LinuxQuestions.org
Register a domain and help support LQ
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices



Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 01-22-2009, 07:20 PM   #1
kailynleto
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Installing Linux on external HDD's MBR?


I'm not really a newbie, but not yet intermediate, so I didn't know where to put this question. But here goes.

I am trying to get my computer to boot into Linux. I have installed it onto my 250 GB Seagate external hard drive, and I am trying to get it to boot, but every time I try, it either can't find the root partition or it gives me error 17.

I think, in theory, I should be able to place the /boot files onto a FAT32 partition so I can easily edit the boot.ini file to get Linux to boot from the Windows bootloader (since I don't want to overwrite the Windows MBR, because I take this drive with me a lot), but I don't know if it will work, since most installers won't let me install the /boot files onto this partition (and I don't know how to do it manually).

What should I do?
 
Old 01-22-2009, 08:20 PM   #2
kilgoretrout
Senior Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,333

Rep: Reputation: 144Reputation: 144
Quote:
I am trying to get it to boot, but every time I try, it either can't find the root partition or it gives me error 17.
Which distro are you using? The distro has to be specifically designed to boot off an external usb hard drive or that's exactly the error you will get.
 
Old 01-22-2009, 09:55 PM   #3
CJS
Member
 
Registered: May 2008
Location: California, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.10
Posts: 247

Rep: Reputation: 49
Do you get the Grub error 17 before seeing a Grub menu, or before seeing the text "Press ESC to see menu", or do you get the error after selecting an OS in the Grub menu? In order to get a clearer picture of your setup related to your booting problem, how about downloading the Boot Info Script to your desktop (can be from a Live CD if you want), and then do the following as root user, but replace <username> with your username:
Code:
bash /home/<username>/Desktop/boot_info_script*.sh
That will create a "RESULTS.txt" file in the same directory from where the script is run, namely your desktop; please copy/paste the contents of that file to your next post. That will help clarify your setup and hopefully what exactly is causing your Grub 17 error.

Last edited by CJS; 01-22-2009 at 09:58 PM.
 
Old 01-22-2009, 10:24 PM   #4
yancek
Guru
 
Registered: Apr 2008
Distribution: PCLinux, Slackware
Posts: 5,104

Rep: Reputation: 815Reputation: 815Reputation: 815Reputation: 815Reputation: 815Reputation: 815Reputation: 815
Your post is not clear at all. Do you have windows also on the external drive or are you referring to booting the external with linux from the internal drive with windows?? You seem to want to be able to boot from windows which shouldn't be that big a problem. It might be useful to provide this and partition information from fdisk -l if you don't want to use the script CJS suggests>
 
Old 01-23-2009, 12:55 AM   #5
kailynleto
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Posts: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJS View Post
Do you get the Grub error 17 before seeing a Grub menu, or before seeing the text "Press ESC to see menu", or do you get the error after selecting an OS in the Grub menu? In order to get a clearer picture of your setup related to your booting problem, how about downloading the Boot Info Script to your desktop (can be from a Live CD if you want), and then do the following as root user, but replace <username> with your username:
Code:
bash /home/<username>/Desktop/boot_info_script*.sh
That will create a "RESULTS.txt" file in the same directory from where the script is run, namely your desktop; please copy/paste the contents of that file to your next post. That will help clarify your setup and hopefully what exactly is causing your Grub 17 error.
Alright, well I've tried installing two different ways. The first way, I left /boot under / and installed the loader onto the drive (instead of /dev/sda1, /dev/sda, if that makes sense). The second way, I put /boot into its own partition at the front of the disk. The first way, I got past the GRUB menu, but got hung up on the boot screen when it said that it couldn't find the root partition, and the second, I simply got an error 17.

I have not yet booted into Linux today, but I am going to within the next 20 minutes.

Last edited by kailynleto; 01-23-2009 at 12:57 AM.
 
Old 01-23-2009, 10:09 AM   #6
yancek
Guru
 
Registered: Apr 2008
Distribution: PCLinux, Slackware
Posts: 5,104

Rep: Reputation: 815Reputation: 815Reputation: 815Reputation: 815Reputation: 815Reputation: 815Reputation: 815
Which Linux distribution are you using?

Do you have another (windows) OS on the external drive?

Do you want to boot with Grub or windows bootloader?

Quote:
Alright, well I've tried installing two different ways. The first way, I left /boot under / and installed the loader onto the drive (instead of /dev/sda1, /dev/sda, if that makes sense).
/boot in root is a directory. For this to work, you need the stage1 file of Grub in the master boot record of the drive and it will point to the succeeding Grub files in that partition. This is simplest if you have only Linux on the drive but you haven't indicated if that is the case?

Quote:
got hung up on the boot screen when it said that it couldn't find the root partition
This would be the result of an incorrect entry in the /boot/grub/menu.lst file.

Quote:
I simply got an error 17.
Cannot mount selected partition
This error is returned if the partition requested exists, but the filesystem type cannot be recognized by GRUB.

This error comes when Grub tries to mount a filesystem it doesn't recognize, windows. Grub does not boot windows, it chainloads.

If you can login as root with a Live CD and post the output of the "fdisk -l" command, it would be helpful. It's a lower case Letter L in the command, no quotes.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
installing GRUB to the MBR of external harddisk ilbozza Linux - Newbie 4 05-08-2008 06:09 AM
MBR Problems and Using Linux to Recover external Hard Drives dmm1673 Linux - Newbie 4 11-03-2007 07:44 PM
SUSE will not recognize any USB or FIREWIRE external HDD's or WiFi card... cmtishler Suse/Novell 13 12-24-2006 06:07 AM
Formatting external hdd as backup to 2 hdd's balch4 Linux - Desktop 2 12-05-2006 12:49 AM
XP/RedHat9 2 HDD's How to go about installing? Ghengis_Khan Linux - Software 5 05-15-2003 01:48 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:58 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration