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Greetings, seemingly odd question, but can I operate my PC with no hard drive- i.e. using RAM, DVD and/ or the RAM on a USB stick? I am using PCLinux (KDE) at the moment on a new DELL laptop, it's going well and Linux is infinitely better than the horror that is windows.
I would like an answer as opposed to a 'why?'

TIA
 

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Compact flash cards under a platform that supports them will work. USB2 is too slow as are cd's/dvd's. Usb3 may work well but usb2 has been nothing but an accident waiting to happen so far so I won't hold my breath for the 3 version. They are currently developing a usb spec that can run everything including hi-def monitors and whatnot. There are linux distros that run purely in ram but you will need a minimum of 8 gigs for the one I am referring to though I forgot the name of it.
Personally I believe laptops should not have any moving parts and should always come with two hd's. The second for data and backup. Uh, but that would mean less problems for the end user and less money for the manufacturers in asia so I won't hold my breath on that one either.
 

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The "Truth" Is A Lie!
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usb 3.0 is out already and is faaaaast....

You can make a bootable usb with windows 7, vista and even XP. Just plug it into any usb slot for instant PC. It's also possibly with linux but I have never used it myself. You need a fairly large drive for it to be useful though, 32gb or so. Win 7 recommends at least 8gb for the OS alone. Linux can save you a few gigs. Also, it's slow on usb 2.0, but 3.0 makes it fast enough to be usable on a daily basis.
 

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Usb3 is now at speeds which usb2 has been claiming from day one. I have had more than one usb2 drive fail, or act like it needs to be put out to pasture yesterday and for practically no reason.
USB3 is just another carrot imo but I certainly wish I had one of those boards in any case. I'd toss all my usb2 drives in the trash immediately.
 

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Many modern netbooks come with flash instead of a normal hard drive, its also pretty easy to do.
I run a distro called slackware and a few years ago built a computer for in my truck and installed it minimally to a 128M CF card, then changed it to run read only. Had to link things like /var/log/messages to a ram drive and 'touch' the linked file at boot time to create it before it would use it. Was pretty simple though, just keep booting read only and fix what it says failed.
 

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If you want a distro similar to windows in ease of use, try Ubuntu. Its xubuntu version requires very little system resources and can be run from a cd or regular thumbdrive (with usb2) pretty well. If you decide you want it on the hd, there is an option to install on the desktop of the Live (in RAM) version.


-RC
 

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You didn't mention the exact age of the system, but look around the BIOS boot uptions and make sure it will boot to USB if you go that way. There are some still-functional antiques out there that wouldn't have a prayer (CD, yes, USB, no.). In some, the latest flash may provide that ... if you're lucky.
 

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You didn't mention the exact age of the system, but look around the BIOS boot uptions and make sure it will boot to USB if you go that way. There are some still-functional antiques out there that wouldn't have a prayer (CD, yes, USB, no.). In some, the latest flash may provide that ... if you're lucky.
I am replying to this from an old Dell Latitude c610 that I bought for $25 on Craigslist. Its a little slow compared to my newer laptop, but I use this when the kids need the computers for school.

It will not boot from usb and I only have a cd player in it. Gotta love the price though!


Randy
 

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I was using knoppix around 8 or 10 years ago. fits on a cd, you dont have to have a hard drive in the computer. wasnt very robust, but i am sure in the world of computers, a lot of improvement could have happened in a decade. problem was, i didnt speak german, so it made it hard to use. here is a link to the english version, to download it.
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
 

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I am replying to this from an old Dell Latitude c610 that I bought for $25 on Craigslist. Its a little slow compared to my newer laptop, but I use this when the kids need the computers for school.

It will not boot from usb and I only have a cd player in it. Gotta love the price though!


Randy
http://www.mini-box.com/44-pin-IDE-Flash-Modules

You can replace your hdd with a flash module if thats what your wanting to do
 
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