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Old 07-01-2013, 08:30   #1
WiskyT
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Booting From External HDD w/USB3.0

Hey all. My Lattitude 600 seems to have outlived it's usefulness. I can't get any power to it and it doesn't seem like it's worth spending money and time on resolving with new, superior, machines being so cheap.

I am leaning towards this:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Lenovo+-...&skuId=8814652

I want to get an enclosure for the HDD from my old laptop so I can recover the pictures and to use it as an external HDD. The Lenovo I'm looking at has USB 3.0 and they make enclosures that utilize USB 3.0.

Since the HDD has a properly functioning OS consisting of Ubuntu 12.04 using Lubuntu extras and LXDE, could I boot the new laptop from the external HDD and run it like it was my old computer when I felt like it? Would it be as simple as setting the BIOS to boot from the USB 3.0 port and booting it up? Would a computer running a HDD through USB 3.0 be reasonably fast for web browsing?

I think 99% of the time I would just run the Win8 thsat comes on the laptop, but it would be nice at times to just plug in the old HDD and boot up and have my old machine there.

Even if it is not a simple matter to boot from the external HDD, should I still get a USB 3.0 enclosure? Will USB 3.0 devices work on other machines we have that don't have 3.0?
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:10   #2
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Usually to boot from an external storage device you have to change the boot device order in the BIOS, or check your computer's manual for which F key, F12 for some PC's, to hit at boot to bring up the load boot device option screen.

You may run into a boot problem if the new PC is not an exact clone hardware wise of the old PC when booting to the external hard drive for the first time. The old OS will have to load all of the drivers and such for the new PC's hardware. Don't know about a Linux OS, but a Windows OS sometimes chokes horribly when this happens. You end up with a mess in Windows because of this and are forced to spend time finding and downloading/installing the correct drivers. Sometimes the old Windows OS will throw an error and simply fail to load even in safe mode on the new PC. For Windows its generally better to reload the OS from scratch rather than try to use the old OS on the new (different hardware) PC. Hopefully with Linux you won't have that problem.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:23   #3
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Thanks. So, in general terms it should work. I know enough to know how to set the boot order in BIOS. As you pointed out, there may be issues and they may or may not be worth tinkering with, but it's not like I'm going to be trying to run a gasoline engine on diesel.

Now I just have to see if they make a PATA enclosure that has USB 3.0. The PATA ones on Newegg are all 2.0 and I'm wondering if there is a reason for that.

Do you know if a typical 2.0 enclosure is fast enough to avoid long pasues and delays in booting up? I installed linux once on a cheapo USB stick just to play around with it and it would take 10 minutes to boot up. That may have been a function of the $6.00 walmart USB stick more than the 2.0 interface.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:55   #4
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The read/write speed on some USB flash drives (USB sticks) are incredibly slow. Sandisk Cruzer's flash drives are notorious for this.

The boot speed of the OS is generally dependent on the drivers and other items it has to load. Would an external drive slow the boot down even more? Probably, there are hardware chipset issues that could affect the USB speed across the motherboard internals. Only way to know for sure on your PC is to try it and see if the boot speed from the external device is acceptable to you.

It appears that Newegg has several IDE USB 3.0 External enclosures/adapters. Check to ensure your new PC actually has USB 3.0 ports. If not, you don't gain anything by going to USB 3.0 at this point other than future proof if you buy a newer PC that has USB 3.0 ports.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:24   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhaven View Post
The read/write speed on some USB flash drives (USB sticks) are incredibly slow. Sandisk Cruzer's flash drives are notorious for this.

The boot speed of the OS is generally dependent on the drivers and other items it has to load. Would an external drive slow the boot down even more? Probably, there are hardware chipset issues that could affect the USB speed across the motherboard internals. Only way to know for sure on your PC is to try it and see if the boot speed from the external device is acceptable to you.

It appears that Newegg has several IDE USB 3.0 External enclosures/adapters. Check to ensure your new PC actually has USB 3.0 ports. If not, you don't gain anything by going to USB 3.0 at this point other than future proof if you buy a newer PC that has USB 3.0 ports.
Thank you. Your Newegg foo is stronger than mine. I was looking at enclosures only because I didn't know about the adaptors. I don't need the HDD to be enclosed anyway since I'm not going to carry it around with me. I can keep enough pictures of my kids on a USB stick to annoy people with. I'm not going to be ripping Gone with the Wind onto my 40gig HD and travel with it. An adaptor that I can just lay on the floor next to my tower will do just fine and those cover SATA as well which I'm sure I will have some use for at some point.

The LT I'm looking at has two 3.0 ports which I thought was pretty good for a cheapo machine. All the other machines in our house are 2.0 but I guess the stuff is downward compatible?
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:48   #6
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Yes, USB 3.0 devices/ports are downward compatible to USB 2.0 and USB 1.1.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:19   #7
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Quote:
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Yes, USB 3.0 devices/ports are downward compatible to USB 2.0 and USB 1.1.
Thank you for all of the info.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:31   #8
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Some enclosures get poor reviews. One USB 3.0 one I found good is made by Sabrent. I've seen them for 2.5" laptop drives. Sabrent also makes a decent 2.5" and 3.5" docking station that's not too expensive. I have a couple of 2.5" Sabrent USB 3.0 enclosures with different versions of Linux loaded in them.
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Old 07-01-2013, 13:02   #9
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Posted from a Dell e6400 using an Seagate external drive for boot running Fedora.

USB2 is no issue.
Moving the drive from one computer to another; Maybe it is possible, maybe it is impossible and I just can't do it.
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Old 07-01-2013, 16:39   #10
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Sorry for flitting around like this, but I have an emachines T2080 that runs and I use it for internet radio and hulu in my reloading room. I run Ubuntu 12.04 with Lubuntu extras LXDE etc. It has an extra cable for a slave drive and it is IDE. Can I just plug in the HDD from the Latitude 600 and recover the stuff from there? I could then reformat it and just use it as a D drive or whatever Ubuntu would call it. Can I just plug it in like that or is there more to it?

I'm just curious about my various options:

1) Enclosure and either use it as a bootable drive or just a portable 40G storage device.

2) Adaptor and basically the same options, but the adaptor would be more flexible for other HDD types that I will inevitably have when other machines die down the road.

3) Just plug it into my old desktop and use it as additional storage, which I really don't need because I've had it for 10 years and prolly only have 30G used on a 320G drive.

With all three options, I can recover the stuff I have on there which is desirable, but none of which is critical.
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Old 07-01-2013, 18:18   #11
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Scratch option #3, the connector on my desktop is nothing like the connector on the 2.5 HDD.
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Old 07-01-2013, 21:04   #12
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Is the 2.5" drive IDE ATA or SATA?
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Old 07-01-2013, 21:06   #13
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I have a dual adapter but I think is USB 2.0. Many USB 3.0 enclosures have issues where even many of the cheapest USB 2.0 enclosures usually work.
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Old 07-02-2013, 15:19   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIockGuy24 View Post
Is the 2.5" drive IDE ATA or SATA?
The way I understand it, they are both IDE. The LT is 2.5" IDE and the DT is 3.5 IDE. I took the 2.5"drive out and I can't see where it says one way or the other.

I'll look for pictures online to help ID it.
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Old 07-02-2013, 15:21   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIockGuy24 View Post
I have a dual adapter but I think is USB 2.0. Many USB 3.0 enclosures have issues where even many of the cheapest USB 2.0 enclosures usually work.
Well, that's going to clinch it for me. I'd rather have a reliable 2.0 than roll the dice with a 3.0. I found a$10.00 Sabrent enclosure on Amazon and I'm going to pull the trigger in a day or so.
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Old 07-02-2013, 15:24   #16
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The 2.5" is IDE based on this pic I found online:

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Old 07-02-2013, 18:12   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiskyT View Post
The way I understand it, they are both IDE. The LT is 2.5" IDE and the DT is 3.5 IDE. I took the 2.5"drive out and I can't see where it says one way or the other.

I'll look for pictures online to help ID it.
I think it would be difficult to find a USB 3.0 enclosure for the older IDE drives.
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Old 07-02-2013, 18:15   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiskyT View Post
The way I understand it, they are both IDE. The LT is 2.5" IDE and the DT is 3.5 IDE. I took the 2.5"drive out and I can't see where it says one way or the other.

I'll look for pictures online to help ID it.
2.5 and 3.5" IDE drives have different interfaces. 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives have similar interfaces, similar to each other.
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Old 07-02-2013, 19:12   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIockGuy24 View Post
I think it would be difficult to find a USB 3.0 enclosure for the older IDE drives.
Yeah, I've decided to keep it simple. I don't need more storage, I don't need a bootable external drive, I don't need to buy a $30.00 set of adaptors for various future scenarios now. I'll get the simple $10.00 one that does what I need. Then, I'll play around with it and see what I can make out of it. If all I get out of it is the recovery of the stuff on the drive, it's worth $10.00. If I end up with a OS and all my stuff on something that fits in my back pocket, great.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:59   #20
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I got my Sabrent enclosure and was able to get the data out of the drive. At first, the green diode came on but the drive didn't show up, but I reconnected the IDE interface and it showed up right away. I guess my reluctance to force things resulted in me not having it pushed on all the way. At any rate, the thing works great.

Now, I want to format the drive to make it just storage. What type of file system should I use to make it the most useful in terms of connecting it to different machines? I'm not necessarliy interested in the finer points of high speed performance, I just want it to work in any OS I pop it into including, possibly, my wife's Honda minivan. I might fill it with music and use it as a music library and a handy way to bring pictures and video when we travel. It might get plugged into WIn, Apple or Linux machines.
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