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2003 Feb 28 13:05

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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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



Thanks for the advice on replying to a post on vox-tech. I will read over the FAQs and try agian. Your response to the post pretty much covers what I was going to tell her. In fact Redhat installer will see USB drives and allow you to install on them so a small partition and a bootloader on the internal drive should do the trick. She may need a driver in an initrd as well. That was what I was going to post but I will refrain since it is probably redundant at this point. Thanks again for the response.

-Corey A. Hines

On Friday, February 28, 2003, at 12:48 PM, Mike Simons wrote:

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.

    TTFN,
      Mike
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Corey A. Hines
www.theblizz.com

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