Can a USB hard disk be bootable if it's partition into 3 or 4?

I'm trying to go without a dvd drive by converting all my Windows XP, Vista & 7 into image.iso file. I've partition my external hard disk into 4 - Data(~450gb); XP (500mb); vista (3gb); 7 (3gb) coz' I've checked that my Bios do support USB HDD. By using Dos command : "diskpart" > "list disk" the list appears a FULL 500gb disk but not showing those partition I've parted for my windows bootable. What has gone wrong here? Why isn't the list showing the 500mb; 3gb & 3gb I've partition and formatted? What can I do to convert all my windows disk into my external hard drive and make them bootable whenever I need them? Thks : )


I did not installed the OS into those partitions I created but just merely saving the entire disk (in a bootable format) so that I need not used a dvd drive and a dvd disk to load an OS into a newer notebook which does not come with a disk drive.

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    If things are still the same way they were several months ago when I tried to install windows 7 on my external hard drive, then there's no way to do that. USB hard drives cant be boot drives. Why? I have no idea. But last time I checked, thats the way it was, sadly.

    Hope I'm wrong on this one tho! Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    Unfortunately, matmatician is correct. Windows will not allow you to boot from a USB device. I have to assume this is due to Microsoft's licensing issues (i.e. you're only allowed to use one licensed version of Windows on one machine). As you're probably aware, you can boot other open-source OSes, such as Linux, from an external device, so that's the only reasoning I can think of.

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