Reinstall P3D4.3 to an external drive

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I have been going back and forth with the developer of GSX for WEEKS now since the release of GSXL2 and the constant issues I am having with it mostly pertaining to P3Dv4.3 freezing when clicking "apply" in the GSXL2 gate editor. Since I keep all of my addons in a folder outside of the main P3D folder and outside the Program Files folders (including x86), I thought perhaps uninstalling everything and all addons and moving everything and reinstalling to the bigger external HD would be a decent test to run. Everything gets a clean fresh install and I can just copy/paste my addon folder and only need to make sure the paths are set up in the addon manager.


Well, I reinstalled P3D4.1 into the new drive first (that's the version of P3D i purchased for the 1st time so I wanted to start there), then followed the steps to upgrade to 4.3. I then installed 4 addons but when I went to install the PMDG aircraft, i get an error message which can be seen here:


I tried to open P3D and it first asked if I wanted to allow addon FSUIPC, and of course I clicked yes. Then it asked me to register which I did and I got the "Registration successful" message. but then P3D sat on the splash screen for more than 30 minutes before I opened task manager to see if it had froze and it wasn't even showing in task manager, but it does show as an active process on that tab. I closed the process and restarted the computer and tried again, but same thing, P3D just sits on the splash screen with the spinning blue cursor if over the splash screen. The process info and the P3D info being read by Windows does show P3D as version 4.3 .. so my thinking to get PMDG to see the version 4.3 was that I need to launch P3D to get it to finish building all the new files and folders and such for the clean install, but it will never load past the splash screen.


So that leads me to a few questions:

1)The new drive I'm trying to move P3D to is recognized by windows and I've been able to move files back and forth from it to C drive without any issues. But the new drive does not have Windows installed on it. Does it need to have Windows installed it also to have P3D run directly from that drive?

2) The new drive is an external HHD connected thru USB3 ... I know this is slower than a SATA connection, but should it really be that slow that I'm looking at nothing but a splash screen for 30+ minutes? When P3D was installed to a folder on the desktop of C drive, splash screen would only show for a few seconds, never this long.

3)Can P3D even be installed to and ran from an external drive when I boot to C drive, but try to get P3D to run from H drive.


I'd say I'm about average when it comes to tech knowledge. A lot of what I know comes from 20 years of Flight Sim trial and error, but never have I tried installing and running the sim from an external drive, nor have I ever owned more than 1 drive at a time before now. Any help or advice would be appreciated.


Thank you!

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Yes you can install it in a external drive, mine is, for example, in HD G. But I think you'll have to redo a full re install. There is a topic somewhere in the forum about a

new re install

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You do not have to have Windows installed on the same drive as P3D. 

As for add-ons....I have my P3D installed on a separate SSD, and now generally try to install add-ons outside of the P3D folder structure.

However, last December, I did not have any knowledge of installing add-ons outside of the P3D folder structure.  As a result, in Dec 2017 I installed the PMDG 777 using whatever default settings their installer had -- and it installed into the P3D folder structure (i.e. D:\P3D\PMDG).   This is not how I would install it today, BUT the kicker is, I do not know if the PMDG 777 can be installed outside.  If I were installing it today, I would attempt to do so, and use Lorby's Addon Organizer to set up to various components, if I could figure out what they were.

So in answer to your issue/question re: PMDG 737 -- I would say ask them (PMDG).

I don't think your USB3 connection is the issue.  I think it has to do with the add-on(s) you've installed.  One or more of them doesn't like where you've installed them.  Just a guess though.


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Windows does not need to be installed on the P3D drive for it to run. If it's taking 30 minutes at the opening screen, I suspect something else is causing the issue. Possible permissions issue or AV interference with external drive.

But as long as your paths are correct, P3D can be run from an external drive.


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9 hours ago, samisahusky said:

P3D sat on the splash screen for more than 30 minutes


This could be a sign of a broken or invalid scenery path. P3D likes to "hang" like that if a recently added scenery path points nowhere or is invalid.

You could use the Lorby AddonOrganizer or a similar management tool that will detect invalid content paths.

Best regards

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