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Old 02-25-2007, 11:50 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2007
Posts: 30

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Which Distro for Booting from USB HDD?

I have a 300GB USB hard disk drive (HDD) that has boot partitions for Windows, Ubuntu, DSL, Fedora Core 6, SuSE 10.2. Many of these partitions have been created by using "cp /dev/sda /dev/sdb".

I have two computers that don't seem capable of booting directly from a USB device. Of course one is old and does not have BIOS support. But the other (MSI mother board) is only two years old and has a BIOS that recognizes the USB HDD. I get grub errors 17 and 18 when I try to boot however.

I've tried using damn small linux (DSL) to create a debian like partition on the USB HDD with no luck: it hangs when copying the files to the root directory.

I have discovered that I can boot DSL when using the frugal method and copying the live CD image to the USB HDD when I stick the CD in. Should I be able to boot other OSes on the USB HDD?

Assuming that DSL is only capable of booting DSL and Knoppix and debian, is there something similar to DSL that will read the MBR on my 300GB USB HDD and execute it?

I see a similar question at but I see no response. I have searched and cannot find an answer.

Old 02-26-2007, 12:04 AM   #2
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Registered: Nov 2006
Distribution: Debian Squeeze SMP AMD64
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Have you looked through this site?


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