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Windows 7: Partitioning External HDD for Windows Installation

25 Mar 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
Partitioning External HDD for Windows Installation


I am using Lenovo Y460, and I found that my internal SATA HDD has spoilt. Since I have a unused portable HDD, I decided to use that to run my laptop from. What I'm planning to do is to install my Windows there, and then boot from that portable HDD each time I want to use my laptop.

But I have several questions before doing so :
1. I have several data in that portable HDD. Will installing Windows there automatically clean up all that data?
2. I want to make a separate partition for Windows in my portable HDD in installation setup. Is it a good idea to make a partition in external HDD?
3. I understand that running from USB connection will make my laptop run slower compared to SATA connection. But does this only apply for booting Windows or does this also apply for any other program that I'm going to run later on?
4. What kind of damage might occur if my portable HDD accidentally gets disconnected while I'm still running Windows from it?

I'll greatly appreciate your answer

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2014   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

Well, lets go through all your questions and I'll answer to the best of my current knowledge.

1: If you install Windows on a separate partition, then you will not loose any data on the partition with all the data. Be sure to select the empty partition when installing.
2: External HDDs are not the best decision performance-wise since it's limited by the speed of the USB's bus. Partitioning won't hurt the drive.
3: The decrease in speed will come with both the booting up of Windows and the programs installed since the program data has to go through that same USB port, also the SWAP data usage from the disk too, there's going to be a lot going on.
4: I'm unsure of what damage could happen if the external is disconnected, I would figure a BSoD since Windows would be without the RAM, video, processor, and all the other hardware at the moment of disconnection.

If I may ask, why not buy a replacement drive for the laptop?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
Thank You for The Reply

I still have unused portable HDD so I thought it would be better to use that for now as a temporary solution. I will eventually replace my internal SATA HDD anyway.

Thank you for the reply!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Mar 2014   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

You can`t run windows from an external hard drive.

But you can take the hard drive out of it and install it in the pc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2014   #5
Microsoft MVP


Confirm the internal HD's condition with the hard drive tests from Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2014   #6
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Not a very attractive solution unless you have an eSata port to which you can attach the external.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2014   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

External Sata port. (Red port)

Your motherboard may not have any.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Partitioning External HDD for Windows Installation

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