Run XAMPP from external drive on two different OS's

Problems with the Windows version of XAMPP, questions, comments, and anything related.

Run XAMPP from external drive on two different OS's

Postby hrosenk » 08. November 2011 23:51

I've installed XAMPP 1.7.7 on an external hard drive. My Windows XP desktop can run XAMPP fine from the external. But when I plug the external into my Windows 7 laptop, XAMPP doesn't run. I run the control panel. It says "Install(er) Directory: No Installer Package Found. When I click Start next to Apache and MySql it says Apache / MySql started but the Running green message does not appear, or appears for a split second then disappears. Localhost is unavailable.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks, HR
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Re: Run XAMPP from external drive on two different OS's

Postby Sharley » 09. November 2011 00:05

How did you install XAMPP to your External HD on your desktop PC?
Did you download and install using the installer exe version?
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Re: Run XAMPP from external drive on two different OS's

Postby hrosenk » 09. November 2011 00:11

Hi Sharley, thanks for your response. Yes, I downloaded the installer exe to my Windows XP desktop and specified the external harddrive as destination.
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Re: Run XAMPP from external drive on two different OS's

Postby Sharley » 09. November 2011 00:38

If you are installing to an external HD that you intend to be portable then you should download the zip or 7zip version and extract the xampp folder so you have for example C:\xampp on your external HD.

DO NOT run the setup_xampp.bat file as when you go portable you don't want any paths configured as they may not be the same when you plug the drive into another PC.

Here are some instructions that may help you uninstall and then install using an archive version:
viewtopic.php?p=179699#p179699

Try and return your Ext. HD, your desktop PC and your laptop to the state they were in before installing XAMPP.

The installer version is not portable and is perhaps why you are having problems when you plug it into your laptop.
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Re: Run XAMPP from external drive on two different OS's

Postby hrosenk » 09. November 2011 10:31

Thanks for your help Sharley. I did as you suggested: uninstalled XAMPP & deleted the XAMPP folder from the external hd, extracted the XAMPP zip file to it, didn't run the setup_xampp.bat file, just ran the xampp-control.exe. It worked fine on the XP desktop, and I had the same problem on the Windows 7 laptop -- "Running" appears for a second or two then stops for Apache and MySql.

Just as a possible other solution -- I have XAMPP on my laptop's internal hd (obviously it's not running when I try to run the external hd). Since I can't get it to run from the external hd, I thought I could point the internal XAMPP at an htdocs on the external drive (I modified apache/conf/httpd.conf to point to the external drive). This worked fine, but I couldn't get it to use the database on the external hd installation of xampp. If I can't get the external hd xampp running, is there a way of at least pointing my internal hd xampp at the database on the external hd xampp (I hope this is clear!)

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Run XAMPP from external drive on two different OS's

Postby Sharley » 09. November 2011 10:43

When ever you can't start Apache then read the \xampp\apache\logs\error.log file for clues.

There may well be something using the ports that Apache requires - port 80 and port 443.

If you run the xampp-control-3-beta.exe file in the xampp folder it will open the new Control Panel v3 which has more features and a better error log window, it also creates a log file in the xampp folder - Exit the older control panel before starting the version 3 panel.

You need to be able to run these files as an administrator (right click and select run as admin) and in your laptop you should also be logged in as admin user.


In this new panel you will see a Netstat button, click on it and see what is using port 80 and port 443.

Skype and Internet Information Service (the default MS web server) are the usual culprits.


The database configuration settings can be found in \xampp\mysql\bin\my.ini file where you can define where MySQL looks for the data folder where databases are stored - the default setting is the \xampp\mysql\data folder.
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