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Installing on External hdd

Last response: in Windows XP
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November 26, 2009 8:57:41 AM

Hi!
Is it possible to install Windows XP on a USB external HDD?
I read many articles on that, but none of them says clearly that you can do that.
This is the last one I tried: http://www.ngine.de/index.jsp?pageid=4176
When I try to install normaly windows (or with a disc from the tutorial) I get an error message that says "Startup program cannot gain access to the disk...".
November 27, 2009 1:22:37 AM

no.
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November 28, 2009 4:59:08 PM

Well you're wrong.
After 2 days of searching and experimenting I was able to load Windows XP that I have installed on a USB Drive (external HDD). The problem first was to find a way to start the installation, because windows paritioner didn't allow me to do anything on the drive. So I found a way to start the installation from a working windows and used it to copy all needed files. But this gave me problems and I needed to have a Windows with the same version, but I installed the same Windows on a different PC and ran the setup from there. From that point I was able to boot up windows from the external hdd, but it failed a bit later, got BSOD. From there I started looking up answers and I found out that windows limits the use of USB drives in support, so I found a web page (the one I posted) which removes this limit and... wow... no BSOD and the setup did go on :) 
After all this I still had problems (the system it self isn't stable, but it can be used), the first problems were with intel chipset drivers (first I didn't know which one I need), because for some reasons the Intel's driver utility gave me only errors, needed to install everything manually. The same went for graphics and some other components. After all drivers were installed the main problem was noticable - SLOW! Also at startup the windows gave me "Paging file errors", it seemed like Paging files are something similar to unix swap partition and I needed to disable them (must be the second reason for the low performance, first ofcourse the connection itself). After using the system a while I only had 1 random freeze, otherwise this worked great. For some reasons I wasn't able to enable hibernation.
And for other reasons I wasn't able to install service pack 3. So there were problems but all of them seemed to be releated to limitations from Microsoft.
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November 28, 2009 5:18:38 PM

Well, you have to install the OS on a bootable drive. Not an External drive Einstein.
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November 28, 2009 8:28:10 PM

Here's the thing, the internal HDD broke... some guys tried to repair it and broke the HDD connector. So there is no internal HDD.
All I needed to do is set the boot device to "Removable device" and I didn't have any internal HDD, everything was on the external HDD.
I only used another computer to get setup files, that's all.
At first I also tought that MBR can't handle USB devices, but it did seem that MBR doesn't get involved even.
If an external drive isn't a device that you can plug in the USB and use it as a hard drive, then I don't know what the hell a USB or a HDD is.
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November 28, 2009 9:55:54 PM

+1 for badge. One thing is a bootable drive and other and STORAGE USB or EXTERNAL HDD drive. Just use logic. if you "install" the OS in a external drive, what drivers will use the system for load him self in every PC that you want connect?
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November 29, 2009 9:18:29 AM

First I only want to connect it with one PC, the one who doesn't have an internal HDD.
I don't understand what you try to proove here, but I was successful in this :/ 
Everything worked fine.
Try it your self if you don't believe it.
P.S. windows uses generic drivers, it can usually boot up with those drivers.
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Best solution

November 29, 2009 10:08:21 AM

saint19 said:
+1 for badge. One thing is a bootable drive and other and STORAGE USB or EXTERNAL HDD drive. Just use logic. if you "install" the OS in a external drive, what drivers will use the system for load him self in every PC that you want connect?

There's no problem in booting from an external USB drive on my PC. This may not be true for all PCs but on most modern ones there is no problem in installing any OS on an external drive. The BIOS looks after the drivers needed to read the disk and boot from it.
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