I have a laptop where even the BIOS is locked by the administrator and requires password to make changes. But I can select the device to boot from at the boot time.

I have cloned a Windows 7 Operating System to an External USB Hard Disk which is different from the Windows in the target laptop.

Now, If I use this External Hard Disk as a boot device with the target laptop and run the OS in Ext Hard Disk, will it do any harm to the OS that is currently inside the Internal Hard Disk?

Will I be able to run the Internal Hard Disk OS afterwards? Or is there any danger of becoming it unusable?


There are some dangers since, by default, all disks will be visible to the OS so it is possible for the wrong disk to be updated.

However, as long as your BIOS supports booting from the USB drive, there is a good chance it will work. Many years ago, when needing to run several OS's from one PC, I would use a boot manager that was able to mark the unused boot drive as a hidden partition so that it couldn't accidentally be changed. In general, Windows is not very good at handling multi-boot scenarios, Linux has no problem.

I wouldn't recommend experimenting unless you have a good backup of all data - something that you should have anyway since drives regularly fail.

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