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USB Hard Disk???

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  • irlandes
    I have been pondering this issue of having a large HD, and installing multiple distros, instead of having to dump a distro for some problem with limited time
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 29, 2005
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      I have been pondering this issue of having a large HD, and installing
      multiple distros, instead of having to dump a distro for some problem
      with limited time to fix, such as with CentOs 4 and SuSe Pro 9.2 which
      would not run KPPP.

      I have a Dell Inspiron 2650. Is there any reason I can't get an
      external USB HD and do this?

      I assume I can set up the boot loader to find the distros on the USB HD.
      I don't know that from experience, but it sure seems obvious that if the
      computer can see the HD it can run distros from the boot loader in the
      main HD.

      The only other question is, will the Power Supply in a Dell Laptop
      handle the USB HD? This assumes they take power from the laptop; I
      really have little knowledge of this sort of Hardware, so this is a
      guess. I am in the mountains of Mexico, so I can't just run to the local
      Best Buy and look at them.


      Or, do they make USB HD with their own power supplies?

      Another advantage of such a HD is that it will work on future computers,
      and cost much less than another computer. I don't know how long a USB
      HD should last, but I decided I don't want to wait until I can afford a
      new computer to try this.

      Thanks for any advice.
    • Douglas S. Oliver
      Hi Irlandes, I know that on my i8600 I can boot from a USB device. It s one of the options using the f12 key at boot. However, I have only booted into Windows
      Message 2 of 2 , May 2, 2005
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        Hi Irlandes, I know that on my i8600 I can boot from a USB device. It's
        one of the options using the f12 key at boot. However, I have only
        booted into Windows in this way. I think that the trick would be to
        prepare your fstab file on the USB drive to reference the USB drive.
        Grub setup should use the fstab file on the USB drive. When you boot to
        the USB drive, the boot process should look for a boot loader on that
        drive, not your main hard drive. Have Grub or Lilo place the boot loader
        there (the USB drive). In Grub or Lilo you can call any bootable partition.

        I have not tried this yet, but I think that's how it should work.
        Remember that a normal setup will be looking for the root directory on
        hd(x), so things will get confused if fstab doesn't know to find root on
        the USB drive.

        I use a "disk caddy" that I just stick a hard drive into. I have a
        couple and each came with its own power supply. The Maxtor USB drives
        I've seen also have their own power supply. Your battery would drain
        pretty quickly any other way. When I travel, I use an $11 single outlet
        surge suppressor from Radio Shack and 3 or 6 outlet extension cord.
        You'll need room for power supplies.

        Good luck, and let us know how it all works for you. I have a couple of
        hard drives laying around just waiting for me to test this on myself. I
        just don't have the time right now.

        -- Douglas

        irlandes wrote:

        >I have been pondering this issue of having a large HD, and installing
        >multiple distros, instead of having to dump a distro for some problem
        >with limited time to fix, such as with CentOs 4 and SuSe Pro 9.2 which
        >would not run KPPP.
        >
        >I have a Dell Inspiron 2650. Is there any reason I can't get an
        >external USB HD and do this?
        >
        >I assume I can set up the boot loader to find the distros on the USB HD.
        >I don't know that from experience, but it sure seems obvious that if the
        >computer can see the HD it can run distros from the boot loader in the
        >main HD.
        >
        >The only other question is, will the Power Supply in a Dell Laptop
        >handle the USB HD? This assumes they take power from the laptop; I
        >really have little knowledge of this sort of Hardware, so this is a
        >guess. I am in the mountains of Mexico, so I can't just run to the local
        >Best Buy and look at them.
        >
        >
        >Or, do they make USB HD with their own power supplies?
        >
        >Another advantage of such a HD is that it will work on future computers,
        >and cost much less than another computer. I don't know how long a USB
        >HD should last, but I decided I don't want to wait until I can afford a
        >new computer to try this.
        >
        >Thanks for any advice.
        >
        >
        >
        >
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