Migrate OS from internal to USB HD

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by Nerd, Jul 7, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Nerd

    Nerd Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Posts:
    1
    Location:
    USA
    Is there a way to migrate Windows 7 from an internal SATA Hard Drive to an external USB Hard Drive so it could be used to boot from in case the internal Hard Drive fails?
     
  2. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Posts:
    930
    probably...

    i had a problem win Win 7 Ultimate (caused crash on SP1 update) so I had to downgrade to 7 Home Premium that came with my computer. I wanted to keep 7 Ultimate because I had already done a lot of work on it so I made it into a VHD file, which you can boot in VirtualBox. I think VMware or VirtualBox gives you the option to migrate your system into a VM, but if not, you can always use backup software to copy it and then restore to a VM using a VHD file (fixed size). Now Win 7 can boot VHD files, so I added this 80 GB VHD file to my boot menu, which is straightforward to do with EasyBCD 2.2 (freeware for personal use). My Win 7 VHD is on a second internal hard drive, as opposed to an external hard drive, but I suppose you could copy win 7 BCD to your external drive and install Win 7 bootloader to it with EasyBCD, and then boot VHDs from that drive if your BIOS supports booting from external hard drives. Worst case scenario, you could still use it just as a virtual machine.
     
  3. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Posts:
    2,283
    If you want to boot directly from the backup external USB disk, you can clone the internal boot disk to an external disk installed in an enclosure. You retire the disk from the enclosure and save it (or keep in in the enclosure until needed). If the internal disk fails, you install this backup disk as the internal boot disk, and reboot.
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751

    My post refers to the typical user not somebody who is running a business that relies on very, very high percentage of computer up-time. If you are in that boat then you likely need something more exotic than a basic archiving system.


    My usual response for things like this is, "Why bother?".

    We all know HDs fail but modern HDs don't fail all that frequently. Compared to the old days of hard-drives, modern drives are very reliable. In other words you aren't likely to need the backup very often, probably for years if it is to correct a HD failure.

    To me this means that you are just as well off making images of your drive and saving them on the external HD. Since you can save a number of images most likely you even have a roll-back capability if you need it. When your HD fails, boot up the recovery environment and restore the image to a replacement HD. Sure it will take a period of time but if you are doing it very infrequently, does it matter?

    Consider that you will have to keep cloning your drive to the external to keep it current.

    I don't think that Win 7 directly supports booting off an external which means you have to install the drive in the PC.
     
  5. wptski

    wptski Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Posts:
    564
    Location:
    USA
    If you go into the boot menu on W7 you'd think that anything that the BIOS can see can be booted off of but SIW2 stated in another thread, it don't work although it can be made to. I don't believe that he went into detail on what/where/how.
     
  6. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Posts:
    2,283
    That´s my understanding too. In principle, Windows 7 can´t boot from an external USB disk.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.