Can my computer use an external hard drive instead of an internal one?
Question by Sondra Lucht /

My internal hard drive is failing. I would like to use an external hard drive as a replacement. But is it possible to run my computer off an external drive?

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Answers (25)
  • james braselton

    hi there yeah need 20 killobytes i have comadore 64 with 64 kb and 1 mhz cpu with a 2,400 modem

  • Vishal Jain

    can i use only ssd in my desktop by removing my older hdd??????
    please help…

  • Jim Chambers

    I suggest that you save a clone image of your internal HD to your external drive and then replace the internal drive followed by installing image to new drive.

  • Robert Russell

    Yes,YES, YES, I just ran 2 install disks from Tiger 10.4.9 to a Western Digital 500 GB external Had Drive and it works just as good as the original Fujitsu HD that just crashed!!!!! Sept 30, 2012

  • sai

    if i install os in my external hard disk, can i use it on other systems also and boot it in multiple systems????????

  • Edward

    Yes.
    Windows 7 runs fast enough even via USB 2.0. I have successfully run Windows 7 (the iMortaluz version) from a 16GB USB stick in USB 2.0; it actually loads 3 seconds faster than my internal ATA HDD – in order to run smoothly, the read speed of your USB device should constantly be at least 15 MB/s.

  • VictorGeis

    It definitely is, but it’s probably much safer/easier to just buy a replacement internal drive. They’re not even too expensive; you can get a drive about 1 TB under $100 easily.

  • jrasulev

    Yep, you can share hard-drives of both of your PCs or buy a NAS

  • VictorGeis

    Yes, all you have to do is install an operating system onto the drive and then when your computer boots up (starts up) you go into the boot screen (you’ll have to look this up for your computer) and then select to boot it from this drive.

    There are some downsides as others mentioned above, such as dissatisfying speeds and the fact your computer is incapable of booting from an external drive (if it’s old). I personally keep a couple Linux operating systems for emergencies; I use to exclusively use CD’s but now I have much more room on a portable USB.

  • edyshor

    It would be best to invest in another internal harddrive .. also you should start making regular backups to you external hdd until you replace the internal (defective) one .. and even afterwards .. you never know ..

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