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OS boot from a USB

  1. Aug 28, 2013 #1
    I would like to buy a USB HDD, e.g http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Transce...lack/3930191.p?id=1218443230635&skuId=3930191
    but my experience with USB HDD is limited after one USB HDD (LogicGate) of mine failed to re-operate suddenly and I lost all of my data; and I have never tried out any more USB HDDs since then.

    Do you have any advice for me in using a USB HDD to store an OS and have it booted from there ? Like normal lager HDs in most desktop computers ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2013 #2
    A USB hard drive is invariably an ATA drive of some kind in a case with a USB adaptor. If you know what kind of drive is inside the case, its reliability will be the same in a USB case or inside a desktop case. The only difference is that the extra step of going through USB will likely limit the speed of the drive.

    Is this USB 2 or 3? Is it a 3.5 inch drive, or 2.5? If 2.5 or smaller, is it bus powered?
  4. Aug 30, 2013 #3
    Thank you :biggrin: it is USB 3 (2.5" sold at $89.99)
  5. Sep 2, 2013 #4


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    This will work for Mac's, but for Windows, it is not usually done to try to boot from USB drives.
  6. Sep 3, 2013 #5
    PCs can't boot from USB? Seriously? I'm actually booting from USB 2 right now due to a busted firewire port. System runs fine, but I assume things could be faster.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  7. Sep 3, 2013 #6


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    I didn't say it wouldn't work--but the USB drive's version of Windows probably only works with that particular CPU and hardware. Whereas with a Mac, for example, you could take it to another computer and still use it to boot from. Given that USB drives are often slower, I would not recommend it as a way to boot Windows.
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