Is it possible to boot from USB external drive via usb/lan adapter?

Discussion in 'DIY Computers' started by treblesix, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. treblesix

    treblesix Guest

    On laptops and PCs which only allow legacy booting from usb floppy drives
    but which allow booting from lan port, is it possible to use the lan port
    a usb to lan adapter to successfully actually boot from an external usb hdd
    or cd/dvd drive ..... for installing OS etc.????

    Lots of folks seem to have spent ages trying to make flash drives look
    like usb floppy drives .... but lan looks a better bet at first glance?
    treblesix, Mar 15, 2011
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  2. treblesix

    Rob Morley Guest

    Why not just do a regular network boot with PXE? It basically works
    like ordinary DHCP with the addition of TFTP to transfer the boot
    image, so run DHCP and TFTP services on any handy PC, plug them
    together and you're away.
    Rob Morley, Mar 15, 2011
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  3. No. Well, not directly to a hard drive. Booting over the network
    requires active participation from the remote device, which generally
    needs to be a computer itself with lots of cunning services (see Rob's
    note about TFTP and whatnot).

    A hard drive will just sit there spinning.
    It ain't.

    Cheers - Jaimie
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Mar 15, 2011
  4. treblesix

    rich Guest

    Have a look at plop boot manager, maybe an alternative.

    I have an old Tosh Tecra M1 that boots from internal CD (no floppy drive)
    but not from a USB port. Plop bootmanager on a cd, tiny system - a couple
    of MB - boots very quickly and presents a menu whose function is to boot
    from some other device. In my case I use a system on a USB memory stick.

    Not exactly the same situation as yours but might be a work around. On
    the other hand I never found a situation where boot from lan actually
    worked, but then I am just an amateur.
    rich, Mar 16, 2011
  5. treblesix

    treblesix Guest

    Thanks everyone for your helpful replies :0)

    Had not heard of Plop before ... but having read its features,
    it seems to have all the bells and whistles I could wish for.
    Looks like a floppy and subsequent HD install of Plop
    will solve my issues with failing/slow/unreliable internal
    DVD/CDRW combi drives on a couple of older Toshibas.

    cheers all
    treblesix, Mar 16, 2011
  6. treblesix

    Albert Ross Guest

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    Albert Ross, Mar 16, 2011
  7. I don't know about you but I find the cost of Coffee in Costa
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    Nick Le Lievre, Mar 16, 2011
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