boot a Dell laptop with eSATA ExpressCard adapter?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Timothy Daniels, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Has anyone here been able to boot a Dell laptop using
    an eSATA ExpressCard adapter with an external SATA
    hard drive? Dell's tech support says no, at least not for
    the XPS line of laptops, and SIIG says that their eSATA
    ExpressCard adapter can't enable booting from an external
    SATA hard drive. That leaves all of Dell's other laptops
    and other maker's eSATA ExpressCards to wonder about.
    Is there any further information on this? The goal is to boot
    various OSes from external SATA hard drives.

    *TimDaniels*
    Timothy Daniels, Jan 30, 2008
    #1
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  2. Timothy Daniels

    Ben Myers Guest

    I have a similar goal: to install Windows from a USB flash stick, slipstreamed
    of course and beefed up with the most common drivers that Micrsoft left out.
    It's not easy. But I would think that booting from an external SATA adapter,
    provided it is truly SATA (not SATA-USB) would be easier than booting from a USB
    stick. The info on the SIIG web site implies that it is a true SATA connection,
    rather than kinda sorta cobbled together SATA via USB.

    Whether it is a SIIG eSATA or a USB stick, the problem of booting Windows or
    installing it lies in the drivers, namely having the right ones on the boot
    media so that the boot process recognizes the boot device hardware interface and
    continues using it. In other words, you might end up building a hard drive that
    will boot only from eSATA and not from in the computer itself.

    So Dell's tech support is not shucking and jiving you. When they say no, it
    means darn difficult. Neither SIIG not Dell have the technical expertise nor
    the motivation to solve the proble... Ben Myers

    On Tue, 29 Jan 2008 19:06:43 -0800, "Timothy Daniels"
    <> wrote:

    >Has anyone here been able to boot a Dell laptop using
    >an eSATA ExpressCard adapter with an external SATA
    >hard drive? Dell's tech support says no, at least not for
    >the XPS line of laptops, and SIIG says that their eSATA
    >ExpressCard adapter can't enable booting from an external
    >SATA hard drive. That leaves all of Dell's other laptops
    >and other maker's eSATA ExpressCards to wonder about.
    >Is there any further information on this? The goal is to boot
    >various OSes from external SATA hard drives.
    >
    >*TimDaniels*
    >
    Ben Myers, Jan 30, 2008
    #2
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  3. Well, I figured it was one of those "unobtainium" things,
    but I thought I'd ask the experienced Dell experts. Some
    guy recently posted in microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
    that he can boot his HP laptop from a SATA drive connected
    via an eSATA ExpressCard, and he even gave the model
    nos. of the HP laptop and the Addonics ExpressCard. No
    one else has confirmed his experience, but I was hoping
    there might be a way to do it with a Dell laptop. As the
    Dell tech support rep said, he has noticed that several Dell
    BIOS features have gotten dropped through the years
    because there seemed to be no consumer interest in them.
    He said this in reference to my inquiry about there being
    fewer Dell desktops with the ability to assign boot priority
    among multiple hard drives, but he said that there were other
    dropped features as well. I guess I can't fault Dell for
    dropping un-noticed features, but I still find it annoying.

    *TimDaniels*

    "Ben Myers" wrote:
    > [......]
    > Whether it is a SIIG eSATA or a USB stick, the problem
    > of booting Windows or installing it lies in the drivers, namely
    > having the right ones on the boot media so that the boot
    > process recognizes the boot device hardware interface and
    > continues using it. In other words, you might end up building
    > a hard drive that will boot only from eSATA and not from in
    > the computer itself.
    >
    > So Dell's tech support is not shucking and jiving you. When
    > they say no, it means darn difficult. Neither SIIG not Dell have
    > the technical expertise nor the motivation to solve the proble...
    >
    > Ben Myers
    >
    > "Timothy Daniels" wrote:
    >
    >>Has anyone here been able to boot a Dell laptop using
    >>an eSATA ExpressCard adapter with an external SATA
    >>hard drive? Dell's tech support says no, at least not for
    >>the XPS line of laptops, and SIIG says that their eSATA
    >>ExpressCard adapter can't enable booting from an external
    >>SATA hard drive. That leaves all of Dell's other laptops
    >>and other maker's eSATA ExpressCards to wonder about.
    >>Is there any further information on this? The goal is to boot
    >>various OSes from external SATA hard drives.
    >>
    >>*TimDaniels*
    >>
    Timothy Daniels, Jan 30, 2008
    #3
  4. Timothy Daniels

    Ben Myers Guest

    The easy summary here is that booting from certain external devices, like floppy
    diskettes, is usually supported by a modern motherboard BIOS. Booting from
    others is, sort of. For these, you need to do the legwork of preparing the
    bootable media to contain the drivers needed to accept a handoff of control from
    the BIOS.

    Personally, I suspect greater collusion among Dell, BIOS writers and good old
    Microsoft! There is no logical reason why someone cannot boot from any device
    connected to the system. Enter the Orwellian un-logic of the Microsoft borg.

    You think Microsoft wants it easy for people to dual-boot a personal computer,
    even with 2 versions of Windows? Do a Google search on the keyword BartPE to
    find out all the grunt work one needs to do just to BUILD a bootable CD, all
    because the CD boot process is inordinately complicated in the Microsoft world.
    You can also find out there how to make a bootable flash stick, something very
    similar to a bootable external hard drive.

    Copying a CD is child's play. Making a Windows install CD slipstreamed with
    the latest hundreds of MB of Microsoft "critcal fix" band aids, bubble gum and
    tissue paper is real work, justifiable only of one regularly installs Windows on
    computers.

    .... Ben Myers

    On Wed, 30 Jan 2008 00:04:50 -0800, "Timothy Daniels"
    <> wrote:

    >Well, I figured it was one of those "unobtainium" things,
    >but I thought I'd ask the experienced Dell experts. Some
    >guy recently posted in microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
    >that he can boot his HP laptop from a SATA drive connected
    >via an eSATA ExpressCard, and he even gave the model
    >nos. of the HP laptop and the Addonics ExpressCard. No
    >one else has confirmed his experience, but I was hoping
    >there might be a way to do it with a Dell laptop. As the
    >Dell tech support rep said, he has noticed that several Dell
    >BIOS features have gotten dropped through the years
    >because there seemed to be no consumer interest in them.
    >He said this in reference to my inquiry about there being
    >fewer Dell desktops with the ability to assign boot priority
    >among multiple hard drives, but he said that there were other
    >dropped features as well. I guess I can't fault Dell for
    >dropping un-noticed features, but I still find it annoying.
    >
    >*TimDaniels*
    >
    >"Ben Myers" wrote:
    >> [......]
    >> Whether it is a SIIG eSATA or a USB stick, the problem
    >> of booting Windows or installing it lies in the drivers, namely
    >> having the right ones on the boot media so that the boot
    >> process recognizes the boot device hardware interface and
    >> continues using it. In other words, you might end up building
    >> a hard drive that will boot only from eSATA and not from in
    >> the computer itself.
    >>
    >> So Dell's tech support is not shucking and jiving you. When
    >> they say no, it means darn difficult. Neither SIIG not Dell have
    >> the technical expertise nor the motivation to solve the proble...
    >>
    >> Ben Myers
    >>
    >> "Timothy Daniels" wrote:
    >>
    >>>Has anyone here been able to boot a Dell laptop using
    >>>an eSATA ExpressCard adapter with an external SATA
    >>>hard drive? Dell's tech support says no, at least not for
    >>>the XPS line of laptops, and SIIG says that their eSATA
    >>>ExpressCard adapter can't enable booting from an external
    >>>SATA hard drive. That leaves all of Dell's other laptops
    >>>and other maker's eSATA ExpressCards to wonder about.
    >>>Is there any further information on this? The goal is to boot
    >>>various OSes from external SATA hard drives.
    >>>
    >>>*TimDaniels*
    >>>

    >
    Ben Myers, Jan 30, 2008
    #4
  5. Timothy Daniels

    WSZsr Guest

    When you press F12 at post, what are the options listed?

    "Timothy Daniels" <> wrote in message
    news:479fe996$0$30690$...
    > Has anyone here been able to boot a Dell laptop using
    > an eSATA ExpressCard adapter with an external SATA
    > hard drive? Dell's tech support says no, at least not for
    > the XPS line of laptops, and SIIG says that their eSATA
    > ExpressCard adapter can't enable booting from an external
    > SATA hard drive. That leaves all of Dell's other laptops
    > and other maker's eSATA ExpressCards to wonder about.
    > Is there any further information on this? The goal is to boot
    > various OSes from external SATA hard drives.
    >
    > *TimDaniels*
    >
    WSZsr, Jan 30, 2008
    #5
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