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Can i use a external USB portable HDD as a main HDD for PC?

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Yes, but it will be very slow. You would have to set boot from USB device and then hook up the device. The problem is transfer speed over USB is way slower than SATA or PATA internal. The cost/gig is also higher.

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It depends.

If you want to run Windows as the operating system, the answer is practically "no". Unless you really want to mess around with custom patches and hacks windows will not boot from usb, the reson being, IIRC, that it reloads the usb drivers/subsystem during the boot process.

Some other operating systems (for example certain linux distributions) work fine though.

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