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Hi
I'm kinda new here and love gettin' free advice on my computer endeavors. This is a great resource to have.
This may be a stoopid [sic] question, but since my newest PC (4rth one)(yet to arrive, however) will be a Toshiba 2435 S255 laptop, I'm curious if I can run it with an outboard HDD or simulation until I get a replacement for the internal one? I was told there may be a way to do this. Even if my PC one ( first PC has Win ME, second has Win 98 SE)could connect via some sort of adapter to the internal connector. I have an SD and PC card slot along with 3 USB 2.0 for this model, but use Sony's Memory sticks in my camera. Thinking I can simulate a drive with this, however it's only 256 MB ProDuo Sandisc. I don't have Windows XP other then my latest desktop Presario, and the restore discs are paticular to that machine, as I understand it (Microsoft piracy protect?)
BILL

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Last Post by BILL S
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I don't understand exactly what you are wanting to know or what you are referring to by simulation.

  • If you are asking about attaching additional storage with a USB HDD, you can do that.
  • If you are asking about booting Windows XP off of a USB HDD, you cannot do that. Windows will not install itself onto removable media. You can install numerous distros of Linux to removable media however.
  • I still don't understand what you mean by simulation. USB flash drives, USB harddrives, and flash media look like regular drives in Windows. They don't simulate anything; they are actual drives. You can use these drives for anything and use them as regular harddrives. You can't install Windows to them though.

If you can clarify what you are asking by asking some well-worded concise questions, I can offer you more assistance.

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I don't understand exactly what you are wanting to know or what you are referring to by simulation.

  • If you are asking about attaching additional storage with a USB HDD, you can do that.
  • If you are asking about booting Windows XP off of a USB HDD, you cannot do that. Windows will not install itself onto removable media. You can install numerous distros of Linux to removable media however.
  • I still don't understand what you mean by simulation. USB flash drives, USB harddrives, and flash media look like regular drives in Windows. They don't simulate anything; they are actual drives. You can use these drives for anything and use them as regular harddrives. You can't install Windows to them though.

If you can clarify what you are asking by asking some well-worded concise questions, I can offer you more assistance.

I don't mean to quote this, but oh, well... I'm trying to keep my posts brief. I mean to simulate the normal Laptop HDD with a desktop or memory-pen USB type device... in other words, Can I operate the laptop for testing or any other use without it's normally supplied drives...this is a barebones unit I'm told, but don't have yet to ascertain the full extent.
Can I link to my desktop PC's HDD, if I want to power up the laptop and it has no CD/DVD or HDD of it's own? Addendum: I have Windows 98 SE on CD ROM, and was installed on a fresh book PC with no OS... since this is an earlier version, I think I can actually install on more then one PC (for personal use, though I know Microsoft would frown on this), but would it work to power this PC designed for XP (which I won't have yet)
BILL

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Hello Bill,

Your description of what you are trying to do is weak; that is why we cannot understand what you are saying.

Windows Will --
* Work with any internal installed Hard drive. IDE or SATA or SCSI, as long as all of the driver requirements are satisfied

Windows WON'T
* Boot and function from a CD-ROM. It requires write access for temp files,and you cannot write to a CD-ROM, and CD-ROM RW's aren't supported
* Boot from any device in the USB tree. This means thumb drives, USB external hard drives, or laptops pretending to be hard drives in some emulation mode (Macs can do this!)
* Boot from a Firewire device
* Boot from a Floppy Disk

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OK, I hope I spelled it out better above... Forgot to mention the laptop I will be getting was sold as a bare, or barebones unit, so I have to buy accessories, likely to include AC, batt, drive and memory... If I get adapter and memory, if need be, can I run it w/o the drives...somehow, or in any fashion?
I'd like to test it out when I get it but can't afford all it needs at once
I was told I could link to a HDD by another computer, that disc having Windows and programs to run
BILL

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I'll mention as an aside; I also picked up a used HP DAT drive, that is SCSI. I've never mated this to my modern PCs however, so not sure how to use it but would Windows (98SE for example) go onto this device?
...and what can I use to link it to a modern PC (mine are eMachine 700 eTower and Presario SR1220NX)?

Bill

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If you want to run it without any drives other than what you can attach with a USB connection, start looking at Linux. There are many Live CD distros of Linux that can be installed to USB flash drives or run off of a CD from a USB drive.

Other than those options, there is not an OS that I can think of that will run on a machine without any harddrives attached with IDE, SATA, or SCSI.

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No way to mate to a desktop HDD then? Seems there are a number of computer cables out there, but my knowledge of laptops is very small. I considered them out of my price range for years... not to mention not as expand friendly. Linux is another mystery to me, can it be had for free? (recall something in that regard, but could be wrong)
BILL

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There are converters to convert a laptop harddrive into one that will function with full-sized IDE and power connections, but I have yet to see any converters that do the reverse. The problem is that full-sized harddrives require both 12v and 5v power connections. Laptops only produce 5v and not the 12v that these drives need.

Most distros of Linux are free, if you download them. You can find a number of links to these distros in the link I provided in my last post (Live CD). Damn Small Linux is a distro that is only 50MB. It can run off of any sized business CD or even flash media (Note: your system must support booting from a USB device in order to use flash media). If you use a USB CD drive with the system, I would recommend trying SLAX or Ubuntu. You can find more Live CD distros here.

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Hi again,
I see what you are saying... Talking with someone today, they said I could configure the drive that get's priority to be the one with an OS or something to boot, perhaps. I may just need to get memory as well, installed, so looking at that. I just got back from eBay where an IDE to USB adapter located in UK/Hong Kong is being offered, via Paypal only, so I can't get one, but it looks to facilitate several interesting options, like powering DVD/CD drives, like the APEX home units that are computer IDE connected.
It's also noted a LAN system would require drivers installed to even get the info from an external source.

This is in the end, educational for me, however. I did also read Linux may not work with a majority of my Windows software, for example and needs a GUI to look similar to Windows, which if I'm correct in assuming Bill Gates adopted after producing initial products for Apple's first MacIntosh and Lisa systems in 84, circa

BILL

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Taking a look at the links, I'm still a bit confused (things like Wiki, I'd not heard of)...as Windows was a bit of trial and error for me starting out on PC...no formal course, but I feel more comfortable using all three I've got now/so far. (most recent XP, with my new Compaq DT, Win ME and Win 98SE)
Using MSDOS briefly prior to my own PC in 2000, it seems alot more like Unix based (I was told) Linux... and no word on digital camera friendly apps that I spotted. A main use of my computer, besides now doing DVD burning. Anyway, to test the laptop prior to all the parts coming together, it does seem DSL would be a great option

BILL (still awaiting word on the laptop order...with baited breath)

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I'll be as brief as possible so there isn't any room for confusion.

No matter what type of adapter you use, if you connect a harddrive through USB, you cannot install and run Windows off of it. Windows simply will not allow this. Many very skilled people have tried to do it and have failed. It won't work... Period.

If you want to install a major operating system to that laptop, you have to purchase a laptop harddrive that is compatible with your system.

I have a feeling that you are going eBay crazy (based upon your numerous posts dealing with different hardware that you acquired from eBay) and are buying everything that you think looks like a good value without any idea of how much it will cost to turn into a functioning system. Unfortunately, you cannot take a barebones laptop and turn it into a functioning Windows system without substantial investment. My recommendation would be, if you want to continue purchasing things off of eBay like you have been doing, do your research first, and then make your bid.

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As it happens, the seller contacted me, after a bit of hair pulling waiting, to tell me the 15 XGA screen was listed but seems (as I understand it) to not be included. The HDD cradle is there and the HDD that would workl doesn't appear to be anymore then $130 or so
The memory can be had under $100. The OS was and is of some concern, but I do have a new copy of Windows 98 SE that I think you can install on more then one machine, as it doesn't do self checks like the newer Windows. Correct me if I'm wrong however.
There are external HDDs, are you saying Windows will not work on any of those?
Bill

PS- I am always a little eBay crazy, but initially this bid was a last 15 minutes of the auction and for a friend at work, then I realized the specs are still quite good, even if dated as 2 years old. I think w/o the laptop screen, I'll be getting as refund...That would prove costly to rebuild! The used systems are selling at $500 on up, for the most part, so I'm not worried I spent too much, other then the AC adapter I did buy for that Toshiba. It's a universal but as you know, these are all quite expensive (around $100, mine has rebates though)

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There's no question that you should get a refund if there's no screen. Resellers always try to charge around $1500 for a new screen (irregardless of how old the laptop is), and used ones that aren't damaged are very hard to come by for a decent price.

As for Windows being unable to run on any type of external harddrives, yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Unless the harddrive is plugged into that harddrive connection inside the laptop, you cannot run Windows from it.

If I were you, I'd just start building systems from scratch. You can build a new computer for around $500 that will have better specs than those used models. If you get really good at shopping around for deals and know good places to get decent monitors cheap, you can build whole systems for $300-$400 easily. This gives you enough room to buy legit copies of Windows. Since, if you are going to sell these systems, you really don't want to sell pirated versions of Windows. Doing so rips your customers off and makes you a target for litigation.

Of course I'm talking about building mini-tower type systems. If you are wanting to do laptops, there's just no way to be profitable in building/selling laptops without price gouging unless you are a very large company that builds systems.

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Two things are not brought up yet; no word from the eBay seller as to why he pictured the laptop with a screen as mentioned in his ad, the other beiung there is a screen offered on a parted Toshiba laptop for $250.
I'm thankful you've cleared up my misconceptions on OS HDD, however, linking through the laptops drive port to a desktop PC's HDD sounds possible to me. I've checked around and a 40 to 60 gig HDD that will mount to the Toshiba is no more then $140 from ones I located.
I already have a bookPC, which is a small portable, but as it came, it is only a 500MHz Pentium 3 and too lowly to do DVD burning and playback.
I have got a USB 2.0 DVD RW and Creative Extigy USB soundBlaster that both will work with a laptop
Bill

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