Go Back   Tech Support Forum > Hardware Support > Hard Drive Support

User Tag List

Can I install Windows 7 on a hard drive which used to be an external hard drive?

This is a discussion on Can I install Windows 7 on a hard drive which used to be an external hard drive? within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi. I have a hard drive which I used to use as an external hard drive. It went through a


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-23-2018, 12:55 PM   #1
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 50
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1



Hi. I have a hard drive which I used to use as an external hard drive. It went through a lot. It's enclosure/casing is now broken and it got accidentally formatted. It still works perfectly, though. It didn't get damaged or anything like that. It's now inside the computer case. I plug it into the motherboard manually with some blue cables, that's how I use it. I put movies and other large-sized files in it.

I also have my computer's original hard drive. The OS and basically everything is installed on it. It's pretty old and I just know it's about to die on me and lose me all my data. So I was wondering if I could install Windows 7 on this better and less used hard drive which was originally an external hard drive. It's model is WD15EARS.

Would that work? Would it give me some weird errors in the Windows 7 setup, saying stuff like "This disk is blah blah blah, Windows cannot be installed on blah blah blah..." (I hate those errors. Can never get around them.)

Sorry if this is a stupid question. I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to hard drives. Thanks in advance.
miba54 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-23-2018, 02:31 PM   #2
Microsoft MVP
Microsoft Team Moderator
Articles Team Manager
Hardware Team Moderator
 
Masterchiefxx17's Avatar

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 39,479
OS: Windows 10 Professional 64bit

My System


Nope. It's a normal hard drive and you can install Windows on it.
Masterchiefxx17 is offline  
Old 03-23-2018, 02:33 PM   #3
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 50
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1



Forgive me but I don't understand your answer. Do you mean "if it's a normal hard drive..."? What did you say "Nope" to? To the "Can I install?" question or to the "Would it give an error?"

If it's the latter, why can't Windows be installed on an external hard drive? Are they configured differently from a hard drive for computers?
miba54 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-23-2018, 02:53 PM   #4
Administrator
Team Manager, Gaming
Team Manager, Microsoft Support
Team Manager, Hardware Team
Microsoft MVP
 
Wrench97's Avatar

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: S.E. Pennsylvania
Posts: 54,009
OS: Win7



Nope as in you will not get any errors and It's a normal hard drive means just that the drive you have is a normal hard drive and Windows will see it as such.
Wrench97 is offline  
Old 03-23-2018, 02:55 PM   #5
Microsoft MVP
Microsoft Team Moderator
Articles Team Manager
Hardware Team Moderator
 
Masterchiefxx17's Avatar

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 39,479
OS: Windows 10 Professional 64bit

My System


Quote:
Originally Posted by miba54 View Post
Forgive me but I don't understand your answer. Do you mean "if it's a normal hard drive..."? What did you say "Nope" to? To the "Can I install?" question or to the "Would it give an error?"

If it's the latter, why can't Windows be installed on an external hard drive? Are they configured differently from a hard drive for computers?
I could have made that clearer. I wrote the word "nope" as I was still reading your original post. Wrench is correct that I was referring to not getting any errors.

The reason Windows cannot be installed on an external drive is because it could be disconnected without warning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrench97 View Post
Nope as in you will not get any errors and It's a normal hard drive means just that the drive you have is a normal hard drive and Windows will see it as such.
Masterchiefxx17 is offline  
Old 03-23-2018, 02:56 PM   #6
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 50
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1



OK, thanks for your help.
miba54 is offline  
Old 03-24-2018, 02:51 AM   #7
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 50
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1



I know I kinda ended the thread by saying thanks and all but it turns out I need more help.

How would I go about doing this? Do I unplug my original hard drive, keep the new hard drive plugged in and then boot the computer with a Windows 7 install DVD? Would that work?

Also, after the installation, I want to keep using my original hard drive like a secondary drive to put large-sized files in it. How would I go about doing this? I'm worried that could be tricky because there will be an OS installed in it.
miba54 is offline  
Old 03-24-2018, 08:30 AM   #8
TSF Moderator
Hardware Team
Networking Team
 
SpywareDr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 6,603
OS: W10P64 10.0.19041.264; W7U64; W7P64; XPP32; Zorin; Slax; Ubuntu; Kali (BackTrack); Android 6.01



Quote:
Originally Posted by miba54 View Post

How would I go about doing this? Do I unplug my original hard drive, keep the new hard drive plugged in and then boot the computer with a Windows 7 install DVD? Would that work?
Yes, that will work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by miba54 View Post

Also, after the installation, I want to keep using my original hard drive like a secondary drive to put large-sized files in it. How would I go about doing this? I'm worried that could be tricky because there will be an OS installed in it.
Simply format it ... like you would a USB flash disk. If it has more than one partition and you only want one, use Windows Disk Management to delete the partitions, then create a single partition, then format the new partition.
SpywareDr is offline  
Old 03-24-2018, 08:59 AM   #9
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 50
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1



Quote:
Originally Posted by SpywareDr View Post
Simply format it
You are absolutely right but here is the thing. There are some files I want to keep on the original hard drive. If I plug the original hard drive after the installation without formatting it, would there be a problem with the computer or with booting?

I can't backup the files I want to keep on a third hard drive because I don't have one. Is what I want to do possible?

Thank you.
miba54 is offline  
Old 03-24-2018, 09:28 AM   #10
TSF Moderator
Hardware Team
Networking Team
 
SpywareDr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 6,603
OS: W10P64 10.0.19041.264; W7U64; W7P64; XPP32; Zorin; Slax; Ubuntu; Kali (BackTrack); Android 6.01



Power down, disconnect old hard drive, then connect new hard drive in old hard drive's place.

Power up and install Windows on the new hard drive.

Power down, connect old hard drive ... leaving new hard drive alone.

Power up, drag and drop file you want from old hard drive over to new.

When done, format old hard drive for storage drive.
SpywareDr is offline  
Old 03-24-2018, 09:42 AM   #11
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 50
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1



Thank you so so much. You have been a great help.
miba54 is offline  
Old 03-24-2018, 09:44 AM   #12
TSF Moderator
Hardware Team
Networking Team
 
SpywareDr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 6,603
OS: W10P64 10.0.19041.264; W7U64; W7P64; XPP32; Zorin; Slax; Ubuntu; Kali (BackTrack); Android 6.01



You're more than welcome.
SpywareDr is offline  
Old 03-25-2018, 10:06 AM   #13
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 50
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1



Quote:
Originally Posted by SpywareDr View Post
You're more than welcome.
OK, I have now installed W7 on the new drive and am using the old drive as a secondary drive. Everything went smoothly, no problem there.

However, I have one last question and then I promise I'll be out of your hair. Since the old drive is, well, old, I don't want it to be always running in the background. It is on its last legs and I'm afraid if it stays on all the time, it will die very shortly. Is there a way to turn it off or have it be inactive, and have it turn on whenever I click on the Local Disk (E:) icon? Just like an external hard drive. You know how external hard drives go into sleep mode after not being accessed for some time? I want to do the same thing with my old drive. Is that possible?

Thanks.
miba54 is offline  
Old 03-25-2018, 10:51 AM   #14
TSF Moderator
Hardware Team
Networking Team
 
SpywareDr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 6,603
OS: W10P64 10.0.19041.264; W7U64; W7P64; XPP32; Zorin; Slax; Ubuntu; Kali (BackTrack); Android 6.01



I use these: StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure - $18.19 (USD)
SpywareDr is offline  
Old 03-25-2018, 11:07 AM   #15
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 50
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1



So there isn't a software solution to have it go into sleep mode? Through Disk Management or a third party software or with some advanced tricks?
miba54 is offline  
Old 03-25-2018, 11:17 AM   #16
TSF Moderator
Hardware Team
Networking Team
 
SpywareDr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 6,603
OS: W10P64 10.0.19041.264; W7U64; W7P64; XPP32; Zorin; Slax; Ubuntu; Kali (BackTrack); Android 6.01



The only one I know of is to set Windows Power Options > Advanced to power the hard drives down after a certain amount of inactivity.

You could also setup an On/Off switch. Just make absolutely sure the drive has finished writing before flipping the switch off. That'd be a real fast way to scramble your data.
SpywareDr is offline  
Old 03-25-2018, 11:53 AM   #17
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 50
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1



OK, thanks!
miba54 is offline  
Old 03-25-2018, 12:20 PM   #18
TSF Moderator
Hardware Team
Networking Team
 
SpywareDr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 6,603
OS: W10P64 10.0.19041.264; W7U64; W7P64; XPP32; Zorin; Slax; Ubuntu; Kali (BackTrack); Android 6.01



No problem.
SpywareDr is offline  
Old 03-25-2018, 12:28 PM   #19
Team Manager - Hardware
Acting Manager, Security Center
 
Rich-M's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 14,467
OS: Windows 10 Professional

My System


Actually I would not worry about it. What kills a hard drive is booting into Windows so as long as the old drive does not have to do that any more, it can virtually live forever.
But if you are that worried about it, drives are so inexpensive these days why not spend $45-50 and get a new one to use for backup and you can copy off the files you need and then throw the old one away.
__________________


All PC's are not the same. Posting your PC specs will help us to assist you quicker and more effectively.
Rich-M is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Windows Update acting weird!
I don't think this is a problem, more of a curiosity, hence posting here. If it turns out that it is a problem, I'll get someone to move it to the appropriate forum. Got a notification earlier that new updates are available. As you will see from the pics, "4 important updates available" but only...
Deejay100six Offline 13 04-09-2014 08:19 AM
Help!
Im unable to complete the gmer scan. It wont allow me to copy the results of the scan to submit to you guys. What do I do now?
REDLEG Resolved HJT Threads 49 12-15-2013 02:15 PM
Help..xp bsod when i run virus scan.
Hi, this is Troy, i have windows xp with sp3 and i everytime i run a virus scan and have run multiple kinds from windows to maleware bytes...you name it. I get to a point in the scan where i get a blue screen and then computer shuts down. When i run it with out doing a scan the computer stays on....
sootherlol Virus/Trojan/Spyware Help 0 02-18-2013 05:31 PM
[SOLVED] Re: IE7 cannot connect with secure sites
Hi...Corday of the Internet Explorer forum site suggested that I put the DDS file and Attach files on this forum. I could not download the ark.txt from the many GMER sites that I saw. The following was sent to Corday who suggested the re-direction to the Security centre. Corday..thanks...
raringer Resolved HJT Threads 43 06-26-2012 08:33 PM
Happili Virus Redirect
Hello: I've been hit with the Happili virus where it redirects me when I conduct a google search. Attached is the GMER and TDSS files. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you. -ttvr4
ttvr4 Resolved HJT Threads 14 05-15-2012 11:47 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is on
Smilies are on
[IMG] code is on
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Post a Question


» Site Navigation
 > FAQ
  > 10.0.0.2
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2001 - 2018, Tech Support Forum

Windows 10 - Windows 7 - Windows XP - Windows Vista - Trojan Removal - Spyware Removal - Virus Removal - Networking - Security - Top Web Hosts