Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Most programs need to install on a computer in order run and cannot be burnt to a portable disc or thumbdrive.
I just bought Adobe Elements 10 on disc. Can I put it on an external hard drive so that I can take it with me from one computer to another and plug it in? The license says two, but I have five computers to use. Thank you.
In this excerpt from Answercast #41, I look at how installing a program on a machine is necessary for it to run and why that makes most programs not portable.
The short answer is no.
Any program that requires a set up in order to be installed on a PC is, well, installed on that PC.
It can certainly reside on an external hard disk. I don't recommend it typically because the hard disk could be disconnected or it might actually end up being slower for you.
But nonetheless it's "installed" on that specific machine.
If you take that hard disk to a different machine, well, it's not installed.
So, it's not there for that machine to be able to use. It really doesn't work.
There's a class of applications that do; they are specifically designed to be portable and that's exactly what you would look for in a so-called portable application. Those are the kinds of applications you can simply copy to things like a USB stick or an external hard drive and just run them without running a set up program.
But programs like Adobe Elements, or any other fairly large or significant program that has a set up process in order to be installed on the machine in the first place, can't be done:
And I do have to comment that this is not a way to get around licensing limitations either:
If it says two, then you need to stick to two or buy additional copies.
That's what the licensing agreement is all about.
In this particular case, there's no portable solution for you, so you're kind of stuck;
Next from Answercast 41– Will my backup program recreate partitions when a restore is needed?
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