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View Full Version : ? about FreeDOS boot utility that Kingston DataTraveler Elite USB flash drive uses


AutumnNights
11-09-04, 09:09 PM
I will be purchasing soon a T-series IBM laptop and I am trying to decide between buying either an <a href="http://www-306.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-57138" target="_blank">IBM memory key</a> or a <a href="http://www.kingston.com/digitalmedia/datatraveler_home.asp" target="_blank">Kingston DataTraveler Elite</a>.
In my opinion, the Elite seems to have several advantages
- 5 year warranty (vs. IBM's one)
- up to 1 or 2GB Elite drive
- The fast <a href="http://www.kingston.com/digitalmedia/datasheets/mkms_848.pdf" target="_blank">read/write speed</a> of the Elite.

The only thing that I am uncertain about is Kingston's implementation of making the Elite bootable. It uses a <a href="http://www.kingston.com/support/faqs/datatraveler/faq_dtelite_boot.asp" target="_blank">boot utility</a> as do <a href="http://www-306.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-46276" target="_blank">IBM</a> and <a href="http://h18007.www1.hp.com/support/files/hpcpqdt/us/download/20306.html" target="_blank">HewlettPackard</a>. However, it uses a non-MS version of DOS called "<a href="http://www.freedos.org/" target="_blank">FreeDOS</a>".

1a) I have read several detailed threads regarding different approaches that people have taken in making their flash drives bootable.
(- http://www.aaltonen.us/archive/2004/03/01/tip-boot-from-usb-key-addendum/
- http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=2514
- http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=4682)

The end result is a usb device with Microsoft DOS system files.
I am curious why Kingston chose a different approach in using FreeDOS (rather than use MS DOS).


1b) It seems the main interest that people have in making their usb flash drive bootable is so they can run diagnostic software, partioning programs (like PartitionMagic) and/or data backup/imaging programs like Ghost.
I am completely unfamiliar with FreeDOS and was wondering if using a non-Microsoft DOS system like FreeDOS will create any problems when trying to run these programs from the USB device after having booted from it.

1c) I spent some time at the FreeDOS website and learned that it will always be a work-in-progress. And since this is something that doesn't share the MS DOS sourcecode, there are and will be differences.
But are these differences going to create potential problems or impose limitations while using the DataTraveler Elite as a bootable device versus if the Elite had MS DOS system files instead of FreeDOS system files ?
e.g. I read things that suggested that I might have to write an autoexec.bat and also have to figure out how to include drivers and references to those so that FreeDOS can work correctly with the computer.

I had received a reply on another forum ( "FreeDOS is very similar to MSDOS and DRDOS. Any program that runs in MSDOS will work in FreeDOS." ). I'm appreciative of the reply, but I am hoping that someone has time to answer (some of) my questions in a little more detail.

Thank you in advance for your time and help