Playing games on a External HDD on many PCs

Hello, I have this issue I've been trying to deal with since I bought my external HDD.

The issue is this : I would like to play videogames that I install on my HDD on any computer that I plug my HDD to.

I know that alot of games need to change some registry keys in order to function, so I could just make a registry entry and apply it on whatever computer I go on. However, on some computers (i.e. at school), I'm not allowed to change registry keys (of course), so I was thinking of installing a windows on my external HDD, but then again it just won't boot on a different system.

So I've been thinking... I've heard of Virtual PC, do you think it could be used to solve my problem? I'm not exactly sure how does Virtual PC work, so far I understand that it's a windows emulator... but would it work on any PC I use it? Hence I could install the games via Virtual PC and just play them on it. I'm not thinking about killer games like Crysis or even half-life 2. I'm thinking more about Baldur's Gate, Starcraft, Warcraft and any kind of little games pretty much any systems today are able to deal with.

Thanks in advance!
7 answers Last reply
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  1. Interesting idea.

    Yes, Virtual PC will let you emulate a PC with Windows. It should work IMO, unless the game has some nasty copy protection scheme that will get in the way.

    I think the hard disk performance (USB, right?) will be terrible and will make the games less enjoyable. Still, it's worth trying. Good luck!!!

    Some games analyze the hardware during installation, especially the video card. That could cause some failures as you move from a PC to another. You might be able to get around it by configuring graphics settings when you plug in the HDD and start playing.
  2. Although the Virtual way may seem like a good idea, at the moment none of the available products supports more then basic video function.

    Vmware does support 3D up to a certain point (DirectX8).

    So unless you want to play Solitaire, you wont be playing Crysis in a VM and thats withouth taking into consideration the USB drive performance.
  3. I'm actually able to play Diablo 2 and several MUCH older games off my USB (of course for Diablo I also need the CD but that's not a problem)

    It shouldn't be too hard to play slightly older games games off the HDD
  4. aevm said:

    I think the hard disk performance (USB, right?) will be terrible and will make the games less enjoyable. Still, it's worth trying. Good luck!!!


    Actually, it's eSata to Sata, no PCI cards nothing, directly to the mobo.

    As for CD and copy protection, I'm using Deamon-Tools for most of my games (I own the original copies, just made an .iso of all my CDs directly on my HDD, much faster loading time :) )

    I suppose I'll have to give it a try, whenever I have enough spare time to mess with that stuff!
  5. What are you doing messing around with school computers? Back in the day, we had sex, drugs, and alcohol to keep us occupied when we were on suspension. We certainly weren't so irresponsible as to play games on the schools' computers!
  6. I would think that you should be able to just play most games right off the hard drive no matter what PC you connect it to. I think that the registry keys are often just for add/remove software functions or for installing updates/expansions.
  7. piratepast40 said:
    What are you doing messing around with school computers? Back in the day, we had sex, drugs, and alcohol to keep us occupied when we were on suspension. We certainly weren't so irresponsible as to play games on the schools' computers!


    Ha, when I was in High School I had mini LAN parties in the school computer lab during study hall playing the good ol' Descent game. Got caught once though, one of my buddies didn't know how to alt-tab so when the teacher came in the room he was the only one in the game and franticly trying to close it... smart teacher though, he knew better :)
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