When developing software for PCs, multiple versions of an OS are needed for testing. In such cases, there is a way to install the OS on a virtual PC using VMware Workstation or other software. However, programs that use the GPU directly may require a physical machine. This article explains how to install Windows 10 or Windows 11 on an external disk.
To install Windows 10 or Windows 11 on a USB external disk in a bootable state, you can use an app called Rufus, which is available at following site.
Rufus is OSS and licensed under the GPL. The code is available on GitHub.
The version used at the time of this writing is
3.2.1. Once downloaded, place it in any directory to complete the installation.
Install Windows using Rufus. Connect the external disk to which you want to install. Next, download the Windows ISO image. In my case, I used the ISO image provided with my Visual Studio subscription because I use it for software development and debugging.
Launch Rufus and follow the steps below to install.
Boot from external disk
To boot from an OS installed on an external disk, change the BIOS or UEFI settings to give priority to the external disk over the internal disk for booting the OS. The method of changing this setting depends on the machine you are using, so please refer to the machine’s documentation.
In addition to the priority of the boot disk, some machines change the priority of the UEFI boot manager; for machines that can change the priority of the UEFI boot manager, change the priority of the boot manager to give priority to the external disk.