Running Modeling Programs on External Harddrives

I have an HP laptop that I wanted to run some 3D modeling programs on, so I can work from home. The laptop is not very powerful and I dont think it would be capable of running the programs efficiently. Is it possible for me to get an external hard drive and run the programs directly off that. Sorry if this doesnt make any sense Im not great with this kind of stuff. If its possible for me to run these programs efficiently from the external HD is there any that you guys would recommend or have experience with.

Thanks in advance,

The hard drive is not what will give you the power to run 3D CAD software.

What are the specs of your HP laptop (processor, RAM, etc.)?

FYI, Rhino is pretty lightweight and as long as your laptop isn’t like 8 years old it should be able to run on it.

I have tried doing that with Solidworks but it does not work off of an external drive. It could not find the license. I was not able to figure out how to do it and just installed another copy at home because my license allowed it.

I remember that you could do it with Photoshop, by just cutting and pasting the installation folder, but I am not sure that that works anymore.

I would say depending on the application 99% of the time the answer will be no.

When you install a program it doesn’t just copy files to a folder on your hard drive. It’s also installing additional files and registry entrys to that systems registry (the registry is a large database of information that your operating system uses to keep track of all it’s internal settings).

In the past programs would just copy their data to one folder, so copying it to a CD/Floppy/other removable media would work. Nowadays when you install the program it copys license and registration data to the registry, so if you only copy the files when the program loads it doesn’t see that registry data and won’t run.

You can theoretically copy that registry data as well, but then you’re just breaking the license and you might as well install the sotware on both machines.

If you could, I would think performance would be greatly reduced because any data that the program needs to read off the hard drive won’t get there as quickly through a USB cord vs. SCSI or IDE cable.

Thanks for getting back to me. The HP has a 105GB internal harddrive with intel pentium dual core processor, running windows vista. I’m home for the summer and this laptops really my families so I didnt want to junk it up too much. Do you think I can run rhino on this?

Thanks again,

You could have 3 windows of Rhino running :wink:

Well, except for the Vista handicap, you should be fine. If you’re looking for the portability of having the software on an external drive, I think the others have covered that off already. Most software nowadays is node locked to your processor’s serial number.

Thanks do much for your help guys!