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I am using a relatively new Dell Inspiron 6400 Laptop.
I have just received my first copy of Linux today, Ubuntu 7.04. I already have windows XP installed on my HDD. I am planning on buying an external. I would like to boot Ubuntu from this new HDD and was wondering how exactly I may fare~?
Connect the formatted HDD to my computer, I assume it would appear as Drive D: in Windows and not require me to reformat my existing hard drive.. Then I would put my ubuntu disc into the machine and restart, would I then be prompted on which drive I wish to install Ubuntu on? and then how exactly would I differentiate which I wanted to boot each time I started my computer or whatever? Aussi, installing Linux on the other drive wouldn't interfere in the least with my Windows would it? And lastly~~~ All my drivers that I installed and stuff in Windows would be accessible from Linux and not require re-installation or some such?
Last edited by Bucketface; 08-08-2007 at 12:54 PM.
Just to make things clear, you don't need to format your internal disk in order to install Linux. Just shrinking will do, i.e. reduce the ntfs partition(s) so that you are left with empty space on the disk, which can be used to install Linux.
Linux has nothing to do with windows (or the other way round) so neither will use any drivers from the other. But Linux comes with a huge variety of drivers already included so there is a good chance you may not need to install any (except, perhaps, for wireless). As for personal data on windows (files, images, music, movies, etc), yes, those are perfectly accessible from Linux while the other way round is not always true.
I think you are worrying unnecessarily. Linux installation is pretty straightforward nowadays.
First, make a backup of your personal files to your external HDD. Then unplug it (just in case you click the wrong thing!). Then defrag your windows disk and shutdown.
Plug in and turn on all your hardware, so it'll be detected at boot time. Boot from the ubuntu disk. You can play with ubuntu without installing it, but it'll be v-e-r-y slow and missing many features. If you wish to install it, click the Install icon and answer the simple questions.
It'll eventually ask about shrinking your windows partition and installing itself on some spare space. Allow this to happen. You'll need about 4GB space to play with, more is better.
Just accept the ubuntu defaults, at this stage (you are new), do not select Advanced / Expert / Custom installation, the defaults will be fine.
It will install, then spit out the CD and ask you to reboot. As it boots, you'll get a menu to choose windows or linux. Use the arrow (up, down) keys and [Return] to choose which OS you want. If you do nothing for ?30 seconds, it'll choose the "default", highlighted entry and boot that.
The [Search] button on this board is very useful. So is google.
The guy wants to put Ubuntu into an external USB hard disk why talk about backing data and resize ntfs partition?
To me the salient points are
(1) With the external hard disk connected, boot up Ubuntu Live CD and familarize with it. The crucial knowledge is to know how Linux call your hard disk and this can be seen in Ubuntu terminal command
sudo fdisk -l
. Make sure you know for exapmple your xp is in sda1 because it has a type ID 7. Check out the external hard disk which should be named as sdb by taking note of its size, partition details.
(2) Resize or delete partition of the USB hard disk to make room for Linux installation. If it is a new disk I would delete everything and create sdb1 10Gb and sdb2 1Gb. All partitions created in Linux are automatically type 83 for native in Linux. You need to have a swap partition and therefore use the partitioning tool to alter the type ID for sdb2 from 83 to 82. Ubuntu should detect no swap and offer type 82 automatically. The tool I would is cfdisk in terminal of Ubuntu, by command
sudo cfdisk /dev/sdb
Make sure the device sdb is the external hard disk and remember until you highlight "write", press enter and repond with "yes" the partition table will not be created.
(3) At this point I would reboot. Then go to the Bios to select the external disk to boot ahead of the internal disk. The reboot also validates the partition table.
(4) This time on Ubuntu boot up desktop I would click the "install" icon. When coming to the partitioning I would select "manual partition". Inside it I would be able to select sdb1, click it for "edit", for format choices select "ext3" filing system and for mount point type / and press "next". This instructs Ubuntu that you want sdb1 as the "root" of the Linux filing system. Ubuntu will put everything into sdb1 and knows what to do with the swap sdb2. I think with a standard Ubuntu you should end up with Grub either in the MBR of sdb or sda.
If you see a Grub screen after a reboot from the indtallation then chances are you will have two bootable systems. If you have any problem with booting, post the following information
(a) "fdisk -l" output
(b) show us /boot/grub/menu.lst
(c) show us /boot/grub/device.map
(d) also /etc/fstab
Don't panic if either system doesn't boot. All can be fixed.
This may make a good read.
Good advice, Saikee, but Bucketface doesnt' seem to have an external disk yet (he was considering buying one). If his only reason to get one is to install Ubuntu, he may as well install it to his internal disk. If it isn't, then your information will of course be very useful.
Well, from the walkthrough of the set up that Tredegar gave me, seeing as Ubuntu 7.04's minimum disc space requirement is 4GB, that I would run Linux of my main drive and just use the external for storage... However, what saikee said was what I originally had in mind, though I am a little confused as to why it would require me to have more than one partition on the external drive seeing as it would be working almost independantly from windows~?
Storage for XP? I assume Saikee meant that you should use part of that disk to install Ubuntu and that the rest could then be used as a data partition for windows (You can't have both in the same partition, of course).
Of course, but I don't really need any extra space for Windows, though it would make sense to air on the side of caution and leave a bit on the external for Windows to read because Linux has no problem reading it, but a lot of space would be rendered useless to Windows then... Ok, thanks!
The current version (try the latest in the web site) of Gparted and Parted Magic are pretty reliable for resizing XP. Therefore one can download either of these two Linux Live CD and use it to resize XP.
Have the resized XP running first, prove everything OK and then do the Ubuntu installation second. Do not do the two together because if one part doesn't work you could lose both systems.
I strongly favour the user to pre-partition the hard disk first and "instruct" the distro to get on with it. I did this to every system I install, including XP/Vista, Solaris, Linux and BSD systems. This is because (a) I know exactly where the new installation goes and (b) The installer will seize the partition it can recognise and wants to install inside and (c) I acquire the essential knowledge of different partition type for every Pc operating systems.
Before the 2.6.20 and newer kernel I used to put 63 partitions into a Pata hard disk and filled it with every OS I could find. All PC systems can coexist with each other and as long as one has a partition for each system one can put as many OS in a hard disk.
The current SCSI/Sata/Pata/USB hard disk can only have 15 partitions. One of which has to be the extended partition which has not storage but in name only. Effectively one can have 14 usable partition in a hard disk, comprising of 3 primaries and 11 logicals. So use the hard disk to whatever way you see fit. I even get 44 partitions out of a hard disk but that may be regarded "unconventional" but still totally legal to the operating systems.