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Put XP on an external hard drive?

By vhawk
Sep 23, 2009
Topic Status:
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  1. I've just got a Western Digital 1 terrabyte(? Tb?) external USB hard drive

    could I install XP on it and boot from it if my Hard drive blew up and have it, so to say, in reserve

    I have my original XP disk but the vital number has been rubbed off the cardboard or is otherwise unreadable, is there any way of discovering what it is?so that i can register it properly if I can so install it?


    I would be jolly grateful if anyone could help this poor old ignoramus with this

    PS presumably XP would have to format it if I were to install it on it-, would said formatting stop it from being plug and play?
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,251

    Hi

    no you cant install any OS on a removable HDD, as the install looks for physically connected drives when its being installed.

    If you need to retrieve the windows licence key, do a google on "jellybean key finder"

    If you want to, also google ..."Norton Ghost" and "arcronis true image"...and have a read up on creating an image of the drive for disaster recovery...
  3. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    actually you can copy the hard drive using norton ghost over to the new usb drive and essientially i would think you could boot from it but like ididmy said i think they look for physically installed hard disks on boot so you might be out of luck.
  4. vhawk

    vhawk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    ah well, not to worry, but thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to try to help

    oddly enough XP says there is not enough room on my 1T drive to backup my c: drive(80gig) does that sound right to you?-I've no idea ow much 1T is I'm gormless about computers
  5. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    is the hard drive formatted? and 1tb is around 939GB of space after a format
  6. vhawk

    vhawk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    no, idea, but thank you, for the time being i'm using it to free up space on my existing HD, APPARENTLY i can copy my documents and settings folder to it, but who know what good that would do?

    i'm a complete duffer about computers

    best

    pete

    PS is ghost expensive? - i'm a bit short of spondulicks(dosh)
  7. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    i think ghost is around $60 the other software that Ididmyc600 suggested is $50 new and will do the same thing actually the 15 day trial version is free and works to do the same job :)
  8. vhawk

    vhawk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    gosh that's handy. I suppose it's really complicated to use ghost to back up my HD

    to a stupid old duffer like me switching on a light is complicated :)
  9. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    actually its pretty simple and straight forward it is a wizard like software.
  10. vhawk

    vhawk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    ha-ha, you may think so but I've rarely found a wizard that did not confuse my poor old brain with technical terms; I make garden furniture look intelligent :)
  11. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    if you get it i think you will do fine.
     
  12. vhawk

    vhawk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    having a hard time finding the trial. I bet you have to buy the full version to d a restore because then they have you over a barrel
  13. Char_X

    Char_X TS Rookie Posts: 209

  14. vhawk

    vhawk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    thank you, I was hoping for a trial and can't afford the thing on that link
  15. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,251

    me thinks you should return to an abacus lol

    what your basically trying to achieve is a backup of your xp so that should the drive fail in anyway you have a copy of it.

    Like i said there are 2 things you can do

    Learn to use Ghost and make an image

    or just copy the important things over to the external drive, then if the drive fails you will need to reinstall windows completly and then copy back your files.

    Installing XP is very easy to do and there are a million sites with instructions on how to do it..

    Using ghost, again google is your best friend...

    As for me , i split my PC drive into 2 partitions, then when i have installed windows i make an image and store it on the 2nd partition of the drive, this is done again on a weekly or monthly basis or when i have installed any new software.

    The aim being, that i have a good copy of what my drive should be like if/when i get any issues such as malware, spyware, viruses etc etc.
  16. vhawk

    vhawk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    I think you may be right:) ; if my had blows up that's life I guess I'll just have to save up for a new one. are there any big super fast hard drives that don't have any moving parts in them to go wrong?- sort of internal thumb stick thingies?- when I was young there were not even calculators and televisions were regarded as magic and colour television unknown
  17. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,251

    moving parts, no moving parts,,,it wont matter, they all go wrong in the end
  18. vhawk

    vhawk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    oh dear; my hopes are crushed; but of course, it is a law of the universe, if it can go wrong it will; silly me
  19. Char_X

    Char_X TS Rookie Posts: 209

    hm... I thought it was a 30 days trial on that link ;)
  20. vhawk

    vhawk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    it is now I look more carefully- my brain damage- post stroke won't let me see things under my nose

    i was puzzled because I was looking for something called ghost
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