ok here's the deal. I have an Apacer thumb drive which is pretty fast at around 200X speed here's a picture http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.c..._1906_21188687 so I'm sure the results will vary depending on other peoples thumb drive speeds. It is about 5 secounds faster on startup than just using my 4800 rpm hard drive. Explorer windows pop up instantly and files deffinately appear to be accessed much faster than the traditional HD. I haven't attempted EWF yet and I won't be able for a while either because after I tested the OS. I tried to plug it into a different computer to browse the thumb drive and it screwed up the bootabillity of the thumbdrive. maybe the MBR? I'm not sure but keep in mind if you do install to a thumb drive DONT ACCESS IT FROM ANOTHER COMPUTER RUNNING WINDOWS. I'm thinking external HD is probably going to be the better solution anyways because the thumbdrive is constantly being accessed (solid yellow light on the stick) that can't be good for it. I know ewf prevents writes but I'm not sure how many reads a thumb drive can take. what do you guys think? any other questions by the way?