Backing up OS to USB?, bootting from USB


M

micky

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.)
 
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J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

micky said:
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?

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.
[]
 
G

glee

micky said:
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?
snip


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.
 
T

Tecknomage

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.

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
 
T

Twayne

In
micky said:
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.)

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`
 
T

Twayne

In
Tecknomage said:
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.

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`
 
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M

micky

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.)

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 _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.
[]

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.
 
M

micky

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.

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.
 
M

micky

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.

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

Thanks for all the instruction.
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

Good to know. I'm now prepared to hunt longer.
 
M

micky

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.

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.
 
A

Andy

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.)

USB hard drive is probably your pen drive if it is plugged in when you boot.

I have Linux Puppy on it in case I have to do some repair on windows and other tasks.
 
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M

micky

USB hard drive is probably your pen drive if it is plugged in when you boot.

I have Linux Puppy on it in case I have to do some repair on windows and other tasks.

Good point. I've been using some bootable CD, that runs a small
version of Windows, whose name escapes me now, but since this thing
doesn't have a CD, I really do need some sort of bootable external
device. Despite my OP, that hadn't quite sunk in until just now.
 
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G

glee

Tecknomage said:
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.


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.
 

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