08-14-2010 01:28 PM
Hi - I wish to take my T400 on an African Overland trip, involving much driving over rough roads and generally bumpy conditions for months on end. I would like to use my T400 for notes and articles whilst we are moving but would not wish to trash the hard drive.
I did consider buying a Solid State Drive but they are rather expensive still, and ?may? have lifetime issues according to Wikipedia.
Alternatively, someone suggested that I could boot the laptop using an operating system on a USB key, and run the laptop with the hard drive turned off - this sounds a useful possibility, but not something that I have any experience of.
I currently use win XP but maybe a small Linux distro (Slax?) would do the job, but how to make sure the HD is turned off?
I would welcome your comments, especially from anyone with direct experience of trying this.
Regards, Tim Makins www.gnomeplanet.com
Computer: ThinkPad T400 7417-PKU
Operating system: Windows XP Pro
Original description: P8400(2.26GHz), 2GB RAM, 250GB 5400rpm HD, 14.1in 1280x800 LCD, Intel 4500MHD, CDRW/DVDRW, Intel 802.11agn wireless, Modem, 1GB Ethernet, UltraNav, Secure chip, Fingerprint reader, 6c Li-Ion
08-14-2010 03:28 PM
I will be brief because my English is basic.
We share two or three links for you to read:
On the other hand I tell you that it is possible that you told us to run a liveCD (or USB) to not use your hard disk. The way to make sure that is not in operation is:
a) don't mount the device when running linux
b) disconnect the hard disk (it is very easy, with a single screw out. For more information please refer to the hardware maintenance manual).
08-14-2010 05:15 PM - edited 08-14-2010 05:16 PM
I think takedown has this about right. Probabaly best to just remove the HD.
The problem with an actual live CD (not a great idea if you are trying to avoid damage from bouncing or vibration), or a live CD image running on a USB thumb drive is that they are read-only media. You wouldn't be able to save any notes unless to another flash drive.
That said, there are ways to implement persistent storage even on a "live" flash drive. Have a look around the Ubuntu pages for instructions on putting a distro on flash and arranging for persistent storage.
Come back if you can't turn it up, and I'll try to summon the energy to find it for you
I've done this a few times, but like they say, the memory is the 2nd thing to go...
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08-14-2010 09:50 PM
slax is a good choice, but, what are your needs? download pictures? surf the Internet? read and write emails?
something in particular?
I hope you will understand something of what I write
08-15-2010 04:55 AM
Thanks for the replies. I realise that the T400 contains ThinkVantage Active Protection, but remain to be convinced that it is really sufficient for use over a continuously bumpy road. The 'Adapitvely ignore frequent repetitve shocks' setting in winXP Control Panel has me especially worried, bearing in mind how fragile hard drives can be at the best of times! I would much rather that the hard drive was powered off, and wondered if this could be done in software, rather than opening the case and removing it each time.
I don't intend to be doing anything very complex whilst on the move - mostly writing and editing .txt files, with perhaps a bit of photo examining at the same time. The idea was, when stationary, to move some files to the USB drive with the operating system on it, then next time, when mobile, to boot the computer from the USB stick so that the hard drive wasn't turned on at all. I would then be able to work on the files that were on the USB stick. I wouldn't want to use the optical drive at all.
Then, when stationary again, I would turn the computer on without the USB stick in it, boot into winXP as normal, then insert the USB stick and retrieve my text files.
08-15-2010 07:22 AM - edited 08-15-2010 07:28 AM
go to pendrivelinux.com and create a usb flash to boot from - i recommend linuxmint 9 - you can mount/ unmount your hdd whenever you like and the usb flash has its own storage as well
don't worry there is a guide there how to do it and it is really easy - go try
08-16-2010 07:03 PM
I have spent years driving around the USA in a truck that rides very roughly, at speeds between 70 and 90 MPH, with various laptops and hard drives, and that type of movement and shaking doesn't seem to bother them at all. If the road is smooth enough for you to type and read words on the screen, you will probably be fine.
To be safe, save all your work every 15 minutes to a USB memory stick.
08-18-2010 08:06 AM
Thanks - I certainly take note of your comments, but feel that African roads are a little more challenging. For instance, making 1km in an hour is considered normal in parts of West Africa. For more on this, visit YouTube and Search for 'African Roads'.
The one thing no one has mentioned is just *How* to turn off the hard drive, or make sure it doesn't power up, from software rather than physically unplugging it.
Is this possible??
08-18-2010 08:37 AM - edited 08-18-2010 09:43 AM
In linux to power down your hard drive you can do it with hdparm:
hdparm -y /dev/sd[a|b|c|...]
sdparm --command=stop /dev/sd[a|b|c|...]
you can find a, b, or c with:
Play with hdparm and sdparm