USB Flash Drive as Boot Disk...

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by dissonance, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    So I have been thinking about this ever since I heard about Vista using flash drives to store commonly used data. I was wondering if there would be any issues with using a Flash Drive as my main boot drive (assuming my BIOS has a setting to boot from a USB device as first priority). This is something I am seriously considering as my master hard drive is really wanting to die and if I have to reload everything, might as well do something usefull... plus, I could use any speed increases possible.

    Specs:
    P4 1.8ghz
    1024mb PC2100
    Antec 550watt PSU
    GeForce 7600GS (512mb AGP in 4x slot)
    gay Sony Asus mobo
    (runs ~130-140 degrees F on average... with side panel pretty much off)

    If there was no issues.. I was planning on buy this:
    CORSAIR Flash Voyager GT 4GB Flash Drive

    (would load Windows XP Home... spec says 1.5gig required)
     
  2. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    flash drives arn't too fast, and they have a limited write-cycle life.
     
  3. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    hmm... I thought they were supposed to have much faster search times but wasn't sure as far as read/write times. My current mobo limitation is an IDE ATA100... so I should just stick with buy another disk??

    (all the specs i found have Flash Drive specs in mb/s while Hard Drive specs are in ms... are those 1mb/ms or what?)
     
  4. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    you can find units with better seek time (no mechanical parts to move) but they still suffer from limited write cycles.
     
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    You can't boot Windows off a USB or Firewire drive because Windows resets the USB and FireWire buses as part of its bootup process, meaning that it would disconnect itself from the drive it's booting up from.

    The stats you were looking at are seek times for hard drives, which have to align their moving parts before they can read or write the data you want read or written. They also have maximum transfer speeds like what you've seen for the flash drives, but they generally just go by the rated speed of the connection (ATA-100 is 100MB/s, for example) -- they can't actually achieve that speed because the seek times get in the way of smooth transfers, but they don't want to go and spray that dirty little secret everywhere. Flash drives don't usually have seek times listed because their seeks times are negligible, even in "computer time" -- since every single bit of the flash memory is hardwired and connected at all times, there's no moving parts to align, so the seek time is comparable to RAM.
     
  6. retorq

    retorq What up bitch??

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    I have my XP based 'Ultimate Boot CD' booting from my flash drive . . .

     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Do tell how you got around the bus-reset problem.
     
  8. Create

    Create :free at last:

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  9. retorq

    retorq What up bitch??

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    I used one of the tuorials for getting BartPE/UBCD to boot on a flash drive. they use a few Windows 2003 server files . . . maybe that's it.
     
  10. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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