Author Options:

I have a laptop hard drive that doesn't work. Can I use a USB flash drive as a replacement and how? Answered

I don't want to buy a new HD and a USB flash drive is portable and more durable.


I've recently gone through this when the SSD drive on my netbook failed. Of course, soon after the warranty on the netbook expired. I tried a USB strick and external USB hard drive to install XP and Ubuntu with no real success.

There is tutorials out there, but they're pretty complicated, and still no guarantee it'll work.

It's currently fully running off an external DVD drive using an Ubuntu live CD. A USB stick provides ability to save files.

The cost of a compatible new SSD drive wasn't worth it. So, had to jury-rig using what I had on hand.

Flash RAM only has a a limited lifetime, when you reach a certain level of read/write operations it goes defective. Modern solid-state hard drives do their best to minimise the damage, USB RAM sticks don't.
Try to install an operating system on the drive if you can, try to set the boot sequence to the USB drive (in BIOS settings) - if you can do those you're mostly there.