Can you boot from a USB hard drive from a laptop? - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 01-30-2006, 04:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can you boot from a USB hard drive from a laptop?

My buddy has a laptop, and something wierd is happening. He can't get into windows. Before this happened, his laptop would barely hold a charge. All he cares about now is trying to get his stuff off of the laptop... he's in the process of building a new computer now.

Question is, could he use the hard drive (with windows already installed, etc) from his desktop computer, get an IDE-to-USB adapter, and plug it into the laptop, then boot off of it? Then, if he could do that, he would be able to search for the master drive (in the laptop) and back his stuff up... or so I would assume... be worth a shot. But, could you boot off of a HD with a USB adapter?

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Old 01-30-2006, 04:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's possible, but not in your case. Going from a desktop installation to a laptop won't work. If you want to save the information from the laptop there are a fewways to do that.
1. Linux live CD. Copy your info to a thumdrive(FAT partition)
2. Take the hard drive out to hook it up to a host computer. You'll need a laptop hard drive adapter.
3. Preinstallation Environment, just like option 1
4. Repair the Windows installation!

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Old 01-30-2006, 05:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So hold up, it'll be impossible to hook up the desktop HDD to the laptop, but it'll be possible the other way around? He just wants his stuff off of that computer... once he gets his new computer, he's literally going to beat it with a hammer because he's so frustrated with it.
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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no its not impossibl;e to hook the drive up, its impossible to boot from it. windows does not tolerate being shifted from one computer to another and i don't know if windows can be booted from an external drive but i think not. linux live-cd is a good option. google for D amn S mall L inux or DSL for short. type it minus the spaces, i only did that because the curse filter on this site doesn't like the word d amn
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