PC Advisor often recommends getting a removable hard disk for storage. Can anyone with one of these devices tell me if they are as quick as the integrated sort, and also whether there are any formating problems - especially, is it necessary to buy another licence for Windows XP in order to use the removable disk?
You do not need an OS on a removable disk. I use a maxtor (click here) USB, 40Gb, removable disk to dump many programmes on. This ensures that the main drive, which has the OS on, has as little on as possible. An external disk is slightly slower than running off the main drive but you will hardly notice it.
With suitable kit (tray etc) you can withdraw a standard internal second HDD and plug it in again when wanted.
My own experience with an external USB HDD is that it is fine, but even with a USB 2 connection, data transfer is nowhere near as fast as an ordinary internal drive, in fact closer to a fast reading CDROM. Fine for data but I don't think you can run a Windows O/S from a USB connection.