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Installing Windows 7 to an external hard drive

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by DigitalMan589, Jan 20, 2009.

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  1. DigitalMan589

    DigitalMan589 Thread Starter

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    Hello,

    I've heard a lot of good things about Windows 7 and have decided that I want to give it a try. I don't have an extra computer with a hard drive in it laying around to install it on, but I do have a 320 GB external hard drive. The download from Microsoft's website is a .ISO file. I'm wondering how do I install it to my external hard drive so that when I change the boot order to boot from the USB hard drive the installation screen will appear. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I've never installed an OS before so I'm not sure what to do. Thanks.
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    No Windows operating systems can be installed to an external drive. They would be far too slow, among other things.

    If there are methods to get it to run from an external, they are not by "installing" and I suggest you do a search to see if anyone has figured out a way. It may be a bit too early for anyone to have even looked into it.
     
  3. DigitalMan589

    DigitalMan589 Thread Starter

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    Thank you for the response. Please bear with me as I have little knowledge in this area of computers. If I want to install Windows 7 on my main hard drive and still be able to access Windows XP as well as all the data on that drive, would I need to create a new partition on my hard drive and install Windows 7 on that partition? My main concern with this whole operation is that I will accidentally get rid of Windows XP from my computer and loose all my data.
     
  4. sportsaholic

    sportsaholic Banned

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    Set up a dual boot system.
     
  5. DigitalMan589

    DigitalMan589 Thread Starter

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  6. sportsaholic

    sportsaholic Banned

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    I was looking at that same page the other day. yes, I would use that too.
     
  7. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Before you do anything, especially with a beta with known bugs and incompatibilities, you should always be able to recover from unexpected disasters. That means having a full backup of your system.

    Macrium Reflect
    Paragon Drive Backup Express
     
  8. Chutsman

    Chutsman

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    Digitalman, you have to first burn that ISO file to a dvd disc, which will be bootable.

    To do a dual boot, with XP already installed is the easier way to do it. First you have to partition your drive. XP will be in one and Win 7 will be installed in the other. The Windows folder alone of a Win 7 install is going to be almost 8 Gb!

    Once you have made the partition for the Win 7 installation, I suggest you boot XP and rename those two partitions with unique names. For example, the XP part can be Win XP and the one for Win 7 can be renamed to Win 7. This way you will know which partition to put the Win 7 install and not wipe out your WinXP installation.

    Now boot with the Win 7 Dvd and follow the prompts to install it into the Win 7 partition. At the end Win 7 will automatically create a dual boot menu which will appear when you restart after the installation is complete.
     
  9. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    You could also install 7 into VirtualBox and run it at the same time as your main OS. No partitioning needed.
     
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