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-   -   Booting Linux on an external USB hard drive (not a memory stick, a hard drive) (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-hardware-18/booting-linux-on-an-external-usb-hard-drive-not-a-memory-stick-a-hard-drive-781838/)

comcastuser 01-12-2010 10:28 PM

Booting Linux on an external USB hard drive (not a memory stick, a hard drive)
 
Is this possible as of yet?

I see tons of guides on how to get Linux booting on a USB memory stick but not a portable USB hard drive.

Thanks in advance!

Edited to add: Live USB Creator doesn't seem to want to recognize real external USB hard drives; it only wants to recognize flash drives. How would I get it to recognize a real USB hard drive?

jayakrishnanlll 01-12-2010 11:15 PM

Hii comcastuser,

I think you can use 'SLAX' for making your external hard disk bootable. Slax is actually a flash drive OS but it can be installed on any hard disk also.

What it does is it will edit your HDD's or flash drive's MBR to make it bootable. The process is just simple, you have to download the slak package from www.slax.org and unzip to your respective drive. It will contain two folders, 'boot' and 'slax' and in the boot folder there will be scripts 'bootinst.sh' for Linux and 'bootinst.bat' for windows. just run it and it will make the current drive bootable with the slax os installed.

You can also add other kernals by eiditing its respective boot files which I think you will be more expert than me!!!!!!
Please try this and let me know if it worked!!!

Thanks ,
JK.

comcastuser 01-13-2010 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jayakrishnanlll (Post 3824614)
Hii comcastuser,

I think you can use 'SLAX' for making your external hard disk bootable. Slax is actually a flash drive OS but it can be installed on any hard disk also.

What it does is it will edit your HDD's or flash drive's MBR to make it bootable. The process is just simple, you have to download the slak package from www.slax.org and unzip to your respective drive. It will contain two folders, 'boot' and 'slax' and in the boot folder there will be scripts 'bootinst.sh' for Linux and 'bootinst.bat' for windows. just run it and it will make the current drive bootable with the slax os installed.

You can also add other kernals by eiditing its respective boot files which I think you will be more expert than me!!!!!!
Please try this and let me know if it worked!!!

Thanks ,
JK.

Interesting. Will this allow me to copy my existing Linux operating system files (and kernel) over to the new hard drive?

yancek 01-13-2010 05:19 PM

If all you want to do is install some version of Linux on an external drive that should not be difficult. You don't need live USB creator to do this. You just install to the external drive. The first thing you would need to ascertain is whether your BIOS supports booting from USB.

If you have an internal drive, it would probably show as sda.
If you then have an external attached, it would probably show as sdb.
So then you just create partitions on the sdb drive, format and install. The problem most people who are not familiar with bootloaders have is installing the bootloader files on the wrong drive. If you install Grub as your bootloader, it should go to the master boot record of the external drive. Than should enable you to boot your Linux on the external drive when you set it to first boot priority in the BIOS.

Since we don't have information on what distribution of Linux you are planning to use or your drive/partition information a more detailed explanation would be no more than guessing.

comcastuser 01-13-2010 07:59 PM

Oh, sorry, I am planning on copying an existing installation of Fedora 12 Constantine over to an external USB HD and making it bootable. Yes, it would be seen as /dev/sdb.

So far, using grub-install, I have tried to boot this way and it came back with a "Geom error" as soon as Grub tried to start.


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