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Using a hard drive for running programs

Have a laptop at worrk that I take home but don't want to install my home applications to the laptop directly. Can an external hard drive be used to run my home applications through the laptop?

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  • ambladybug Apr 11, 2008

    Mostly the idea was to save space on the laptop hard drive, but what other solutions would there be in regards to privacy?

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Hi ambladybut

It's true, you CAN choose to install applications to a drive other than the usual default location of c:\program files\newsoftwareprogram

However---- the operating system will still need to know all about these applications. It will keep information about these applications stored in locations on the laptop's internal hard disk, including in your user profile directory (c:\documents and settings\youruserprofile (if you're using WindowsXP)), the system registry, and various other locations depending upon the software.

These applications will also install shortcuts for accessing them to the Start Menu and Desktop.

Finally, where they store their data (unless you configure them differntly) will also be saved to the laptop's internal hard disk.

So, whether installing the applications to an external hard disk will achieve what you are attempting to accomplish will depend upon your reasons for doing so:

(A) Do you want to use the external hard disk in order to save space on the laptop's hard disk? If that is the case, then using the external hard disk would meet your needs.

(B) Do you want to use the external hard disk for privacy or security reasons? If that is the case, then an external hard disk would not be the appropriate solution for you.

In the case of (B), there are other solutions. Rather than delve into them yet, let's find out what you would like to accomplish w/ respect to segregating your home and work applications. Then we can point you in the appropriate direction.


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Thank you,
BJ @:)

Posted on Apr 11, 2008

  • B Joan Rapier
    B Joan Rapier Apr 11, 2008

    To rephrase (B)...



    Using an external hard disk would be **part of** the solution if your intent is security and/or privacy. But it would entail more than just choosing the external hard drive to install the home applications too.



    We'll expound on that if that is what you are hoping to achieve (security/privacy).




  • B Joan Rapier
    B Joan Rapier Apr 11, 2008

    You'll need to start a new problem now as you've already assigned a rating / chosen a "best solution" for this one. Once a rating is assigned, the problem is closed.



    That is why I ask that you hold off on assigning ratings until all of your questions have been answered.



    You are welcome to post a new problem and we'll help you.



    Thank you

    BJ @:)

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