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Loading An Os On An External Hard Drive


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6 replies to this topic

#1 nuclearbassoon

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 04:00 PM

Can an OS be installed on an external hard drive, then the the hard drive be plugged into any computer, then the computer restarted using the OS installed on the hard drive?

If so, how would you go about installing the OS on the hard drive?

Then how would you go about restarting any computer with the OS installed on the hard drive?

Thanks


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#2 mjc

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 04:52 PM

I have not had any success. I would guess the drivers are to different, you may have better results if the computers are more similar :thumbsup:

#3 Rimmer

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 10:23 PM

I've seen specifications which say an external USB hard drive can be made bootable but have never tried it.

If you are talking about Windows XP I'd imagine you would quickly run into the Windows Activation barrier because XP would assume it had been installed on a new PC every time you swapped the drive.

There are operating systems which can boot from a CDROM and configure themselves to a new system fairly rapidly. Have a look at Ubuntu at http://www.ubuntu.com/ (it's free!).

What are you wanting to achieve exactly?

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#4 linderman

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 04:48 PM

I have never been able to boot from a USB hard drive if thats what youre trying to do ???? one of the big reasons if because the OS has to enable USB support >>>> so basically the OS has got to get thru a certain amount of the boot process before USB devices are recognised and usuable??? I would not look for any Windows OS to provide such support in the near future as such an endeavor would cut their own throat ???? you would have one copy of an OS being used on multiple machines


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#5 VB4

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 01:32 AM

Yes Linux would be the most forgiving of all OS's to do this. Windows is not great enough yet.

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#6 acklan

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 09:20 AM

Can an OS be installed on an external hard drive, then the the hard drive be plugged into any computer, then the computer restarted using the OS installed on the hard drive?

If so, how would you go about installing the OS on the hard drive?

Then how would you go about restarting any computer with the OS installed on the hard drive?

Thanks



Only if the computer supports USB boot. Rimmer's idea of a OS that runs from a CD is probably your easiest experiment. Try Puppy Linux. It is a complete 60 meg download will freeware onboard. All you will need to do what you want is a CDRW, actually that is even optional, and 256mb of RAM.
Boot from the CD and the entire OS is loaded onto a RAM drive. Once loaded you can even remove the CD if you choose. When your session is finished just reboot and it's like it was never there. If you have the CDRW it will prompt you to saave you work/setting to the boot CD.
Actually pretty amazing considering XP needs amost a Gig to do the same thing. Also it has the feel of '95.
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#7 usasma

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 07:34 PM

Can an OS be installed on an external hard drive, then the the hard drive be plugged into any computer, then the computer restarted using the OS installed on the hard drive?

If so, how would you go about installing the OS on the hard drive?

Then how would you go about restarting any computer with the OS installed on the hard drive?

Thanks


As others have answered - yes, you can load an OS on an external hard drive and run it on other computers...BUT...it's gotta be designed to do this. Try this with Windows XP and 2 significantly different computers and all you'll get is the BSOD! Windows isn't flexible enough to cope with the changes in hardware. There are attempts out there to "fix" this - but they're mostly still in the experimental stage. So, your best bet is the "Live" distros that are available out there.
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