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Can a usb external CD drive be used as a boot drive for a Windows 98SE Install CD

Can a usb external CD drive be used as a boot drive for a Windows 98SE Install CD? An internal IDE drive can be but I am not so sure about the external Usb one. BTW the PC says No Boot Device at the end of the BIOS display after the HD clicks a lot. If it need to boot to Windows to install the CD driver we are in trouble. On other occasions it says I/O error instead of No Boot Device.

Mike
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mgross333
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mgross333
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3 Solutions
 
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
As with so many things in computers ... it depends :-)     If the BIOS has a "USB Boot" option, it should work.   If not, it won't.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... Note:   The "USB Boot"  (or "Boot from USB" or however it's worded, which is different in different BIOS's) option is often NOT on the same page as the boot order settings -- so look around a bit in the BIOS Setup program to see if you can find it.
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jaakovsCommented:
Also note, that if your system supports USB 2.0, you might want to play with the setting in the BIOS that designates the USB speed (1.1/2.0, or Hi and Full-speed USB). If the external drive is old, you might want to set the BIOS setting into 1.1 mode for maximum compability.
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mgross333Author Commented:
PC supports ONLY usb1.1, while usb CD-drive is brand new supporting usb 2 and 1.1. Do you see any problems with that other than garycase's Bios issue above?

Mike
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
USB version won't matter -- it will just run at v1.1 transfer speed (SLOW).
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scrathcyboyCommented:
Only if you have USB DOS support available in the BIOS.  WIthout USB support at the boot level, the answer is NO - unless you plan on really booting from a floppy with USB drivers on it, so you are not really booting from the USB drive in that case.  Look at your BIOS, that will tell you if this is possible.
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chiingliangCommented:
depends on bios. can try boot as zip disc and see.
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chiingliangCommented:
oh.. its for installing 98se... try this trick:

get another hard disk, small size will do.

use another pc to format it and make it bootable
copy the content of 98se cd to a folder.

put the hard disk into the target pc, install the drive as secondary master.

change the bios boot sequence to secondary master first.

boot into dos, goto the folder. type 'xmsmmgr' then 'setup'


tada...

infact.. some old pc can boot using usb thumb drive, using 'zip drive' as boot in bios.
copy the cd content into the thumb drive. and install from there.
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prasanna_lakkundiCommented:
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mgross333Author Commented:
The usb external CD does support 98SE. Driver is loaded from internet. However that is for after Windows comes up. For using it to boot from and install Windows, I will first try Garycase's advice as it is the simplest idea. The other responses are more complicated and will only be used if Garycase's idea fails.
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mgross333Author Commented:
BIOS does not have Garycase's "Boot from usb" option or similar. I just realized I can buy a IDE CD-ROM drive from CompUSA, reinstall Windows on a the HD using this drive, return the CD drive to Compusa for full refund, and then install the USB external CD burner for long term use. (The case has no optical bays but with the case cover removed I can temporarily use the IDE CD-rom drive). That compusa gives full refund on opened items makes this possible. It is also a reason CompUSA has higher prices than are available on the internet.

Mike
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