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My laptop's internal HDD has crashed so I have ordered for a new one. The company authorities said they will be delivering it within one week and I had a very urgent work to be done.

I have an external HDD of 500GB so can I load Windows in the external HDD and use it for the temporary purpose? Will it cause any damage to the external HDD?

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Generally windows does not play nice with booting from a USB drive. There are exceptions - its possible to hack windows xp into booting from usb but its tricky, and not doable with newer versions.

Esata ought to work however and should be your first choice if possible

If its an absolute emergency, and your system has the resources to handle it, you could boot linux or some hypervisor from it, and run windows in a VM.

Running an OS from an external drive might be slower than running it natively, but the disks in an external drive are similar to those in a system - they arn't going to 'wear out' like a flash memory chip, and it won't damage the drive.

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while transferring the data from computer to external HDD and external HDD to computer the transfer speed is almost 20 to 24mbps then too will it be slow??? Is it preferable to use windows linux or windows in the external HDD??? – Siddharth Warrier Nov 11 '12 at 7:03
Windows likely will not work, except in a windows2go type install. Linux should 'just work'. Speedwise? It should be usable if you don't pish too hard – Journeyman Geek Nov 11 '12 at 7:44

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