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I got an old compaq computer (5 years old) which came with windows vista. I made its recovery disks. Few days ago I took its Hard drive out to use it as a portable hard drive but now I want to install Windows on its partition (50 GB).

I put my Recovery disk and book from it and install factory OS to my HDD which works fine. I set boot to USB Hard drive and then CD/DVD Drive. My computer does not boot from the USB drive and computer just comes up with a blank screen with a cursor blinking that's it.

What do you guys think the problem is or how can I solve it?

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Other than Win8 Exterprise's "Windows To Go" feature, Windows normally doesn't support booting from USB. –  Karan May 21 '13 at 23:08

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is the bios recognizing the USB hard drive? Did you install the OS to the ext HD? Or just move the files. The OS has to be directly installed to that hard drive. This one may help as well

Booting from a USB drive that was originally a boot drive

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I installed it on External hard drive. After installation it says 'Windows will restart automatically and continue installation' but when it restarts, a blank screen appears with a blinking cursor. –  David Norman May 22 '13 at 0:26

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