Can I boot my laptop from a bootable thumb drive ?

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

It is a gateway 450sx4

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 ;)

Question by:TIMFOX123
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    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

    And this is the link I used to create the bootable thumbdrive.
    LVL 35

    Expert Comment

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    Author Comment

    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.

    LVL 35

    Accepted Solution

    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:
    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.

    Author Closing Comment

    It does not boot usb

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