Booting from USB?

  drew.boardman 14:56 25 Feb 03

With these new little 32MB and 64MB USB keyring thngies, is it possible to boot up a PC from them and thus bin my floppy drive? I only ever consider using it if I have a catastrophic HDD failure and need to boot from floppy?



  Diemmess 15:25 25 Feb 03

I don't think so, because Windows must load first and then load the USB drivers before it can read your "thingies"

  Lú-tzé 15:29 25 Feb 03

You can still bin your floppy and boot from your CD drive on most newer PCs and Win98 onwards.

My floppy drive is used only to boot with Norton Ghost as it is quick and easy although it would be possible to create a bootable CD and run ghost from there.

  jazzypop 16:55 25 Feb 03

If you have a newish motherboard, many have a BIOS that allows you to boot from a USB device (e.g. an external HDD). The USB driver is contained in the BIOS.

Whether this will work for you - suck it and see :)

  drew.boardman 18:30 25 Feb 03

Following Jazzypop's advice, does anybody know which motherboards support (P4 or Athlon) USB drivers in the BIOS?

Thanks to Diemmess, Lú-tzé and Jazzypop for their responses.

  -pops- 18:37 25 Feb 03

I don't have a floppy in my current machine and I haven't put floppy drives in the last six or so machines I've put together.

I'm using XP and it is bootable from the XP CD.


  jazzypop 18:41 25 Feb 03

Would it not be simpler to boot from a CD? As far as I know, all current mobos allow this.

Many systems are sold without a floppy drive now. There is a great drive within the industry to move on from 'legacy' devices such as floppy drives, as has been discussed many times here recently.

Anyway, for an example of a mobo that can boot from a USB floppy, CDRom, HDD, LS120 or Zip drive, click here

Personally, I would not use this as a main criteria for choosing a motherboard - just a nice additional feature.

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