Booting to External USB Hard Drive - Disk Drives (HDD, CD/DVD, Blu-ray) Forum - Disk Drives - Dell Community

Booting to External USB Hard Drive

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Booting to External USB Hard Drive

  • Hi, Bought an external USB Hard drive (SmartDisk by Verbatim). Cannot see it in the BIOS or not able to boot to it. Updated BIOS still no luck. Tried it on both Optiplex 745 and 755. Anything can be done so I can boot to it or atleast read the drive without going into the operating System.
    Message Edited by salagian on 06-11-2008 12:44 PM
  • Did you make the drive bootable?


    In the docs it mentions booting from a USB flash drive or floppy drive, but not a USB HD.  I suspect it will boot from the USB HD if you make it bootable first.  But you do know that you can't boot Windows XP from a USB HD.  You will probably only be able to boot to DOS.



  • I am hoping to boot to a DOS mode. I am familiar and am able to boot from a Flash Drive or from a USB Floppy. I just tried to take a cloned Hard drive and plug it into my External Hard drive and kind of able to read it though it is trying to Load the OS. I just want it to just do into DOS mode.

  • From your docs, it is not clear that booting from a USB HD is supported.  Given that you know how to make the drive bootable and have been able to boot from a USB flash drive, it may just not be possible.  However, I don't have any direct experience with your machine.



  • Hello...  did you get an answer to your question?  I have an Inspiron 1150 and would like to add a USB external hard disk so I can back up and restore should the internal HDD die.  I haven't found anything on this yet...  If anyone knows how to do this I'd be most appreciative.



  • Welcome to the forums Tom Yes



    You can use any external [USB] hard drive to do what you need.  Just connect the drive to any USB port, then use it as the backup destination.

    And/or use an imaging program (i.e.  Acronis True Image) to create an image of the internal drive, to the external drive.

    If/when you want/need to restore the system from the image, just boot from the imaging program's 'Restore' disc (which you need to create yourself), and follow the prompts [;)

    From experience, I've found that:   “Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder”!!


    XPS M1730:

    Smoke Grey Magnesium Alloy Chassis - with White LED Backlights
    17" UltraSharp WUXGA Widescreen TFT (1920 x 1200) with TrueLife
    Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9300 @ 2.50GHz (800 MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)
    4GB (2x 2GB) Patriot Signature PC2-5400 @ 667MHz
    DUAL 512MB Nvidia 8800M GTX cards in SLi + 128MB Ageia PhysX
    640GB SATA II (2x 320GB WD Scorpio Black 7200rpm)
    8x Super-Multi DVD±RW
    Creative X-Fi Notebook (ExpressCard) + Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II
    Integrated 2MP Webcam
    Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth 2.0 Module
    Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-Card
    TV Tuner and Dell Travel Remote Control
    4-in-1 Flash Card Reader (SSD/MMC/MS Pro/xD)

    230W AC Adapter / 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery

    Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)

  • This is exactly what I would like to do also. I have connected an Maxtor external USB-connected drive to my Inspiron 5100 laptop. Using Acronis True Image I have backed up the C-drive. When booting via the BIOS you can press F11 and get into the Acronis Recovery proogramme and restore the C-drive from the mirror image.

    Unfortunately the Restore Disc doesn't work in my case because my internal NEC ND-5100A DVD±RW writer doen't work anymore. I've tried to boot the Restore Disc using my HP DVD 300e USB-connected external DVD writer. The problem is that the BIOS doesn't seem to recognise the external drive. I'm pretty sure my BIOS #32 is the latest version.

    My question is what do I have to do to be able to boot a CD via my external drive?