Booting off a My Passport External Harddrive


I was interested in partitioning my External 320GB My Passport and booting Windows XP off of a partition. I am wondering about two things.

  1. Is it possible to partition a My Passport External Harddrive? (I believe it is, just double checking)

  2. Is it possible to boot off a My Passport External Harddrive?

I understand the procedure, I just wish to know if it is possible. I’ve looked around a bit and haven’t seen this question asked before. I’m sorry for repeating the question if it has been answered before.

Thanks in advance to anyone answering my questions.

You can partition the Passport but I don’t believe they are bootable.


Check WD website, they have a list of bootable external drives.

I thank both of you for your posts.

I’ve looked around on the WD website. Doing Google searches and WD Searches, and I can’t seem to find any list for bootable external drives. I have found one for Mac-bootable drives, but nothing for either Windows, or for all OSs.

If anyone could point me to the link, that would be very appreciated.

Thank you all for being very helpful.

You actually have two problems with what you want to do.

The first is that Smartware enabled drives have firmware which interferes with the USB booting process.  You cannot turn this firmware off even if you don’t run Smartware.  It is completely hit or miss as to whether your computer’s BIOS will handle this interference.  Some BIOSs will and some won’t.

Your second problem is that Windows XP has a known problem in its boot up code which resets all the USB connections, thus aborting the boot.  This is a problem which affects any USB drive, whether it is Smartware enabled or not.  People on the web have described ways to hack Windows XP to get around this but I don’t recommend it.

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