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external HD question

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murrayman

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Hi,

I just bought a new Seagate 120GB 7200RPM USB 2.0 external hard drive and I want to install Windows XP Pro on it from my eMachines M6805 laptop.

When I put my Windows XP Pro CD in, it can see the external hard drive and gives you a choice to install windows on it. When I select the external hard drive, it says that the "startup program", or the CMOS boot process, can't load USB devices on startup.

Does anyone know how to install Windows XP Pro on a external hard drive?
 

Andyman902042

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Location
indianapolis
It's saying that the BIOS on that machine won't let you boot from a USB hard drive. You'll need to be able to boot from it to install windows. Check in your BIOS settings for the boot order and see if you can select "USB" as one of the devices to boot from. If you can, make the boot order CD-ROM, Floppy, USB. If there's not that optinon then your only choice is to install windows from another computer that does support booting from usb hard drives.
 

Xaotic

Very kind Senior
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Location
Greensboro NC
Just a strange question, why would you want to install XP on an external HDD? The bandwidth and latency are huge penalties. You are likely to have disk access times in the 17-20ms range and will be lucky to get STR consistently above 20MB/s.

That said, I believe I remember hearing that XP doesn't install to removable media. You could run DOS or any number of preboot environments, perhaps even 2000(doubts there too). I have seen preboot environments on USB 2.0 externals, but only as recovery tools.

If you are planning on connecting this to other computers, then they will need to have the same configuration and may have activation issues as well.
 
OP
murrayman

murrayman

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
I wanted to use it because I have a Hitachi Travelstar 60GB -4200RPM- drive, and it is VERY VERY SLOOOOOOW. I don't have the kind of money to put out on a 7200RPM version, though I hear it's extremely better. Instead, for 80 bucks less, I got this 120GB Seagate USB 2.0 thinking that USB 2.0 was just as good as IDE and EIDE.

Had no idea about the latency factor. Well, I didn't so much want it on the external hard drive as to installing my games onto the external HD.

So, changing the question around, would it be worth while to install my games (Battlefield Vietnam, MOH, Far Cry, etc.) on the external HD? Currently, I've been installing my games on the external HD, then unplugging it, and then installing them onto the internal HD so that when I'm at home, I can plug the external HD in and get the extra boost in speed, then on the road, have them still loaded on the internal HD so that I don't have to lug around the big external HD with me (and not have to worry about putting out the extra power;) ).
 

Prot

Member
Joined
May 18, 2003
Location
Lafayette, Louisiana
I don't quite understand your reasoning in the decision making process for the purchase with regard to price. A 7200 RPM IDE hard drive is a lot cheaper than an external hard drive.
 

Xaotic

Very kind Senior
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Location
Greensboro NC
Prot said:
I don't quite understand your reasoning in the decision making process for the purchase with regard to price. A 7200 RPM IDE hard drive is a lot cheaper than an external hard drive.

Yes, but he's referring to the 7200RPM 2.5" laptop HDDs.

murrayman said:
So, changing the question around, would it be worth while to install my games (Battlefield Vietnam, MOH, Far Cry, etc.) on the external HD? Currently, I've been installing my games on the external HD, then unplugging it, and then installing them onto the internal HD so that when I'm at home, I can plug the external HD in and get the extra boost in speed, then on the road, have them still loaded on the internal HD so that I don't have to lug around the big external HD with me (and not have to worry about putting out the extra power ).

Yes, that would be a valid use, but the overhead and latency are still high. A faster solution would be to use either a 5400RPM drive as main, as these will have the 8MB cache and a nearly the performance of the 7200RPM drives, or, if your laptop offers it, a 2nd HDD bay adapter and HDD. This will eliminate some of the latency and overhead inherent in a USB solution.
 
OP
murrayman

murrayman

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
I got a late birthday present from my brother (of all people:) ), which turned out to be good money.

So, I've bought the Hitachi TravelStar 7200RPM HD for my laptop:D . I returned my external HD for my money back (would have been a great backup device, but I already have a 240GB server I use to backup my files on). From what I've heard, this HD makes all the difference...