Loading an OS onto a flash drive to boot from it is an incredibly stupid idea. It will be MUCH slower than a hard drive. Typical read rates on flash drives don't exceed 25MB/s, where as hard drives get at least 50.... and if it's a SATA hard drive you are comparing, they get about 65-75MB/s read rates. Making a flash drive bootable to INSTALL an operating system from wouldn't be a bad idea... it might be a little bit slower than reading from a CD, but not much.
and also if i wanted to run mozilla firefox off it will this require an OS system on there?
I think you are getting things a little mixed up here. There is a version of firefox called Portable Firefox The idea is that your settings book marks etc are all stored on the drive. You have to run a host OS but you do not need FireFox installed on the PC. Just run it of your USB drive.
There are lots of other portable apps out there.
and if i install an OS.. how much faster will booting and what not be with a flash drive instead of using your hard drive.
You can install an OS to a USB drive. There are several version of linux built for the job such as DSL and Slax. They tend to be small and lean though.
You could in theory install windows to a 4Gb drive but it would not give you any performance boost. Sorry
if i just use the flash drive as my primary main drive. will this blow away a 7200rpm drive?
Only in reducing noise levels
and finally how long does it take to load an OS on one of these drives.
Ok so other then installing linux on one of these 4GB drives.
Whats a main advantage using these...
or what can i RUN from the stick that will give me some sort of a boost?
Main advantage? You can transport your favorite applications anywhere that has a USB drive. Pop Portable Firefox on it and have your bookmarks and settings anywhere, neat eh? I have a 1 GB stick loaded with Firefox, some diagnostic software, and a few other goodies. I basically turned it into a portable computer tech kit.
There's a myriad of uses for a flash drive, you'll have to experiment with it to find what it's useful for you.. Almost anyone can use one for something. Whether it be for transporting documents to and fro, use as a tech kit, or just to load up some pictures for whatever reason. Experiment with it a bit and see what's useful for you. But, don't plan on installing an OS (Unless it's Linux) on it and expect blazing speed. Don't try to install a game either, unless it's like Starcraft.
Handy little Wikipedia link on portable software you can use: here
Oh, and if you want to be creative you can pop your paging file or your prefetch folder on there to see if it boosts performance any. I doubt it might not be a enormous boost, due to the fact that flash has insanely slow write speeds compared to a hard drive. Might come in handy though if you put a 1 GB paging file there and a 1 GB on your hard drive, since you'll be writing to and from two sources.
I need to experiment with this, this sounds like an interesting idea..
Sorta, in Vista you're supposed to be able to use Flash Boost (I'm not 100% sure on the name) to connect USB flash drives and use it as system memory. It's not perfect though, since flash memory is inherently slower then system memory in both reading and writing. In theory, the flash memory should help out a system with insufficient memory, but to have 2 GB of system memory would be far better then 1 GB of memory and a 1 GB flash drive. Though, it may help out in those instances where you'll need gobs of memory for memory hungry apps. I don't know though, I haven't tested it first hand and the results would vary according to how fast the flash memory is and how powerful your system is.
But, erm, as you asked it'll seem like you have "5 GB" system memory if you plugged that 4 GB flash drive in. As I said before though, it really won't be like having 5 GB of system memory.
Greetings everyone. I'm a new member here, and the only reason that I've joined this board is an issue I'm been having for last few days with my mp3 player.
Here's what's happening. The player WORKS. There's no doubt about that. I'm able to play music, connect it to PC... sweet
When I go to my workplace and try to connect the player on PC there, this is what happens:
1 - The computer recognizes new ...'''USB mass storage device...''
2 - That green arrow pops up in the systray and I'm able to hear that ''blup!'' sound
3 - When I open up ''my computer'' icon, I'm unable to see the device!
So, it seems like that PC recognizes the device and connects it, but, for some reason, it doesn't make it available for me to access it. I assume
that it is some kind of a security restriction set by administrator...
I've tried to right click my computer icon and then selected ''manage'' option but it got me nowhere.
The problem could be related to the number of mapped network drives that you have at work. Many of the USB devices will only install to drives A: - G:. Since by default the drive mappings start after C: you end with only drives D: - G: available. If you can un-map the D: drive and then insert the USB drive, you will be able to see it.
A trick I have used is to do the above, then use the drive manager and assign the USB drive to the B: dirve (originally a floppy, but that's sort of what this is replacing right?) and then reconnect the normal network drives.
got a question here, i'm trying to update the bios, and i don't have a floppy drive. i was wondering if i can update it fro the drive. update directionts say that i need to make a system boot disk and then add the update files to it and run run them after it boots from the folppy. any idea on how to do it from a flash drive. i got a 1gb u3 drive if that helps.
I'm not an expert on this one but most modern motherboards come with utilities that allow you to flash the bios from within windows. So long as you take sensible precuations like closing other applications it tends to work ok.
Some motherboard (Abit I believe amongst others) alow you to flash from a USB device directly. Check the docs for your model and you might be in luck. Not all do.
Lastly you can sometimes flash bios from a boot CD. There are a few guides out there on the web that explain this better than I can.
i know. i have a MSI board that lets you flash from windows, but this a cheap ASRock board, and on their site its says you have to use floppy, but i was doing a search and i found a way to do it, i'm gonna give it a try, but thanx anyway
Save yourselves a lot of headaches and never flash the BIOS from within Windows. Newer boards can recover from a botched BIOS flash done from within Windows, but flashing from a floppy presents much less risk of the flash failing. No freezing, no blue screens.... the only risk is that the power will go out...