Linux (Knoppix ) Via USB on HP Tc4400 Tablet PC




Introduction: Linux (Knoppix ) Via USB on HP Tc4400 Tablet PC

About: So what ideas would you like to try?

Overview of HP tc4400 running Windows XP Tablet Edition, booted via USB and Flash drive with Knoppix and Linux tools.

This is a Review of the USB Process for boot images.

Links and references are available online.

( wiki. The wiki and other features found on ( are all about Knoppix. ( is a resource for users, developers, and testers of Knoppix. The official website for Knoppix is at Klaus Knopper's website (

Knoppix is a Free and Open Source Live Linux CD based on Debian ( GNU/Linux. Live Linux CD means that the computer boots and runs completely from USB. Nothing is installed on your hard drive in order for you to experience many of the Open Source software packages available. Knoppix includes recent Linux software and desktop environments, including such applications as, Abiword, Gimp, Konqueror, Firefox, Apache, PHP, MySQL and hundreds of other quality open source programs. (See "complete list of packages included with Knoppix" for more information.) ( allows you to look at the FAQ's and Documentation, participate in discussions on the forums, or just burn a copy of it and try it out! - You can download it ( CD/DVD size ISO files, or USB HERE ) or buy it from a CD distributor, more CD info on the download / buy page (

The documentation found here is organized in several sections. The goal is to take you from the very beginning to boot via USB all the way to advanced applications of the Live Linux CD.

Post comments for details or questions...


Step 1: Materials


USB memory stick 512mb+ Bootable (like PQI) remove U3 add-ons or any software

Knoppix 5.x or your preferred Linux download (small)

Time: about 40min

Difficulty: Easy

Issues: Drivers for Wireless LAN, touchscreen and audio/video, lack of CD/DVD internal drive

BIOS updates my be required to enable USB HDD as primary Boot device!

Step 2: Steps

How to boot Knoppix (cd or dvd data) from a USB dongle:
I will describe below how to format a fat 16 partition on a USB dongle and make it DOS bootable and automatically launch a dos version of grub which will start knoppix from the iso cd image (+kernel +inird files) all located on the USB dongle:

1) Download GRUB:

2) Extract the directory\Grube\Root_Of_USB

3) Launch the GREAT program HPUSBFW.EXE (under XP only, sorry), and follow the instructions and when prompted, point to the system files included in the Root_Of_USB directory

4) copy the rest of the files of Root_Of_USB into the root of your dongle (but do NOT overwrite the io.sys)

5) copy the files required to boot linux: kernel, ramdisk and iso (linux, minirt_ntfs.gz, knoppix.iso) (you can download the various customized version of the INITRD_NTFS.GZ ramdisk required to boot from an ISO file (even if the filesystem is not ntfs but a fat or ext2/3) here: for knoppix 4.02

6) modify the menu.lst file to match your need
(path to the kernel and initrd file + kernel boot options, cf grub and knppix doc.

But be very careful, the path is case sensitive !!!)

7) setup your bios to boot from usb, reboot and have fun...

Look less than an hour.

Step 3: Pro/Cons


Leaves NOTHING on host OS or HDD. Great for library, Cafe or any kiosk where USB is accessable.

Wonderful rescue tools and recovery options

See ALL Windows files and drives in read-only mode

Small, fast and lightweight

Easy to take all your files and links on USB with the OS and Boot image one ONE 1Gb drive


any saves or changes are not saved to USB's desktop, requires a files to be save on dongle.

hard to update

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    14 Discussions


    Yeah just a note... USB flash drives can only handle a certain number of reads/writes before they stop working. For storing files and stuff it will probably never be reached, yet after a couple of years of running an OS, depending on how much it is used, the flash drive could stop working.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The life cycle of a flash drive is a question which has been around for a long time. There are many factors which contribute to the longevity of a flash drive. Today, lets look at some.

    I feel there are three main components which effect the life cycle of a USB flash drive.

    Memory type
    USB connection
    Chassis or case
    Flash drives use two primary types of flash memory. There is SLC and MLC memory. SLC is Single Level Cell memory and MLC is Multi Level Cell memory. did an in-depth write-up about SLC and MLC flash memory if you’re interested, but for this article we have:

    SLC memory is good for about 100,000 write cycles.
    MLC memory is good for about 10,000 write cycles.
    Most UFDs use MLC memory because it’s cheaper to make and allows manufacturers to offer more storage in a smaller space. It’s difficult to figure out which type of memory a UFD has, but it doesn’t matter anyway – most flash drives are more limited by other factors.

    Next, lets look at the limiting factor of the USB connector. This is the actual socket which connects the UFD to the host computer. Doing some research, most USB Type A socket manufacturers provide a specification called Mating Durability. The spec is around 1,500 connections. WOW, that sure limits the life cycle, but I doubt many would connect the UFD to a host over 1,500 times.

    Last, the chassis or case help the USB life cycle. The chassis helps the UFD look cool, but also provides a small amount of protection against wear-n-tear. UFDs are exposed to all sorts of shock. Whether it be physical shock or electric shock, it’s important to treat your UFD with care. True, there are some indestructible flash drives out there, but the point here is try not to let external factors instantly destroy your drive. The best method for shock protection is A) don’t drop, slam or smash your UFD and B) keep the cap on so the connectors don’t rub or touch another object which could create electric shock.

    So, to sum everything up: Given you don’t physically ruin your drive, you have about 1,500 connections and about 10,000 write cycles before you can expect the USB life cycle to become questionable.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Given that the required drive is available for about 20$ at most all over the place, not much of a big deal.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    when i played with this more often, i found that when using thumb drives to recover older laptops, if the usb driver on-board is usb 1.0, it's is not bootable. that is dated information, so check it before making decisions based on this.

    but your right, linux puts the the tech back in the equation.. dsl.. then knopixx..


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I use slax and u can pick through modules to see wat u want i got a wireless manager that works great

    Phil B
    Phil B

    12 years ago on Introduction

    I looked at Knoppix, but found Puppy easier for me to download and use. I had no trouble making a Live disc and it is very snappy. I can connect to the Internet through an RJ-45 cable to my ISP's modem. I would like to connect through one of my two wireless cards so I can use it at airports and coffee shops. One card is a Belkin G series and the other is a D-Link B series card. Belkin does not offer Linux drivers. Any help would be appreciated.


    13 years ago on Step 3

    Does the pen work? This seems to me to be a real problem, running Linux on my tablet.


    13 years ago on Introduction

    Knoppix is awsome ,saved me lots of times, also great for long term visits at other people's houses. Just look at my username THE BOX SAID "VISTA OR BETTER'" SO I INSTALLED LINUX!!!!


    13 years ago on Introduction

    I love knoppix. It has saved my cyber life many times. I love it!!!!!! Great instructable!! Have you ever booted into 3d beryl. IT is really fun. Just type on the boot menu:"knoppix desktop=beryl"


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction beryl this is a very small minimized version for a 1Gb USB thumb drive. It does have desktop options for Ice, fluxbox, KDE or TWM.... ...gotta save room dude...


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    I feel the same way! ;) best linux live-cd(dvd) ever! Ubuntu looks like a poor guy against knopix ;)


    13 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable. Anything linux is a step in the right direction. An instructable that makes it more accesable to the public..priceless. Down with windoze.