would it be a viable option to put in a SSD boot drive and then have data storage on an external USB 3 hard drive? This might seem obvious but my hard drive crashed but my SSD is still working and I have all my data backed up to my external hard drive so I was thinking I might not need to buy another one if I can run it off of there.
sure, it's viable, heck you can use a thumbdrive as your storage if you want.
It just depends how much you intend to read/write to your external hard drive, and if you want that speeded up by having it be a standard internal drive,
or if it's performance is acceptable for what you need it to do, and isn't taking up extra space or any of the other cons (like noise, extra plug, ugly, etc).
Yeah I was thinking I can use the drive to store my games and movies/music, then when I want to play or whatever I can just move it from the hard drive to my SSD for however long I plan to use it then delete it and go to the drive again for different stuff.
How big is your SSD? From what you are saying, I am guessing its small. That sounds like an awful lot of work shuffling everything around. I am of course going to suggest a larger SSD to hold your OS and all of your apps/games. 128GB is borderline as that is what I use and its just too small. I am upgrading to a 256GB now and wish I had gone that route from the start.