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Old 04-13-2006, 02:27 PM   #1
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Installing Debian onto external usb hard drive

Hello All,

I have a usb external hard drive (80GB) that I would like to load Debian onto. I have a couple questions about the whole process as I have never used Debian before and I haven't been able to find information on loading debian to an external.

1. How will the install process work, will I set the bios to boot from cd and then install debian to the usb drive. Is it that straight forward?

2. Will I have to do some pre-formatting of the external drive (it has some windows files on it already) before I try to put Debian onto it.

3. If I get Debian installed onto the external hard drive, how will my laptop know how and when to boot into Debian or into the other OS.

4. Is information on how to install Debian onto a usb hard drive written up somewhere that I can follow.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by sublyme718; 04-13-2006 at 02:30 PM.
Old 04-14-2006, 07:28 AM   #2
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Location: Newcastle upon Tyne UK
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Good news

1. Yes
2. No but you should have empty partitions ready, one type 83 for native Linux and one type 82 for Swap.
3. You tell the Bios to boot the usb device first
4. Do a Search

Bad news

Don't think Debian can be installed in a hard disk and booted automatically in the normal way. Distros in a USB drive needs adifferent boot loader to match the slow response of the USB transmission rate. There are a few distros that are specially rigged for USB hard drive. Puppy is one that supports and it needs a fat16 partition too. SO download Puppy and give it a go. Last time I tried Slax, DSL, Mepis and Puppy on a USB hard disk. Only Puppy made it.
Old 02-28-2009, 01:50 PM   #3
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Try this.


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