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Old 11-28-2005, 06:17 PM   #1
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Linux under Windows - to use USB devices, not affect / reboot Windows, etc?

(note: I was going to post this in newbie / help / something like that, but saw somewhere something about posting anything referencing m$ or windows should go here...)

Hi. I often use a computer at a public library (I'm there now), and am unable to use some programs or USB devices I need to be able to use, because of the settings they have on their computers. (also, right click is globally disabled). I can use USB flash drives and card readers, but anything that requires 3rd part software won't work on there.
I've been reading a little bit about booting Linux from inside windows without restarting Windows. I'm wondering if doing that would help me do what I need to do? (more details to follow) Before I go further, let me mention that it doesn't have to be Linux, but that's the first one I thought of, which is why I'm posting in a Linux forum.

First off, here's a few things I want it to NOT do:
affect the windows installation in ANY way
put ANY files on a windows computer except in the directory where it's installed (would specifically be C:\CD Burner Buffer\its_name_here)
require ANY type of root access on windows to install or run it
affect the master boot record on the hard drive

Now for what I want to be able to do / what it should do:
run inside windows (without restarting) on an NTFS Windows 2000 partition.
install to a folder, like C:\CD Burner Buffer\its_name_here
to install, copy files from a CD to the hard drive ; to run, double-click on that file on the HD. (if running from a CD-RW, be able to run natively from the CD (not CD-R, as I will often need to be able to write to it.)
allow me to install ANYHING (applications, USB devices) that doesn't require me to shut down the computer or open the case.
be able to network with and run programs on the Windows host. Network access would be read only for the entire drive except for C:\CD Burner Buffer, the CD writer, and the floppy, which would have read/write access.
can run Windows programs (some are required for interfacing with my USB devices)
allows me to use right click while inside the Linux window in M$-Windows (currently right-click disabled in Windows, so I don't know if this is possible)

Some devices I specifically plan to plug into the USB port (along with the applications I need to run - all of which are Windows apps - alternative suggestions to the SOFTWARE would be welcomed):
iRiver IFP-899 1GB Flash MP3 player (iRiver Music Manager)
Motorola V-300 cell phone (Motorola Mobile Phone Tools)
Pogo RipFlash Plus mp3 player (Pogo manager software)
flash card reader (currently works on the library computer without admin access, though)

Other software I want to run (preferably included with the distribution, or I can "install" it for future use) - for any Windows-specific app mentioned, I'd be open to using an open source equivalent
Open Office
XMMS (or something that supports video playback well)
K3B or another good nero / roxio - like CD / DVD burning program
Lime (music notation software)
Half-Life (1) (TFC)
Total Annihilation
other games that are at least 1-1.5 years old

In a nutshell...
I need to be able to run an OS on top of windows at a library computer so I can interface my USB devices and run/install some Windows-based programs that I otherwise can't run natively at the library. I don't want to have to restart Windows to run the OS (Linux is in mind), because I don't want the librarians to have a valid reason to panic. Also, with them in mind, security to their computer is of utmost importance. I don't want anything I do to mess them up in any way.
Old 11-28-2005, 06:31 PM   #2
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I think there's a way to boot DSL/Qemu inside windows off of a USB thumb drive. I'm not sure...look into it
Old 12-01-2005, 07:17 PM   #3
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Before I try using a distribution of Linux from within windows to get around this, I want to know if it will work, and what can I do to make it as close to as easy as windows-with-admin-access to plug in and use my USB devices? Those two in the edited SS (I don't have my USB cable with me at the library here today) are ones I will be very frequently transfering files to and from.

Also, there are 2 USB ports on the front of the computer, and I don't currently own a USB hub. I do have a 80GB and 250GB hard drive that are currently out of the computer, though. Anyone know of any good (preferably shock-proof) USB external enclosures for 3.5" HD's that are < $20? Or should I just start Linux off a CD-RW (btw I've had problems with them recently at the library)?

Basically, I would like to be able to do that stuff I'm trying to do in the above screenshot without affecting the normal OS (Windows 2000) at the lib. Would Linux (run from inside Windows) allow me to do this?


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