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hp pavilion zd7000 notebook - very nice but one problem?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
September 3, 2004 3:41:22 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hey,

I just received my new hp Pavilion zd7000 notebook PC and it can do literally
just about anything. I was sitting out in the woods today 500 feet from the house
(and the Wi-Fi basestation) surfing the internet! Way cool! But there may be an
issue: when I was on the phone with their sales rep trying to configure a machine
just the way I wanted it, I was told it could boot from a external USB or firewire
drive. The User Guide, in fact, mentions something to the effect of, "On some
models, you can also start up from a drive connected to the notebook by USB."
However, a tech support rep told me during an e-mail conversation that it could
not do this. Since then they have been avoiding my direct questions regarding
whether the machine can do this (a feature which was VERY HIGH on my list
of "must haves"). Does anyone have experience with this issue? And, if the BIOS
does not support the capability, can PowerQuest's BootMagic software get around
the problem?


Thanks,

- G
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
September 3, 2004 9:56:41 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

> of "must haves"). Does anyone have experience with this issue? And, if the BIOS
> does not support the capability, can PowerQuest's BootMagic software get around

If the BIOS doesn't support it, then you have to live with it. Boot
manager software requires BIOS support for any drive you intend to
boot. In some cases (e.g. Linux) it would be possible to put the
kernel on the hard drive and everything else on the USB drive, but
that's a bit of a hack.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
September 4, 2004 12:52:51 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

It's not an easy thing to do but as a trained Systems Engineer, I have the required programming
knowledge to pull the latest BIOS, and actually modify the boot firmware adding the ability to
start from a USB or Firewire HDD. Doing this would likely require a considerable amount of
time (on the order of three to six months). Most of this time would be spent having to reverse
engineer an unfamiliar BIOS, then you must become intimately familiar with that particular
implementation.
You don't modify a BIOS unless you know everything there is to know about it. Only then can
you add enhancements such as this. The BIOS is not software but firmware responsible for issuing
the most fundamental commands directly to the chipsets, system busses, prioritize requests from
numerous devices while at the same time making sure all things are done in the precise order
necessary
to ensure each request succeeds, prevent device contention on the bus (a "bus collision"), and most
important
prevent "deadlock" scenarios that can crash the system.

USB and Firewire are, in effect, a direct extension of the system bus into the external world. As
such, BIOS
can detect all such devices like disk drives, issue a request to load the MBR (Master Boot Record)
and if
present can initiate boot from that device just like any internal disk. This is what irks me: if my
$2,000 notebook
can do all sorts of nameless "magic"; then why the hell can't it startup from any bootable device
connected to the
system bus WHICH INCLUDES USB AND FIREWIRE!!!


"Lewin A.R.W. Edwards" <larwe@larwe.com> wrote in message
news:608b6569.0409030456.75798fbc@posting.google.com...
> > of "must haves"). Does anyone have experience with this issue? And, if the BIOS
> > does not support the capability, can PowerQuest's BootMagic software get around
>
> If the BIOS doesn't support it, then you have to live with it. Boot
> manager software requires BIOS support for any drive you intend to
> boot. In some cases (e.g. Linux) it would be possible to put the
> kernel on the hard drive and everything else on the USB drive, but
> that's a bit of a hack.
!