[SOLVED] External SSD Drive for Booting Windows 10 Pro

piggiesgosqueal

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I have two computers: A laptop and custom built desktop.
I can't link my laptop or Desktop specs (via link) apparently. So I'll just say that I bought it on Amazon. It's title is:
  • CUK ASUS ROG Zephyrus M Ultra Slim Gamer Notebook (Intel i7-8750H, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD, NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB, 15.6" FHD 144Hz 3ms G-SYNC, Windows 10 Pro) VR Ready Gaming Laptop Computer
I can't seem to find what my laptop supports in terms of Thunderbolt & USB connectors, but when I look at my laptop it shows 4 USB inputs and 1 smaller input with a little lightning bolt (I assume this is thunderbolt input).

As for my Desktop computer, the motherboard supports:
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 USB 3.1 port
  • 1 USB 3.1 Type-C port
I want a reliable, durable, and fast (preferably 1TB) external SSD drive running Windows 10 Pro that I can plug into my laptop or desktop computer to boot from and start working on (generally programming and school work like essays) on right away. I've done a LOT of research today into this, and basically what I've determined is: The method to go about this depends on the type of external SSD you get, what your computers support (for USB vs thunderbolt for example), and what operating systems you intend to use.

By durable I mean if someone spills water on it or it falls onto the ground hard then it won't break. Because I will be walking around a college campus with it and it can get icy.

So, I have 2 questions for you all. Please use basic terminology anyone can understand.

1. What external SSD would you recommend that provides reliability, durability, speed, and works for my computers?
- The main ones I've come across (but all of them with their own downsides based off the reviews):
a. Samsung X5 Portable SSD - 1TB - Thunderbolt 3
* Cons:
- Does not work on MAC. I don't use MAC but I would think a reliable drive supports Linux, Windows, & Mac? Correct me if I'm wrong.
- Not plug and play. Requires installing software first. Can be bad if you want to occasionally use on other computers.
- Gets very hot with medium load.


b. Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 1TB - USB 3.1
* Cons:
- Should be purchased via official website not Amazon due to counterfeits based off multiple reviews.
- Fragile Port


c. SanDisk 1Tb Extreme Portable External SSD - USB-C, USB 3.1
* Cons:
- Does not work on MAC. I don't use MAC but I would think a reliable drive supports Linux, Windows, & Mac? Correct me if I'm wrong.
- Overheats and slows down.


d. G-Technology 1TB G-Drive mobile SSD Durable Portable - USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
* Cons:
- Windows users must reformat drive before use (to NTFS). Note to self: There are very detailed OS specific reformatting instruction for NTFS and exFAT on the G Technologies support pages according to a review.


2. How would I go about installing Windows 10 Pro on the SSD you recommended to use that fits my requirements?
  • I've read Windows To Go (from Enterprise Windows) is outdated and no longer updated.
  • I've read about WinToUSB but I've heard it's slow from some people and based off it's name, I assume it only works for USB (and thus only works for some SSDs).

Help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
 
Last edited:

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Windows is not really made to run off an external drive, and it's not meant to be swapped between different hardware using the same setup.

If you want your files synced between the systems use cloud storage or just copy files between them as needed.
 

piggiesgosqueal

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Windows is not really made to run off an external drive, and it's not meant to be swapped between different hardware using the same setup.

If you want your files synced between the systems use cloud storage or just copy files between them as needed.
Thanks for the reply! Unfortunately, the files is only about 1/3 of the problem. The main issue is that a developer environment is a huge pain to set up (in my opinion) as in it takes a long time to download all of the programs. And each time I want to add something to it, I'd need to add it on each computer I'm using which takes time and is ultimately an inefficient way to use my time. That's why I determined if I just had one external drive I could use on any computer, it would make so much more sense in terms of efficiency while still allowing me to use my desktop's specs when I have access to it.

Would Ubuntu Desktop work better for that? The issue I've had with running Ubuntu is I tried Dual Booting Windows 10 Pro + Ubuntu Desktop on my laptop and when I was running Ubuntu, my laptop keyboard shortcuts & fans wouldn't work (both of which I need). So it caused my laptop to overheat and I couldn't figure out how to install drivers for the fans. I eventually just gave up and continued using Windows + Windows Sub Linux (WSL) to also have Ubuntu - and have come to appreciate being able to use both Operating Systems in one.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Thanks for the reply! Unfortunately, the files is only about 1/3 of the problem. The main issue is that a developer environment is a huge pain to set up (in my opinion) as in it takes a long time to download all of the programs. And each time I want to add something to it, I'd need to add it on each computer I'm using which takes time and is ultimately an inefficient way to use my time. That's why I determined if I just had one external drive I could use on any computer, it would make so much more sense in terms of efficiency while still allowing me to use my desktop's specs when I have access to it.

Would Ubuntu Desktop work better for that? The issue I've had with running Ubuntu is I tried Dual Booting Windows 10 Pro + Ubuntu Desktop on my laptop and when I was running Ubuntu, my laptop keyboard shortcuts & fans wouldn't work (both of which I need). So it caused my laptop to overheat and I couldn't figure out how to install drivers for the fans. I eventually just gave up and continued using Windows + Windows Sub Linux (WSL) to also have Ubuntu - and have come to appreciate being able to use both Operating Systems in one.
Why not simply just use the laptop then? If you change things often, and need to travel with that setup, use the laptop as your system.
 

piggiesgosqueal

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Why not simply just use the laptop then? If you change things often, and need to travel with that setup, use the laptop as your system.
I said in my previous post: "That's why I determined if I just had one external drive I could use on any computer, it would make so much more sense in terms of efficiency while still allowing me to use my desktop's specs when I have access to it."

Expanding off that, I paid $3,000 to build a computer that could easily run anything I want to program. Hence why I'd like to be able to use my desktop when it is available to me. I built it before I knew that I'd need to use my laptop so frequently for class and traveling.

But yes, looks like I will either continue to use my laptop mainly or I'll need two development environments (one for each computer). :(

Thank you for your responses, even if the answers weren't what I wanted to hear haha. :p
 

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