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XP on External Hard drive

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Is it possible (and practical) to format an external hard drive so that I can boot to it? I am having some challenges - I am using my laptop and booting from a reinstallation CD. I think I will probably have to get a new XP CD to do this (yes/no?) Will I still have to choose which system to boot from when I boot my laptop (i/e./ dual boot)? My goal is to have AOL (yuk) installed and used on an external hard drive for a friend so no info goes into the registry about AOL. Is this possible? What issues do I have to worry about with formatting partitions on teh external 160 GB drive?

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If your BIOS on your motherboard supports USB boot you could boot directly from the USB hard drive. The draw back is USB is much slower than IDE, SATA, or SCSI. If your computer's BIOS does not support you may be able to boot from a bootloader such as GRUB.
If all you want is to boot an run AOL I would use a USB pen drive and 98 or ME. A 1gb or 2gb flash drive should be fine. But that is just me.
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    Je suis Napoléon!

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just as a note here....alot of motherboards do in fact have "Boot to USB" in the bios settings....but i have yet to see one that actually will boot windows from a usb...(i've heard that it can be done...but i've never seen it done in such a way where it worked) there are certain linux versions that will boot from usb...but the boot to usb feature is more for booting to a bootable disk that's in an external cd drive..

couldn't hurt to give it a shot though
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Possible: yes
Practical: probably not

Here's a step by step guide on how to install Windows on a usb drive, but like dsenette, I would choose Linux (a small distro like Puppy Linux) to boot from.

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