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Install Windows on external drive

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November 30, 2011 7:23:45 AM

I am having Dell E6410 laptop (Windows7) which has esata interface. I have an external Hard drive on which i want to install windows xp. Is it possible to install windows xp on external drive and at boot time i can decide whether to boot from internal hdd (windows7) or from extenal hdd (windows xp) connected via esata interface?

Please help.
November 30, 2011 7:34:14 AM

The bios should be able to set boot priority, i.e. hd first, usb later etc.
You can set to boot to esata first, then the hd. That way if the esata isn't plugged in, then it will boot from your harddrive.
November 30, 2011 8:55:55 AM

Thanks for your reply.

Is it possible for someone to give step by step procedure to install Windows xp in my external drive which is connected via esata?

I need it badly.

Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
a c 572 D Laptop
November 30, 2011 10:09:32 AM

Hello philipsdenim;

It's must better to install WinXP on a newly created partition on the same hard disk as Windows 7 is already on. It's going to be easier and more reliable in the long run.


Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

See:
OPTION TWO
When Windows 7 is Installed First

November 30, 2011 10:40:14 AM

Thanks for the information.
Actually i dont have permission to install anything in the existing hard-drive and infact i dont want to touch that HDD as it is for office use only.

I just need an external harddisk along with existing laptop with windows xp.
Is it feasible? any pointers?
a b $ Windows 7
a c 572 D Laptop
November 30, 2011 10:43:14 AM

You would have to modify the bootloader on the internal hard disk to get the dual boot option..
My guess is that would also violate that prohibition about installing anything on the internal HDD.
November 30, 2011 10:50:13 AM

I am not thinking to modify anything on the internal hdd. I will just change the boot priority in the BIAS to either boot from internal hdd or from external hdd.
November 30, 2011 10:58:39 AM

Open up the external harddrive like I did and use it as an internal hard drive.
a b $ Windows 7
a c 572 D Laptop
November 30, 2011 11:00:06 AM

That might not violate the the letter of the prohibition of installing on the internal HDD but it certainly seems to violates the intent.
You'd be putting the security of the whole laptop at risk running a low security OS on an external drive. Risk is getting a malware/virus infection on the laptop's HDD.

Have you asked permission do that type of activity?
If the reason you're not allowed to do installs on the HDD is security based and I were making the call - I'd say running an external HDD with WinXP would also not be allowed.
a b $ Windows 7
a c 572 D Laptop
November 30, 2011 11:01:12 AM

samuelspark said:
Open up the external harddrive like I did and use it as an internal hard drive.
Not going to work if the external drive is 3.5" HDD model.
November 30, 2011 11:36:44 AM

samuelspark said:
Open up the external harddrive like I did and use it as an internal hard drive.

Can you please elaborate?
a b $ Windows 7
a c 572 D Laptop
November 30, 2011 12:02:15 PM

Remove the Windows 7 hard disk and replace with the external hard drive removed from it's external enclosure. Use in place of the Win7 HDD.
November 30, 2011 12:12:41 PM

WR2 said:
Remove the Windows 7 hard disk and replace with the external hard drive removed from it's external enclosure. Use in place of the Win7 HDD.

I cant remove internal hdd. Is it possible to install windows xp on external drive and at boot time i can decide whether to boot from internal hdd (windows7) or from extenal hdd (windows xp) connected via esata interface?
a b $ Windows 7
a c 572 D Laptop
November 30, 2011 12:14:20 PM

Did you ask permission to do that?
We don't want you to lose your job.
a b $ Windows 7
a b D Laptop
November 30, 2011 12:34:58 PM

is installing xp or 7 in a portable storage even possible? i tried that once with xp sp3 connected by usb when my os drive crashed. it didn't work. i had to remove my crashed os hdd, use the other hdd (previously connected by usb) as the primary internal hdd and then install the os. i read somewhere that microsoft designs their os to not install on external/portable storage.
there is no problem with linux installing in an external drive though.
November 30, 2011 1:07:00 PM

Can't install an OS through USB.
July 3, 2012 3:51:14 AM

WR2 said:
That might not violate the the letter of the prohibition of installing on the internal HDD but it certainly seems to violates the intent.
You'd be putting the security of the whole laptop at risk running a low security OS on an external drive. Risk is getting a malware/virus infection on the laptop's HDD.

Have you asked permission do that type of activity?
If the reason you're not allowed to do installs on the HDD is security based and I were making the call - I'd say running an external HDD with WinXP would also not be allowed.



Bro really? what are you a CISSP IA freak? im not trying to be rude but honestly there is a reason we have people that work in IA and its not because we need Security on our mouses and keyboards. Its because you where not wanted in the other part of the office.
July 14, 2012 4:45:59 PM

philipsdenim said:
I am having Dell E6410 laptop (Windows7) which has esata interface. I have an external Hard drive on which i want to install windows xp. Is it possible to install windows xp on external drive and at boot time i can decide whether to boot from internal hdd (windows7) or from extenal hdd (windows xp) connected via esata interface?

Please help.


Hello there. I have a simple solution for you if you are familiar with backup & recovery by acronis true image. Then step as bellow:
1. Install windows XP to your internal HDD
2. Make backup your windows XP by acronis true image
3. Create 1 primary partition in your external HDD
4. Recovery windows xp backup file which is already created in step 2 to primary partition in your external HDD.
5. Restart your laptop and press F12 key to get in menu boot select . Then select boot from external HDD
That all and Good luck
!