External SATA Hard drive , is it possible to use it to boot?

Hi, I wanted to play around with Linux, but I do not want to risk problems by installing it on my only pc, I have an Ausumotherboard listed in my sig, and I know that an External SATA connector is in the back on the motherboard, I was wondering where may i find a hard drive that i could use for an external sata connectivity? Im currently using 2 oldie IDE hd's will they work with the external sata if i would like to use it as a backup/temporary storage, will i be able to use an external sata drive to boot linux from it (to tinker a bit with it, and to learn a bit)
asus calls it "SATA on the Go " http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=248&l4=0&model=1198&modelmenu=1

mid page

is this external sata faster than usb2.0?
i never used sata, so im a nobie when it comes to it

Thank You for the help.
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More about external sata hard drive boot
  1. anyone?
  2. I don't know if its possible or not. I would think so since you can boot off of USB with some motherboards.

    Why not just use one of the "live" CD/DVD distros of Linux? Ubuntu and many others have this option to play with.
  3. i wanted to have one drive that i could use only for linux, i tried the live cd versions, but that was only for temporary use, so i was unable to save /load certain things that i would like to work on at a later time, thats why i wanted to try out that sata on the go idea
  4. Should work, I think. I have a different ASUS mobo, an A8R32MVP Deluxe. It has a Silicon Image eSATA controller with its connector on the back panel. I have connected to it an AZIO external case containing a 500GB drive (happens to be a case that uses a SATA II HDD, but the key point is the connection from case to computer is eSATA).

    I have read that you usually need to prepare ahead of time a floppy disk containing the driver for the eSATA controller, using the mobo install disk utilities. Then, to boot from that port, you push the F6 key during boot sequence, which gives you a menu to choose where to find the driver, and you direct it to the floppy containing the driver so it can load. However, I think my mobo makes it even easier.

    Here's how I THINK my mobo handles this. I have set the BIOS to use the eSATA port as non-RAID, just a PATA emulation. Then I set that port as one of the devices in the chain of bootable devices, but lower down so it never actually gets called up. However, when I want to boot from that external drive, all I do is put it at the top of the boot device list in BIOS and reboot, and it seems to find it and use it immediately. It's almost as if the mobo has the drivers for using this port loaded in the BIOS permanently, and does not need anything from floppy, not even the F6 step.
  5. Hi, Thank You for the information, I shall check out that way You described (the one with just switching bios options) , right now I will probably be unable to do so, but next week I will probably try it.

    Thank You
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