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Launch Programs from External Hard Drive?


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#1 Exoleti

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 07:25 PM

Hello trusty forum members,

So when my PC began to give-up-the-ghost, I fretted, because I had programs on it I use frequently for work which I can no longer find the install disks, etc. I bought an external hard drive case and installed the HD from the failing PC to use as an external disk (and to save files, etc.) I can access the disk fine, however one set of programs I use regularly for work will not launch - Adobe InDesign, specifically, and the rest of the Adobe suite (Photoshop, et al). Any way to fix this? I tried booting from the external only to receive a BSOD.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 08:25 PM

Although some will say different...Windows was never designed to be booted from an external drive.

Microsoft is not among those who say that it can be done.

If you asking about the feasibility of installing programs on an external drive...booting from a drive installed in the system...and accessing programs which are installed on the external...that works because Windows is not on the external drive but on a drive that is an innate part of the system.

Your title says 'launch programs"...you can "launch programs" from the .exe (or a properly made shortcut) wherever it is...as long as Windows and the registry are on a drive considered to be "internal".

Louis

The "fix" would be to simply clone your current hard drive...to a replacement hard drive, using appropriate software for such. External drives are meant to be nothing but storage containers, not contain the O/S.

Edited by hamluis, 19 August 2010 - 08:27 PM.


#3 Exoleti

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 06:23 AM

Louis,

Just so I am clear, this is a salvaged HD now acting as an external drive. On it, are programs that were already installed before it became an external drive. Some of these programs work & I can access all the files on it. I cannot, however, start and use one program which is very important to me for my work. And of course, I can no longer find the disc or the license number to re-install the program. Does this help explain my problem?

#4 hamluis

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 10:34 AM

No, it doesn't.

A hard drive that has "previously installed programs" on it...those programs can only work if Windows is installed on that drive...and the user boots into that Windows.

IME, that's only possible when a multiboot exists and I don't believe that Windows can be multibooted from an external hard drive.

Can you post a screenshot from your current Disk Management window? Start/Run...type diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter. Take a screenshot and post it as an attachment to your next post.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/43088/how-to-capture-and-edit-a-screen-shot/

Louis

#5 Exoleti

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 10:44 AM

Screenshot attached.

Attached Files


Edited by Exoleti, 20 August 2010 - 12:12 PM.


#6 hamluis

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 12:35 PM

Thanks :thumbsup:.

The "active" designation for the second partition on your hard drive...indicates that there is a Windows partition there.

Ditto for the Acer partition.

<<Some of these programs work...>>

Any programs installed on the Windows partition reflected on your current external hard drive...can only run under certain circumstances.

a. You reinstalled said program on the Acer partition on the newer hard drive.

b. You set up a dual-boot...with both hard drives containing bootable XP installs.

You cannot run any program installed on the current external drive...by any other method I know, it just cannot happen.

If you are saying that you can...I'd have to say that you are mistaken.

As for access...you can access any file on either drive, that's normal. Running programs installed on an external hard drive which are not installed on internal hard drive...cannot happen...unless you boot into the version of Windows on that external drive.

This is pretty basic.

If you had cloned your old drive to the new drive...the same programs would have been installed on each.

Louis

#7 Exoleti

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 01:14 PM

So as this is right now, can I set-up a dual boot? Both drives have XP installed, as this was the OS on the PC from which I salvaged the HD. Or, how do I clone the drive?

Also, I checked the programs - finally found one that was not on both HD (meaning, another program besides the Adobe one that was not on the Acer to which I connected the salvaged HD as an external), & it would not launch. The other programs I referred to earlier where I stated "some programs work" were also on the Acer HD already - so I provided misinformation. Sorry.

#8 hamluis

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 01:39 PM

<<So as this is right now, can I set-up a dual boot? Both drives have XP installed, as this was the OS on the PC from which I salvaged the HD. Or, how do I clone the drive?>>

Hmmm...I suppose that (theoretically) you could set up a dual-boot, after the fact of installing...but it would require a number of 'ifs".

If your system supports booting from USB...and if those two small Acer partitions don't prove troublesome...it may be able to be done by using a second-party bootloader. I don't know, I've only fooled around with other bootloaders once or twice (just experimenting) and I didn't have other partitions such as your two smalls.

As for cloning the hard drive (either)...it would be the same procedure. Proper cloning software installed. I myself would just remove your current hard and reinstall the old as the sole hard drive...then do the cloning to a given hard drive.

You haven't mentioned the original reason you replaced the drive, so that might be a consideration. If the hard drive is healthy and free of malware, cloning it should only be a minor drill.

<<So when my PC began to give-up-the-ghost...>>

If replacing your hard drive cured your system problems...I would have to say that your original hard drive cannot be relied on, whether used as a boot drive or a secondary drive.

Louis




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