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Old 10-15-2010, 12:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default safe to runl windows external drive?

hi i have a seagate 500g freeagent goflex and want to install windows on it as my computers hard drive is temperamental at best! thing is i did this once and a week later my hard drive reported 82 bad sectors and started to fail. does anyone know if this is a coincidence or if installing an os on an external drive is likely to cause this kind of hard drive failure. any advice gratefully received!
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: safe to runl windows external drive?

Installing Windows to an external device will be as temperamental as your current hard drive. Reasons are as follows:

1. Every time you restart you run the risk that the external device will be assigned a new drive letter and causing the OS not to boot cause the drive information doesnt match.
2. If above happens you will see bootmgr is missing press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
3. You will need to boot to a system disk to fix the boot to the external device
4. Windows Vista and Win7 do not support installations to external devices

So i would seriously suggest you get a new drive before this one dies on you and your left without an alternative.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: safe to runl windows external drive?

thanks for your reply mak.i used a cheeky work around to install windows. the install method used for windows 7 to my external reassigns the system partition of the external drive to always be c:\ bumping all internal partitions up one avoiding the issue of the drive letter changing on restart. my main concern was that the strain of running the os from the drive was what may have caused the drive to fail while only a week old however i have been assured by support at the seagate forum that this should not be a problem and that the drive was probably faulty out of the box the install merely exacerbating the problem. will attempt again with new drive for now until i can afford a new laptop!

thanks again
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: safe to runl windows external drive?

The work arounds have no affect. Cause the BIOS is the thing that can reassign the drive letters and drive ID which can mess up the boot. So no matter what "work arounds" you may have installed. 1 time removing that drive from the system and putting it back on can easily destroy your boot and cause your system to not work. It is the UID or Universal ID that the BIOS assigns to the drive that matters, not what drive letter is assigned within Windows. The UID will be replaced if that drive is ever disconnected from the unit and cause your boot not to work.

So i certainly hope that you dont have a system failure or time where the drive gets disconnected while the unit is in operation. Cause that will most certainly cause you issues. Especially since Win7 is not made to install to an External device at all. No matter what the drive letter is, which means that it was more than a "cheeky work around". It was straight up hacking the OS to do something it was not created to do.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: safe to runl windows external drive?

What if he takes the HDD out of the Case? Its probably a 2.5" or 3.5" drive.

It would void warranty, you know but whatever.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: safe to runl windows external drive?

It's a bare hard drive then.
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