How to Boot Windows 7 from External Hard Drive Successfully

Booting from an external hard drive on your computer is helpful when you have to repair disks or partitions, format your system, troubleshoot the issues, or reinstall your entire operating system.

If you are in any situation as mentioned above, then you might be wondering how to make the bootable external hard drive and then boot Windows 7 from it! Here’s your solution…

Part 1: Creating bootable Windows 7 external hard drive

Well, it is a wise idea to make bootable media to format C drive. Under such situations, you can opt for some good third party software. And the most suggested one is AOMEI Partition Assistant to create Windows 7. Using this powerful professional freeware, you can create bootable media within few clicks. What’s more, it is featured with many functions base on disk management as well. It is possible to extend C drive without data loss and shrink C drive beyond half.

Things you should know before the operation

  • It is possible to create bootable media through AOMEI Partition Assistant whether your device is CD/DVD or USB drive
  • As all the data on the external hard drive will be formatted during the process, it is recommended to back up your important data on the external hard drive

“If in case you didn’t take the backup and lost your important data, then don’t worry. You can easily recover lost data using Remo Recover Application in few simple clicks. Using this tool, you can also restore files after system restore on Windows 7 easily.”

Guidelines to create bootable external hard drive

Assuming to create bootable USB for Windows 7 as an example, here are the detailed steps to create bootable external hard drive.

  • Attach USB drive to your computer and make sure it can be detected by your PC. Then download, install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Click “Make Bootable Media” and click “Next
  • In the pop-up window, select one way to create bootable media. In your case, choose “USB Boot device”. Then, click “Proceed
  • You’ll be noticed that all the data on the USB drive will be formatted. Click “Yes” and wait for the finish of the process

Part 2: Booting Windows 7 from an external hard drive?

Once you are done with creating bootable external hard drive, it is time to boot Windows 7 from that external hard drive (here USB drive as an example). Below are the steps to do so…

  • Reboot computer and press certain key (Normally, it is “F2” or “Delete”; if not, you can refer to the PC’s manual or website to find out the right key) to enter BIOS
  • Select USB Device and hit “Enter” to boot from USB flash drive

Then you will enter WinPE environment and you can run AOMEI Partition Assistant to format C drive or something else.

Now the question is what to do if the external hard drive won’t boot?

Sometimes, it is possible that you are unable to boot Windows from the USB drive or other external hard drives. If you are stuck on such issue, then you can do this to resolve the problem easily.

At first, you should enter BIOS to check the boot order. The problem that external hard drive won’t boot is mainly caused by inappropriate BIOS configuration. Check whether the BIOS configuration is OK. If so, then try to remove other USB devices and try to boot from external hard drive again.

If it still won’t boot, then the problem is maybe with the file system of your external hard drive. To resolve this problem, you can try to change the file system of your USB drive. If your USB drive is the NTFS file system, you can convert it to FAT32 without data loss using AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Hope now you can boot your Windows from the USB drive without any issues.

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