Winxp boot from external USB HD

By premb · 11 replies
Dec 22, 2006
  1. Few months’ back, I had my laptop (LT1 - Compaq 2710) not booting up 'Operating System not found'. It removed the HD from the laptop and used it as an external HD for another laptop (LT2 - Toshiba) but the 2nd laptop will not recognize this HD and after running Ultimate Boot CD, I figured out that the HD is dead (or will die soon). I had backed up the data so no problem.

    Now I have got another HD for this machine. The new HD is 200GB SATA (for desktop) Maxtor and It comes with Maxtor blaster etc CD's and I have a USB enclosure for this. How do I start using this new HD in the laptop using the USB enclosure? (A. Install Win XP and B. boot for external usb)

    I have a win XP cd and I also made a USB bootable win XP with SP2 - (Win XP SP2 -USB) - from this instruction -
    This CD works fine from my 2nd laptop - LT2 but it does not allow me to install XP on external HD (bascially it tries to re-install XP on my existing C drive for LT2). I removed the HD for LT2 and tried to Boot from CD (Win XP SP2 -USB) with external HD connected with USB - It started the boot process, but could not recognize HD (may be because its 200GB?). What do I do for this?
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Don't you need a SATA adapter?
    The most likely problem is that Compaq BIOS does not allow booting from an external source.
  3. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415


    I dont think you can install onto a HD that is external to the machine.

    The OS install only looks at the physically connected devices, it does not see USB devices. ( I think) mind you I might give it a try later, something to do to pass the boredom, ill post back and let you know.

  4. premb

    premb TS Rookie Topic Starter

    When I read these pages,

    I thought I Could install WinXP on a external HD and Use it. I think the BIGGER problem is that I have 200GB SATA hd. I am not sure that even If I reach a stage that I can install XP on an external HD and use this HD to boot/log in, while the compaq BIOS indentify this 200GB hd OR If I partition this 200GB HD into 40+160 ( or any other combo) this this approach work.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You can do it on some machines, but not that Compaq

    It appears to me the BIOS on the laptop is recent enough to deal with a 200 GB hard drive. If not, the most recent BIOS for the 2710 was September, 2006.
    But booting from an external drive on a Compaq laptop is an entirely different world.
  6. premb

    premb TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How do I get that update BIOS. its not on the HP page.
  7. fastco

    fastco TS Booster Posts: 1,123

  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    The BIOS most certainly is on the Compaq page of the website under "Drivers and Downloads". It was there when I posted, and I just checked to assure that it is there under Compaq 2710
  9. premb

    premb TS Rookie Topic Starter

  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    AT the bottom of the set where you see the V2710us, there are

    "Compaq Presario 2700 Notebook PC series where five laptops are listed. The bottom one is "Compaq Presario 2710US Notebook PC

    If you cannot get that page, when you go to, then Drivers and downloads, type in the simple search "Compaq 2710" which will take you there
    or list the full search, "Compaq Presario 2700 Notebook PC series"
  11. premb

    premb TS Rookie Topic Starter

  12. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    It probably won't help with your problem, but the Compaq ROMPaq sp22322 IS a BIOS update. I would also install any of the others that are dated more recently than the date of your computer, if you have not already done so.
    When we checked the Compaq tech support person online, I was told that model does not need a BIOS update to access large drives... It is designed to handle 147 GB on up.
    You might want to talk to them if your troubles continue.
    We have been servicing a company that has 20 Compaq Presario 2710us for their field sales staff. They all have problems from time to time, but not the one you describe.

    Our units will not work with SATA drives, however, and will not work on external drives. Compaq says they are not supported.
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