How to Run Windows on an External Hard Drive

by Waverly Edmondson

Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft. You can install Windows on an external hard drive provided that your external hard drive has enough space and meet the requirements for the system. This would be useful if need to use a different version of Windows on a computer or if the computer you are using, such as an Apple computer, doesn't support Windows OS software.

Connect your external hard drive to an available USB port on your computer

Click on "Start" and select "My Computer." Under "My Computer," right-click on the external hard drive and select "Format."

Format the external hard drive to NTSF by clicking on "Quick format" and waiting for the external hard drive to format.

Insert the Windows installation CD in your PC's optical disc drive.

Close out the Installation wizard and write down the drive letters that are assigned to your optical disc drive and your external hard drive. The optical disc drive is usually giving the letter "D:" while the external hard drive may be giving any letter after "D:" such as "E:" or "F:."

Click on "Start" and select "Run." Type: "E:\I386\winnt32.exe/syspart: D:/makelocalsource/noreboot" inside the run box and click "OK."

Select the "Full Install" option when the "Windows Installer" wizard opens. Follow the on-screen directions to complete the installation process.

Shut down the computer and disconnect the external hard drive.

Items you will need


About the Author

Waverly Edmondson began writing in 2010. His work appears on eHow, where he specializes in information technology. Edmondson has a Bachelor of Arts in information technology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.