While travelling the internal HDD connector on my laptop's Mobo broke (Not the HDD but the tiny connector) -- not possible to repair at a sensible price. This laptop didn't have one of those nice standard 2.5 HDD connectors but an adaptor leading to a tiny connector both on the cable and on the Mobo - which finally fell apart after being used on a lot of travelling.
So I ordered a new laptop -- but UNTIL Laptop arrives (a day later) I had to figure out what to do as I still needed a computer.
Anyway I had a version of Linux installed on to a spare SSD - so I installed VMWARE WORKSTATION (have a license) and copied a VM from another external USB drive to the SSD.
Booted up from external USB (with USB-->SATA connector -- actually USB3-->SATA connector).
Fired up the Windows VM -- and to my surprise the VM on the SSD was BETTER than the ORIGINAL running on the old HDD on the laptop. I'm running the whole thing from the SSD as an external drive connected to a USB 3 port.
Should work well too even n a USB 2 Port.
So at least I've got Windows until I get my new machine --if any of you haven't tried running your OS from an SSD you should do - performance improvements are easily seen - even on ancient hardware.
I'd always keep this type of device available too in case you get a broken computer -- this won't fix the broken hardware but it means you still have a useable (of sorts) computer until you can replace it.