Computer Support Forum

Boot Windows Vista from an external hard drive

Question: Boot Windows Vista from an external hard drive

I dissembled a hard drive from an old laptop and uses it as an external hard drive for my new laptop. Here is my question: how do I boot (Windows Vista is installed in the old drive) from this external hard drive from my new laptop (Windows 8 is installed in the new laptop) ? I have not done anything to the old hard drive, so the old system drive is still there.I have tried to change the boot priority in CMOS but it said the external drive has no system drive. So, I don't know what seem to be the problem. Does anyone know how to resolve this issue ?Thanks in advance.message edited by skyduck

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Preferred Solution: Boot Windows Vista from an external hard drive

I recommend downloading and running Reimage. It's a computer repair tool that has been proven to identify and fix many Windows problems with a high level of success.

I've used it in the past to identify and fix everything from blue screens (BSOD's), ActiveX errors, corrupt files and processes, dll/exe/sys errors, recover lost memory, Windows update problems, defragging, malware removal etc.

You can download it direct from this link (This link will automatically start a download of Reimage that you can save to your computer.)

Answer: Boot Windows Vista from an external hard drive

By 'dissembled' I hope you mean you only removed it from the old laptop and didn't actually take it apart.Unless the laptops are identical you won't be able to successfully boot the vista drive on the new one because its installation is matched to the old laptop.But that said, it should still partially boot up before you get the blue screen error. If the drive was previously internal I guess you put it in an external case. Are you sure you did that correctly? The only other thing I can think of is the bios configuration or actual damage to the drive.

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Alright guys here's my question:

I am running a Vista Premium laptop and I would like to boot XP Pro from an external USB hard drive. This is a very important problem as I'm having compatibility issues with some of my programs.

I cannot partition my hard drive because the last time I tried it damaged essential system files and I had to reformat. I will not risk going through that process again. Besides, I'm already running low on space spending 10gigs on XP files won't help.
Any thoughts on how to do this?

Answer:Dual boot XP on a Vista computer using an External hard drive.

You can NOT run and Windows OS from a USB external drive.

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I have vista ultimate with 2 Internal hard drives and 2 external drives

my internal drives
a 250GB OS Drive
a 500GB Storage Drive

my system is running fine, with no issues..

if i plug in my external 400Gb USB Drive Vista recognizes it fine, i am able to use the drive no problem..

if i try to reboot the machine, vista will start to boot up but then freezes in the middle, i've tried ot let it sit for as long as 15 minutes and it never finishes booting up..

but i turn off the USB drive and restart Vista boots up fine.. and then turn the driv eon after booting up and everything works great..
any ideas?

Answer:Vista won't fully boot after installing external USB Hard drive

It is actually a common issue, in Xp as well.. Sometimes it can be fixed by changing your boot options in bios.. Set CD to first boot device and HD to second and disable booting from USB or "removable devices"..

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I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post but I hope admins can move it if so.

I think I'm in a screwed position which is frustrating me...
Here's the story...

So basically my buddy asked me to format his computer that had linux in it...

Before I even started, I backed up his personal pictures and files to my external hard drive..

After this was accomplished I began the process of Installing a fresh copy of Windows..

1) I accidently unpartitioned my External...which has 2 SATA 500GB Seagates in a Nexstar enclosure. It isn't formatted just unpartitioned...

2) To fix this I acquired Partition Table Doctor...I tried fixing the partition using this program...but for some odd reason it didn't work. I didn't really read the Guide to using this but I skimmed through it and it seemed pretty straight forward.

This didn't work and my laptop did regcognize the drive but didn't show up as Hard drives with letters attached.

My second problem is.. during this stage.. it said there was an error with sectors on my C drive...It asked me if I wanted to fix it and so I did...

I rebooted my laptop once more and BOOM... my Vista wouldn't boot....
and all I got was a black screen and some Funny Characters located at the top left part of the screen...

Can someone lead me to the write direction? I'm totally lost and not sure how to recover my files and fix my MBR at this point...

I'm using the deskto... Read more

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Hey everyone,
Well last night I was just enjoying my new computer when the power went off in my house for a second, the power immediately came back on and then.... of course, the same thing happened. No lightning, not even any clouds.
My computer is connected to a brand new (about a week old) cyber power surge protector so I figured everything was ok, when I tried to boot my compuer up again it went trough all of its tests and then a black screen....... I left it for about 10 minutes until I got frusterated and turned it off. I was able to boot up in safe mode but it took forever. I tried a system restore (why not) and then when I restarted I had to wait at the black screen for about 5 minutes and then it booted up.
I have to go through this everytime now and sometimes I have a problem shutting down.
Once everything boots up everything in windows works fine eccept it wont recognize my external hard drive. I can hear that the computer sees it but it wont come up!?!
Do you think that it is a hardware issue now or is it the mobo, or something else? I just dont know! It is wierd that windows still functions fine once it is up....
Could anyone PLESE give me any advice on the situation! Im not exactly an expert when it comes to this so I am completely lost

Thank you!

Answer:Vista-Black screen on boot up, wont recognize external hard drive


let if fail and then take it back to where you got it from , assuming its a new PC it should have warranty with it.


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Hi Friends

I have two toshiba laptops. The newer of the laptop(Vista installed) the power supply died and I decided to take off the hard drive from it and use it as an external hard drive of my second toshiba laptop.(XP installed)

I was able to use it as an external USB hard drive on my second laptop(XP Installed), however I noticed that though I can see most of my files and folders, I can't see my document and settings folder, my fruityloops files I can't see them too, though I can see the program file and settings. This is strange. I suspect it has to do with administrative rights?Is it possible to boot from this external drive Any help friends I would appreciate it. Thanks


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I have a 300 GB main PC and I want to install xp on a 16ogb external usb hard drive. Is it possible.

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I would like to use an external hard drive to install windows 7 or vista on. Then, I could use this to plug into my dad's computer, boot my own OS, and run all my software/games/etc. If I used a usb 2.0 port, would this noticeable affect performance, especially when I am running games? If usb 2.0 is a bad option, would a SATA port work better.

Answer:Vista/Windows 7 on External Hard Drive


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I'm currently using a Dell Inspiron 3520 laptop with Windows 8 on it. I have an external hard drive from a Windows 7 desktop. It recognizes the external hdd right away and I can access it but I can't figure out how to boot Windows 7 as the primary. I've tried changing boot order in bios but I've had no luck as it still boots Windows 8 first. Is there a way to use the Windows 7 as the primary drive or could someone teach me about dual booting? Even a way to temporarly turn off the Windows 8 hard drive will work. I just need to access the Windows 7 hard drive without having to navigate through program files to have to open something. Any ideas?

Answer:Trying to boot Windows 7 from external hard drive

Originally Posted by jhamms66

I have an external hard drive from a Windows 7 desktop.

Was the (now) external drive ever a boot drive for Windows 7. If so, was it an internal drive for the Win 7 desktop?

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How can I Boot Windows from my external Hard drive?

What do I need to do? And how do I tell my PC to then boot Windows from the external hard drive, and not the internal one?

Thank you

Answer:How can I Boot Windows from my external Hard drive?

You would need to transfer the files from your internal hardrive onto the external one, then when you computer boots enter the BIOS ushally F2 or something... it's different on differnet machines. Then when your in you will need to tell it to boot from the external one. If it's a USB external hardrive then you may have to enable USB Device Support or something... As I said it's different on every machine. But thats some basic steps.

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Ok so I was using my external hard drive on my ps3 and all the sudden the ps3 froze and so i turned it off then on and the external hard drive option wasn't on the ps3. I switched outlets, cables, everything. I plugged it into my computer and now it won't recognize the external hard drive. I don't know what to do. The Hard Drive is always like 'G' drive.

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Hi there,

I've recently just bought a USB2.0 HDD External Enclosure for a notebook hard drive. I think I installed the drive correctly - the pins fit well and I placed it in the actual case. However, when I plug the USB into my Windows 7 Acer Aspire 5741 laptop, it just makes a funny noise for around thirty seconds and the computer does not bat an eyelid. The laptop just seems to act as a power source and doesn't recognise any drive being inserted. I tried it on a second, Windows Vista laptop and same result.

Is it likely the enclosure/drive is the problem or have I not set it up correctly?

Any help would be appreciated.


Answer:External Hard-drive not recognised on Windows 7 or Vista

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Hi everyone I have another problem A couple of months back I bought a External IDE hard drive caddy which is called Hi Point smart mobile storage. This afternoon it started giving me a problem, I went to switch it on and the computer would not recognize it but it will find it and display the hard drive as unallocated when I know the hard drive is in perfect condition and I have a lot of songs on it. But about 4-6 hours later I tried again and then it says it cannot load the driver software. IF this is any help as well there is a blue and red light on the caddy blue for power and red for hard disk activity the red light is always on it will not go off. I have tried lots of hard drives seagate, Maxtor, western digital and it still does the same. Please can you help. I hope it is not a hard drive problem.Also my punctuation is not very good I am sorry about that.David.

Answer:Windows vista can't recognize external hard drive caddy

I'd say, you need a new enclosure.Similar thing happened to me and it was just dead/malfunctioning enclosure.

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My hard drive recently became corrupted and had to be completely replaced.
Before this, I had backed up everything on the hard drive using `Backup and Restore Centre` for Windows Vista on an external hard drive. Now I want to restore all the files (which included everything on my computer at the time) again using `Backup and Restore Centre` for WV.

However, I know nothing about computers, and after just having got my laptop back, I don't want to have to send it back to the shop because I'm completely and utterly useless.

Restoring the files I recently backed up shouldn't cause a problem? Or is there something I need to do before/after using the Restore function?

(The files I wish to restore include everything, quite literally. I backed up everything a few weeks before my internal hard drive failed, which is the reason I'm a little concerned, as some of the data from the corrupt hard-drive was rescued [I've placed it on an external hard drive so it won't be lost by anything stupid I do from here on out ] and I wasn't sure if that would affect it for some reason, some how.)

Apologies about the stupid question, but any help/advice would be awesome.

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I just restarted my PC and i kept getting erros regarding hardware, at first it would just hold at updating dmi pool , after i reset the bios to fail safe defaults it would then give me the I/O error. I noticed my external drive was turned off and I turned it on and windows booted fine. Is there a connection here i can disable?

Windows is installed on my SSD drive not my external.


Answer:Windows 7 wont boot without external hard drive turned on?

Try starting your PC with external HD unpluged.

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I have a Dell Dimension 8400 already on its second hard drive due to troubles with Windows.
When I boot the computer, the final result is a black screen with a white cursore that moves when I move the mouse. I get the same result in Safe Mode. I have tried using the Dell Windows reinstall/recovery disc and have not had luck so far. I even installed a second version of Windows, but I still need to get the data files somehow and I don't know how. Today I purchased and downloaded Acronis True Image 2010 Home, but honestly don't know what to do with it! I downloaded to a CD, but don't know what to do next. Ideally I would like to repair my original install of Windows XP. If not possible, I would like help getting the data files. I have read many threads about setting up the HD as a slave on another computer, but no instructions about what this means or how to do it. I own an external drive that I just took out of the package today, but again don't know where to begin with it. HELP?

Answer:Windows XP won't boot, need to get data files to external hard drive via USB

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i have no down button to select my external hard drive in the boot menu. Is the only way forward to replace the keyboard? I have tried pressing all sorts of keys but it seems the only one that works for down is the one im missing. Also, will getting a new keyboard mean that I will have to install it, ie, put back in the old hard drive? Thank in advance for your help.

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Hi, I have a 2 TB NTFS External Hard Drive and a Windows Vista computer. I noticed that when I keep my external hard drive connected to my computer and then restart it, when it reaches the black screen, it stays on it until I unplug it. Is this normal? Thanks

Answer:Can't Restart Windows Vista Computer when External Hard Drive is Connected

Your BIOS is probably trying to boot off the external drive. Check your boot order.

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I have a laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium. How can I install The full version of Windows Vista Ultimate to an external hard drive without my laptop thinking I want to upgrade it's OS?Sorry.  should have been more clear on the first post. (Windows Visit Ultimate) is the last in the series of Vista OS,s

Answer:How do I install full Windows Vista Ultimate to external hard drive?

XP will not run from an external HDD...this is by design.It can be done but it's an awful lotta work and is not always successful...

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Hello everyone,

I am new to the forums and not sure where the best place to ask this question is, any help would be appreciated, even if you refer me to somewhere else.

I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 (2.5 years old). All my data is backed up so I have no concerns about recoverying data.
First, the laptop crashed and ran several chkdsk on start up. I froze several times during this. It said it had fixed some errors then started up again.
This time it wanted to do start up repair. Same thing kept happening, froze at least twenty times during this. Eventually it gave me the blue screen of death.

'Technical information

*** STOP: 0x000000F4 (0x0000000000000003, 0xFFFFFA8004C1D260, 0xFFFFFA8004C1D498, 0xFFFFF8000130DDA0)'

This repeated several times. I ran the diagnostics and it told me the hard drive could not be found (error code 0146, 2000-0146). Essentially, it's a Dell laptop (I know) and I am not bothered about recovering the hard drive.
I would, however, like to install Windows 7, or alternatively Linux, onto my external hard drive. But I just can't seem to get it to work.
I have extracted a Linux iso to the external hard drive I want to install on, onto a cd, onto a FAT32 8gb usb stick, but it has given me the bootmgr is missing error every time. I have tried it with the interal HDD in and removed.
I am no longer concerned about the internal HDD, i can use it for a door stop for all I am concerned, I just want to load ANY os onto my external hard drive so I can get the la... Read more

Answer:BSOD HDD Failed - Install Windows 7 on external hard drive from boot

As a temporary work-around, you should be able to run Linux from the CD or USB.
This would allow you to use your machine until a better solution is suggested.

If you can get Linux to run you might be able to format the internal HDD (using GParted for example) and then reuse it (temporary solution).

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Hey everyone. I obtained a student copy of Windows 7 back in October like many of us did, and like many of us, I installed as a clean install, not an upgrade. Or so I thought.

I was running Windows 7 for months before I decided to finally remove the Vista harddrive (I installed Windows 7 on the Intel 80GB X25M.) Apparently, when I removed the drive, I wasn't able to boot into Windows 7. Now I thought I had done a clean install of Windows 7.

I think I should mention that during bootup, my Bios gives me two OS's to choose from, and they both say Windows 7. But, only one actually worked. The second choice would just bring me back to my Bios rebooting and brought me back to the OS choice screen.

So for now, I have reconnected my Vista harddrive so I am able to use my install of Windows 7.

Why would this happen if I did a clean install (installed by burning the upgrade setup to the DVD, then onto a clean new drive, and activated it successfully.) And why would it show my two Windows 7 choices at bootup?

I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. Can't seem to understand what went wrong.

Answer:Removed my Vista hard drive, now Windows 7 won't Boot?

Please post back a screenshot of your full Disk Management drive map with listings, using Snipping Tool in Start Menu, attach file using paper clip in Reply box. Label or explain the drive contents.

Then we can advise you the exact steps.

You likely have a Dual Boot which needs the MBR recovered into 7 - we help do it every day here.

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I'm wondering if this is at all possible on an external HARD DRIVE, not FLASH STICK.

I'd like to be able to take a large external hard drive, and partition the first 20% to use for boot images with some kind of boot loader, and the rest for data partitions.

Otherwise, can someone help me find an article to show how to get the following onto a usb flash drive along with a boot loader (and how big of a flash drive do i need?)

-ubuntu live environment
-bart PE
-disk wipe
-windows xp install

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I have a very straightforward question: I am running WinXP Pro on my computer and I just got an external USB hard-drive to back up my data before I upgrade to VISTA.

My internal hard drive is NTFS file system, and the external drive is FAT32. My data backed-up perfectly.

However, I understand that VISTA is NTFS only (for the drive that it's installed on, which in my case will be the internal drive). I will be installing the VISTA OS on the internal drive, and using the external drive solely for backing up data.

I don't want to back up my data externally, upgrade my PC to VISTA, and then discover that I can't access the data on the external drive.

Here's my only question: will VISTA work with a FAT32 external drive, or do I have to convert that external drive to NTFS *before* I attempt to connect it to VISTA?

awaiting your replies - I'll appreciate all the help I can get!

Answer:will VISTA read a FAT32 external hard drive,or do I have to format the drive to NTFS?

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Is it possible to have pre-installed vista on your internal drive then buy a new external drive, install XP on it and then boot that drive to use XP?

Answer:Running Xp on an external hard drive with Vista installed on internal drive.

Yes this is possible as long as your BIOS supports booting from USB.

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I have just upgraded from XP to vista,the only thing i have a problem with is vista does not show my external drive,when trying to use it. The drive shows on the device mngr, and states it is working correctly. I have checked for the correct driver,ok. Has anybody got any ideas, willing to try your suggestions

Answer:vista and external hard drive

Is this a mains powered or usb external drive ?Is the drive listed in Computer management ?Righ click Computer/manage/disk management

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I want to get an external hard drive for back up. So far I have not found anything compatable with the Vista 64 bit OS. Any help would be appreciated.

Answer:external hard drive for 64 bit Vista

For Microsoft's Vista compatibility listings for external harddrives click below:

(When you click on one, there is a "64 bit" tab at the top, click on it. if you get a green checkmark, then its compatible.)

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I have a desktop which has Vista installed on it. It is giving me alot of problems with certain programs and hardware. I have tried to install XP on a drive partition as per several instructions on the web but it will not work. What I would like to know is, if I were to purchase an external Hard Drive, can I install XP on it and boot to my desktop? Can I use the program on my desktop, that gives me the choice as to what OS I want to use?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I am not sure if I am posting this in the right section as it is hardware related but linked to the OS BEING USED (Vista).

I am trying to use my portable external hard drive. It has been working fine since I bought it up until now. When I plug it into my laptop sometimes it will run fine until I try to copy something from my laptop over to my external hard drive or vice versa. At this point I always hear a little power down noise coming from the external hard drive (although the power light always remains on. This disconnects the external hard drive from the laptop making it inaccessible unless I unplug and plug back in. Other times it will not even show up and just sporadically does the power down noise (lasts for about half a second with the power light remaining on).

The reason that makes me believe this may be a software problem is that I have tried this with another laptop and a normal computer and the external hard drive works perfectly fine. If it is avoidable I would prefer a solution without involving formatting the drive as I have important information on there.

Thanks for any help

Answer:Vista & External Hard Drive

You could try uninstalling your USB controllers (not devices, not hubs) via Device Manager...then rebooting the system.

The controllers will reinstall automatically upon the reboot.


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My brother sent me an external hard drive full of music and what not for my b-day. The problem is when I plug the usb in it recognizes that hardware is in but I dont know how to open up the hard drive. I think its cuz it might be formatted for a MAC can anyone tell me how to re-format it.

thanks in advance.

Answer:External Hard Drive on Vista

Well, when you reformat it, the music will be gone, you do realize that, right?

Start, Run, diskmgmt.msc

You can format the drive there.

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Ive just got a new HDD and also a caddy for my old drive. Having got the new system working nicely, ive been trying to get the pc to boot from the old drive in the caddy. I set it up in the bios to boot from USB - HDD but all it manages to do is go to that 'Windows did not start correctly last time' screen and when i select anything, it 'thinks' for a few mins and then restarts!
The drive still works if i plug it into an IDE but not in the caddy.
Im running XP with NTFS on the drive. Its a 40Gb matxor. Its only 2% fragmented and only half full. My MB is Gigibyte with an AMD 64 CPU. The caddy and drive work fine as an external on my new windows installation on the new drive.
Its all very random. My only thought is perhaps the jumper settings, what should i use?


Answer:Boot from external USB hard drive

Please don't double post?

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i was trying to fix my friends computer and his master cable for the hard drive is ripped and so we wont be able to use it till he buys a new one which could be a while

he has a 200 gb external hard drive (with usb 2 and firewire) i was wondering if it is possible to use that as the hard drive, could i plug it into the computer using the usb2 and have windows boot from it he really needs to get back to using his comptuer for school and i am just wondering if it is possible to just forget putting the internal hard drive and just use an external as the master and i mean keeping it inside the external enclosure and everything ?

anyone do this ever ?

Answer:can you boot from external hard drive ?

His BIOS Needs to support booting from removable devices, so you might have to go exploring. But it can be done.

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My brother operates a heating and air-conditioning business close to my home and I usually help build and maintain his computers and office network. I have his office desk hard drives set up in RAID where there is always an exact duplicate of the boot drive should one drive fail. He called recently asking if I could set up an external hard drive that could be cloned after the end of each business day in case of failure of the only hard drive in his laptop computer. From what I can see on Google, it looks like most Bios's have the capability to boot from either flash or external HD's, but problems exist with both the external HD's ability to serve as boot disk (Western Digital specifically states their external drives will not boot), and with creating a bootable operating system. Anyone have any information on how I can help him out with this, if it is possible. Thanks in advance.


Answer:Boot from external hard drive?

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Ive been trying to post this for 5 mins! Seems I can no longer.....cheers!

.......wasnt actually intentional. The question has been sat on my screen for a while and i didnt realise it was already posted, trigger happy on the back button i guess!! When i realised, i was going to delete the old one but couldnt find how to do it! Another question! How can I delete my own threads and mark them as solved etc? Ive seen others like that but not been able to do it myself.

Answer:Boot from external USB hard drive

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my fujitsu amilo pi1505 hard sata hard drive has failed,in the bios boot options is usb fdc can it boot & RUN a system on it?

Answer:boot from external usb hard drive

Should be able to as long as the 1st boot up is via USB?

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I have an 80GB external hard drive and I want to know if it is possible to use it as my boot/local drive....

If so, how?

Answer:using the external hard drive to boot

Please help....

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Hello all. HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

Question. My father asked me the other day if he was able to boot of an external drive. He has a P4, gig of ram with a 60 gig internal drive too but I really wasn't sure. So why not ask you all.

Anyone ?

Answer:Can I boot of USB external hard drive ?

Read this link same question

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Ive just got a new HDD and also a caddy for my old drive. Having got the new system working nicely, ive been trying to get the pc to boot from the old drive in the caddy. I set it up in the bios to boot from USB - HDD but all it manages to do is go to that 'Windows did not start correctly last time' screen and when i select anything, it 'thinks' for a few mins and then restarts!
The drive still works if i plug it into an IDE but not in the caddy.
Im running XP with NTFS on the drive. Its a 40Gb matxor. Its only 2% fragmented and only half full. My MB is Gigibyte with an AMD 64 CPU. The caddy and drive work fine as an external on my new windows installation on the new drive.
Its all very random. My only thought is perhaps the jumper settings, what should i use?


Answer:Boot from external USB hard drive

You have posted this question at least 3 times. Please review our forum rules.

If you don't receive a reply (especially over the weekend) post BACK to your same thread and that will get it back to the top for another look.

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Hello, I own an Acer Aspire 5100 laptop with windows 7 installed. I have a problem where the hdd plugs in at. The hdd plugs into a connecter witch is part of the mother bored. The only way I can get it to run is if i tilt the laptop backwards and put a wii remote under it. as long as it doesn't move, it will work. So knowing i need a new connecter, I find a situation. I go myself a cord that i can plug my hdd into and plug it into the laptop via usb. I set the bios to first run the usb hard drive and second the boot manager. It worked.
As the "Starting Windows" screen was done loading, the screen when blue for a fraction of a second, then reset to the Acer logo screen at start up. I got a message about it wanting to run a Boot up repair. I did this and when it was done, the same thing happened. I put the hdd back into the laptop with it tiilted and it worked just fine. I put another hdd into the laptop with Windows 7 with the old hdd in the usb chord. I got the same result.

How can i get passed the "Starting Windows" screen when booting from the external hdd?

Answer:how do i boot from my external hard drive?

You cannot boot windows from an external usb type device; not going to happen. You CAN boot linux from an external usb type device; just not windows. This is because of how windows deals with usb.

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Good day all,

I have a littel issue that I'm hoping someone can resove 4 me.

I have a Dell Latitude D610 laptop with WinXP Pro installed with SP2, and it has USB2. I removed the harddrive and put in another one, formated and installed XP Pro in FAT32 on it with SP2, then installed all the drivers. Pull out the new harddrive and put it into a external USB2 harddrive enclosure. I put back my original harddrive into my laptop, set my BIOS sequence to boot from USB first and let it run.

My problem is, once the black XP screen with little blue progress bar starts, it will stay on the screen for about 10 seconds max and reboot itself, then give me the boot options, i.e. safe mode, normal, etc ... I select normal, and same thing over and over again. I also trien safe mode, and it does start to lead files, and stops half way throught, then reboots ...

Any ideas ?

Thank you very much in advance to all !

Answer:boot from external usb hard drive ?

You Intalled XP on FAT32 ? I don't think this is possible..

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Hi, can I unplug my internal drive (only one internal)and if I have a c: system partition on the external can I just boot from it?Thanks for the input!

Answer:boot from external hard drive?

Sure! I think so anyway.... Just make sure that you set the external drive to be the master drive instead of the slave, and you should be good to go!  [glb]Flame[/glb]

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But not an excternal eSATA drive. I mean to say it is  an exrernal hard drive that has a USB interface. This drive I have used as an extrernal backup device.  I am sure it is in good condition. Now I what to see if I can make it bootable and use it as a normal thing any time I want to boot up some other operationg system.In this case I want to use a legal 32 bit Widnows 7 DVD to intstall Windows 7 onto my extrernal hard drive taht was untill now used onlyu as a backup device. It is a older IDE type with a USB interface.I read sosmewhere taht you can boot Windows 7 from a USWB flash drive. If so, then it ought to be more easy to do it froma standard hard drive using a USB intterface. Is that right?  I found this articl on wickihow. Nowbefore I try it,  I want  to see if you know more about this. Here is the link: have an old Dell 755 desktop with a triple boot. I do not want to jepordise my triple bnoot setup, so I would like to the anexcternal drive. (No, I amd not lazy. Everytime I open up my Dell to do anything I cringe at the thught that I might bradk something. It is not a full size destop and I am getting to be very clumsy. It is likely I will break something. I have before.   )Any suggesntion? 

Answer:How can I boot from an external Hard Drive.?

This has been done to death years ago. Face it. This is not going to work. Windows is designed to run from an internal drive. Furthermore, the EULA specifically stipulates that you are licensed to install Windows on an internal drive. Maybe some brave/crazy souls have committed demented brain surgery on a Windows install to make it run from a USB drive, and coaxed it into limping into a crash-prone state, do you seriously think you will get anything like convincing performance with all the disk i/o crawling down a USB wire?

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Hey so I am planning on putting ubuntu on an external hard drive. If I install Ubuntu on it, can I boot to it? I don't want to change any settings in bios, I just want to boot to ubuntu occasionally.

Answer:Can I boot to an external Hard drive?

That would depend on the interface type of the external hard drive and the bios booting options on your motherboard. If your system is not compatable with that configuration, you could make a partion on your main drive and set up for dual boot.

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how Boot an external hard drive to install Windows from it?

Answer:Boot an external hard drive

Quote: Originally Posted by s00

how Boot an external hard drive to install Windows from it?

Why are you trying to install Windows from an external hard drive?

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I have a Seagate 500GB external hard drive that was formatted on my Macbook at FAT32. I was using it without problem both on my Macbook and my brother's Windows 98 desktop. I tried to use in with my new laptop, running Windows 7. I found out I had to assign a volume letter to it in order to see its contents. I did so, only to get a message asking me to format the drive! Moreover, now I cannot use it neither on my Macbook nor at my brother's desktop... I tried removing the letter but nothing changed; it is still unrecognizable, telling me that no known operating system is installed in it (or something like that)... I guess it's a disk header thing (after assigning a volume letter). Maybe I could fix this with some kind of software?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Answer:External Hard Drive can't boot!

Sounds like you're going to have to reformat the drive (on the Windows 7 pc). I had thought there were differences between the Apple and PC filing systems.

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How do I make Windows 8.1 boot from an external hard drive with linux on it? I already changed the boot menu priority in the BIOS (UEFI). But when I restart my laptop while my external HD is connected to the laptop, it doesnt boot from the external HD. Instead it boots directly to the Win 8.1 Desktop. Is there something additional I should do in the BIOS?

Answer:Why Cant I Boot from My External Hard Drive?

Is it a UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot? If yes you likely have to turn secure boot off.

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I have an old Tiny PC with 2 hard drives one of which is less than 12 months old.I have a laptop less than 12 months old.I'm getting squeezed from the other half to ditch the desktop to free up space but I still use it although not very often and I do like XP.Here's my question. If I take out the newer primary hard drive, put it in a HDD caddy and connect it to my laptop via a USB port, can I boot windows XP from the caddy to the laptop screen if I change the boot order of the laptop to boot from USB first?

Answer:Boot XP from external hard drive?

No that wont work.

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I wish to format an external Hard Drive for Windows 10 and then install the Drive into my Laptop and load Windows 10 from the DVD I created from the ISO file.
My reason for doing this is to get a completely clean install, as every other time I have tried I end up with a poorly function Windows 10 PC and some of the old information such as Wall Paper, Network setting, Home Group etcetera are still set up in the New "clean" installation which I believe are causing the very slow Boot up along with other problems. Each time in the past I have agreed to "keep nothing" but that does not seem to work!

Answer:Format external Hard Drive as a boot drive

plug into another PC using a usb caddy
the drive will appear in disk management either right click and select format (do not do a quick format) or you could use command prompt (admin) and run diskpart to remove all partitions and make just one partition on the drive before formatting.
refit in the laptop
ensure DVD is set as first boot device
insert DVD and and press any key to boot from he windows iso (DVD must be bootable made using windows media creation tool for w 10).
follow the prompts to install windows (you cannot install windows onto the drive while it is in the us caddy on the other PC).

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I bought a new Dell M3800 laptop and it worked fine for three month.
One morning it refused booting. The Dell Windows Recovery CD will not load either Just goes to black screen.
I tried everything I could think of and everything I found on google with no luck.
Yesterday I removed the HD and connected it as an external drive changed the Boot options and it worked.
But it still will not boot when connected internally. The Dell diagnostic tool does not find any problems.

Dell M3800.
SSD 250GB drive.

Please help. What could be causing this?

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My employer has no problem letting me load Itunes onto the computers that I use in each state (Vista) but I am not permitted to load the cd's I have onto the computers. Can I load Itunes, then load the cd's on an external hard drive and use it as a traveling library in the places I go, and how do I go about using that. My Toshiba has 64bit Vista installed. I don't wan't to damage or lock up anything since Boss trusts me not to.

All help is greatly appreciated, and on by the way, suggest a dependable external hard drive please. You may reply safely to my work email, xxxxxx and put Vista / Itunes solution into the subject line.

Thank you everyone. Geoge

newby George

Answer:Vista - Itunes - external hard drive

Welcome to the Forum George
I have removed your email address from your post. It is not wise to post in a public place like this, for several reasons. If any member has a solution to your problem they will post, here, and in addition to helping you will be potentially helping others.

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Hi Guys,

I recently installed Vista after having my machine running XP.

I have 2 WD 500gb drives that I have both put into external enclosures (both with 1 500gb partition each).

BOTH drives worked fine in XP. I stress this!

Now, here is the issue. One of the drives works fine. The other drive is showing up in Computer as "Local Disk" but does not recognise any partitions. In hard disk managment it says that the disk is in raw format. I took the drive into my friends computer (who is running XP) and the drive is still fine. Every file there and completely writable.

I read an article the following:

"The solution to this annoying problem (I had it on one PC), seems to be to locate and delete the file INFCACHE.1, which may be corrupted and causing the problem. To delete this file, you will first have to modify its permissions so the users group can access it (right-click on the
file->Properties->Security). INFCACHE.1 file. It's located at C:\Windows\inf (scroll down to the file). (Note: to see INFCACHE.1, you must set Windows Explorer to display hidden and system files) "

So i tried that, and it did nothing. I have installed all updates, nothing.

To make matters worse! I thought a reinstall of the generic driver would be enough to kick start the new driver cache. NOW when i plug the drive in, i get "Windows needs a driver to install this hardware" FOR AN EXTERNAL HDD, MAN WHATS WRONG!!! Vista looks online for the driver but does... Read more

Answer:External Hard Drive and Vista (this will test you)

Ok , i got the drive installed properly again. So I am back to where I started.

Here is a interesting update, I installed [email protected] Partition Recovery to take a look at the drive. The program doesn't find anything wrong with the drive. In fact, it shows that the drive does have the partition and that there is nothing wrong with it. So I can't even "restore" the partition because the recovery software doesn't see the drive the same way that Vista does (and the drive letters are the same, so active partition reports, "I:\ (Data Backup)" and Windows reports "I:\ Local Disk RAW Format".

Any thoughts from anybody this time....

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I have a Seagate Free Agent Desk ITB and there is some issue with it on my new dell, anyone have any suggestions. A search of the web found numerous similiar issues. I need an external storage solution of 1 to 2 TB with 2 drives. Suggestions? I have given up on the Seagate I guess.

Answer:External Hard Drive Issues with Vista 64 bit

What is the "some issue"?

You forgot to describe the actual problem.

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Hi, i'm new here so if the topic is in wrong subforum or anything else, please let me know :)

Anyway, I have Windows Vista and I have bought new WD elements external hard drive. When i plug it into my computer nothing happens, except that external hard drive starts to shine. I have 2 WD elements external hard drives and the same thing happend to the both of them. It recognized it about month or two ago, but now it won't. They works on other computers except mine. And I have scaned computer for the viruses and I have no viruses.
I have little space on my HDD in computer so I need this fast ;)

Oh, and sorry for some misspelled words. I hope you will get it :)

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i am helping a friend partition an external WD 500GB drive...i've never partitioned an external, usb drive i need some help..

the drive is FAT32 formatted..he'd like to make it 2 - 250GB NTFS, if he goes into Computer Mgt does he first Delete Volume, then set up the partitions in the unallocated space, creating 2 partitions?

any guidance is appreciated....

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I just got a 1TB My Book Edition 2 WD external hard drive and when I plug it into my computer vista won't recognize it. I know the hard drive works as I tried it on another computer running XP. Does anybody know how to fix this problem? Thanks in advance for any help.

BTW. I have a 250GB Lacie hooked up and it works fine.

Answer:Vista not recognizing external WD Hard Drive.


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I have a western digital passport essential external hard drive. When I plug it in to my computer, nothing happens. I am unable to open this drive. I have tried alternative routes such as going through My Computer it just isn't there.

Answer:vista won't recognize external hard drive

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So My new computer build is having trouble using a certain program I like to download stuff with but my laptop can use the program no problem. My external was always hooked up to my laptop which is running vista but when I try and view the files on my desktop (running 7) it cannot look into the hard drive and see the files. I was curious if I just bit the bullet and formatted the hard drive on windows seven would it still be compatible with my vista laptop so I could download files on my laptop and move them over to my desktop with the external? Or is there a way I can have the hard drive work for both without deleting all the files?

Answer:Can I have an external hard drive work on both vista and 7?

The external should work in both the computers.

If you plug it in to the desktop, nothing shows up there in the explorer ?

Does it show up in the disk management window ?

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So I want to partition my 1.5 tera hard drive so I can get it to work on both my PC and PS3. What I want to do is to partition 50 gigs of it so I can format that with FAT32 so i can install programs onto it. The rest I want to be normal so can you tell me what to do I can get to disk managment fine its that i don't know what to do after that. any help is apreciated and thank you very much.

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I did see that someone had posted a similar query but I didn't really understand the reply and the forum had closed so I couldn't ask for more info. Sorry.

I have an external harddrive with 10GB memory but it says it's very nearly full and I can't back-up. When I look there seems to be nowhere near that amount of stuff on it that it claims. I think my back-up settings may be wrong and I need to sort out the harddrive so I can save the stuff that matters! or maybe I've saved some stuff that it not necessary to save?

Can someone talk me through a risk-free solution please- [it's probably best you assume I have a fairly low level of knowledge!]...



Answer:External Hard drive says it's full but I don't think it is..? Vista

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I would like some advice on which external hard drive to buy for Vista Ultimate x64. I am not a techy and have read some posts which have left me more than a bit confused!

The external hard drive needs to be easy to set up and use. I just want to be able to (very) easily back up my files on a daily basis and save photos, spreadsheets to the external hard drive.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Answer:External Hard Drive for Vista Ultimate x64 - Western Digital My Book Essential 2.0 WDH1U5000N 500GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive - External Hard Drives

Theres your HD

Acronis True Image Home

Theres the best backup software you can possibly imagin.

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I have an HP pavillion laptop with vista as the OS.

Since a couple of months I have been having a problem with external USB hard drives. Whenever I plug them in, windows tries to install the driver but fails everytime and just says that the device wont work.
I used to think probably thats coz of vista compatibility issues.
But a couple of days ago I bought a Western Digital 120GB USB HDD and the same problem repeated.
The problem is that the same Hard drive got installed seamlessly on a friends laptop with vista....thus ruling out Vista compatibility issues.

I am Guessing there is a problem with the drivers.

Another problem, which I think may or may not be related is that since a couple of months my Auto play has not been working for any device i.e. DVD/CD/USB pen drive etc....

Tried a lot of ways to solve the issues but nothing seems to work.... tried registry entry tweaks but to no avail....

Really frustrated with this problem....

Can you please suggest a way out.


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I have a WD 3,5 Hard drive and I bought I case so I could make it external.

However, when I connect it to my laptop, running on Vista Home Premium x64 SP2 it does not work.

The drive is seen by Vista (it shows up in the Disk Management section in Computer Management) but it does not show up in
My Computer. In Disk Management it appears Disk 1, Dynamic, Invalid, with a red downwards arrow .
As I have all my info there a soluyion that requires a format is not an option.

What can I do to make the drive accesible on my laptop?


Answer:External Hard Drive not working on Vista

Try the following. In Disk Managment, right click on where it says Disk1 and Initialize. Then right click on the right side (next to where it says Disk1) and say Format (best in NTFS) and assign a drive letter. See whether that works.

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Vista External USB hard drive not recognized But no problem in XP???
I have a 2TB Hitachi USB device that has no problem on my XP Laptop but I can not see the device in Vista Ultimate (32bit)
Just installed external usb manager on both machines.
On the vista machine it tells me "Hitachi HDS722020ALA330 USB Device" but status says the drive without media".
I unplug from Vista and plug to XP and have No problem seeing and using????

Here is what zentimo tells me on the Vista side.
Internal_UserDeviceNameWithDriveLetters: Hitachi HDS722020ALA330 USB Device
Sys_DevicePnPName: USB\VID_4971&PID_CE17\D20101104F63
Sys_FriendlyName: Hitachi HDS722020ALA330 USB Device
Sys_DeviceDescription: USB Mass Storage Device
Sys_DeviceInstance: 7808
Sys_ulProblemNumber: 0
Sys_DeviceClassGuid: {36fc9e60-c465-11cf-8056-444553540000}
Sys_BusType: BusTypeUsb
Internal_DontShowThisDevice: False
Internal_IgnoreStopAllCommand: False
Internal_ImageName: Flash drive (blue)
Internal_UserDeviceName: Hitachi HDS722020ALA330 USB Device
Internal_IsCardReader: False
Internal_IsProbablyFixedDrive: False
Internal_DeviceIsDisabled: False
Internal_DeviceIsSafelyRemoved: False
Internal_DeviceWasDisabledByProgram: False
#UniqueVolume number 1
VolumeName: \\?\Volume{2b6c8de9-c3f2-11df-a60f-0019213fa37d}\
VolumeInformation: VolumeLabel =
VolumeSerialNo =
MaxComponen... Read more

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I have an external hard drive, (networked-Not USB), which wors fine with XP, and one of my computers which is on XP is still OK,

BUT, the Vista computer will not display my files on the external drive. It finds it ok, and when clicked, it takes over 20 minutes for the 'green bar' to finish and then nothing. I can leave it there all night and nothing!

If I connect it via USB it works fine but then my other PCs can not access it.

I have tried:
Removing the index to this drive - No change,
Removing security for this drive - No change,
Turning off every security under Vista - No change,

I am not asking for some brilliant minded person to help me out.

Thanks in advance....

Answer:External Hard Drive Problem ONLY with Vista not XP..

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Is there anyway of installing vista to a USB hard Drive? I own a laptop so space is the issue (plus no SATA). XP booting direct from USB - The CD Forum
This website says it can be done, but it's a little too vague for me. Can You Help?
Thank You

Answer:Installing Vista on a external Hard Drive (USB)

I think that may be the only way as i have read Vista wont recognise external HDD's by default.
Also do understand that USB is pretty slow and even if you manage to install vista on the HDD the performance will be pretty slow (relative to installing it on an Internal HDD).

If you want to install Vista without Disturbing the current partitions in your HDD then use VMWare or Microsoft Virtual PC

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Just bought an hard drive to watch cam corder recording via my extrernal hard drive via my ps3 I've read on the Internet that I need to change the hard drive by formatting it to FAT32 for the ps3 to recognise it my laptop will only let me choose between NTFS or exFAT

Answer:External Hard Drive Issue With Vista

Hi Cheers for ur reply is this downloadable to a pen drive as I have no Internet connection at home

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I have seen quite a few questions and answers regarding this topic but none that actually point out how to fix the problem.

I have a seagate freeagent and recently purchased a WD external drive. Both of them were readable and usable in vista and they now have 1.5 Tb of data between them. When i booted into ubuntu and accessed the drives they became "corrupted or unreadable" in vista.

They both work in Ubuntu and in XP and on a digital media player, just not vista. There isnt a problem with the drives except in Vista.

Is there any thing that can be done to repair the drives so they work in Vista and no data is lost as ideally I would be able to use both OS's. What is different about Vista using these drives that does not happen in any other OS?

Thanks in advance,

Answer:external hard drive unreadable in vista only

CD/DVD Drive has disappeared

Try this

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I just brought home a new HP laptop yesterday with Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit installed on it.

I'm having no luck getting Vista to recognize my Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus. When I plugged it in, it automatically installed the drivers and said that the drive was working, but the lettered drive does not show up under my computer.

It does, however, show up in device manager but says that is unallocated. It works just fine on XP systems, but for some reason will not work on my new Vista machine. I fooled around with the BIOs settings and installed an update as HP's direction, but that still did not fix the problem. Any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:Vista will not recognize my external hard drive

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I have a Western Digital Extreme Lighted 320GB External Hard Drive that I plugged into my new laptop computer. When I plug it in, it gives me a pop-up saying that it doesn't recognize the USB devise and so I cannot see its contents. It has power and it's plugged into an available USB port and not a hub.

It picks up my 500GB Western Digital hard drive just fine when it's hooked up to a hub, but not this one.

Answer:Vista won't recognize my external hard drive

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right guys and girls here it goes! a little while ago i chucked my old laptop out and brought a new one, i kept my hard drive from the laptop because i have now turned it into a external one.
its been running perfict but i decided to format it because i just wanted to wipe everything, i done this through using vista.
when i have gone to use this external hard drive again its now showing the icon on my computer but when i click on it to open its coming up as i need to format it... i click ok this opens up another little window but this other little window is to tell me windows cant format it..... ive checked the properties and its saying that i have 0 bites in my hard drive, ya know the little pie sorta diagram down the bottom.... i have a program to try and format it but the program can not find the hard drive it only detects the one ive got in my laptop.
please pleas HELP! i have not got a clue what to do.

Answer:vista format external hard drive

It may be that the HD is test try it on another PC and see if it sees it and you can format it

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Recently I restored my computer to the factory default, because of software hangups, and not being able to remove games that I had bought, loaded, etc. Vista would not allow some games to be removed. So, I decided to reload the computer as it came from the factory. PRIOR to, I did a backup of all my pictures on a WD 1200 bb external hard drive. The drive worked great and the pictures were there. Then I deleted them from my computer hard drive along with a lot of other old files. Now, restored, the computer recognizes the external drive in CMOS and in the device manager and shows it to be working properly and has the latest driver. But when going into Computer, the drive is not shown. It shows my hard drive, C & D, (1 hard drive but shown as C & D and the card reader drives (removable)and the DVD drive, but no external drive. In disk Management, the drive is shown as Disk 1, basic, and online but when right clicking on it the little window does not give me the right to change drive letter or path. No matter what I do, I cannot access this external drive. The disk shows power is on and it seems to be spinning. Anyone's help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:external hard drive not recognized in Vista

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Am I right in thinking that installing Vista Beta 2 on an external hard drive would not be possible because the BIOS would not recognise the USB/Firewire hard drive before the OS has loaded? Thanks...

Answer:Vista Beta 2 & External Hard Drive

Sometimes you can set your computer to boot from a USB device. It depends how up to date your computer/BIOS is. I wouldn't recommend it though

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I got Windows 8.1. I want to try out Ubuntu o/s by booting it from my external hard drive. Anyway, I went into the BIOS and changed the boot order of devices to boot from external devices first. But when I restart my laptop with the external hard drive connected via USB, it boots straight to the desktop instead. What am I doing wrong?

Answer:How Do I Boot o/s from External Hard Drive? Need Advice

Is the Ubuntu drive an MBR drive? If so you will have to go into your bios and turn off Secure Boot and also set the boot type to CSM. Windows 8.x is UEFI so every time you want to boot something that isn't, you have to change the setting in the bios.

Edit: Which also means that to boot to W8 from the internal HD again, you have to go into the bios and set it back to UEFI or it will not recognize the internal HD as being bootable.
You may also wish to turn secure boot back on. It is up to you.

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I have a WD 1TB my book essential external hard drive with a model number of: WDBACW0010HBK-UESN

My OS is Vista Home Premium 32bit

When I boot my pc, it doesn't go past the bois screen (where you can press del to go into the bios settings etc. but I can't actually use those buttons) and I have to unplug my external hard drive to be able to boot my pc, and then attach it.

Is there a way I can boot my pc while it's still plugged in?

-I've checked the bios read boot order, I made sure it was my cd drive, then my internal hard drive.

Answer:WD external hard drive refusing to boot.

What are your full specs?

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If I can boot from a usb flash drive can't I install XP on an external usb hard drive a boot my os from the external drive? Does anyone foresee any issues with this? Thanks.

Answer:Install XP Pro on External USB Hard Drive & Boot

It can't be done. The reason for this is that windows loads its own USB driver, and so it has to take the USB offline while it loads it, and so it will stop when it gets to that point.

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I want to Boot Ubuntu from my External Hard drive to use on all my computers, I'm not sure how to go about this, I currently have windows 8 and its been giving me trouble when trying to duel boot Ubuntu and Windows 8 "still haven't figured this out". Is it possible to Duel boot without too much messing around or am i better off to try to boot it from the external HDD.

Answer:Boot ubuntu on External Hard drive

Rather than use a large external hard drive, I load distros on USB stick.
Can your computer boot from a USB stick?

If so, download the ISO you want.
Go here:
and download LiLi.
Install it on the USB stick and then point the installer to the linux ISO you downloaded. Be patient while it installs/writes the ISO to the USB stick.
Reboot and you should be able to boot Ubuntu.
Note, I have about 5 different distros on USB sticks. I do not have Ubuntu and I do not run Win 8.

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Just got a new maxtor external h drive problem is when i switch on my computer it trys to boot from it,pressed f8 on startup and selected the hard drive as the boot option but this dosen't make any difference it still trys to boot from hd,any idea's Paddy

Answer:computer trying to boot from external hard drive

Is it usb? If so plug it in after you have booted and check BIOS might be able to disable usb boot.

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My PC normally takes 30 seconds to boot into Windows XP. Suddenly (literally overnight) it started taking 5 minutes to boot. It sticks on the opening screen, with the system information, for about 4 minutes before resuming the normal boot up process. There is then another brief hang between the Windows XP and log on screens. I have discovered through experimentation that the boot time returns to the normal 30 seconds if I unplug my 250GB external HD. I have tried plugging the external HD into different USB2 ports but this has no effect. If I wait until the PC has booted before plugging in the external HD, it works fine. I have also checked the external HD on another PC and it worked absolutely fine with no effect on the boot time.Provided I remember to unplug the external HD before starting the PC there is no great problem. However, I do not always remember and it is, in any event, an irritation I would really like to resolve. Has anyone any suggestions please?

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I have just bought a Maxtor 3500 external hard drive, 500Gb. I use Windows XP.With the Hard drive connected and power on the PC won't boot up, it just says 'NTLDR missing'. If I connect the hard drive after boot up its fine.It ought to be possible to keep it connected all the time.Any ideas?

Answer:External hard drive prevents boot up

See if these Links hereclick here

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I'm trying to boot from an external  2.5 hdd  usb3.0 on dell optiplex x330 but it does not work !
i try to boot from usb positioned on the case and also using the usb ports on the back.
The boot work only using usb keys.
On this PC there is A11 bios version.
I try to boot this hdd on Another laptop and it work.

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After attaching a new Seagate 1.6TB powered external hard drive, my desktop will not now boot completely. It gets part way - not even to POST or beeps - and just hangs. I have to power button off to get out. Thing is when I disconnect the HDD, things are as normal and system boots OK. Seems to be that it is trying to boot off the external HDD, but BIOS options have not changed. I have even set 'other boot options' in the BIOS to OFF, but it makes no difference.I have other portable HDDs, which don't give any problems when attached and the system is booted, so I really cannot understand what is going on.I am running XP SP3 Athlon 64 desktop.Any suggestions/explanations?

Answer:XP won't boot after adding external hard drive

No solutions from me but if its usb,why not plug it in once computers running?

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I have 3 Win XP Pro laptops, but the one I need for developing some software has a dead motherboard (of course). I took that hard drive out and put it in an external USB case so that I can access the files I need (although most are backed up on the functional laptops.) My question is: there are some programs on the now-external hard drive that I need to use and it would be much easier (it seems) to boot from the external drive to run the programs, rather than attempting to install them on a new computer and get everything re-set-up the way I want... Do I just set the boot order to boot from the external and will my programs on it just work from there, or is there something I need to do to make this happen? Or can I run the programs installed on the external even when booting from the internal hard drive??

Answer:boot from external hard drive to run apps?

You have several questions to address: first, you cannot boot to an internal drive and run the programs from the external drive, they will simply not run. The reasons why are fairly straight-forward: when the programs are installed, they create dependent .dll files (and others) and put them in various locations through out the drive and when they were installed, the drive was C:. But now the drive is an external (lets say it's drive E: ) so when you try to run the programs, they will still be looking at drive C: for these dependent files which (of course) aren't on C:, but on E:. If the PC has the option to boot from the external drive, it will boot and the programs will run only if the hardware that was originally run with the external drive when it was an internal drive is exactly the same as the PC you have it connected to as an external. If the hardware is not the same, it won't boot and will crash to a blue screen. One thing you could do even though it's a major pain, is to install the drive into one of your functioning laptops as the main drive (yes, you'd remove the current drive and install the one which is now an external). Then do a repair install of Windows. This will get the drive to boot into Windows and all of your documents and any software already installed on that drive will run perfectly. This is probably your best bet, otherwise you have to re-install all the programs you want to use and "get everything re-set-up the way I want... Read more

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How can  I boot my computer from an external usb hard drive?

Answer:Boot computer with external hard drive

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I tried to find a solution to my problem but failed miserably.
I just got a new laptop, installed stuff I need, uninstalled some useless applications. System looks exactly as I would like to see it. Problem is that it took me forever

Is it possible to make a copy of my starting partition on external drive, so, in case I need to reinstall the system I could use this copy and avoid whole application by application installation process?

What software would you recommend (preferably freeware)?

Maybe some of you know a site with the description of whole process?

I have vista 64bit.

Answer:System boot from external hard drive

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I have a Dell Inspiron 1440 laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit. Some of my older applications do not support this platform. My processor does not support Window Virtual PC and Windows XP mode so I was hoping to add XP as a dual boot. Is it possible to boot XP from an external harddrive or USB instead of having to partition the internal hard drive. Or do you have any suggestions on how I can load XP after Windows 7 is already loaded. Thanks for any help or advice.

Answer:Dual Boot with External hard drive or USB

Hey Rockhead, Welcome!

Try reading this tutorial.

Hope this helps,

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Hey all, I installed a WD 500GB HD connected by USB and now it seems that Windows (XP SP2) will not start unless the HD is plugged in & on. I don't plan on keeping the drive on all the time so I'm wondering how to fix this. I went through the BIOS boot order and found nothing that looks suspicious but maybe I missed something. Any help is appreciated.


Answer:External hard drive and Boot-up problem

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I have an external SATA drive that was installed on a laptop and used Win XP. I have a new laptop with Win Vista but the software I use for work will not function with Vista. Am I able to set up the laptop to boot into Win XP from the external drive, and how?
Thank you!

-need to get back to work!


Answer:Dual boot Win XP from external hard drive?

Hi there,It's possible , but not officially supported by Microsoft as it involves modifying the Windows XP install CD. Please do so at your own risk.Cheers,WalkerWindows Outreach Team

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Got an external hard drive. Never used it much. Last time i used it it was ok. Powered it up and plugged it in and it wouldnt boot up. Tried it on a couple of systems as well. Any advice?

Answer:External Hard Drive wont boot up!

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Hi, i just bought a laptop with win7 home premium 64 bit and I want to dual boot it with win7 32 bit..Can you teach me how to dual boot with external hard drive?

Second, any external hard drives will do?

Answer:dual boot with external hard drive

You cannot install Windows to a USB device.

To Dual Boot follow the same steps given here, making sure to boot the installer as it will not run from another bit-version: Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and Vista

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To allow discussions on the development of the windows OS over the years I wonder if it is possible to create a dual [or even triple] boot system using an external hard drive.We have win95b , 98 and ME disks and all PCs to which this question applies are running xpHome.If it is possible then could someone point me towards an "idiots guide" to setting it up?Thanks in - I won't be able to return to this thread until late this afternoon.

Answer:Dual Boot using External Hard Drive.

Very difficult to put 98 after XPDrive C: must be FAT32 to be able to install Windows 98 after XP is already installed. The 98/Me installation routine cannot write to an NTFS partition.You must have a second hard disk or partition formatted for FAT32 in order to be able to install Windows 98/Me, installing 98/Me to the same partition as Windows XP is Not recommended!Use a Windows 98 Startup disk for this procedure. You should ensure that DEBUG.EXE is on your Startup disk. On a 98 Startup disk, created from Add/Remove Programs, its in the EBD.CAB file on the Startup disk. For a 98 Startup disk created from FAT32EBD.EXE its on the floppy.1. Use a Win98 Startup disk (with CD support) to boot your computer.2. Insert your Win98 CD into the CD Rom drive.3. At the A: prompt type X:\Win98\Setup.exe where X: is your CD-ROM drive.4. Proceed with the install. When prompted for the install location, you'll see C:\Windows.000. Choose Other directory and change this to the drive you wish to install 98 to and name the folder Windows (or something else if you prefer).5. Complete the Win98 install. Allow the computer to boot into Win98.Repair the Windows XP Boot Loader1. Create a Win98 Startup Disk2. Create a Notepad file with the following entries, exactly as shown:L 100 2 0 1N C:\BOOTSECT.DOSR BX0R CX200WQ3. Save the file to the Win98 Startup Disk as READ.SCR4. Boot the computer with the Win98 Startup Disk and at the A: prompt typeDEBUG <READ.SCRSteps 1 - 4 create the BOOTSECT.DOS file n... Read more

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I'm using a Seagate 1TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive that prevents my system from booting if it is plugged in and powered. Before entering windows i get the message: "NTLDR is missing press ctrl+alt+dlt to restart".
when i unplug the drive before i boot everything works.

I'm wondering if the external drive is being mistaken for the primary drive and how i could fix this other than unplugging the external drive every time i boot the system.

Answer:System will not Boot with External Hard Drive

davidclark425 said:

I'm using a Seagate 1TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive that prevents my system from booting if it is plugged in and powered. Before entering windows i get the message: "NTLDR is missing press ctrl+alt+dlt to restart".
when i unplug the drive before i boot everything works.

I'm wondering if the external drive is being mistaken for the primary drive and how i could fix this other than unplugging the external drive every time i boot the system.Click to expand...

This message is that the BIOS did not detect any bootloaders.

It seems that when you put you External HDD you computer want to boot from it from USB. You have two options first and easiest one is to go to BIOS and remove first or second boot from USB and put only CD/DVD Drive.

Second one will be annoying is to unplug your External HDD everytime you power on your PC.

P.S It will do the same with a USB flash drive too.

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