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How to partition an external HDD?

by atindra / March 2, 2006 7:44 AM PST

Hi, I am new here.
How to partition a hard-drive attached externally to laptop. Can USB-HDD have an alternate OS (for example Linux)and can I run on my laptop alternatively which has pre-installed HDD with win-XP home?
This seems a great forum and I am sure, some expert will turnout soon.
Thanks in advance,

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Partitioning An External Drive
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 2, 2006 8:03 AM PST

With XP installed, you might be able to partition the drive by using Disk Management but installing and booting Linux is another issue.. Open the control panel, then double click on 'Administrative Tools" icon, then the "Computer Management" icon, then click on the "Disk Management" listing on the left side. From there you should be able to create multiple partitions on the newly connected external hard drive.

Still, I'm not sure that you could create a dual-boot situation with the external drive. On the other hand, there are articles about how to do it..See the links below and let us know if it works:

Hope this helps.


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by atindra / March 2, 2006 9:15 AM PST

Thanks Grif,
I will try and later update the situation.

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by joesmithers06 / March 2, 2006 8:15 AM PST

If you had a Mac, booting off an external drive would have been a standard feature for years, but with a PC it's kind of a crap shoot as to whether your BIOS supports that sort of thing. Some do, many don't. At least not without a floppy or CD to bootstrap the whole process.

Laptops in particular, are a bit finicky with Linux. Primarily due to their use of proprietary hardware, so before you go getting too far into the process, you might want to use a search engine to see what kind of results others have had getting Linux working on your particular model. A good quick test, is to try something like Knoppix, which is a LiveCD Linux distribution. It'll give you a good idea what hardware is and isn't supported on your laptop, though it's likely not definitive.

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by atindra / March 2, 2006 9:21 AM PST
In reply to: Well...

Hi, on my acer laptop, I had tried Lindows (linspire) previously without any problem. I had dual boot system with my laptop's two partitions having two different OSes. I did not have any problem but my HDD in laptop is too small so I just removed linux. Now since I am planning to buy an ext. HDD, I wish to do that dual boot adventure again.
Thanks for the comments.

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No. Windows does not boot from USB drives.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 2, 2006 9:43 AM PST

You are free to try it. But bicycling down dead end streets is not much fun.


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by atindra / March 2, 2006 1:06 PM PST

What about Linux?
I am planning to boot linux from EXT. drive. windows is already there in C drive.

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