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Can I boot my laptop from a bootable thumb drive ?

Posted on 2009-12-17
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06

It is a gateway 450sx4

http://support.gateway.com/s/Mobile/Gateway/450SX4/3501271sp2.shtml

The hard drive and "sled" are missing.  The cost of both is too muich for this brick.

Can I usb boot ?  If not, is there something pcmcia I can boot from ?  


Booting from CD rom ( knoppix ) is slow and I can not write to it.   It would be good to
just put in some memory of some type and be good.  


I picked up the laptop for free ;)

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Question by:TIMFOX123
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Expert Comment

by:alienvoice
ID: 26076154
Yup you can boot from a usb device, just depends on which linux flavour you want to boot from. I boot fedora 11 from 2 gig thumbdrive.

Thumbdrive I use is below

http://www.transcendusa.com/products/ModDetail.asp?ModNo=107

And this is the link I used to create the bootable thumbdrive.

https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator/
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Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 26076333
Please check out these two additional offers:
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
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Author Comment

by:TIMFOX123
ID: 26080026
I have a usb key that I boot my desktop on.  I tried it on the laptop and tried the usual bios settings and f12 boot selections and can not boot from usb.  

I am thinking that is has usb but not usb boot on the old laptop.  Wonder if I bios flash will fix this gateway.  

I created a usb key manually and used easypeasy.  Both worked on the desktop.

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torimar earned 2000 total points
ID: 26080258
Depends on how old this laptop actually is. I see that it has USB 1.1 - so it must be pre-2002/2003.
It is doubtful that at that time USB already was available as a boot option.

You could try the BIOS upgrade, there is one available here: http://support.gateway.com/support/drivers/search.asp?st=pn¶m=3501271
But does the laptop have a working floppy drive? You would need one, otherwise no BIOS flash.

If all fails, you will have just discovered why the notebook was free.
On the other hand, if it's fine otherwise, and you like it, consider trying to get a small used laptop HDD for a couple of bucks. There must be places who take apart old laptops and sell the components. If there is a university in your town, contact their hardware lab / student's ahrdware service. They might be able to help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:TIMFOX123
ID: 31667559
It does not boot usb
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