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PLEASE HELP Install Windows 8.1 on External Hard Drive

Hi everyone,

So I need windows 8 for a few software programs this upcoming year and was wondering if it is possible to install windows 8.1 on an external hard drive? I currently have a Mac 13 in and don't want to partition the drive because I only have 256 gb. Let me know your advice please.
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  1. Err, you have a Mac? If you really have a Mac, Mac hardware doesn't run Windows.
  2. Best answer
    And even if it was a regular Windows box, Windows on an external is problematic and slooooow.
  3. WyomingKnott said:
    Err, you have a Mac? If you really have a Mac, Mac hardware doesn't run Windows.

    Err, Macs have been Intel based for years now. They run Windows as well as, if not better than, most PC's.

    As far as installing on an external drive, no. Windows is not designed to be run in that fashion.
  4. With USB 3.0, I can imagine that a standard HDD would run just as fast externally as internally. ??
  5. WyomingKnott said:
    With USB 3.0, I can imagine that a standard HDD would run just as fast externally as internally. ??


    I've never done it, but every report I've seen says that it is pretty slow.
  6. WyomingKnott said:
    With USB 3.0, I can imagine that a standard HDD would run just as fast externally as internally. ??

    The installer won't even show you external drives as an option.
  7. Here is a potential, non-trivial, Windows based solution.
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/96677031-4d6d-426a-a8b1-4916637df69a/installing-windows-8-to-external-hard-drive

    I have no idea how you'd do it with a Mac.
  8. So, its best to buy a second windows laptop instead of running on the "slow" external hard drive? I will need to work with Visio, Visual Basic, Eclipse, Android SDK, Oracle, Visual Project. Let me know what your thoughts are
  9. Yes, a whole other Windows laptop would be preferable.
  10. Thank you. What laptop would you recommend for the programs I'll be using? This second laptop will only be used with the programs mentioned. Everything else, I would keep doing on my Mac. I am a college student so I am limited with my budget.
  11. chelseaiam said:
    Thank you. What laptop would you recommend for the programs I'll be using? This second laptop will only be used with the programs mentioned. Everything else, I would keep doing on my Mac. I am a college student so I am limited with my budget.


    What is your actual budget?
    Something Lenovo, probably.
  12. I'm hoping for something around $300 since it will only be used for these programs and used primarily as a "second laptop."
  13. chelseaiam said:
    I'm hoping for something around $300 since it will only be used for these programs and used primarily as a "second laptop."


    $300 is about as basic as laptops get. At that price point, there is very little difference between brands.
    For development with Oracle, etc....your experience will be less than optimal.
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