Booting from external hard drive

I recently bought a Dell XPS 8700 running Win 10. I still have my old computer, a Dell Inspiron 530 running Win XP Home 5.1.2600. I made a clone (i.e., a bootable drive) of the old Inspiron 530 hard drive on a Seagate Expansion portable drive with a USB interface. I want to plug the Seagate drive into my new XPS 8700 and boot from the Seagate drive, thus starting up and running Win XP and accessing all my old apps and files. When I am done, I want to restart the XPS 8700 and start up Win 10 as usual. My XPS 8700 with Win 10 is running just fine. My purpose is simply to physically throw away my old computer and yet continue to use my old computer in a virtual sense by "hosting" the same functionality on my new computer. I realize I will need to restart my computer when moving from Win XP back to Win 10, and I realize I can't within one environment access files in the other environment. My immediate problem is I cannot get to a screen that lets me boot from my Seagate drive. (I might run into other problems after that.) I've spent hours looking online and in a Win 10 book, and can't find an answer. Thank you so very much for any help!

Discussion is locked
Reply to: Booting from external hard drive
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Booting from external hard drive
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
It doesn't work that way

You have it backwards. You can put your old drive into your new computer, but you will have to boot into the new operating system installed to your new hard drive and seek out the files you want to copy over to the new drive.

You will not be very successful booting the newer computer from the old drive and it's operating system for several reasons.

1) It's an OEM setup and that will inactivate windows

2) Even if it was Retail copy of sofware on the drive, the chips on the newer motherboard are not the same as on the older motherboard, so those driver files won't work properly.

3) At best you will boot the old hard drive to a crippled system, or it wont' boot at all.

- Collapse -
Are we on the same page?

I'm thinking maybe I didn't explain myself well. Several years ago, I accomplished something very similar. I had a Dell mini-laptop running Ubuntu 8. After a few years, I want to use Ubuntu 11. However, Ubuntu 11 did not fit on the Dell. So I copied Ubuntu 11 onto a USB in bootable form. I would switch back and forth between 8 and 11. When I started the Dell, if I didn't touch anything, it would boot 8, which was on the hard drive. But if I held down the right keys, a screen would ask me what I wanted to boot from, and I selected USB. From there, Ubuntu 11 would start up. So depending on which Ubuntu I wanted to use, I could "toggle" back and forth (going through a restart each time). I am trying to recreate that same effect now.

- Collapse -
sure. you can do that, in linux

Or you can boot to windows on the hard drive or choose to boot to Linux on a USB drive.

- Collapse -
linux is different

linux is a different os, you can do a lot of things with linux you cannot do with windows. You can dual boot with xp but only if the computer was compatible and new computers today are most likely not compatible.

- Collapse -
not legal

you cannot use xp since it is oem and can never be transfer to another computer. In addition different motherboard, different drivers. Even if it was a legit copy of xp, you would have to install drivers to support the new motherboard so it most likely will not even boot.

CNET Forums