    Download boot files: http://aaltonen.us/downloads/HPUSBFW_BOOTFILES.zip
    Format the flash disk using the HP utility, pointing it at the boot files.

  5. #5
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    you can boot into DOS, but not into XP. That's because XP reinitializes the root USB hub which causes the drive to get "lost" for a short period and the OS no longer can find the drive. You can mess with the load order of drivers, but it still didn't work for me. Also, to boot XP you'd need to boot using USB 2.0 mode (480mbps) and not USB 1.1 mode (12mbps I think). Your BIOS needs to support Hi-Speed Legacy USB mode. That is only supported in AMIBIOS 8 and PhoenixBIOS 4 (not Award). You also need to be able to force the BIOS to see the USB key as a hard drive and not a removable drive (floppy) otherwise NTLDR won't find the OS. You could always use RAM booting which is a feature from XP Embedded. It basically loads an image of your OS into memory and then loads it so you circumvent the USB hub reinit problem. M-Systems has a new product called the uDiskOnChip which is basically a hi-speed USB key for embedded systems. It comes with a special driver and stuff to load XP Embedded from it like a regular drive. I've tested it with XPe, but I'm in the process of getting the driver installed on a regular XP system. Unfortunately the Intel mATX mobo I have won't let me configure the disk as a harddrive so the BIOS sees it only as a floppy. I may not be able to use that mobo. My desktop machine is an ASUS which has the full USB features from AMIBIOS so I can boot it from there fine.

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate grum's Avatar
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    i made a bootable usb drive, yes you can make them out of flash usb cards - and i think it emulates a regular floppy drive to boot from, so it doesnt matter if the MB supports it or not.
    CarPC Status:

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    new carpc finished, thinking of way to mount HDD
    and not installed yet.

  7. #7
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    it's the BIOS that emulates the flash key as a floppy. if the BIOS doesn't support USB booting it won't know to emulate the drive as a floppy.

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