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Is it possible to install and run software from an external harddrive?

limafish 10 7 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2010 12:11PM
Work has some computers set up to return to a set state each time they are restarted and this removes any additional programs or settings that have been made whilst the computer is on.

I want to be able to use a program such as GIMP or photoshop to manipulate some pictures which will be stored on an external drive.

Is it possible to have the program on the external drive as well and run it from there so it doesn't actually go on to the computer?

If it is possible can anyone provide idiot proof steps please?

I know an alternative would be to use Sumopaint, but have found this to be incredibly slow - that might be the way I am trying to use it, the internet connection, what I am trying to do, the computer or perhaps the program (haven't tried it elsewhere so don't know).

Any help gratefully received,


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digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2010 12:15PM
The vast majority of Windows applications register DLLs and write information to the registry. So even if the program is stored externally, all that registration would be lost on restart.

TP 8 57 2 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2010 12:18PM
Yes it is perfectly possible, but often the programs need to be modified so they can run properly, (see digicammad's post we posted at the same time!)i dont believe there is a legal version of photoshop thats portable but i could be wrong its not something i have looked at for a few years.
this site is what you are looking for
they have a portable version of gimp. I have used these apps in the past the installation is very easy just download the exes and point them to the removable drive you wish them to run off.
I havent used any of these for a few months now but i assume not much has changed!
Hope that helps you
dougv 14 8.4k 3 England
15 Mar 2010 12:24PM
Have a look at Portable Apps which run from a USB drive.
GIMP Portable is available and may just be what you're looking for.

*EDIT I really must type quicker... Smile
Sparkleson 9 134 England
15 Mar 2010 12:40PM
Ian (digicammad) is right: Full applications make modifications to the system (registry & dll registration), so these would stop working after the restart.

Portable apps suggested above should continue to work fine, you are just limited on what apps are available (There should be a Gimp one, but there certainly isn't a Photoshop one ...)
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
15 Mar 2010 1:07PM
GIMP portable will work from a USB key etc:

GIMP prtable

as will: HornilStylepix portable

I've got both on a key and use them whenever I can't use my own computer, at the school where I work for example and they both work fine although they're slightly slower to load than the installed versions. Although, having said that, GIMP's not very quick anyway.

Personally, I much prefer StylePix. It's much easier to use than GIMP and a lot easier on the eye! But that's just my preference. In terms of performance, I don't think there's much to chose between them.

Hope this helps.

discreetphoton 13 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2010 1:11PM
Jester, you need to put the link text into the bottom box, the one at the top is the bit that turns blue Smile If in doubt, copy it into both sections.
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
15 Mar 2010 1:14PM
So I've just realised!

Thanks again.
limafish 10 7 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2010 3:21PM
Thank you to you all for your assistance. Didn't know portable apps existed so that should help lots.



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