Make Bootable External Hard Drive Mac

Under External in the left hand menu, click on your external hard drive and then click on the Erase button. Make sure you backup any data before you erase the drive. When you click Erase, a dialog will pop up where you can configure some options. Bootable optical media (CD or DVD) on Macs equipped with Apple’s Super Drive or a USB thumb drive formatted with a GUID partition type and containing a macOS installer or a usable operating system. Apple advises against booting from external storage containing a version of macOS earlier than the one your Mac shipped with. There are a lot of reasons for wanting to boot from an external drive. If you’d like to keep files synced between a desktop and laptop, expand your storage, or have a bootable backup copy of your system, there’s a hidden feature in Disk Utility that makes it easy. Boot Windows on your Mac from external hard drive. After creating a bootable external hard drive, follow the steps below to set it as boot device. Connect the external hard drive to the Mac computer. Click the Apple icon and open “System Preferences”. In the “System Preferences”, click “Startup Disk”.

PAGE CONTENT:
Make External Hard Drive Bootable with EaseUS Todo Backup (Easiest Way)
Create a Bootable External Hard Drive via CMD
Install Windows 10/8 on External Hard Drive (Edition Limited)

'Hi, what's the best way to make an external hard drive bootable? You see. Like copying all the Windows boot files to it so that I can boot Windows 10 from the bootable drive. Please, an easier way is much more appreciated.'

There are many significant reasons for creating a bootable HDD or USB drive that carries a user's customized Windows operating system. For example, when your PC unexpectedly shuts down and can be never turned on due to hard disk failure or system corruption, you can still easily start the computer from the bootable drive. A bootable external hard drive also does great help when a computer's dead or crashed. Besides, with a bootable external USB drive, you can use your own operating system wherever you go and whenever you like. To enjoy these advantages though creating a bootable external hard drive, you have three workable methods to choose from.

Method 1. How to Make an External Hard Drive Bootable with EaseUS Todo Backup

Applies to:Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP (32-bit and 64-bit)

The simplest and quickest way to make an external hard drive bootable is to use the Windows backup software - EaseUS Todo Backup. EaseUS Todo Backup is recognized as the best system backup software as well as disk/partition clone utility that includes a highlighted feature called 'Create Portable Windows USB drive'. It's available in the 'System Clone' function. The software will clone all system files, boot files and other personalized data files to the target drive. Simply prepare your external hard drive in which you're going to make bootable, and follow the video tutorial or detailed steps below to make an external hard drive bootable in Windows 10 or other supportable OS.

Notice:
To successfully make an external hard drive bootable, you need to make sure its usable space is larger than the space taken by your system. What's more, you need to delete all the partitions on the hard drive. (Luckily, with this software, you can back up all the existing files on it in advance.) The last requirement for the USB drive is that it has the same partition style as the source disk.

Video tutorial:

Detailed guide:

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to your computer and make Windows recognize the drive. Now launch EaseUS Todo Backup and click 'System Clone'.

Step 2. The software has chosen the entire Windows 10 system partition and boot partition by default, so you just choose the external hard drive as the destination drive.

In 'Advanced options', there are three extra Windows 10 system clone features for you to choose from.

Make External Hard Drive Bootable Mac High Sierra

Optimize for SSD: tick this option if the destination hard disk is a Solid State Drive.

Sector by sector clone: tick this option if you wish to clone everything from the source disk including the blank space.

Create a portable Windows USB drive: tick this option so that the cloned external hard disk is able to boot normally.

Step 3. Click 'Proceed' to immediately clone Windows 10 to an external hard drive.

You should now create your own bootable hard drive with EaseUS Todo Backup software. After it's done, you can boot a computer from the external hard drive:

  • Connect the external hard drive to the computer
  • Restart the computer and press 'F2' or 'Del' to enter BIOS settings
  • In the Boot option, select the external hard drive as the new boot drive and save all the changes.
  • Exit BIOS and restart the computer, you should be able to see Windows 10 running on your new disk without any problem

In addition to being a bootable HDD/SSD/USB creator, EaseUS Todo Backup also works well in backing up or cloning hard drives, SSD, and external storage devices. With it, you can do things like migrating Windows 10 to SSD, backing up and restoring your computer hard drive, partition, files, and Outlook emails. Since data loss happens on a daily basis, it's really a wise choice to equip your computer with such backup software.

Method 2. Make an External Hard Drive Bootable with CMD

Applies To: Windows 10/8/7

Windows Command Prompt can also be useful methods to create a bootable external hard drive in Windows 10, 8 or 7. But compared with method 1, this solution is more complex and is likely to cause a boot failure. Be cautious during this process.

1. Format the external hard drive

To format a drive using cmd via Command Prompt, follow the diskpart commands below carefully. Try your best to avoid any mistakes.

Step 1. Type cmd in the search box, you can get the best match called Command Prompt. Right-click on it and choose 'Run as administrator'.

Step 2. On the Command Prompt black window, enter the following commands in the same order here:

  • X is the number corresponding to your disk. You have to replace it with the corresponding letter from your own system.
  • Press 'Enter', every time you enter your command

diskpart
list disk
select disk X
clean
create partition primary
format fs=fat32
assign
exit

If everything goes well, this is how your cmd screen will look like

2. Copy the Windows 10 installer files

Step1. Insert your Windows DVD into the optical drive. To open 'dism.exe' in CMD, open Command Prompt Admin (Windows + X), enter the command in the following:

g:
cd boot
G:bootbootsect /nt60 d:

  • 'g' is your DVD drive letter
  • 'd' is your external drive letter

Step 2. Copy all files from the Windows CD to the drive using xcopy by entering the command in the following:

cd
G:xcopy g:*.* /s/h/f d:

All those commands are used to make your external hard drive bootable. Select the bootable drive at the Windows startup, it will boot Windows immediately. If you receive a message says: 'Could not open the BCD template store. Status = [c000000f]', try the following commands to repair console to rebuild BCD or, you can watch the video to fix your boot problems (BCD problems are included).

attrib c:bootbcd –h –r –s
del c:bootbcd
bootrec /rebuildbcd

Method 3. Install Windows 10/8 on External Hard Drive with Windows Built-in Feature

Applies To: Windows 10 Enterprise/Education/Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise

In Windows 10 Enterprise/Education/Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, there is a built-in feature that enables you to create a Windows To Go workspace by creating an imaged version of Windows on Windows-compatible external hard drives. However, unlike EaseUS Todo Backup that is available for all Windows versions. This feature is only accessible for Windows 10 Enterprise/Education/Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise users and only certified USB drives can be made bootable.

Requirements for USB Drives:

  • Has high random read/write speeds and can run Windows workloads smoothly
  • Has been tuned to ensure they boot and run on hardware certified for use with Windows 7 and later
  • Is backed with manufacturer warranties and should continue operating under normal usage

If you are using the right Windows version and have a certified external hard drive, you can make the external hard drive bootable. (This process will format your external hard drive, back up your external hard drive in advance.)

Step 1. Download the related installation ISO file from Microsoft and connect the hard drive to your computer.

How To Make Bootable External Hard Drive Mac

Step 2. Go to 'Control Panel' and find 'Windows To Go'.

Step 3. Choose the external hard drive and click 'Next'.

Step 4. Click 'Add search location' to search for the ISO file.

Previous installers for OSX can be found here: download.gimp.org. An easy way to compile and install GIMP and other great Free software on your Mac is by using Macports. The installer allows you to choose from a large directory of packages. To install gimp using Macports, you simply do sudo port install gimp once you have Macports. Newest version of mac osx. Download RoboForm today. Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and Chrome OS. Amazon.com: Apple Mac Mini A1347 MC270LL/A Desktop, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 320GB Hard Drive (Mid 2010): Computers & Accessories. Version 1.5.1 is available for Mac OS X on 64 bit, 32 bit and PPC machines. Prolific PL-2303 cables - official drivers for the genuine Prolific cables ¶ FYI: your cable, if using Prolific chipset, is more likely to be using a counterfeit chip than an original.

Step 5. Select the ISO file to make the external hard drive bootable.

Step 6. Choose whether to use BitLocker or not. If you do, be sure you won't forget the password.

Step 7. Click 'Create' to confirm. (Windows will format your external hard drive during the process. If there is any data you want to recover, learn how to recover data from the external hard drive here.)

Make external hard drive bootable windows 10 mac

Step 8. Wait for the process to finish. When it's done, a bootable external hard drive is successfully created.

To Sum Up

Three methods have been used to make the external hard drive bootable, which offers you different choices. Method 1 clones the system to your external disk by means of system cloning. Method 2 copies the startup file on the CD to the external disk by means of the command line. Method 3 uses Windows 10 built-in features. But using Windows 10 built-in features not only has several limitations but also may cause data loss. So if you want a simple and safe solution, choose Method 1. If you have a good knowledge base, three methods are applicable. Br the way, if your drive fails to boot, you can always refer to the video in method 2 to fix the boot problem.

Summary :

What are the advantages of making external hard drive bootable? The first one is that you can use a bootable external hard drive to boot the unbootable computer. The second one is that when you don't want to use the system that comes with the computer, you can use bootable drive to boot the computer.

Quick Navigation :

Why Do You Need to Make External Hard Drive Bootable Windows 10?

Make

There are a number of important reasons for users to make external hard drive bootable Windows 10. I have listed some reasons below.

  • When your Windows 10 fails to boot due to system corruption, hard drive failure, or a virus attack, you can easily boot your computer using the Windows 10 bootable external hard drive you created earlier to avoid being unable to use your computer at important times.
  • If you need to use a computer, but the computer is not around, then you can use the bootable drive to start other computers and use your own operating system anytime, anywhere.

How to Make External Hard Drive Bootable Windows 10?

How to make a Windows 10 bootable external drive? There are four methods for you. And Windows provides two built-in features to make a bootable external hard drive. Another two solutions, you need to download MiniTool software to make external hard drive bootable Windows 10.

Make External Hard Drive Bootable Windows 10 with Windows To Go

Most people know that external hard drive bootable Windows 10 can be created by Windows To Go function that comes with Windows 10. Windows To Go can be used to copy all the system related files to the external hard drive so as to make it bootable. Therefore, you can plug the USB drive into your computer and start the computer from the external hard drive.

Make+external+hard+drive+bootable+startup+from+external+hard+drive+mac

However, there are several limitations for users to use this way to make external hard drive bootable Windows 10:

  • First, to use Windows To Go, your Windows 10 must be Enterprise or Education or Professional version. (In addition, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise Edition has this feature, and other versions or operating systems do not have Windows To Go feature.)
  • Second, Windows To Go can only be run when the USB drive is certified and the storage space of it must be at least 32GB. If the USB drive does not have enough space or is not certified, Windows To Go cannot be used to create Windows bootable USB drive.

Then how to use Windows To Go to make Windows 10 bootable USB drive? The method is below.

Step 1:You need to download Windows 10 ISO file in your computer and insert a larger than 32GB certified USB drive into the computer.

Step 2: Type control panel in the search box at first and click Control Panel to continue.

Step 3: You can set view by Small icons or enter Windows To Go in the right top search box, and click Windows To Go to continue.

Step 4: Choose the drive you want to use in Create a Windows To Go workspace window. Then click on it and click Next to continue.

Mac

Step 5: Click Add search location to search for the Windows 10 ISO file and choose the Windows 10 ISO image to continue.

Step 6: Choose whether to set a BitLocker password. If you want to set a password, then enter your password, but you need to type your password to unlock the drive in the future. If not, click Skip to continue.

Step 7: All the data on the USB drive will be deleted because the USB drive will be reformatted. Remember to back up important files before click Create.

Step 8: After finishing, select Yes or No to boot the computer from the new created Windows 10 bootable USB drive or not. If you want to test whether the USB drive is bootable, choose Yes and click Save and restart. If not, select No and click Save and close.

After these operations, you can make USB drive bootable Windows 10. But there are limitations that don’t suit everybody. Therefore, I highly recommend you try the second method to make external hard drive bootable Windows 10.

Use MiniTool ShadowMaker to Make External Hard Drive Bootable Windows 10

MiniTool ShadowMaker is a piece of powerful and effective software to back up the operating system, disk and partitions, files and folders. What’s more, you can use it to sync files and folders quickly and safely. It can also clone disk making external hard drive bootable Windows 10. So why don’t you just download it and have a try?

Step 1: Please launch MiniTool ShadowMaker first, then choose Local or Remote to get the main interface by clicking Connect.

Note: If you want to manage a remote computer, computers need to be on the same LAN.

Step 2: Please click Clone Disk on the Tools page to continue.

Step 3: Please click Source to choose the clone source, then choose system disk and click Finish to continue.

Step 4: Please click Destination to select the external hard disk to save the copy and click Finish to continue.

Tip: If your external hard disk is too small, then you cannot continue.

Step 5: After you have selected the source disk and the target disk, please click OK to continue.

Make External Hard Drive Bootable On Mac

Step 6: Please read the warning and click Yes.

Note: Please make sure that there is no important data on the target disk because all the data will be destroyed. If there is, please back up data at first.

Step 7: Please read the information in the pop-up window carefully: If both disks are connected to the computer, one will be marked as offline. Then click Yes and Finish to finish cloning disk.

Tip: If the Remaining Time is so long that you don’t want to wait, you can check Shut down the computer when the operation is completed.

After you have read the steps above, you can clearly draw that this method is much easier and more convenient than the first method. Besides, you can transfer OS from one computer to another as long as they are in the same LAN.

Make External Hard Drive Bootable Windows 10 with Windows Command Prompt

If you are good at using Command Prompt, then you can also use Command Prompt to make external hard drive bootable Windows 10. But you also need to pay attention not to enter wrong command in case that you lose data or damage system files.

There are two things you need to do to make external hard drive bootable Windows 10.

Format external hard drive

In order to make external hard drive bootable Windows 10, you need to format external hard drive at first.

Step 1: Insert the external hard drive into your computer. Type cmd in the search box and right-click Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator to continue.

Step 2: You need to format the external hard drive first. Then type the following instructions one by one, and remember to press Enter every time after you typed instruction.

Diskpart> list disk > select disk n (n represents the drive letter of external hard drive) > clean > create partition primary >format fs=ntfs quick > assign letter=H (you can also choose other letter to assign primary partition) > exit

Copy files from a DVD to bootable USB using CMD

Above you have assigned the letter H to the external hard drive, and you have inserted a DVD inside the DVD drive to copy data from it to create a bootable USB drive. By default, the active directory of the Command Prompt's administrative permissions is located at C:WindowsSystem32>, so you need to set the DVD (G) as active directory using CMD.

Tip: Make sure that you have already inserted a DVD inside the DVD drive.

Step 1: Type G and press Enter in Command Prompt window at first, then enter cd boot and press Enter. (If the drive letter of the mounted DVD drive in the File Explorer is not G, you can change it.)

Step 2: Enter bootsect /nt60 H and press Enter. Then type exit and press Enter to close Command Prompt.

As you can see, this method is too troublesome. And if you enter the wrong instructions, your computer could get in trouble. You may even lose your data, but you can use third-party software to recover data.

Use MiniTool Partition Wizard to Make External Hard Drive Bootable Windows 10

MiniTool Partition Wizard is also a piece of efficient software for you to make external hard drive bootable Windows 10. Besides, you can convert MBR disk to GPT disk and migrate OS to SSD/HD. So come to download MiniTool Partition Wizard and have a try.

Now follow the following steps and make external hard drive bootable Windows 10.

Step 1. Please download MiniTool Partition Wizard and launch it to open its main interface to continue.

Step 2. There are two options you can choose.

Option A: Select the disk which has OS installed and right-click it, then click Copy to continue.

Option B: Please click on the Copy Disk Wizard on the left action panel and click Next to continue.

Step 3. Please choose the external hard as the target disk, and click Next, then click Yes to continue.

Mac
Note: Please make sure you have backed up all important data on the target disk because the data on it will be destroyed. If you accidentally click Yes before you have backed up the data, you can use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover data.

Step 4. Please choose copy options and click Next to continue.

Step 5. Please read the notification on the interface and know how to use the external hard disk to boot the computer and then click Finish to continue.

Step 6. Please click Apply to copy the operating system to the external hard disk.

Step 7. Please click Yes, then click Restart Now to copy system files to the external hard drive. After that, you can use your external hard disk to boot the computer.

This method is also much more convenient than using Windows built features. So you can also use this method to make external hard drive bootable Windows 10.

Bottom Line

This article has introduced four solutions to make external hard drive bootable, which offers you different choices. But using Windows 10 built-in features not only has several limitations but also may cause data loss and operating system damaged. Using third-party software is safer and can save a lot of time for you. In addition, there are plenty of useful functions with MiniTool ShadowMaker and MiniTool Partition Wizard.

If you have any better advice or confusion, please leave comments below or send an email to [email protected].

Make External Hard Drive Bootable Windows 10 FAQ

  1. Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker, then click Connect.
  2. Click Clone Disk on the Tools page, then choose the system disk as the source and choose the external hard disk as the destination.
  3. Click OK and Yes to begin making an external hard drive bootable.
  4. Click Yes and Finish.
If you want to make a USB drive bootable, then you should make sure that there is no important data in it because all the data will be erased. Read this post to create a bootable USB drive - How Do You Make A Bootable USB Drive – Easy Tutorial.
Can you install Windows from an external hard drive?
Of course, you can install Windows from an external hard drive. And if you want to know detailed instructions to do that, then you should read this post carefully - How to Install Windows 10 on a New Hard Drive (with Pictures).
You should create Windows 10 installation media at first, then boot your computer with the installation media. Then choose the Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method. Click Install now and then follow the instructions to finish installing.