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Old 07-03-2009, 07:50 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2009
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Distribution: Kubuntu 9.04 and Linspire and BeOS (Zeta)
Posts: 6

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Kubuntu Won't Boot on USB Hard Drive

I have installed Kubuntu 9.04 to a USB external Iomega eGo Desktop hard drive (it's 1 terabyte).

I've tried installing with my other hard drives attached (sdd) and with them disconnected (sda). The installs went smoothly in both cases but I cannot boot from the USB drive. My BIOS supports booting from various devices including USB.

Can this be made to boot? How?

Old 07-03-2009, 09:41 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Apr 2008
Distribution: PCLinux, Ubuntu, Slackware
Posts: 4,143

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I assume you have an internal drive? What else do you have for operating systems? How many drives, you refer to sda and sdd which would indicate four drives? You refer to "installs"? How many times did you install Kubuntu or were you installing something else also? How are you trying to boot Kubuntu? Are you using its Grub bootloader or something else?

You don't really give much information. Use your installation CD and run the following command to get partition information and post it here:

sudo fdisk -l (lower case Letter L)
Old 07-04-2009, 10:13 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2009
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Distribution: Kubuntu 9.04 and Linspire and BeOS (Zeta)
Posts: 6

Original Poster
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Thanks, Yancek.

I have three internal hard drives. The USB external is the fourth one.
Here they are:
Disk /dev/sda: 20.4 GB, 20496236544 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2491 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xab73ab73

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 2491 20008926 83 Linux

Disk /dev/sdb: 41.1 GB, 41110142976 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4998 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0008eed5

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 1 4998 40146403+ 83 Linux

Disk /dev/sdc: 40.0 GB, 40020664320 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4865 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xd9aed9ae

DDisk /dev/sde: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xcbce2081

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sde1 * 1 121038 972237703+ 83 Linux
/dev/sde2 121039 121601 4522297+ 5 Extended
/dev/sde5 121039 121601 4522266 82 Linux swap / Solaris

I have no other operating system installed
I installed Kubuntu 9.04 twice, once with the other drives attached and once with them disconnected. I did not install anything else.

To boot, I would assume that Kubuntu 9.04 uses Grub. I was going to try Lilo to see if that would work. And I was wondering if I may need to somehow boot from an internal drive switch control to the external USB drive.
Old 05-15-2011, 08:31 AM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2006
Posts: 5

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Whether this post is timely or not depends on those searching for a solution specific to installing Kubuntu on an external USB hard drive - the solution below would have saved me days of unfruitful installations of Linux as a beginner in using Linux... whether it be installed from an ISO or LiveCD.
Why should any installation require muddling with Grub to make it work? No mam or sir, out of my time and patience for me.

The only way I got around Grub preventing Windows from booting (or not booting at all) after a Kubuntu installation on an external USB drive was to remove all other drives before installing Kubuntu v11.04 (from a live CD) on the USB drive connected alone. To boot to Kubuntu or Windows in this case, it is necessary to change the drive's corresponding boot order in BIOS, with all drives connected of course.

The only strange things:
- a blue screen appears for around 4.25 minutes Kubuntu finishes booting and finally appears,

- The screen size shown (1920x1080) is smaller than in Windows (output using HDMI located on a LED TV screen (but that small problem is attributed to my hardware, no biggy.


drive, external, grub, hard, usb

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