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Backing up OS to USB?, bootting from USB

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by micky, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. micky

    micky Guest

    I just got a used netbook, an ACER Aspire One D250, about 2 years old
    complete with original directions, one of which is to burn a CD or DVD
    to hold the OS (XP) etc., and another to hold drivers, etc. It came
    with an external DVD burner (originally purchased separately) , but
    given that the thing has no CD or DVD reader in it, wouldn't I be
    better off using flash drives instead of DVDs?

    Related, I think. Its boot options include USB floppy, USB hard
    drive, and USB CD drive**. Which of these seems most like USB Flash
    Drive to you all?

    Thanks.



    **Even though none of these are plugged in.

    (BTW, FYI I had another computer, (maybe an older Dell desktop, maybe
    not) that didn't show any USB boot options, UNTIL one was plugged in.
    At which point it showed and could use what I had at the time (maybe
    USB CD.)
     
    micky, Feb 18, 2013
    #1
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  2. 1. I think MS for some reason like their boot to be from read-only
    media. Certainly people have made versions of XP that will boot from USB
    stick, but it's not that trivial an exercise, so I understand.

    2. I wouldn't personally want to rely on a USB stick for long-term
    storage. (Mind you, CDs aren't infallible either: I'd record it at the
    slowest speed the drive will do.)

    I _suspect_ what it wants to make (and my inclination would be to do it)
    is a recovery disc set (specific to that machine), rather than just an
    XP install disc. Sorry if you knew that. (I'm a little surprised it
    wants to make a separate driver disc, though that is probably a good
    thing; I'd _certainly_ make that one.
    []
     
    J. P. Gilliver (John), Feb 18, 2013
    #2
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  3. micky

    glee Guest


    If you want a reliable method of restoration, follow Acer's
    instructions. I have restored an Aspire netbook using their directions
    of the 2 discs and external optical drive, and it was a fast, smooth
    operation. What you are trying to do brings to mind the old adage: "If
    it ain't broke, don't fix it." There is nothing wrong with the Acer
    procedure.... it works as intended.
     
    glee, Feb 18, 2013
    #3
  4. micky

    Tecknomage Guest

    Note that a boot to a USB Stick is a security risk. It allows anybody
    to sneak in use their USB, and boot your system then hack-in. This is
    why many newer systems do not allow *external* USB boot at all, or
    default to 'disabled' USB boot.

    Using an external boot device is one of the oldest espionage computer
    hacking methods.


    --
    =========== Tecknomage ===========
    Computer Systems Specialist
    IT Technician
    (retired)
    San Diego, CA
     
    Tecknomage, Feb 18, 2013
    #4
  5. micky

    Twayne Guest

    In
    It doesn't look like there is a specific USB boot option, but you might
    experiment and see what the information is about them in your System
    Settings or CMOS Settings, whatever it's called in your case.
    XP, unless you turned it off in the System Settiings, will offer F2 and
    F12, System Settinigs and Boot Menu respectively, so restart, watch for them
    to appear on the top right side of the screen and press F2. This has to
    happen BEFORE Windows starts to load, so watch carefully. One way to get to
    see them for a long time is to turn off Fast Boot in the System Settings;
    then they're on the screen plenty long enough to see them.
    Then also look in Boot Sequences and set the USB port, if you have the
    choice, to BEFORE the Hard drive in the sequence.
    As you look at each settings area, there are explanations in fair detail
    about what each choice will do. From your description, you may not have a
    USB Boot Option, but look anyway - you might find it hidden away in the USB
    choices. The Acer settings as I recall them can be a little strange to find
    things in. The only experience I've had with Acer has been repairing a
    couple of them so I'm no guru with Acers.

    HTH,

    Twayne`
     
    Twayne, Feb 18, 2013
    #5
  6. micky

    Twayne Guest

    In
    That would depend on who can physcally access the computer. In your own home
    it should be safe. Besides, that's why you make CSS copies of your boot
    disk, no? Then you just boot from the disc and reinstall the boot drive to
    the time you made the backup. Such backups should be kept up to date, BTW.

    In the workplace or anything where strangers/colleagues might get to it,
    then it could be a security risk, the operative word being "could", not
    "will".
    Besides, you also have the opportunity to turn the USB boot, if it's
    available, ON and OFF at will. It's no big deal to make those changes.
    On my machine, booting from the USP with a thumb drive works as well as
    booting from a drive. I also have Linux on it just in case something drastic
    happens and I don't have time to do the fixes required when all I need is
    some information that's stashed in a backup.

    HTH,

    Twayne`
    H,

    Twayne`
     
    Twayne, Feb 18, 2013
    #6
  7. micky

    micky Guest

    So I should make both DVDs and flash drives. I only will use t his
    thing when I travel, and I know I'm not going to want to bring an
    external DVD drive. The last time my laptop broke down while I was
    traveling, I was lucky I knew one person with a computer, and he
    wasn't really happy to see me. Still he gave me an hour before his
    kids needed to do homework, and it wasn't enough to actually fix my
    laptop. It was the end of the trip anyhow, so I just didn't have
    email for 3 days before I got home.)
    I guess I'll make both for both formats, and I'll try bootting from
    each. I've seen booking from a flashdrive discussed somewhere, and
    I'll review it when it doesn't work the first time.

    Thanks.
     
    micky, Feb 19, 2013
    #7
  8. micky

    micky Guest

    I certainly trust Acer. It's just that I will likely not have an
    external DVD or CD reader with me when I travel, whether it be a
    weekend or longer. And most of my use of the netbook will be out of
    town. .

    Thanks.
     
    micky, Feb 19, 2013
    #8
  9. micky

    micky Guest

    Yes, I trieed what you have here and I certainly didn't get much time.

    Thanks for all the instruction.
    Good to know. I'm now prepared to hunt longer.
     
    micky, Feb 19, 2013
    #9
  10. micky

    micky Guest

    This is good to know, and I'll be reading more about it when I see
    stuff.

    But right now, for me, there's nothing secret on even the home
    computer. Userids and passwords for financial sites are not
    remembered by the computer, but are "encrypted" and stored in
    obscrure places.

    And the one account with money if they could log in never has more
    than 10K. (Well, that is when I go on a trip, precisely when I meet
    more people.) Of course 10K would be a lot of money to lose, but I
    live alone, visit friends, or stay in hotels alone. I'm more worried
    someone will take the laptop to sell as a laptop! But I'll bear in
    mind what you say.

    Thanks, Teckno.
     
    micky, Feb 19, 2013
    #10
  11. micky

    glee Guest


    Booting from USB is no greater risk than booting from optical drive,
    floppy or any other external device. As for stealing info or espionage,
    the biggest threat from USB sticks is having Autorun and Autoplay
    enabled in the operating system, not booting.

    Someone "sneaking in" is not going to waste time rebooting the computer
    into an OS on an external boot device.... they will use a USB stick to
    autorun in the OS already running, grab the info desired (or install a
    root kit and keylogger), and transfer data they are after onto the USB
    stick, and then remove it.
     
    glee, Feb 19, 2013
    #11
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