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Old 04-22-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
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duel-boot using a usb external hard drive without usb boot option

Is it possible to duel-boot using a usb external drive (Sabrent 2.0 usb external hd case)with a SATA 2.5 hd that is out of my old laptop to a Dell dimention 2300 (stock , except the os) IDE hd with Ubuntu 11.10
Old 04-22-2012, 04:43 PM   #2
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You can use plop to boot from external drives if bios dosn't have the option
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
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If your BIOS supports booting from USB, and changing the boot order to give a USB device higher priority than the internal HDD, probably, yes.
My Dell laptop lets me boot to an external USB disk with Mac OSX snow leopard. USB protocol does not care if the external device is IDE or SATA or SSD.
Old 04-22-2012, 04:45 PM   #4
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Plug-in the external disk and launch the command
sudo update-grub
If that command finds the other OSes on your external disk it should be possible.
A different possibility is to launch the BIOS boot-menu at boot time (I don't know the key for Dell to do that, but it should be displayed on screen when you start the machine) and choose the external disk for booting, since there should already be a bootloader installed. Keep in mind that this will not work with Windows on the external disk. Also, if you have installed proprietary drivers on the external disk's Linux install that don't apply to your desktop system there may be problems with starting the graphical environment.
Old 04-22-2012, 06:15 PM   #5
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Some distro's also offer a CD to allow you to boot to a USB much in the way plop does.


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