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Old 07-30-2008, 01:39 PM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Oslo
Distribution: Ubuntu
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How to use an ExpressCard SSD device as the boot and system storage device


I've tried to find relevant information on this issue
on this discussion board and on the internet in general,
without getting far. (I do find information related to
setting up GNU/Linux systems on usb storage devices,
but I do not know how pertinent this is.)

I have a ThinkPad T60 running Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron,
with 3GB of RAM.

The 80GB hd (sda) is partitioned this way:
- sda1 mounted root (/) 16GB, ext3
- sda2 mounted home (/home), 60GB, ext3 and
- sda3 for swap, 4GB

I have just purchased and ExpressCard SSD disk
with 16GB.

When I physically mounts it, it works perfectly,
in the sense that it gets mounted correctly as a
new storage device.

However my intention is to move the content of the
sda1 to this device, in an attempt to reduce boot time
(and hopefully experience increase the performance of
the system in general as well) and configure this device
to function as the boot and system device.

First of all, is this possible at all, can such a hot
swappable device function as the boot and system device?

Secondly, will such a configuration likely reduce the boot time
and increase performance in general?

And if so, how should I go about? Are there any relevant guides
or the like?

(Specifically I would also like to know if I then should
configure the device in the fstab configuration file?
As far as I understand the mounting of hot swappable devices
is managed by udev.)

Any help is much appreciated.
Old 03-21-2011, 11:17 PM   #2
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Registered: Mar 2011
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expresscard - esata - boot linux on an external drive

I want to do the same thing. I have looked around before and have not found "the solution". (I created a USB bootable external USB/esata external drive running Ubuntu. With some BIOS boot-order adjustments my notebook computers can boot that Ubuntu operating system when I connect it via USB and then start the system. I'm running it now. Connecting that same drive to the expresscard esata adapter did nothing. My notebook's bios does not see the expresscard or the esata drive.)

The stream of responses to your original request seemed to only address the issues associated with booting the external esata drive based operating system directly.
I have read (but not recently) several of the articles on the USB and/or Firewire booting process -- and I think that there is a workable solution by using an intermediate boot media (CD or USB thumb). The intermediate boot process would load all of the required expresscard (and esata?) drivers then pass control to the operating system on the esata drive. This gets the process past the >BIOS does not provide a suitable boot option<, >BIOS does not recognize< and >BIOS does not have the drivers< issues. It may be that the esata-based operating system runs as a child (in some sense) of the intermediate boot system [which may need to keep a small part of memory reserved for itself as a parent in the background], but if a script changes all of the "path" information to the esata drive when control passes to the esata drive I expect you will be >effectively< running full speed from the esata drive with just a small available-memory penalty [for the inactive intermediate boot system].

Is this still an open issue?


boot, expresscard, hardy, linux, pcmcia, ssd, ubuntu

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