Many current laptops can boot an external floppy or CD/dvd through the USB2.0 port.
Does any of the current laptops let you boot off an external USB 2.0 hard drive?
I'd really like someone with, say a Toshiba Satellite or Tecra M2 to try and confirm this is possible with that model; or an HP 2100Z or any Athlon 64 laptop ( Mitac 8350 aka raptor 64..)
Running without the internal IDE HD and with exernal HD would be a great way to run multiple OS systems with minimum fuss. I have found so far that Intel does support that feature for some of their desktop motherboards ( from this forum, see link http://www.intel.com/update/departments/desktop/dt05011.pdf
The info from different laptop vendors is somewhat murky, with the exception of Toshiba who said all their laptops which boot from USB will boot from HDD. But, I' m a little hesitant to trust the tech guy, couldt find any written confirmation of that fact.
Also saw that the Mitac 8350 ( Ahtlon 64!) has an Insyde BIOS; and that Insyde says their CMOS support boot to USB HDD ( http://www.insydesw.com/solutions/pc/mobilepro.htm
). However the resellers for that Mitac in the US said it doesnt support booting from USB HDD ( I think they just didnt want to bother with the question)...
OK. Any solid confirmation greatly appreciated; best is proof is in the pudding type of answer, but solidly documented answer would be great too.