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External HDD As Main HDD For Old Laptop?

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September 25, 2010 8:57:53 PM

Hey,

A few months ago the laptop I was useing for basic useage took a dump with its HDD. It was useing a IDE HDD so I went onto ebay to find out that a small 80GB laptop IDE drive costs over £35-£40 on average. (used too!!)

Instead of this, can I use any old external HDD as a main OS for a laptop with the following specs:

CPU: Pentium M 1.76Ghz
RAM: 1GB DDR2

Now, I've heard that USB is not the best option to go for as a main OS, but the laptop has no e-SATA port so its my only money-saving option. Seen as the laptop CPU is not really THAT powerfull, would it matter if it was loading things from an external HDD useing USB? (I hope its USB2!) The laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1300. If this will work, then I'll go buy a seperate box for £6 at my local store and use an old 80GB drive I have from my old PC.

Thanks!
a c 342 G Storage
September 26, 2010 3:23:45 AM

That's a definite MAYBE! The dilemma is that not all BIOS's can boot up from a USB device. Windows generally can NOT boot from a USB device, so the BIOS has to take over the USB system and make an external HDD appear to be an internal unit (either IDE or SATA) that the OS can understand and boot from. Some BIOS's can do this, some cannot. See if you can find out about your laptop's ability to boot from an external USB drive.
September 26, 2010 10:38:22 PM

Paperdoc said:
That's a definite MAYBE! The dilemma is that not all BIOS's can boot up from a USB device. Windows generally can NOT boot from a USB device, so the BIOS has to take over the USB system and make an external HDD appear to be an internal unit (either IDE or SATA) that the OS can understand and boot from. Some BIOS's can do this, some cannot. See if you can find out about your laptop's ability to boot from an external USB drive.


Yup, I know this already, the bios does have an option to boot via USB, thats why I asked the question to find out how well it would work. Most people always turn down the idea, but I've noticed they are usealy asked for on powerful desktop machines, and not slower laptops.

So, is that a yes?
a c 342 G Storage
September 27, 2010 12:55:30 AM

Should work then, I guess. It certainly is true that the USB-connected HDD will not be as fast as an internal, and yes, I do think you could notice that on the slightly older slower processor that you have. However, for the $$ saved you seem quite willing to put up with that factor.
!