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Experience with MX on USB sticks, external drives

Here you can post about what you did to get MX to work right with your computer or if hardware worked right out of the box for you. This is for the computers and/or hardware that is normally hard to get working right in Linux or MX.
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KBD
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Experience with MX on USB sticks, external drives

#1

Post by KBD » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:26 pm

I like to use full installs of Linux on USB sticks, both to have a portable OS, but also for testing, playing around with distros. Another nice thing about USB sticks is the price has come way down on them. I just bought a 120 gb USB for $20.
Yet not all USB sticks are the same. I've generally had good luck with Sandisk. The exceptions being the "Fit", "Blade", and the cheaper "Glide" in a variety of colors. The regular black "Glide" has worked well for me. The older Sandisk USB's all were pretty good. The newer, cheaper ones not so much. What happens with the cheaper ones is that they gradually slow down and start freezing. The better ones don't do that.
I just purchased a Sandisk Ultra 3.0 120 gb USB to put MX on. Hoping it is one of the better ones.
What has been your experience using MX on external drives, USB's in particular?

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mmikeinsantarosa
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Re: Experience with MX on USB sticks, external drives

#2

Post by mmikeinsantarosa » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:47 pm

All I had were 4 & 8G USB sticks around the house so I figured maybe I could load up on some cheap higher capacity drives so I found Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 32GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive for $7 each and ordered 4. When they got here, I put MX live on one and it was so slow, much slower than the smaller capacity drives. I still don't know if it was something to do with the increased capacity or these drives are just slow.

- mike
LT: MX18.2 Quad Core model: Intel Core i7-6820HQ Kernel: 5.0.0-7.1-liquorix-amd64 x86_64

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KBD
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Re: Experience with MX on USB sticks, external drives

#3

Post by KBD » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:56 pm

mmikeinsantarosa wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:47 pm
All I had were 4 & 8G USB sticks around the house so I figured maybe I could load up on some cheap higher capacity drives so I found Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 32GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive for $7 each and ordered 4. When they got here, I put MX live on one and it was so slow, much slower than the smaller capacity drives. I still don't know if it was something to do with the increased capacity or these drives are just slow.

- mike
I've had trouble with Kingston usb drives. Some drives are too slow to install Linux onto. I had a Toshiba usb stick that was as slow as a turtle, practically useless for anything. Never impressed with pny drives either. Occasionally I get a bad Sandisk usb, but most of the time they are pretty good. I always format with everything on an ext4 partition, and 2-4 gb swap.

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Re: Experience with MX on USB sticks, external drives

#4

Post by JayM » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:22 pm

I use USB sticks to make live USBs of MX and antiX for testing purposes, not for running Linux on for a long term, so they get reformatted and reimaged often (except for the one that has my system's snapshot on it, which I've marked and set aside.) I've had good luck with my two Toshiba 16GB ones that I bought a year or two ago, and also with a CD-R King branded el-cheapo 8GB stick I'd bought 6 months or so before the Toshies. They're nowhere as fast as my SSD, perhaps because everything's USB2, but they're fast enough and so far have been quite reliable. I have three sticks total, and could use one or two more so I don't have to reburn ISOs to them as often and wear them out as fast.

I think I mentioned it in another thread but I bought an 8GB Kingston Data Traveler at around the same time and it was a dud. I couldn't boot from it, text files that were copied to it sometimes weren't able to be opened in a text editor; it was basically junk. I tried it on three different computers and ended up just throwing it in the trash, and I've decided never to buy any Kingston products again. They used to be good, and I don't know what happened to them as a company.

It seems that not every USB stick is going to perform adequately, or even work at all, on every computer, plus there's always a chance that you'll get a bad one, so the important thing is to buy yours from a store with a hassle-free in-store return or exchange policy which you should enquire about before purchasing anything. Lots of stores will require you to fill out a return form which is OK, but if they tell you they have to send the defective unit back to their distributor and you'll have to wait for them to ship the replacement when you look around and see several of the same device right there in the store, walk away and don't shop there. They should just give you your replacement on the spot, then they should be the ones to deal with their supplier to get the replacement for their stock after you've left, a happy customer.
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Re: Experience with MX on USB sticks, external drives

#5

Post by KBD » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:30 pm

JayM wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:22 pm

It seems that not every USB stick is going to perform adequately, or even work at all, on every computer, plus there's always a chance that you'll get a bad one, so the important thing is to buy yours from a store with a hassle-free in-store return or exchange policy which you should enquire about before purchasing anything. Lots of stores will require you to fill out a return form which is OK, but if they tell you they have to send the defective unit back to their distributor and you'll have to wait for them to ship the replacement when you look around and see several of the same device right there in the store, walk away and don't shop there. They should just give you your replacement on the spot, then they should be the ones to deal with their supplier to get the replacement for their stock after you've left, a happy customer.
Good point. I buy most of mine at Walmart as they have a 14 day return policy on Electronics. They never give me any problems.
I've got Sandisk usb sticks (4 gb) that I use to boot live Linux distros on. I've had some of them for 6-8 years and used them repeatedly. I've tossed out a couple that got corrupted over time, but generally had great luck with Sandisk usb's.

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Re: Experience with MX on USB sticks, external drives

#6

Post by mmikeinsantarosa » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:52 pm

I'm about to bite on a set of 5 sandisk 32G USB sticks.
$38 @ amazon prime.
I'm going to donate the slow kingstons to work.

...unless somebody stops me...

- mike
LT: MX18.2 Quad Core model: Intel Core i7-6820HQ Kernel: 5.0.0-7.1-liquorix-amd64 x86_64

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Re: Experience with MX on USB sticks, external drives

#7

Post by KBD » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:16 am

mmikeinsantarosa wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:52 pm
I'm about to bite on a set of 5 sandisk 32G USB sticks.
$38 @ amazon prime.
I'm going to donate the slow kingstons to work.

...unless somebody stops me...

- mike
I bought one just like it this afternoon, the 120 gb stick I mentioned in my first post. I'm using it on a 3.0 usb port and it is as fast as if I was using an SSD drive. I think you will be happy with those. A good price too.

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Re: Experience with MX on USB sticks, external drives

#8

Post by Head_on_a_Stick » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:59 am

I can recommend SanDisk's Extreme USB 3.0 sticks, they are very fast:

Code: Select all

empty@E485:~ $ sudo hdparm -t /dev/sdb                                                               

/dev/sdb:
 Timing buffered disk reads: 758 MB in  3.01 seconds = 252.02 MB/sec
empty@E485:~ $
I've had that stick for about 5 years now, it's used for backups now but it used to run #! very well indeed :happy:
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Re: Experience with MX on USB sticks, external drives

#9

Post by mxer » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:24 am

USB 2.0
(PNY 512mb & 1gb - never had any troubles with them.)
(Another 1gb black, used to have a cover, - no problems.)

USB 2.0 that have run various distros live, including MX
Verbatim 4gb retractable - no problems.
Novatech generic 4gb, 8gb, 16gb, & 32gb - no problems.

USB 3.1
Newly acquired Kingston Datatraveller G4 32gb - looks to be perfectly acceptable running MX & antiX.
(FOSS, Linux, & BSD since 1999)

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Re: Experience with MX on USB sticks, external drives

#10

Post by mrsfixit » Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:48 pm

I haven't tried MX on a stick yet- I will soon.
In general, I use class 10 microSD cards for this kind of thing.
I have 5 Raspberry Pi's all running LibreElec/Kodi, and all on 16GB Sandisk, PNY, or Samsung EVO class 10 cards. I've had good luck with these brands.
I have a couple of 32GB cards lying about, and that's what I am going to try to install MX on.
We'll see what happens... ;-)

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