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browsing an external hard drive.

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by rick417, May 1, 2006.

  1. rick417


    Likes Received:
    Nov 4, 2004
    N.E. Oklahoma
    I have an internal hard drive that I am going to put in a case to make it external.
    Seems easy enough but I have a few questions.

    I just want to temporarily use that drive as it was a totally separate machine. I don't want to transfer any files. Will It be "plug and play?" Will I be able to run the programs on that drive without loading any additional software on my machine?

    Thanks in advance
  2. NetNinja

    NetNinja Always Faithful

    Likes Received:
    Oct 23, 2001
    HotLanta, GA
    When you install a program it always writes information to the computers registry.

    You can Opt to do a custom installation of certain programs but if you remove the HD or the letter to that drive changes and you try to double click on the icon to launch the program you may get a program not found message.

    The reason people use External HD's is for storage. installing programs takes up little space in most cases. it's the Pictures and music people download to thier computers that takes up the most room.

    If you are using Linux this is easily achievable but now we open up another can of worms.

  3. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

    Likes Received:
    Mar 28, 2001
    SW Oregon
    To answer the first issue you mentioned, almost surely.

    And, as for the second issue, almost certainly not.

    If you were to install a program to that drive, as you normally would, from CD or the installer file while in XP, for example, then you'd be fine and that game or whatever would run on that machine.

    But unless the app is already installed on the active partition, most stuff will refuse to run outright, or will start and then crash shortly.

    This is because of the registry issues, as NetNinja mentioned, but also has to do with the little .dll and other files that are installed into the OS files by the installer when the app is first introduced to the system.

    If the .dll's and other critical files aren't there, the OS can't decide what the thing is trying to tell it, and so you get crashes and instability.

    BTW, whenever I want a portable OS that can run stuff on other machines, I use a Flash USB drive with a bootable copy of Slax or DSL installed on it, or a Knoppix CD if I need more than they offer.

    I know that's not exactly the functionality you are after, but as NN said the external HDD's are for data archiving first and foremost, and are not meant for running applications from on a regular basis.

    And remember this: every time you power up an external HDD, there's a chance that THAT is the time it'll fry and refuse to ever spin up again--or to yield up that data locked within. So I feel it is wise to limit access to the HDD that contains your most mission-critical pr0n to the absolute minimum for best results.