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Boot from External Hard Drive


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#1 tcharleschapman

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 12:40 AM

Hi Everyone!

 

So I just purchased myself a flashy new Western Digital 1TB External Hard Drive!  My main goal was to remove everything I needed from an old computer before I passed it on.  That part is done.  Now, I have another question.

 

I had a friend many years ago talk about wanting to make it so he could plug in a flash drive to anyone else's computer and it would boot using his OS and files.  Pretty much just using someone else's hardware to run his system.  I think I would like to do this with my hard drive.

 

My purpose for doing this is that I travel a bit but do not have a laptop.  I would need this mainly for when I'm at relatives' houses and I'm bored so I can run my Steam Client, Steam games, and a specialty RPG Character Builder.  Would this idea work?  Would it be worth the effort?  If the answer is yes to both of these then how would I go about doing it?

 

Side Note:  The RPG Character Builder is called Hero Lab.  This program presents a separate challenge in itself.  Because of the way the company has it set up I can only authorize my account to two computers.  Would using this External Hard Drive allow me to use it with any Laptop/Desktop?

 

Thanks!



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#2 tcharleschapman

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 12:46 AM

To elaborate on the Hero Lab question, this is the information provided by WolfLair, the company that created the software.  Using this information I'd guess that installing an OS on the Hard Drive and then installing the Software with that OS would mean I can use it anywhere.

 

lwd2_longlist.pngHow Computers are Identified

Hero Lab uses a few key pieces of information to establish the "identity" of your computer. This information is configured when the operating system is installed on your computer. No identifying information about you or your computer ever leaves your computer. The identifying information of your computer is distilled down into a short string of characters that "uniquely" reflects your computer. This short string is transmitted to our server. It is impossible to reverse the operation and determine any identifying information about your system from the short string, so your privacy is secure.

In general, there are only three conditions under which the identity of your computer should change:

  1. Installing a new operating system will change your computer's identity. This is the same as switching to a new computer or re-installing the same operating system after re-formatting your hard drive.
  2. Upgrading your current operating system will often change the identity. (This does NOT include automatic updates and service packs.)
  3. Editing system information that should never be modified after operating system installation can sometimes trigger an identity change. This can occur if you use various hacked versions of games.


#3 Kilroy

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 12:29 PM

If all of the machines you were using this drive on were the same make and model this wouldn't be a big deal.  The problem is that you will most likely want this to run on machines with big differences in hardware would cause you to have issues.  It may work after a few reboots, but it isn't going to be plug and play.



#4 tcharleschapman

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:35 AM

Thanks!  That is the info I was looking for.






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