Quick Answer: Can You Run A Computer With An External Hard Drive?

There are lots of reasons you might want to boot from a USB device, like an external hard drive or a flash drive, but it’s usually so you can run special kinds of software.

When you start your computer normally, you’re running it with the operating system installed on your internal hard drive — Windows, Linux, etc.

Can you run an operating system from an external hard drive?

Also, Windows OS may be installed on an external hard drive that connects to servers or other devices that do not have their own operating system. This is mostly seen in industrial, commercial, and computer repair applications, although anyone with an external hard drive and a copy of Windows OS can perform it.

Can I boot a laptop from an external hard drive?

Although the typical laptop boots from an internal hard drive containing an operating system, there are times when you need to boot from an external device, such as a USB flash drive, DVD or external hard drive. Press this key combination repetitively while booting.

Can you work off an external hard drive?

Yes, you can work on large files from an external drive. You may even find you’ll get better performance that way since the transfer speeds will be higher. The only problem you may run into is if you need to take your work on the road.

Can a computer work without hard drive?

Although a hard drive is typically where an operating system is installed, there are a number of ways you can run a computer without one. Computers can be booted over a network, through a USB drive, or even off of a CD or DVD.

How do I make a external hard drive bootable?

Make a Bootable External Hard Drive and Install Windows 7/8

  • Step 1: Format the Drive.
  • Please be careful using the select command (so you don’t select and format your hard disk instead)
  • Step 2: Mount The Windows 8 ISO Image Into A Virtual Drive.
  • Step 3: Make The External Hard Disk Bootable.
  • Step 5: Boot Off The External Hard Drive or USB Flash Drive.

Can I use an external hard drive to install Windows 10?

Make external hard drive bootable to install Windows 10/8.1

Step 2: Open Computer, right-click on the external hard drive icon, and then select Format option to open Format dialog box. Select File System as NTFS, select Quick Format option and click Start button to do a quick format of the drive.

How do I boot Windows 10 from an external hard drive?

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How to Install Windows 10 Directly onto USB External Hard Drive


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How do I boot Windows from an external hard drive?


  1. Figure out your computer’s BIOS key on Windows. Skip this step on Mac.
  2. Attach the external hard drive to your computer.
  3. Format the hard drive if necessary.
  4. Make sure you have an item from which to boot.
  5. Place the boot file on the external hard drive.
  6. Make the external hard drive bootable.

How do I boot my HP laptop from an external hard drive?

Turn on the computer and immediately press the Escape key repeatedly, about once every second, until the Startup Menu opens. Press F9 to open the Boot Device Options menu. Use the up or down arrow key to select the CD/DVD drive. Then press Enter.

Why you need an external hard drive?

External hard drives are portable, easy to use, and can provide a large amount of storage whenever you need it. Because of their usually large storage capacities (often in the terabytes), external hard drives are often used to store backed up files.

How do I move programs to an external hard drive?

Windows’ built-in Easy Transfer tool can make this process much simpler:

  • Find the Start menu on the laptop. In the search box, type Windows Easy Transfer.
  • Select An External Hard Disk or USB Flash Drive as your target drive.
  • For This Is My New Computer, select No, then click to install to your external hard drive.

What is the best external hard drive?

Best external backup drive

  1. WD My Passport 4TB. Read PCWorld’s review. $94.89. See it. on Amazon.
  2. Seagate Backup Plus Portable. Read PCWorld’s review. $129.99. See it. on Amazon.
  3. Samsung T5 SSD. Read PCWorld’s review. $167.99. See it. on Amazon.
  4. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (1TB) Read PCWorld’s review. $169.69. See it. on Amazon.