General discussion

Installing XP on external HD

My old Alienware laptop running XP had it's internal HD junk out on me. I have a spare external HD that I was able to install linux on, but there are a lot of programs that I want to run since they are windows only. So I'm looking at somehow re-installing windows xp on my external hard drive as my Alienware is otherwise still good.

When I try putting in the XP recovery CD in my Alienware and trying to re-install, the windows setup loads fine until it comes to partitioning and installing. It won't let me install and gave me some message about having to be the default internal drive and contact my manufacturer if I have any further questions. As Alienware was bought out by Dell, I get horrible customer support from someone who can barely speak english and didn't resolve anything with them.

Is there something I have to do in BIOS to enable my computer to be able to install this. I've changed the external HD to my default HD and the setup recogonizes it just fine, it just won't let me install. As I've said, I didn't have any problem installing Linux this way.

I do have my wife's computer available to me which is running vista if there is a way to install xp on the external HD from that computer too.

Thanks for the help guys.

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That would be normal

XP won't go on an external, movable drive. It wants to be attached directly to the motherboard or it's not going to install or run.

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Agree with Steve . . .

Linux is not Windows, it'll never work.

Bite the bullet and buy a new internal hard drive. Be sure to get all the drivers for the laptop, then install XP.

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It can be done

It can be done, but it's not easy and it's also against the Windows license agreement, not to mention the end result would be very very fragile. So keep that in mind if anyone should ever mention a program that makes it possible.

Possible does not automatically mean that it will be easy to do, that it's legal, or that the end result will be worthwhile.

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Thanks a lot guys. I was trying to avoid buying an internal HDD if necessary.

A computer that old(6 yrs, xp) would have an IDE hard drive, correct? I'm not sure what the visual difference is between IDE and SATA so I can't tell myself.

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Also, I was looking on newegg and clicked on IDE internal 2.5" drives, and all's they had was:

IDE Ultra ATA100

Would I be able to use this on my laptop? Is that the real name for IDE, IDE is just the shortened version?

Also, one of the drives in that category was listed as PATA. What is PATA and is it compatable with an IDE motherboard or is this a mistake.

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And now I'm seeing some hard drives listed as ATA when I search for IDE. Are some of these terms saying the same thing?

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Definitions are

Easy to find.

But let's keep this short. You have SATA and PATA. IDE, ATA-100, and MANY OTHER NAMES for IDE only lead to confusion at first then you catch on that a parallel IDE ATA connection has many names but all work.

HOWEVER there are issues if you have XP and change to a drive over 127GB but I can't see that detail here so it may not be any issue.

You could save a lot of posts by leading off discussions with make and model numbers.


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