Install OS to Ext. HDD

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Jamstruth, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Jamstruth
    OP

    Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

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    Right, this question comes off the back of the new Windows 8 Dev Preview that's circling around.
    Basically I want a way to install onto and boot from an External HDD entirely. I don't want my current boot table being touched at all. My computer is capable of booting Linux USB Keys etc. so why not an OS on an Ext. HDD?
    I know from experience just installing to another HDD will edit my current MBR, so is there anyway to get Windows 8 to stick its boot stuff onto the 2nd, removable HDD? This would, in theory, create a portable system that can be booted by any computer that can boot from an External Drive.
     
  2. clegion

    clegion GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    that is well possible, I know XP can actually be booted from USB keys, however I don't know about Vista or Windows 7, I know however that it has to be modified . Although microsoft seems to actually support running windows 8 on USB using windows to go
     
  3. Scorpei

    Scorpei GBAtemp Maniac

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    Easiest way to make sure your current setup isn't altered is to simply detach the disk you currently use as OS disk and boot disk.
     
  4. shadowmanwkp

    shadowmanwkp Your roms are on another rom site

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    NVM, read the OP wrong... >.>"
     
  5. jurassicplayer

    jurassicplayer Completionist Themer

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    You could possibly try shoving the disk into a virtual machine, connect your external to it, and then install it from there (I tried that once...but it was with a linux distro)...
     
  6. spinal_cord

    spinal_cord Knows his stuff

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    If your computer can boot from an external drive (usb) then -

    1. Remove your current internal drive
    2. connect your usb drive
    3. install the OS
    4. reconnect your internal drive
    5. when ever you want to boot from your external drive, just plug it in (and reboot your computer)

    However, Windows 8 Does not allow you to install onto a USB drive.
     
  7. Jamstruth
    OP

    Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

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    I just tried installing from a VM. THe error I had was that that particular BIOS would not be able to boot the disc. My BIOS however CAN boot from External Devices so 'm going to at least attempt installing to it.

    If not I always have the option of adding ANOTHER partition to my drive (Its got 2 backup partitions, my main Windows partition, a Linux Partition and a Swap partition). My problem is then removing that install from my boot system. Simply running a MBR fix would remove my GRUB boot so I don't want to do that. I think Windows 8 uses the same boot menu as Vista and 7 though so would it just remove itself from the list?

    Edit: You were right Spinal. Installing to USB is just not supported by the installer. I can trick my VM into thinking it's a Raw disc though... Might boot then Turns out that option has been removed in both the WIndwos and Linux versions of VirtualBox since the thing I read about it was written. Oh well looks like its the hard way if I want to do this. Does anybody know a way to fix my boot menus once its on there? If I know about that then I have less qualms about adding that 6th partition.

    Edit 2: CRAP! Just remembered that GRUB/BURG freaks out at the very slightest thing changing on the Harddrive. So any HDD edits will have to be done from Ubuntu so I can update that bootloader. *sigh* Boot setups are a pain... Anybody reckon its worth it? I'm really curious as to how well it runs and VMs are a pain in the bum as they run really awkwardly. I've just found that removing the entry from the menu (assuming it uses the same menu as Vista and 7) is pretty painless then I can delete the partition and return things to normal.