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'Hybrid' HDD Technology To Allow Data Access Without Booting 144

Posted by Zonk
from the wonders-of-the-mondern-age dept.
jfruhlinger writes "You've got a file on your laptop that you need to access — but you don't want to wait for your laptop to boot up to get at it. New technology from the company Silicon Storage Technology will make the contents of a hard drive accessible via a computer's USB port even when the computer is powered down. 'FlashMate combines hardware, firmware and software in a system application subsystem that manages a notebook computer's hard drive. It is based on SST's expertise in NAND flash controllers and memory subsystem design with Insyde Software's expertise in PC BIOS, system software and power management. FlashMate can work in conjunction with features such as Windows Vista ReadyDrive and serve as nonvolatile cache for the hard disk drive, thus enabling a standard hard disk drive to function as a hybrid drive.'"
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'Hybrid' HDD Technology To Allow Data Access Without Booting

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  • by Megane (129182) on Friday October 12, 2007 @10:43AM (#20953749) Homepage
    Too bad that Apple has supported HD access without booting for years. Firewire target mode, and SCSI target mode before that.
    • Too bad that Apple has supported HD access without booting for years. Firewire target mode, and SCSI target mode before that.

      Why is this "too bad"? I'd think this would be "too good" or at least "good" for Apple users, right? Unless you really don't care about discussing the actual functionality and just want to sling around a bunch of meaningless, childlike chatter for the purposes of ... well, I don't even understand why you'd do it, actually. Why do you do it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Tobenisstinky (853306)
        I think what megane was trying to point out was that this was being touted as "new and revolutionary" while Apple has been doing it for years. As for why we do it, it's great for data recovery if the OS goes bye-bye or a laptop screen gets smashed, we can copy the drive over to another laptop and contiue working. Because Apple builds the OS and hardware, it all plays nice together, and you can boot a desktop with a laptop in target disk mode. (Provided you have your architectures in sync - or have built a "
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I think what megane was trying to point out was that this was being touted as "new and revolutionary" while Apple has been doing it for years.
          I assume you mean that apple has been touting old technology as "new and revolutionary" for years yeah?

      • by bdr529 (1063398)
        I think the OP was attemting to point out that, while the posted article makes this sound like something new, it is not. But I'm not an apple fan-boy...
        • by hedwards (940851)
          I wasn't aware that apple had this for hard disks, but I recall seeing PCs that could play CDs from their cdrom drives without booting up. And that was probably three or four years ago.

          This doesn't sound that much different. The main difference being that the USB chipset and HD are now involved rather than the soundcard and cdrom drive. Doesn't sound terribly different to me.
      • by peragrin (659227) on Friday October 12, 2007 @11:06AM (#20954175)
        Why it's cool that's easy

        my powerbook died. the graphics chip stopped working, so the display was all screwed up. I bought a new Mac Mini, plugged in my firewire cable into both computers. I booted the bad powerbook into target disk mode, and turned on the mac mini for the first time.

        As OS X initaized it gave me the option of importing settings and applications from another computer. It mounted my poor powerbook as a fire wire drive, copied everything over including passwords and user settings. two hours(20 gigs of stuff to copy) I had a nearly identical system up and running. I had to change things like the computers network name, change the resolution, but I was up and running fully. No reinstalling software for a day. it just worked.

        I took the powerbook back to apple for repairs. when i got it back I repeated the process in reverse restoring the powerbook to what I had before in just a couple of hours, not days of reinstalling software like windows requires.

        Yes I said days as windows software installs don't like being transfered in such ways.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dgatwood (11270)

          To be fair, software-copy-protected apps on the Mac don't like being transferred that way, either, but at least for most of them, you just have to reauthorize them. There are a few, however, that are poorly written and break completely (you have zero days to register this software before saving and printing are disabled), requiring reinstallation of the app after a transfer. (Finale, I'm looking at you.) Fortunately, such problems are rare in my experience.

      • Yeah - thanks for the responses. I guess I didn't explain myself well, perhaps because of my annoyance. My point was that the only reason this would be "too bad" would be if you were trying to tout one thing versus another, as opposed to talking about the technology. Is it new technology? No - as the so-called fan boys have certainly, and redundantly, told us all. Is it a new "application" of technology? I think this could be easily argued yes. So, while my annoyance could be that I just need a cup
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by FinchWorld (845331)
      Too bad that Apple has supported HD access without booting for years. Firewire target mode, and SCSI target mode before that. Too bad Apple never supported it via USB then eh? What with USB being widely more available on say, your friends/parents/co-workers/public computer as opposed to firewire.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by demon (1039)
        Mostly because you'd need a dedicated USB port - FireWire/i.Link/IEEE 1394 is a *peer to peer* bus, so all ports work the same, whereas USB ports have *host* ports and *device* ports. It makes it much more difficult to implement. On the older NewWorld PPC systems, FireWire target mode was simply implemented by a little bit of Forth that talked on the FireWire bus, accepted commands, and read from/wrote to the system's internal disk as directed - it's so dirt simple. (I understand the Intel based systems hav
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dgatwood (11270)

          Mostly correct.

          IIRC, software-switchable USB silicon does exist, though it isn't all that common. Of course, if you switch one of the standard USB connectors over into device mode, you'd still need a highly nonstandard USB cable with two "type A" connectors on it instead of a "type A" and a "type B"---a specialized cable that almost nobody actually owns. By contrast, FireWire requires only a standard cable that anyone who has any (non-camcorder) FireWire peripherals should already own. Thus, unless you

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by kf6auf (719514)
            Also, USB2 wasn't finalized until 2000. Firewire was around when USB was painfully slow.
            • by dgatwood (11270)

              Firewire was around when USB was painfully slow.

              USB 3 isn't out yet. It's still painfully slow. :-D

          • by norton_I (64015)
            Also, according to the USB consortium, A-to-A cables are illegal. While it is true they are a bunch of hosemonkeys when it comes to cables, technically they could sue you if you sold such a cable and called it USB.

            Sadly, it seems we are stuck with USB, despite its general suckiness.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by v1 (525388)
            I'd imagine that's why Apple didn't choose to do USB target disk mode when they dropped SCSI despite the fact that all Macs had USB by that time

            More likely this was due to USB at the time being 1.1 at 12mbps. Firewire at 400mbps gave it a good whupping until the advent of USB 1.2/2.0HS years later. Until only recently, USB was not much better than ADB at doing data transfers.

            The fact that they used the same connector on both ends was icing on the cake. USB target disk mode would probably require puting
      • by slart42 (694765)

        Too bad Apple never supported it via USB then eh? What with USB being widely more available on say, your friends/parents/co-workers/public computer as opposed to firewire.
        Not really an issue, given that Macs all came with FireWire for quite a while, and that typical non-Macs wouldn't know how to access a mac-formated Hard disk anyways (yes I know there are ways to do it, but can your friends/parents/co-workers do it?).
    • by WK2 (1072560)
      The article is quite short on details. So you don't access your files by booting your computer. Then how do you access them? Does it act as external storage, so you can transfer files from your computer to another computer that is already booted? Does it provide some sort of minimal access to your files without needing a second computer?
  • Wow. (Score:5, Funny)

    by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Friday October 12, 2007 @10:43AM (#20953759)

    You've got a file on your laptop that you need to access -- but you don't want to wait for your laptop to boot up to get at it.
    Damn... and I thought I was fucking lazy.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Give us more details, please. Who is Lazy? Is he good in bed?
  • alright! (Score:5, Funny)

    by snark23 (122331) on Friday October 12, 2007 @10:44AM (#20953771) Homepage
    Now I don't even have to boot to steal sensitive information. This will save so much time!
    • That's my sensitive information, you insensitive clod!
    • by arivanov (12034)
      Ahem. My thought exactly. I bet it does not recognise administrator versus user rights.
      • by johnkzin (917611)

        Or access rights at all.

        What if I want to mount my laptop on my desktop machine, but I don't want ANYONE else to be able to do that?

        Further, what if my hard drive isn't formatted in a windows format? Is the vendor of this technology supporting HFS+, UFS, the linux version of UFS, etc?
      • by fmobus (831767)
        There is no way of preventing someone from taking your harddrive, remount it and then accessing it circumventing whatever "user rights" mechanism the file system has. For example, in an ext3 filesystem, as long as your UID matches the UID of the file, you can access it.

        The only way to be sure is encrypting the whole harddrive or encrypting your sensitive infomation. Period.
        • But with this feature it makes it significantly easier. No screwdriver required.

          If someone leaves their laptop for a drink, you can easily grab significant amounts of data before they get back.
  • Macs (Score:5, Informative)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday October 12, 2007 @10:46AM (#20953817) Homepage

    That's odd, all the Macs I've owned in the last 7+ years have done that though FireWire Disk Mode. Boot, hold a key down, in 5 seconds or so you have a oversized, way overpowered, external FireWire disk. It's about time the rest of the computer world started getting this ability.

    Of course, since I just put my computers to sleep I don't have to worry about boot time.

    It's a useful ability though. I've used it a few times on my Macs. Plus, it makes getting a new Mac and transferring things over (using the installer's transfer wizard) trivial.

    • Re:Macs (Score:4, Interesting)

      by clickclickdrone (964164) on Friday October 12, 2007 @10:57AM (#20954005)
      Now why the hell don't reviews ever mention stuff like that? I'd have bought a Mac for that feature alone.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by quanticle (843097)

        Now why the hell don't reviews ever mention stuff like that? I'd have bought a Mac for that feature alone.

        Perhaps because Apple doesn't publicize the feature either. There are many cool things that the Mac OS can do that aren't well publicized. Another example is universal spell checking [tuaw.com], which I also never hear mentioned.

        • I was very surprised when I got my first iMac two years ago. I hadn't heard of half the neat stuff this thing (or laptop models) can do. I don't understand why Apple doesn't run something like it's iPhone adds for it's other hardware. Show off the actual features instead of the silly skits they do now. Almost like they're TRYING to hold back :\
        • There are many cool things that the Mac OS can do that aren't well publicized.

          Target mode isn't part of the Mac OS, it's part of the firmware. It was damned useful for recovering data from my G3 iBook that had the logic board problem. It originally came with Mac OS 9 preinstalled, with Mac OS X disks included. It was independent from the OS.

          • by quanticle (843097)

            Given that the firmware on Macs is much more closely integrated with the OS than on PCs, the distinction isn't as sharp on that platform. In any case, my point stands - Macs can do lots of cool things that Apple doesn't tell us they can do.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tengwar (600847)
          One they really should mention because it usually catches new Mac users out: how to de-install an application. I spent some time looking for the Add/Remove Programs equivalent before I found that you just drop the application in the Trash.
          • by mdwh2 (535323)
            I spent some time looking for the Add/Remove Programs equivalent before I found that you just drop the application in the Trash.

            Works fine with most Windows applications actually, but the Remove Programs route is a tidier way to remove shortcuts, and also shared DLLs if they are no longer being used. How does Mac OS handle these issues?
      • by GiMP (10923)
        It is a feature they've had for over a decade, so its hardly new, and it doesn't matter to "mom and pop"?
      • Re:Macs (Score:4, Informative)

        by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Friday October 12, 2007 @11:55AM (#20955131)
        Because the feature first showed up in 1991. Starting first with SCSI Disk Mode and evolving into Firewire Disk Mode in 2000. Here are a list of other features that I wish my XP laptop had that Mac has had as long as I've run them (Since system 7.1).

        You can rename a file while it's open.
        You can move a file while it's open. (Mac programs track it accurately, stuff like jEdit doesn't).
        You can rename a program while it's running.
        You can open a folder that is in the trash and move a file out of it without having to restore the folder, get the file and then delete the folder again.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          You do realise that all the "features" you list are a direct result of having a sane filesystem? (Apart from the last one, not sure about that) Most, if not all Unix operating systems can that and did that for ages.
        • Some additional thoughts:
          How many cars do you see advertised on TV "Now with cruise control?". It's just assumed to most knowledgeable Mac Users that you can do this. Apple wants to show off their latest and greatest. Spaces, Expose, etc, this is old news to us.

          Being able to take screenshots of the entire screen and saved to a file on the desktop. Later versions (9.1?) added the ability to take screen shots of areas selected by the mouse. I'm still fighting to find a decent screen capture program in XP.

          Univ
          • by quanticle (843097)

            How many cars do you see advertised on TV "Now with cruise control?". It's just assumed to most knowledgeable Mac Users that you can do this.

            At least cars come with a visible cruise control knob, and have an entry in the user manual telling you how to operate the feature. Macs have neither. Things like target mode, and integrated spell checking aren't visible to the user. A new user doesn't even know that the feature exists until he/she comes across a reference to it on the Web, or someone else tells

          • by mdwh2 (535323)
            When was the last time you asked an advanced Mac user what his/her computer could do?

            When was the last time you asked an advanced user of another OS (either Windows, or another niche platform) what his/her computer could do?

            I mean, you didn't even know about Print Screen.

            Spaces, Expose, etc, this is old news to us.

            The irony of referring to Spaces as "old news" - this is ancient news in most other platforms.

            50% of the time when I try that with Yahoo or MSN in Mac OR XP I get "Connection failed. Is your party
            • I know about Print screen. It just doesn't work on 2/3 of my XP machines. When it does work it's in black and white.

              Hibernation doesn't just work on 3/3 of my XP machines. It always wakes itself up.
        • by edwdig (47888)
          The trash issue is just a weird thing, but the rest of the things you listed make sense. Under the Windows design, it would be a bug if you could do those things.

          Unix and Windows look at the file system in two different ways. On Unix, the filename doesn't mean much. The filename is used to look up an inode, which is what actually tracks the data. Once the inode is found, the filename is meaningless. You can move, change, or delete the filename as you wish without it impacting the inode or the actual file da
          • by norton_I (64015)
            Everybody but you thinks that not being able to rename files while they are open is a bug.

            You might make an argument about not allowing hard links, or deleting files that are in use, but the renaming thing is just stupid.
            • by edwdig (47888)
              You might make an argument about not allowing hard links, or deleting files that are in use, but the renaming thing is just stupid.

              It's not so much the renaming thing that's bad. The problem is following it up by creating another file with the same name while the original is still in use. Bad things can happen when you do that with things like shared libraries or data files that affect program logic.
        • by Abreu (173023)

          You can rename a file while it's open.
          You can move a file while it's open. (Mac programs track it accurately, stuff like jEdit doesn't).
          You can rename a program while it's running.
          Damn! those feature alone make me despair of Windows... I frequently share document drafts with a friend and I have to close the file before I can send it by MSN.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888)
      What's even more fun is connecting two Macs together using firewire, setting the first one to boot into target disk mode, and then having the other one boot off the first machine's hard disk. Great way to diagnose disk problems without ever opening a case.
      • by demon (1039)
        I actually helped a friend use that method to install OS X 10.4 on his iBook - his girlfriend had one as well, but his didn't have a DVD drive. It's amazing how handy such a simple feature can be.
      • by seebs (15766)
        That was how I finally got a CPU module problem diagnosed -- demonstrated that the problem went away if I booted my laptop from the desktop's hard drive, but the desktop couldn't do things. One CPU module swap later, everything was fine.
      • It's also convenient when both machines are booted as a network link. If you've got one machine plugged into the network, and want to share the connection with another you can just string a firewire cable between them for 400 or 800Mb/s networking. I understand the USB is cheaper than Firewire, but it's so inflexible in comparison I'm still occasionally puzzled by how popular it is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dctoastman (995251)
      TFA says while the computer is powered off. Not partially booted, not on, off. This is an evolutionary step from Apple's Disk Mode.

      So, while Disk Mode is cool, it is still not the same. Because with this, you could transfer files from a desktop to a laptop during a power outage.
      • by carlbeeth (42779)
        Sadly I very much doubt that USB will be able to power a desktop 500gig HD.
        • by slart42 (694765)

          Sadly I very much doubt that USB will be able to power a desktop 500gig HD.
          The summary seemed to be talking about Notebooks. 2.5" HDs can be powered by USB (I have an external 2.5" HD case, which only needs an USB connection).
      • by Viol8 (599362)
        "TFA says while the computer is powered off. Not partially booted, not on, off."

        It might say that but I suspect its wrong. Would be interesting to see if it would still work with no battery in the machine and no mains power to it. Somehow I doubt it.
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)
        Go back and read your comment. Do you think that's REALLY what they mean?

        It sounds like they've implemented pretty much exactly the same thing as Apple's target disk mode, but stuck a flash memory cache on the hard drive. So, if you want something that happens to be in the cache then you can get it only powering up the cache. If you want something that's not in the cache then you have to power up the drive too. Either way, you still need power.

        One small difference appears to be that they've put a dedica
      • by langelgjm (860756)

        Well, I'm not sure what TFA is actually trying to say. In one instance, it says this:

        FlashMate does more by giving notebook users the ability to access to hard disk data and various applications via the notebook's USB interface, without actually having to engage the CPU.

        But in another place, it says this:

        "Our FlashMate technology expands beyond hybrid-drive functionality by enabling notebook users to conveniently perform tasks without having to turn on the computer..."

        How is the drive going to be power

    • Re:Macs (Score:4, Informative)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Friday October 12, 2007 @11:45AM (#20954889)

      That's odd, all the Macs I've owned in the last 7+ years have done that though FireWire Disk Mode. Boot, hold a key down, in 5 seconds or so you have a oversized, way overpowered, external FireWire disk. It's about time the rest of the computer world started getting this ability.


      Actually, the feature is much older - dates back to the early 90's on the 68k Macs as well. Though, they didn't have Firewire ports, they did have SCSI ports. You could set them into "SCSI Disk Mode", and they'd appear on the SCSI bus as a disk (with the SCSI ID you set).

      Heck, the SCSI logo that bounced around the screen while this went on even displayed the SCSI ID in case you forgot to set it properly (and thus can do some black magic to get your SCSI bus working again).

      Was a great way of transferring files from my old Macs (one of which didn't have Ethernet!) to my new Powerbook about 4 years ago. (Admittedly, another neat thing was the fact that the old Mac with Ethernet didn't do AppleTalk over IP (which unfortunately, is all OS X supported natively). But OS X Classic could be booted and Chooser (remember that?) could find it, and it still magically appears as a mounted disk in OS X. I don't think I want to know how many layers of software was used for that to happen.

      USB is much harder though - you can't just plug a USB Host port into another USB Host port - that's an illegal USB topology. (There can only be one host on a USB bus since it's a master-slave bus, unlike Firewire/SCSI which are peer-to-peer).
    • Earlier than that; I have a PowerBook from around 1994 which can boot up within a couple of seconds into SCSI slave mode, where it can be used as an external SCSI disk. Same thing for the connection technology at the time.
  • by n1hilist (997601)
    I hear these hybrids cause a log of smug!
  • target mode (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The next step in making bits of a notebook usable without booting would be a bidirectional DVI-port, making the notebook's screen usable as a monitor. And why stop there? Keyboard and mouse should follow.
  • I'm not an Apple fanboi, but you can hold the T key down when booting ANY Mac and it boots into a "firewire drive" mode instead of a full kernel and gui. This has been true for years.

  • by Jesterboy (106813) on Friday October 12, 2007 @10:55AM (#20953971)
    I don't really even care about the article, but I have to say, "flashyourcache" is the best tag I've ever seen.
  • I cannot imagine a reason why I would want this feature. Sure it's cool, but.. what's the use?

    Now, something that I did find myself wishing a couple of times is a laptop with a video in connector. But then again, I'm one of those freaks who has a server without any monitor attached.
  • Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by goodmanj (234846) on Friday October 12, 2007 @10:55AM (#20953977)
    Who boots a laptop? I just close the lid on my Mac, and it goes to sleep. I open it up and there's my stuff, in less time than it takes to plug in a cable. It'll sleep happily for weeks without running out of juice. The only time I ever reboot it is when it needs a software update.

    TFA is an elaborate solution to the wrong problem. The right problem is, "how can we make laptops that don't need to be booted every time they're used?"
    • by Nezer (92629)

      Who boots a laptop?
      Lots of people... My wife for one. She has been a Mac user for years (since long before OS X). At one time she was told that computers needed to be shut down when not in use because it's better for the computer. She also wants to conserve power and sleep mode still consumes power (even if this amount is minuscule it does add up).
      • by mollymoo (202721)
        The energy cost of rebooting and restarting all your applications is non-zero. For my iBook, it worked out that a boot cost the same as about 18 hours sleep.
    • by Fred_A (10934)
      I too think that machines with longer battery life (that is more than the 4 hours or so we typically get with default batteries) would be a much more useful feature.

      I don't think I've ever been in a situation where I wished I could get to my files without booting a machine... Either it was dead or I just waited the couple minutes required for it to boot (or the few seconds for it to wake up).

      Either way while it's a kind of a neat hack in an abstract kind of way, I see it as a solution looking for a problem.
    • I can see a lot of uses for something like this. If the system won't boot, you can plug it into a working computer to diagnose it. If you need to mirror the system files to a new drive, you can do so without any annoying "file in use" errors. If a system is so chock full of viruses and spyware that you can't even get anti-virus/anti-spyware software to run, you can just mount it as an external hard drive and run the scan from a working system.
      • by goodmanj (234846)
        If the system won't boot, you can plug it into a working computer to diagnose it. If you need to mirror the system files to a new drive, you can do so without any annoying "file in use" errors. If a system is so chock full of viruses and spyware that you can't even get anti-virus/anti-spyware software to run, you can just mount it as an external hard drive and run the scan from a working system.

        As has been mentioned elsewhere, Macs' "target disk mode" lets you do pretty much all of this stuff. Maybe not yo
    • by jc42 (318812)
      Who boots a laptop? I just close the lid on my Mac, and it goes to sleep.

      My wife and I have a Mac Powerbook that we've had to boot every week or so ever since we bought it. It has this curious behavior: At random times it just simply turns itself off. Everything goes dark, and no buttons work except the "boot" button at the upper right.

      We took it back to the store for diagnosis a couple of times. They couldn't get it to happen. "It all works fine for us." We've never seen any pattern to when it turns
  • by Herschel Cohen (568) on Friday October 12, 2007 @10:55AM (#20953979) Homepage Journal
    Does data become just a bit too accessible? Just asking, what are the built in safe guards. None were noted in the article, but I may have missed its being mentioned.
    • That's a very good question, does the system require a password before data can be accessed and if so is there a single master password or can it be seperate for each users files? Anyone know how apple handles this?
  • Ok, they jammed a USB frontend on the drive system. Good thinking, but not exactly revolutionary thinking - every cheapo device in the toy section seem to have a USB drive interface anymore (I'm only waiting for the first Happy Meal toy with a USB plug - "Experience vast adventures on your computer with the latest bid from Disney/Nick"). Should have always been that way, but good that it's getting that way now at least.
  • by mr_mischief (456295) on Friday October 12, 2007 @11:02AM (#20954107) Journal
    TFA doesn't say a thing about authentication, authorization, or accounting. How does this know who's checking the data? How does it decide to allow them? Where and how does it store the facts about who accessed what and when? The AAA process is a cornerstone of security -- computer or otherwise.

    Yes, I know physical security is paramount. A building needs more than one cornerstone, obviously. ;-) But other systems require the drive to be taken out or the machine to be booted at least. It's a lot easier to make sure no one can boot your machine (startup password, bootloader password, no booting from CD etc.) than to make sure they can't hook up a USB cable to it. It's also a lot harder to catch someone hooking up a cable for a couple of minutes than tearing down your laptop and taking the drive (or sliding the drive out if it's easily removable like some are -- taking it to another system and hooking it up are still time-consuming and conspicuous).

    BTW, the other cornerstones are secure design (again, in software/hardware or outside computers altogether) and data hiding (encryption, shredding paper, window shades, closed doors, setting proper permissions so that AAA actually matters, etc).
  • You know this is going to be exploited in so many bad ways. Did the NSA think up this one?
    • by Devv (992734)
      If the data on the disk is not encrypted it's your own fault. With a little more hassle the same thing is possible today by booting a Linux disc or simply stealing the HDD.
      • by Nullav (1053766)
        Or just calmly walking out with the notebook in hand. After all, if you can pull off opening it up to swipe an HDD in plain view...
  • How is this useful when you can bring a laptop out of standby (or hibernate ot a lesser extent) in mere seconds?
  • This [logicube.com] devices are used by the Police and other entities to create complete copies of confiscated computers and work on them without touching the original PC/Mac/Amiga/whatever. It can of course also be used for backup.

    • by djrogers (153854)
      How are the two even remotely related? The logicube boxes require you to *remove* the hard drive and *clone* it to another. Whaaa?
      • Really? I was under the impression that the Logicube Talon [logicubeforensics.com] for example, can clone a Hard Disk over USB just fine, without removing it or turning on the computer.
  • by jolyonr (560227) on Friday October 12, 2007 @11:09AM (#20954243) Homepage
    This seems like an excellent way of avoiding attention to the real problem - why a modern OS takes so long to boot.

    Jolyon
  • I mean... it's too much trouble not to boot up your computer...
    Sorry... I wouldn't buy it for more than 1 $.
  • ...that depends on whether or not we can get hard drives in the first place [slashdot.org]
  • Am I wrong in thinking, with laptops that can play DVD's without booting, and now, with hard drives that are accessible without booting, that we are just a short fusion of technology away from having a machine where booting into an operating system is optional for most trivial tasks? I mean, how many functions do we have to breed into a PC before the OS (being a layer for hardware / software communication) becomes obsolete?

    Personally, I'd love to see the full range of interesting ideas that can come out
  • Can it be made to work with encrypted drives?

    /dnrtfa...at work!

  • thats great! MS finally realized that their OS boots up at about the same speed as a lethargic pig in treacle and decided to do something about it!

    though they have scaled new and interesting heights of lateral thinking with this one...!
  • If your computer isn't booted, then how do you access the data off of this not-booted hard drive? Another computer? Your MP3 player? Is it a NAS device, which would require a lot of not-booted services like Wi-Fi access to the network.

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