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2003 Feb 28 13:04

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Re: [vox-tech] booting off an external hard drive
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Re: [vox-tech] booting off an external hard drive

On Fri, Feb 28, 2003 at 10:42:07AM -0800, ME wrote:
> Jennifer Stickel said:
> > I was wondering if anyone knows if you can boot
> > off an external hard drive either connected via the firewire or through
> > a SCSI card in a PCMCIA card slot?
> For the most part, choice of boot devices is controlled by the BIOS. I
> have seen laptops that support booting from PCMCIA devices, a NIC, HD,
> floppy, CD-ROM, zip disk, etc.
> Often you can examine the BIOS settings by entering setup on your machine.

  I second ME, it's upto the BIOS what devices are bootable...

> > If not, is it possible to just have
> > a "skeleton" of Linux on the internal hard drive and have most of the
> > programs and files on the external one?
> Beyond the above, you may be able to create a special boot disk that loads
> a kernel with args and driver support for an extra device, such that after
> the kernel is loaded, it is able to mount an external device as its root -
> effectivley permitting you to do a two-step boot into a device not
> supported in BIOS as a boot device. Of course this means using that
> specially created disk (or whatever) when you want to boot the system to
> the unsupported device.

  While ME seems to be talking about building a special floppy or
CD disk here, there is no reason this disk couldn't actually be a
very small partition on your hard drive which you mentioned above.
It would reduce the hassle of damaging or losing a removable disk.
  Depending on how complex you want to make things the partition could 
be as small as 2 or 4 megs.  Something in the 20-40 Meg range would be 
less complex... but if you have a hundred megs or so of space to spare
you could have the root partition on your internal hard drive, and 
have /usr /var /home, mounted off the external device... this would 
be very simple.

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