running programs off external hard-drive-how?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Mr. Monsieur, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Mr. Monsieur macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    In an earlier thread I learned that I'd be able to run programs off of an external hard-drive and am now wondering how that works exactly? How does the computer know to install the program on the external hard drive rather than the internal one? Also, once I get the programs installed on the external hard-drive, will I be able to run them on any computer, or only the one that installed them in the first place? THANKS in advance!
  2. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    most OS X apps are drag and drop. so simply move the apps from Applications folder to one on the external.

    you will be able to run the app on any Mac...
  3. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    SOME apps require the main drive. Some do not care. Some install partial files on the main drive and the app and data on the external. It all depends.

    The problem is if you are limited for space on internal (actually BOOT drive, it does not matter whether its internal or external) the apps may force an instal on the boot drive and use up valuable space.
    Before you get too much on the external. you could use Carbon Copy CLoner, make the external (I presume larger) drive the boot drive and use the internal for storage. Of course, that requires you to have the external with you at all times.

    But some apps do require instal on the boot drive . For instance, iLife, FCP, FCE, some games, but most can work on external drives, and many utilities.
  4. Mr. Monsieur thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    Doesn't that mean, though, that I need to install the program on the computer to begin with? Is it possible to bypass the computer's hard drive completely? :confused:
  5. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    You install on the "drive" of choice. As mentioned there are programs like VPC that require to run from the HDD that you installed on. Others will run without problem. Some will require you to re-enter the serial number.

    Now with the new PM's, they have a setup assistant that will transfer the program automatically. Not sure programs like VPC will port.

    There was also a thread from someone that their PB had the same option. This option was reported recently on another site to be part of Tiger.

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