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Old 12-20-2007, 11:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Copy entire operating system to portable hard drive?

Is there a way to be able to copy my entire hard drive (operating system, programs, etc) to a portable hard drive and still have it work on the portable unit? I know in the past, I have taken a hard drive out of a desktop computer and it worked that way, but I have never tried this.

I want to wipe and reformat my hard drive on my laptop and would like to have a working backup if I ever need anything on it without having to put everything back onto the laptop hard drive as I may never need some of this info again.

Thanks,

John
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Copy entire operating system to portable hard drive?

No .. I can only speak for USB drives. What happens with usb is everytime you plug in a device usb resets. So if you have windows out there on a usb drive and it is doing an in page and you plug in a usb device and the usb resets... well that is not good. I think win 98 will run on a usb drive, not xp though. Second xp will not install at all on usb.

Yes this guy I work with has xp that boots from a usb flash drive. Actually it is some sort of a shell that xp is running in, some othre program. Very unsecure.
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Copy entire operating system to portable hard drive?

So do you think my best bet would be to just get another hard drive for my laptop so I can keep my old one?

I've done limited operating on my laptop. Do you think that is feasible to do? Also, would there be any way to copy programs from one to the other? I guess they would need to go on a portable?
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Copy entire operating system to portable hard drive?

One more question... Is there any way to copy everything BUT the operating system to an external hard drive? That way I could access old files, e-mails, programs etc?
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Copy entire operating system to portable hard drive?

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Originally Posted by JB Rekit View Post
One more question... Is there any way to copy everything BUT the operating system to an external hard drive? That way I could access old files, e-mails, programs etc?
I can say that this wont work because with Windows there is a registry edit for each application installed. Without those Registry files the appicaitons wont work. Grated if you installed the applicaitons to the External drive then they woudl. But just moving them wont do. Because teh executables wont recognize the path for which they are now located. Meaning they were installed to the C:\Program Files but if you move then teh executable will be looking to execuate the C:\Program Files appicaiton but it was moved to E:\ or whatever drive letter the external drive will be. So they wont execute properly.

You will have to actually install them right to the external drive in order for them to work properly.
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Copy entire operating system to portable hard drive?

Thanks, I guess I will just opt for the new laptop hard drive so I can at least access old programs etc that I might need later on.

Here is what I currently have if anyone has any suggested replacements.
60GB Ultra ATA/100 EIDE hard drive - 7,200 RPM, 2.5-inch form factor, 1.0-inch height
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Copy entire operating system to portable hard drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makaveli213 View Post
I can say that this wont work because with Windows there is a registry edit for each application installed. Without those Registry files the appicaitons wont work. Grated if you installed the applicaitons to the External drive then they woudl. But just moving them wont do. Because teh executables wont recognize the path for which they are now located. Meaning they were installed to the C:\Program Files but if you move then teh executable will be looking to execuate the C:\Program Files appicaiton but it was moved to E:\ or whatever drive letter the external drive will be. So they wont execute properly.

You will have to actually install them right to the external drive in order for them to work properly.
It really does depend on the program and how it was coded. Those that have references within the registry would certainly complain. But, if you are confident in going in by hand you can certainly edit the appropriate registry keys.

It would be much easier to use this as a system of record more than an actual working space. And again, it really just depends on the nature of each program. In college I used to run my e-mail client of a Zip drive and pop in whatever computer lab PC I was at and check my e-mail. I actually pulled that out a few months ago and had a nice moment looking back on years-old e-mails.

Ultimately, its easier to install whatever program to the location from the start. But, it is certainly not impossible to move things around.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Copy entire operating system to portable hard drive?

this might be helpful
MojoPac | What is MojoPac? | Overview
MojoPac - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Copy entire operating system to portable hard drive?

I have a bunch of portable programs to work on an usb drive
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Copy entire operating system to portable hard drive?

Yes htere are special apps that work directly from the USB. They are portal apps. There is a whole site dedicated to them.

@mBernhardt

Yes it isnt impossilbe. But i stay away from suggesting anything with the registry cause the consequences of messing up even just 1 entry in there are more severe than just uninstalling teh applications and installing them to the USB drive.
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