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The disposable hard drive?

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machinist

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Post Thu May 09, 2013 7:24 am

The disposable hard drive?

Is it possible to get an old external HD and put an OS on it so I can use software/create temp files/store files?

Basically I want to make a "second PC" that I can unplug and lockup in a safe at night. Something I can use bookkeeping software/ photo editing software and have NONE of the files on my pc I'm leaving unattended? Would a large SD card work if I set the pc to boot from it?
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xeo

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Post Thu May 09, 2013 11:24 am

Re: The disposable hard drive?

Sure. You can boot from a USB thumb drive, USB flash drive or any other external storage device. You can also buy internal SATA mounts that will let you insert and remove a normal SATA drive so you can lock it up. They come with a tubular locking mechanism that locks the drive into the computer and requires a key to insert or remove.
Image
The code is hidden in the tumblers. One position opens the lock, another position opens one of these doors...
http://www.youtube.com/xeotech1

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fgarci03

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Post Thu May 09, 2013 11:33 am

Re: The disposable hard drive?

Yes it is!

I don't know if any special care is needed, but some years ago me and my dad shared the same computer. So my OS was on the internal HD, and his was on and External HD. When he wanted to use the computer, just connected it and done.

The only thing is it can't be connected via USB. It needs to be by Firewire or something like that because of the data transfer rate.
Don't really know the details of that but yes, it is possible!
Go ahead, keep plugging away, picking on me! You will end up on bypass or with rigor mortise.
- GWiens2001
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fgarci03

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Post Thu May 09, 2013 11:34 am

Re: The disposable hard drive?

xeo wrote:Sure. You can boot from a USB thumb drive, USB flash drive or any other external storage device. You can also buy internal SATA mounts that will let you insert and remove a normal SATA drive so you can lock it up. They come with a tubular locking mechanism that locks the drive into the computer and requires a key to insert or remove.


You can have a whole OS running through a USB? :shock:
Go ahead, keep plugging away, picking on me! You will end up on bypass or with rigor mortise.
- GWiens2001
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xeo

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Post Thu May 09, 2013 11:48 am

Re: The disposable hard drive?

fgarci03 wrote:You can have a whole OS running through a USB? :shock:


You sure can.
Image
The code is hidden in the tumblers. One position opens the lock, another position opens one of these doors...
http://www.youtube.com/xeotech1

(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

░░░░░░░░░░░░░Image
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kilby

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Post Thu May 09, 2013 12:11 pm

Re: The disposable hard drive?

To be honest I tend to use a virtual machine these days rather than booting an alternate one from another drive.

Also it's incredibly easy to back up the virtual machine (and it's associate file system ) so transferring it to another system if necessary is an absolute non event
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gnarus8429

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Post Thu May 09, 2013 1:06 pm

Re: The disposable hard drive?

I run linux from a usb thumb drive. Check this link out for software to do it the easy way- http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net . Encrypt the home folder so even if they get your thumb drive it will do them no good. Unless "they" are the NSA you should be alright. I would suggest lubuntu a lighter version of ubuntu for the drive. If you don't want to screw with it you can buy a thumb drive with linux pre-installed on it from ebay. Not sure how many files you plan on storing but, a 64 GB thumb drive is easy to hide and can store a ton of stuff.
Last edited by jruther2 on Thu May 09, 2013 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed link
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xeo

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Post Thu May 09, 2013 5:53 pm

Re: The disposable hard drive?

+1 unetbootin
Image
The code is hidden in the tumblers. One position opens the lock, another position opens one of these doors...
http://www.youtube.com/xeotech1

(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

░░░░░░░░░░░░░Image
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bmrtin

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Post Sat May 25, 2013 2:26 pm

Re: The disposable hard drive?

Here is a nice guide on how to do this using ubuntu. http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/ ... on-windows
If you have little or no experience with Linux I suggest Ubuntu. The nice thing about Ubuntu is that it allows you to set off a section of the hard drive for settings and files so that everytime you boot from USB it is how you left it.

Here is a whole site dedicated to creating bootable USB drives using Linux. http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
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mivski

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Post Sat May 25, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: The disposable hard drive?

Yes it is possible, as others have mentioned. If you want to keep your data extra secure, you could consider encrypting important data using TrueCrypt. (Or similar software).

It can be set up to hide the encrypted data too, so it is impossible to know that there is encrypted data on there.
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GringoLocksmith

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Post Sun May 26, 2013 9:26 am

Re: The disposable hard drive?

I'd caution against using a thumb drive if you're dealing with important files. Those things fall apart in the pocket, get put in with laundry, lose all their data when not removed safely, and sometimes just fail inexplicably. Though it's not as convenient, I'd go with a slim external hard drive.
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brainwhisk

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Post Sun May 26, 2013 5:07 pm

Re: The disposable hard drive?

I would personally go with a 500gig (adjust this number up or down according to your computing and storage needs) TrueCrypt-encrypted external hard drive from Western Digital. Really, manufacturer shouldn't matter too much, but I have had *terrible* luck with Seagate drives...more drives of theirs than I can count on one hand have died on me in the last 5 years. Most external hard drives are still USB 2.0 or 3.0, which gives either decent or adequate transfer speeds, respectively, assuming you have USB 3.0 ports on your computer to connect it to. This is almost irrelevant unless you're using the external with another OS entirely. Personally, I wouldn't bother with an alternate OS, I'm lazy, impatient, and find booting back and forth tedious. Encrypting, removing, and safely stowing an external hd formatted for Windows use should be more than secure enough; it is for most of the government :)
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xeo

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Post Sun May 26, 2013 5:20 pm

Re: The disposable hard drive?

Image
The code is hidden in the tumblers. One position opens the lock, another position opens one of these doors...
http://www.youtube.com/xeotech1

(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

░░░░░░░░░░░░░Image
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bmrtin

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Post Sun May 26, 2013 8:59 pm

Re: The disposable hard drive?

You could use truecrypt to encrypt the drive but the problem is that you can not boot anything but Windows using a truecrypt volume. Windows can not boot from a USB drive so the only way to do an encrypted OS is to have it as the main HDD in the computer and a USB drive to store the files. What you can do with a USB hard drive and Linux is have the installer make a encrypted LVM as the partition and install to there. You can boot from this because the only thing that is unencrypted is boot section and this does not need to be encrypted to remain secure.
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brainwhisk

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Post Sun May 26, 2013 11:53 pm

Re: The disposable hard drive?

bmrtin wrote:Windows can not boot from a USB drive


Not true. It's not like it's a *good* operating system, but if the priority is encryption, it'd work.
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