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Windows 7: Use existing HD in enclosure, can I run win and programs from there?

22 Jan 2014   #1
Interestor

win7 64 bit
 
 
Use existing HD in enclosure, can I run win and programs from there?

Here is what I want to do:
Remove my laptop HD, put it in a USB enclosure, run windows and programs from there.

I will be reinstalling that factory win7 on a new SSD, and slowly installing my drivers and programs there. I want to be able to still work with my computer while I build the new drive.

Step 1) problem. Canít seem to tell it to boot from USB drive. Four choices on boot option bios: ASMT 2105, Network, Diagnostic, Enter setup. None do what I want.

So, is this plan even possible? Can I run my existing windows and programs via external USB enclosure?

I have Alienware M11x. i5 8gb ram
(I read on forums to use left side usb port, neither side works for me)


Thank you


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
22 Jan 2014   #2
matts6887

Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit
 
 

If neither usb port works; then its possible the setup for windows 7 could have disabled the 2 ports for whatever reason. I would still retry the setup off the disc; as yes you should realistically be able to install windows 7 on a ssd.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #3
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

You cannot run Windows 7 from an external USB HDD. The fact that your external USB HDD is in fact old internal HDD now attached to a USB case does not change this; it still is an external USB HDD and not capable to run Windows 7.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Jan 2014   #4
Interestor

win7 64 bit
 
 

I will be installing windows from the factory disc via my external dvd drive with firewire. (Should work)

I just want to use my current setup in the meantime while I monkey with building the new SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #5
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

If you instead put the SDD in the enclosure, you can transfer your existing system and use it as you have been, right away. Windows won't boot from a USB Hard drive or SSD.

SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #6
Interestor

win7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
You cannot run Windows 7 from an external USB HDD. The fact that your external USB HDD is in fact old internal HDD now attached to a USB case does not change this; it still is an external USB HDD and not capable to run Windows 7.

Kari
AHA, there is a clear answer, like I am seeking. Not the one I am seeking but clear.

OK plan B is to install win7 on the SSD, and access my files on the old HD.

Question: can I run the programs installed on the HD via the enclosure?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #7
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Before doing anything else, jump two posts up and read Britton's response (post #5). .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #8
Interestor

win7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Before doing anything else, jump two posts up and read Britton's response (post #5). .
Thanks, but a big part of this project is a fresh installation of everything. I currently have a few curious problems like unnecessary low drive space warning, web hesitations, random "not responding" crashes..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #9
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

OK.

The thing is, although you can install some apps on an external HDD, quite a many won't work. Totally out of the question is to use programs installed on that HDD when it still was the system disk on your laptop.

You simply cannot replace the HDD with SSD, attach the the HDD to an enclosure, install Windows on SSD and use programs from old installation on that HDD.

To put it short: if your goal is to do a clean install on SSD instead of transferring your old Windows installation, there's not much you can do. You simply have to reinstall your programs on your new Windows installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #10
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Yes if your old installation has issues a new one is best. Have a look here: SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Use existing HD in enclosure, can I run win and programs from there?




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