Can I create a bootable external hard drive in Windows 10?

I have a need to create a bootable drive on my US-connected Seagate external hard drive.   I used Seagate software to clone a bootable drive, and also backed up my data files to it.  I can view the files on the drive.  However, when I tried to boot from it, Windows could not recognize it as a boot disk.

I spoke with Seagate, and they told me it was not possible to boot from an external drive in Windows 10.   Windows 10 even has an option to create a bootable disk.

What is the real answer, and how can I do what I want to do?

Thank you.

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You might try WinToUSB .

Fwiw, I've installed Win10 on a Sandisk Extreme usb drive with WinToUSB and from looks of taskmanager it actually runs it in RAM.   In my use its using ^6gb of ram just browsing the net.

~
Microsoft Bob came back after a 20 year makeover, and with a new name. Cortana!

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You might try WinToUSB .

Fwiw, I've installed Win10 on a Sandisk Extreme usb drive with WinToUSB and from looks of taskmanager it actually runs it in RAM.   In my use its using ^6gb of ram just browsing the net.

Mike, I haven't tried  this before but now I just thought because I have no more room inside my PC... I'd like to install Windows on a  USB drive...would it act like  normal ssd/hard drive functions...or will it not boot?....thanks.*john
mine...I'm out-of date.

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OH I just noticed the 6 GB usage part ...hee hee...if that is the consequences than I guess that idea just got squashed shoot.*john
mine...I'm out-of date.

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Choose it to boot and it surprisingly works extremely well.   The only negative is takes maybe 45 seconds to boot windows where my laptop internal ssd takes only maybe 5 seconds.

I have it booting build 10586 RTM -  with a faster usb drive, but on usb2.0 port... once booted its about the same as laptop normal speeds all around it seems for surfing the net or running the apps.  Downloads and install updates and programs just like any pc.....  have things saved to it or the other internal drives or mapped drives on it which I have a couple on my wifi router.    Its pretty cool thing to have for emergency or just to play with.  

~
Microsoft Bob came back after a 20 year makeover, and with a new name. Cortana!

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I would love to try this...sounds great just for testing builds eh?....just this 6 gig usage bothers me or I don't understand....won't hurt to try anyways just to see what happens cause' I only have 2 gig memory...thanks for the input!...I've been wondering how I could run another win 10 system...I even 'extended' my 'System reserve' disc partition to 60 gig but I'm doughting it will allow a system install in a "boot" partition...wish/hopefull thinking...I've found nothing definite on the internet....keep on experimenting.*john 
mine...I'm out-of date.

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Actually yes you can--for the first two months (circa December 2014) I ran Windows 10 off a USB3 drive just fine.  There's a tool out there, I think called WinUSB, that will take an ISO and install it to an external drive exactly as you described.  I'll see if I can find the tutorials for it.

(The strict answer is that no, you can't install Windows to an external if you do it the "proper" way--that's why this particular tool exists, it'll get you what you need.)

Keep an eye on this thread in case I find the link.

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I stand corrected, the tool is called WinToUSB:  http://www.easyuefi.com/wintousb/index.html

There you go folks!

You'll definitely want to make sure you do this with a USB3 drive, and through a USB3 port.  Anything less than that and read/write times are going to increase exponentially.

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Officially, yes.
It is standard feature od Windows 10 Enterprise known as WindowsToGo.
You need to install Windows 10 Enterprise and there from Control Panel you can
install WindowsToGo to external USB drive. It is 64 bit OS host and external.
You can run it on another computers, first time is slowly next time is fast cause
it remembers each computer.
UHD fan

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Last updated February 2, 2021 Views 9,189 Applies to: