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Old 04-07-2016, 06:59 AM   #1
Ontvlugting
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How to make an external drive partition bootable to run various linux os' live?


Hi all

So I have an external drive from which I want to run four different live distros so that I can see which I like best before dual-booting alongside windows on my laptop. I have created a fat32 partition on the external so that the laptop may boot from it in the bios. However the partition is not recognized even though I have activated the partition.
I'm really new to linux and even computer related stuff, what you all have forgotten, I still need to learn
I use the external drive to store my movies and photos. I need the bulk of the storage to be NTFS because a lot of the files I have exceed 4GB.
What do I need to do so that the partition on the external drive can be recognized in the bios?

Thanks
 
Old 04-07-2016, 12:38 PM   #2
mralk3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ontvlugting View Post
Hi all

So I have an external drive from which I want to run four different live distros so that I can see which I like best before dual-booting alongside windows on my laptop. I have created a fat32 partition on the external so that the laptop may boot from it in the bios. However the partition is not recognized even though I have activated the partition.
I'm really new to linux and even computer related stuff, what you all have forgotten, I still need to learn
I use the external drive to store my movies and photos. I need the bulk of the storage to be NTFS because a lot of the files I have exceed 4GB.
What do I need to do so that the partition on the external drive can be recognized in the bios?

Thanks
You do not need to create a fat32 partition on the external hard drive. The installation software for which ever Linux distribution you choose will take care of the partitioning.

I think that you need to clarify which distributions (versions) you are going to try out. With so many options it is difficult to help you without more information.

I think you should take a look at this link and read up about Linux. Specifically this part.
 
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:58 PM   #3
DarrenDrapkin
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If you don't mind getting your hands dirty with drive partitioning and filing systems, look up ext4, btrfs and reiserfs. They are filling systems. Also look up GPT and MBR they are partition formats. Whilst we're at it, look at the file /etc/fstab in a file viewer but don't try to edit it.
 
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Old 04-07-2016, 01:20 PM   #4
Teufel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ontvlugting View Post
What do I need to do so that the partition on the external drive can be recognized in the bios?
BIOS doesn't work with partitions. It recognizes Hard Drives, not partitions.

I have such a bootable hard drive with 3 systems on it: 2 copies of my desktop Gentoo and one Windows. First two partitions are ext4, the third partition is ntfs and the fourth partition is ntfs as well (using it as a file storage).
 
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Old 04-07-2016, 01:45 PM   #5
yancek
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Quote:
However the partition is not recognized even though I have activated the partition.
Recognized from what? Is the hard drive recognized in the BIOS. Marking a partition as active isn't necesary with Linux although I've read that some motherboards require it so I doubt that is your problem.

You can use the FAT32 partition and just copy the iso file directly to that partition for "some" Linux distributions. This will not work with every Linux distribution. You haven't indicated which Linux systems you want to use. In order to boot, you would obviously have to install a bootloader which you don't mention doing? Installing a 'live system on the harddrive means you will not be able to save any changes on reboot so if you are just using it to try them that would work on "some" systems. You could also just use a DVD or flash drive to test them.

If the drive is large enough, it would probably be easier to install each on a separate partition with a Linux filesystem.
 
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:58 PM   #6
jefro
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Might be better off trying a free virtual machine to run all these choices.

I would remove power or data to the internal hard drive and then install what you want to the space on the usb. Linux for most distro's won't care if the drive is usb or internal. Most installers work well with other distro's so that they will (should) all boot from this drive. Then you set bios generally to boot from a hard drive order, not a usb choice.

The first partition will have to be windows if this drive acts like a flash drive. If it appears to windows as a storage device then you can generally move the ntfs to the back of the drive. Just pay attention to what the installers are asking!!
I will say that again. RTFQ! If you write over the ntfs partition then you won't like it I suppose.
 
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:59 PM   #7
Fred Caro
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You could use your external drive as a "real" drive if your bios booted from that first in which case you would have to divide it up to ext4/ntfs and so on, at least on a "legacy" bios. All this strikes me as a pain, easier to boot from a live dvd or even a live pendrive, usb 3 for speed and save data to another usb or even your external drive.

Fred.
 
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:58 AM   #8
Ontvlugting
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Hi all

So first of all thanks for the comments. I have Mint Cinnamon, Ubuntu Mate, Porteus KDE 64 and Zorin 9 64 Core which I want to explore more. I really like Porteus, it's awesome. However it's still a bit advanced for me at this stage because I've only really had a few days' experience with Linux. I like Zorin 9 Core though, it suits my system, its fast and not too advanced. Basically I'm trying out Linux because I need a much lighter and faster OS to run on a five-year old laptop with an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB ram and on-board graphics. I've stripped away all unnecessary programs from the Windows 10 OS and I store everything on the external drive. However, I feel like I can get more out of the system because I've successfully edited short movies and photos with it, it was a pain to get it done but I got it done,and the machine survived. I'm not into multimedia, I just had to do those projects for school.
Before I install the OS' on the external drive (From your advice that would be much better and less troublesome) I'd like to know which distro would best suit my system and offer everyday functionality such as printing something without having to add the printer driver via command line or something like that. Besides the four I have can anyone recommend anything that is not as bare as Lubuntu? I've only used Windows and I need a Linux distro that doesn't look like Windows 95 but that's as fast as Porteus KDE 64.
My chip does not support vt-x so I cannot run the distros in a virtual machine.
 
Old 04-08-2016, 05:26 PM   #9
Teufel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ontvlugting View Post
Before I install the OS' on the external drive (From your advice that would be much better and less troublesome) I'd like to know which distro would best suit my system and offer everyday functionality .....
No need to install a system from the very beginning. If you have a system that installed at your internal HDD and that suits your everyday needs, configured and polished, you can just copy it to external HDD and add a boot loader. The only thing you may need to do is rebuilding kernel to add initramfs (if it missed) and usb modules to get it bootable via usb port.
 
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:18 PM   #10
Fred Caro
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If your pc is old (no vm support) then it is not UFEI? This is a good thing (no UEFI).

If you wanted to run a system from your pc and not boot a live cd/dvd/usb you would need grub to be installed on the controlling disk drive (this happens when you install any Linux, that or lilo etc). If you have Windoze you will want to preserve it, if only because it cost you money and dual booting/multi-booting has its own risks/complexities.

Perhaps the best option is to replace the HDD in your pc with a cheap secondhand one and use that to install the Linux of your choice. If you want fancy go for a KDE desktop if you want simple chose another, the programs are what matter the desktop is just frills. Note some "desktops" come as meta-packages and install additional software.

The choices are legion but don't be constrained by looks, AntiX looks terrible from 1st install but is actually very good.

Fred.




















0
 
Old 04-10-2016, 09:38 AM   #11
mralk3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ontvlugting View Post
Hi all

So first of all thanks for the comments. I have Mint Cinnamon, Ubuntu Mate, Porteus KDE 64 and Zorin 9 64 Core which I want to explore more. I really like Porteus, it's awesome. However it's still a bit advanced for me at this stage because I've only really had a few days' experience with Linux. I like Zorin 9 Core though, it suits my system, its fast and not too advanced. Basically I'm trying out Linux because I need a much lighter and faster OS to run on a five-year old laptop with an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB ram and on-board graphics. I've stripped away all unnecessary programs from the Windows 10 OS and I store everything on the external drive. However, I feel like I can get more out of the system because I've successfully edited short movies and photos with it, it was a pain to get it done but I got it done,and the machine survived. I'm not into multimedia, I just had to do those projects for school.
Before I install the OS' on the external drive (From your advice that would be much better and less troublesome) I'd like to know which distro would best suit my system and offer everyday functionality such as printing something without having to add the printer driver via command line or something like that. Besides the four I have can anyone recommend anything that is not as bare as Lubuntu? I've only used Windows and I need a Linux distro that doesn't look like Windows 95 but that's as fast as Porteus KDE 64.
My chip does not support vt-x so I cannot run the distros in a virtual machine.
You may wish to consider a distribution like Slackware or one of its derivatives like Salix. They require a little more patience while you learn to use them, but the results are very rewarding.

http://www.slackware.com/
http://www.salixos.org/

Slackware requires quite a bit of tweaking. However, once you get things just right, it will run without much maintenance. Salix OS is great because it comes configured out of the box. I usually like to be as unbiased as possible when helping new Linux users. I will also recommend that you try out Debian and Fedora.

https://www.debian.org/
https://getfedora.org/

Debian has an extremely large package repository. Fedora has quite a large repository too. Both come with many preconfigured features.
 
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Old 04-10-2016, 02:17 PM   #12
Ontvlugting
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I've found all your comments extremely helpful. From the options to check out the various distros and run them from a usb3 to the different variations of linux based on my needs.
Thanks guys you've been a great help!
 
  


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