I am a networking student. I need to work with server 2003. Can I load it onto a external drive and use it? I have a newer computer which will boot from the USB port. But being new to server 2003, I wondered if I could place it on a USB drive and thus not need to add another internal drive for the OS.

You should be able to do this since, as you said, your pc supports USB boot. I'm not sure if you'll have to install some sort of driver for the setup program to be able to see the drive, though. I doubt it. Let me know what you find. Assuming you can see the drive during setup without loading a driver, the 2003 install should write a boot entry for whatever partition/volume you install to. As long as the device is the primary boot dev the BIOS will look for the bootstrap there. You might want to edit the boot order menu on whatever drive/OS you want to use as your primary OS (probably XP install) boot menu to have an entry for BOTH OS that you want to boot without having to switch it from the BIOS each time. I assume you'd be doing a dual-boot XP/2003 config or something. Write back if you need help on this. Alternatively you can just change the boot device manually from the internal HDD to external as needed. Most BIOS these days come with a "one time boot menu" key sequence so you can easily flip between boot devs. Good luck with your classes!

I presume you´re dual booting. Why not run the server under VMware?

windows doesnt like USB booting.

Why not run in Virtual PC?

IF your college has MSDN or MS AA, you can dowload .vhd vms of server 2003 etc...

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