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theoretically, could you run a pc using only a thumb drive (with os)

i dont know a whole lot about drives. if i tried to do this would it be really slow?
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More about theoretically run thumb drive
  1. It's called a LiveUSB. Most linux distributions are installed from one, and MS now allows you to do it with Win8 Enterprise.

    Not particularly slow, but it depends on the drive.
  2. You can even get usb drive that you plug into your computer that turn it int a smart tv for like 10 bucks.
  3. I'm not sure what you mean by "only" but you can kind of use a thumb drive to replace a hard drive in some cases...you still need ram and all the rest of the regular stuff
  4. yeah i just mean using it as your only hard drive. so i could just get a 32g 3.0, install an os on it, and not even have an internal hdd?
  5. Yup. Done it before.

    You'll still need the rest of the bits, but can be HDD (and SSD)-free.

    Note that Windows will refuse to install to an HDD USB-attached storage devices (including thumb drives and external HDDs), with the exception of 8 Enterprise. You'd want to go the Linux route.
  6. yes but it's going to pale in comparison to a SSD in a SATA i assume?
  7. MalakiArtook said:
    yes but it's going to pale in comparison to a SSD in a SATA i assume?


    ok but would it be as good or better than my old 5400rpm ata?
  8. Best answer
    Not sure. Probably about the same, but depends on how good the drive is.
  9. Someone Somewhere said:
    Yup. Done it before.

    You'll still need the rest of the bits, but can be HDD (and SSD)-free.

    Note that Windows will refuse to install to an HDD, with the exception of 8 Enterprise. You'd want to go the Linux route.


    was that a typo? did u mean thumb drive? you cant install windows onto a thumb drive?
  10. Someone Somewhere said:
    Yup. Done it before.

    You'll still need the rest of the bits, but can be HDD (and SSD)-free.

    Note that Windows will refuse to install to an HDD, with the exception of 8 Enterprise. You'd want to go the Linux route.


    was that a typo? did u mean thumb drive? you cant install windows onto a thumb drive?
  11. you arent replying. still curious. gonna reword in a new thread.
  12. Sorry, got sidetracked.

    You can't install Windows on a thumb drive/USB stick, unless it's Windows 8 Enterprise.

    However, you can install most versions of Linux on a thumb drive/USB stick.
  13. Someone Somewhere said:
    Sorry, got sidetracked.

    You can't install Windows on a thumb drive/USB stick, unless it's Windows 8 Enterprise.

    However, you can install most versions of Linux on a thumb drive/USB stick.


    bummer
  14. Someone Somewhere said:
    Sorry, got sidetracked.

    You can't install Windows on a thumb drive/USB stick, unless it's Windows 8 Enterprise.

    However, you can install most versions of Linux on a thumb drive/USB stick.


    Sorry to kind of derail this thread but I was just curious. What constitutes a HDD to the windows installer? How does it tell a USB drive from a HDD? Would a external HDD not be counted because its plugged into the USB ports?
  15. USB drives use different drivers, and it's fairly easy for Windows to tell them apart.

    External HDDs are no-go too, by memory. It won't install onto a USB Mass Storage Device. Might do a UASP drive, though. Not sure.
  16. mouse24 said:
    Someone Somewhere said:
    Sorry, got sidetracked.

    You can't install Windows on a thumb drive/USB stick, unless it's Windows 8 Enterprise.

    However, you can install most versions of Linux on a thumb drive/USB stick.


    Sorry to kind of derail this thread but I was just curious. What constitutes a HDD to the windows installer? How does it tell a USB drive from a HDD? Would a external HDD not be counted because its plugged into the USB ports?


    It knows.
  17. Someone Somewhere said:
    It's called a LiveUSB. Most linux distributions are installed from one, and MS now allows you to do it with Win8 Enterprise.

    Not particularly slow, but it depends on the drive.


    is windows 8 enterprise super expensive?
  18. spoofer2 said:
    Someone Somewhere said:
    It's called a LiveUSB. Most linux distributions are installed from one, and MS now allows you to do it with Win8 Enterprise.

    Not particularly slow, but it depends on the drive.


    is windows 8 enterprise super expensive?


    Yes. And you can only buy it if you have a Volume License agreement with MS. Which you don't have.
  19. Needs to be Volume Licensing. Which means you're looking at buying lots of keys at once.
  20. If you have an IDE drive you could just grab a converter for about 10 bucks.

    Be a lot faster than that flash drive too. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812232004
  21. USAFRet said:
    spoofer2 said:
    Someone Somewhere said:
    It's called a LiveUSB. Most linux distributions are installed from one, and MS now allows you to do it with Win8 Enterprise.

    Not particularly slow, but it depends on the drive.


    is windows 8 enterprise super expensive?


    Yes. And you can only buy it if you have a Volume License agreement with MS. Which you don't have.


    you dont know that! but good guess
  22. ok so now that we've exhausted first topic, anyone know how fast usb 3.0 is compared to my old 5400rpm ata's?
  23. Probably better I/Os, but worse sequential performance, particularly on write. Depends on the stick more than the interface.
  24. im just looking for the most cost effective way to put extra storage on my unit that will be faster than my ata's.
  25. Just get a SATA drive.
  26. Someone Somewhere said:
    Probably better I/Os, but worse sequential performance, particularly on write. Depends on the stick more than the interface.


    interesting. umm...can you give me a short splanation on i/0 seq. per., and read/write. hard drive specs have always confused me.
  27. spoofer2 said:
    ok so now that we've exhausted first topic, anyone know how fast usb 3.0 is compared to my old 5400rpm ata's?


    It really depends on the drive. I don't think it will be really noticeable though. I went from a 20MB/s IDE (whopping 80gb) to this 1tb samsung spinpoint F3 which usually hits around 100MB/s ... Didn't notice any change at all in speeds.

    Maybe I'm just a bad test case as I can't tell the difference between running a lightweight linux distro on a flash drive that hits a consistent 5MB/s vs this spinpoint drive.
  28. mouse24 said:
    If you have an IDE drive you could just grab a converter for about 10 bucks.

    Be a lot faster than that flash drive too. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812232004


    this might be a dumb ? but could i just get a usb-to-sata converter and run windows from the thumb drive that way?
  29. i found this in a thread on anandtech
    "As to something similar to what you want, some good motherboard chip-sets allow you to do what you want without extra hardware. Those chipsets that have a inbuilt USB host controllers have the option to boot from what is called USB-Floppy and USB-HDD. Not exactly sure on how they differ, but the bios then displays the attached USB drive as if it was on a floppy or normal HDD controller."
    the mobo im getting has this feature. is this a solution?
  30. Nope, most drives mount as USB-HDD. It just means that they use a partition table intended for HDDs (IIRC), instead of the one-partition system of CDs and floppies.
  31. Someone Somewhere said:
    Nope, most drives mount as USB-HDD. It just means that they use a partition table intended for HDDs (IIRC), instead of the one-partition system of CDs and floppies.


    what about this question:

    this might be a dumb ? but could i just get a usb-to-sata converter and run windows from the thumb drive that way?
  32. OK...now that we know you're buying other parts (motherboard)...the most cost efficient solution is to simply get a regular SATA spinning drive. 1TB or so.

    Anything else is just a kluge, and will be slower.
    And the 32GB flash drive you mentioned earlier is simply too small for a Windows install. It will install, just barely. But there will be no room for anything else.
  33. USAFRet said:
    OK...now that we know you're buying other parts (motherboard)...the most cost efficient solution is to simply get a regular SATA spinning drive. 1TB or so.

    Anything else is just a kluge, and will be slower.
    And the 32GB flash drive you mentioned earlier is simply too small for a Windows install. It will install, just barely. But there will be no room for anything else.


    i just really like the idea using a thumb drive to run windows bcuz i i already have one and it would be faster than my old ata's. would the usb to sata adapter idea solve the problem?
  34. USAFRet said:
    OK...now that we know you're buying other parts (motherboard)...the most cost efficient solution is to simply get a regular SATA spinning drive. 1TB or so.

    Anything else is just a kluge, and will be slower.
    And the 32GB flash drive you mentioned earlier is simply too small for a Windows install. It will install, just barely. But there will be no room for anything else.


    i would use my other drives for storage
  35. USAFRet said:
    mouse24 said:
    Someone Somewhere said:
    Sorry, got sidetracked.

    You can't install Windows on a thumb drive/USB stick, unless it's Windows 8 Enterprise.

    However, you can install most versions of Linux on a thumb drive/USB stick.


    Sorry to kind of derail this thread but I was just curious. What constitutes a HDD to the windows installer? How does it tell a USB drive from a HDD? Would a external HDD not be counted because its plugged into the USB ports?


    It knows.


    earlier you brought this up about how the problem is the usb platform...would the usb sata adapter bypass it recognizing it as a usb?
  36. Which direction? Plugs into a USB port with a SATA socket, or plugs into the MB SATA port with a USB host port? The latter might work, but I don't know if they actually make them.

    Get a spinning platter.
  37. lol, you guys want me to get a new hd i get it. my whole m-o with this though was using what i have and not spending $ - i am impoverished!
  38. Someone Somewhere said:
    Which direction? Plugs into a USB port with a SATA socket, or plugs into the MB SATA port with a USB host port? The latter might work, but I don't know if they actually make them.

    Get a spinning platter.


    the adapter would be in between the mobo and the thumb drive, connected to a sata port
  39. Yeah, but getting the gear needed to do this (either Win8 Enterprise or a USB>SATA converter (if it exists)) could well be more expensive than a $40 HDD.

    Or there's this option, which is free, and will work fine on a 32GB USB drive.
  40. ok ok. thank you guys for your help...it really is appreciated. i'm going to try the adapter idea and see if its recognized as just another hdd.
  41. I don't think you can even get such a thing - most are the other way around. Link?
  42. 99+% of those will be the wrong way round. They assume you want to connect a SATA drive via an external USB port.
  43. Quote:
    This is an easy way to connect an external SATA I, II or III hard drive to any type of computers


    Nope.
  44. Someone Somewhere said:
    Quote:
    This is an easy way to connect an external SATA I, II or III hard drive to any type of computers


    Nope.


    would this work

    http://www.ebay.com/bhp/esata-male-to-usb-female
  45. Almost certainly not. That looks like it's designed to allow you to use both the eSATA and USB halves of an eSATAp connector at the same time.
  46. This might work, I don't take an responsibility if it doesn't work though. I was gonna use one to install windows on an old D600. I just said screw it and installed linux on a flash drive instead.

    (SD to Sata) http://www.amazon.com/Uoften-Adapter-Converter-Supports-Capacity/dp/B00F5LCZR0

    (SD to IDE) http://www.amazon.com/Micro-SATA-Cables-Adapter-Converter/dp/B0085BCWAW
  47. mouse24 said:
    This might work, I don't take an responsibility if it doesn't work though. I was gonna use one to install windows on an old D600. I just said screw it and installed linux on a flash drive instead.

    (SD to Sata) http://www.amazon.com/Uoften-Adapter-Converter-Supports-Capacity/dp/B00F5LCZR0

    (SD to IDE) http://www.amazon.com/Micro-SATA-Cables-Adapter-Converter/dp/B0085BCWAW


    brilliant. thanks.
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