Using an external USB drive as a primary, bootable drive with a netbook

By terrisus
Oct 29, 2010
Post New Reply
  1. Hi all. I've tried to find an answer to this, but haven't had too much luck, and am hoping that someone can help.

    Long story short, I have an HP Mini netbook with a damaged hard drive slot (pins are all bent out of shape. Nothing's actually broken off, but, I have a feeling it's beyond hope unless anyone has any great advice on that).

    So that it's not a total loss, I'm trying to have the system use an external hard drive (WD MyPassport) as its hard drive.

    I had backed up the old hard drive with Acronis TrueImage to a WD MyBook, and have the Acronis Loader on a smaller USB flash drive.

    So, I plug all three of these things into USB ports, and start up the netbook.

    The following paragraph isn't exact, since I don't fully remember all the options and what they are all called and everything. I'll do my best, but, basically I think I did everything possible

    It boots from the Flash Drive, and loads the Acronis program. It finds the image file on the MyBook, and gives me the option of restoring the image from the MyBook to the MyPassport. I select everything (files, file structure, MBR), and it sends it all over to the MyPassport (which had previously been empty, and now looks like it has everything that should be on there, as it has the full directories and everything that had been on the netbook).

    So, full of hope, I turn the netbook off, unplug the other two things, and leave the MyPassport plugged in. I start it up... And it says there was nothing bootable found.

    I've tried going through everything that I can, any option that seems like it's relevant, and I'm just not getting anything to work.

    If anyone has any suggestions of anything I did wrong or anything to try or do differently or anything, I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance for any help.
  2. EDO219

    EDO219 Newcomer, in training Posts: 298

    Why did you duplicate your old drive onto an entirely new one? You could just buy a $10 SATA to USB enclosure for the original 3.5" HDD. ;)
  3. hughva

    hughva Newcomer, in training Posts: 309

    It's not impossible to straighten the pins with patience.
  4. terrisus

    terrisus Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Is there any good way to go about straightening the pins? Specifically, figuring out exactly at what height and which way they should be positioned and such? I guess that's my main issue with straightening the pins, is I don't know exactly how they should look and how I should be trying to get them. Obviously, the hardware aspect of computers isn't my area of expertise.

    And... I have no idea why I didn't think of a SATA-USB enclosure... I guess my brain just wasn't working...
    I don't know if the hard drive itself might've been damaged in the same instance that the pins were (had backed up the hard drive prior to this all happening), but, I'll get one of those today and give it a try and see if it is still working, since, that would make much more sense, wouldn't it?

    Thanks both for the responses, I appreciate it.
  5. hughva

    hughva Newcomer, in training Posts: 309

    There are such devices as "Pin Straighteners", but I've always just eyballed it and used the corresponding female connector to do the final straightening.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.