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External HDD setup help for use as install drive

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
As the title implies, i need help setting up an external hdd to be used as a boot device loaded with my windows versions.

I understand that the hdd can only have 3 bootable partitions, but I also know that if I had a simple bootable disk management tool as a permanent bootable option that I could then select what flavor I would like to install.
I'm starting with the vanilla versions of win xp vista and 7, and then knowing how to setup OS's for benching purposes would go at it from there. But also would later go into having the tweaks applied and benchmarks installed as part of the ISO.

Has anyone done this before?
I can't find a clear guide to help me with this task. And any input is appreciated
   
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post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remnant88888888 View Post

I understand that the hdd can only have 3 bootable partitions

Disagree. You can upto 4 primary partitions on a single hard drive. Only 1 of those partitions can be set as 'Active' at any one time for boot purposes. The boot loader would reside on your first primary partition (the one that's set as 'Active').

The first OS you need to install is WinXP, get it setup the way you want. Then do a custom installation of Vista so that you can specify which partition the OS will be installed to. It has been a very long time since I've done a custom installation of Vista, but look in the custom options - you'll see it.

After you install Vista, get it setup the way you want. Then do a custom installation of Win7 so that you can install it to a separate partition just like you did for the above step. When you're done, you will have XP/Vista/7 each on its own separate partition and you will not have to rely on any 3rd party utility as far as the menu choice is concerned. If you do it the way I told you, Windows will automatically create the menu loader so you can choose from the among the 3.

The only question is whether how to install Winblows on an ext. hard drive. Never seen that one done before. I've installed Bart PE on flash drives to boot from before. Just brainstorming some ideas here because I'm not even sure how you would go about installing WinXP on an external drive.
Edited by DaChosenOne - 3/23/14 at 9:51pm
post #3 of 5
Just googled up something and found this tutorial.
Use Windows XP from an USB external HDD

Good luck.
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remnant88888888 View Post

I understand that the hdd can only have 3 bootable partitions...

    If you manually create the fourth partition using diskpart instead of Disk Management, you can create a fourth primary partition without Windows automatically creating an extended partition for you. thumb.gif
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remnant88888888 View Post

I'm starting with the vanilla versions of win xp vista and 7, and then knowing how to setup OS's for benching purposes would go at it from there. But also would later go into having the tweaks applied and benchmarks installed as part of the ISO.

And any input is appreciated

    Just as a reminder, the disk access speeds will be slower for the OSes (and programs) installed on the higher numbered partitions, since HDDs can sequential read ~2x faster at the beginning than at the end.  Just something to keep in mind when benchmarking. wink.gif
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input guys... Just to clarify my idea, I'm trying to change the installation media from CDs and DVDs to the external hdd... Through some googling of my own I've came up with putting xp onto the external drive as its only operating system, then using the disk image .iso for installation through daemon tools, command prompt, and partitioning the internal drive through the OS installation process loaded from the iso
All of the versions I am trying to make ie (XP for superpi; vista for wprime; ect.) would both fit on the drive, and would be easiest to setup IF it works. I will most certainly try this tomorow with vanilla OSs for I am way to tired tonight after driving for close to 4 hours one way back home from a jobsite. Any other suggestions are appreciated and I will update my progress tomorrow
   
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