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Old 02-17-2007, 02:01 PM   #1
lilangel890
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Registered: Feb 2007
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How to Install Linux on an external hard drive


Hey all, n00b here :P

I have:

Windows XP Home (with 30GB free-trying to keep that way please)
250GB external harddrive, with 200GB free (would like to install here please)
No knowledge of partitioning drives etc, would that be needed if to install to the EHD?

I was wondering:

If I download Linux (haven't decided on which yet. Say 'suse') onto my EHD will I be able to boot from it. Or do I need a cd? Also can I run windows as well. And finally, will items such as my mp3 player's drivers work with Linux

I am:

Thanking you for your help :P
 
Old 02-17-2007, 05:30 PM   #2
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilangel890
Hey all, n00b here :P

I have:
Windows XP Home (with 30GB free-trying to keep that way please)
250GB external harddrive, with 200GB free (would like to install here please)
No knowledge of partitioning drives etc, would that be needed if to install to the EHD?

I was wondering:
If I download Linux (haven't decided on which yet. Say 'suse') onto my EHD will I be able to boot from it. Or do I need a cd? Also can I run windows as well. And finally, will items such as my mp3 player's drivers work with Linux
Your first question about if you can boot from your EHD can be answered as "it depends". Can you boot from it now?? Does your systems BIOS recognize it as a valid boot device?? If so, then you can boot anything you'd like on it, Linux, Windows, whatever. If not, it doesn't matter what you load on it, if your system isn't able to boot from it.

If your system can boot from the EHD, then grab a distro of your choice, and select that drive for use, during the installation process.

Linux plays well with other OS'es. I've got several machines at the office that dual-boot both Windows and Linux. However, Windows MUST be installed first. The MBR for Windows will trash anything else it comes across. If you install Windows first, then install Linux, your GRUB or LILO loader will happily offer you a menu option to boot either Windows or Linux.

If you want a low-tech, but almost foolproof way of doing it, go out to a computer-reseller of your choice, and drop $50 on a second internal hard drive. Install to, and boot from, that. Windows will remain untouched. Newegg has an 80GB for $45.
 
Old 02-18-2007, 05:00 AM   #3
lilangel890
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That was helpful Thank you. My EHD I think is bootable from because when I press f8, (before I get to safe mode options etc)if the HD is switched on it'll appear under do you want to boot from : a:\ Floppy, d:\, etc

So this morning, I downloaded one of the distro's (trust me to forget) and it downloaded to my EHD.

One was 210MB and had the file extension .iso and the other was 162MB and had the file extension .zip

The unzipping of the .zip just said do you want to replace (name of the ISO) then didn't do anything else. Ok everything seems to be unzipped.

Edit: Ok I'm puzzled. I selected my EHD from the boot list, computer paused then loaded into XP again. Huh?

Last edited by lilangel890; 02-18-2007 at 05:29 AM.
 
Old 02-18-2007, 08:22 AM   #4
pixellany
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If I read this correctly, you did not install Linux---you simply copied the installer file to the ext HD.

You have to burn a CD from the .iso file, boot from that CD, and run the install program. From there, you will discover if the Linux installer recognizes the ext. drive.
 
Old 02-18-2007, 10:33 AM   #5
lilangel890
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Oh right I see. I tried that but it just booted normally. I've not finshed downloading about 4.5 gigs of SuSE and I don't want to waste 6 discs just in case.

A) Do I extract the ISO and then burn it or just burn it
B) I used nero burn "cd-rom ISO" function..is that correct or should it be "CD-rom boot" or "cd-rom UDF/ISO"
C) Do I install Linux whilst booting up, or whilst I am logged into windows

Ta

Edit: Ok these are winrar archives I've extracted one and this is what it looks like, now should I burn all those files or just the winrar

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...1hi/linux1.jpg

Last edited by lilangel890; 02-18-2007 at 10:40 AM.
 
Old 02-19-2007, 10:22 AM   #6
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilangel890
Oh right I see. I tried that but it just booted normally. I've not finshed downloading about 4.5 gigs of SuSE and I don't want to waste 6 discs just in case.

A) Do I extract the ISO and then burn it or just burn it
B) I used nero burn "cd-rom ISO" function..is that correct or should it be "CD-rom boot" or "cd-rom UDF/ISO"
C) Do I install Linux whilst booting up, or whilst I am logged into windows

Ta

Edit: Ok these are winrar archives I've extracted one and this is what it looks like, now should I burn all those files or just the winrar

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...1hi/linux1.jpg

The ISO image is what you need to burn to a CD/DVD. If there are multiple ISO's (for example, SuSE has 5 ISO images, for 5 CD's), burn each to a separate CD. CD1 is your boot CD. Put the CD in the drive, and boot from it...that will run the installer, and let you pick your hard drive and other system options.
 
Old 03-17-2007, 04:55 AM   #7
lilangel890
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I'm sorry I have not replied for a while, I lost all site of this forum

Anyway, I know have SUSE on dvd (bought) and it will work because I entered it on Windows startup and it went to the installation thing so all is good. The question is: ThisExternal Harddrive has a lot of data, videos etc on it which I do not want to lose. I was wondering if I installed linux to it, would it wipe out the existing files on it? I cannot make a backup of those files because it's now about 70GB!

Thanks
 
Old 03-17-2007, 06:21 PM   #8
glidermike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilangel890
I'm sorry I have not replied for a while, I lost all site of this forum

Anyway, I know have SUSE on dvd (bought) and it will work because I entered it on Windows startup and it went to the installation thing so all is good. The question is: ThisExternal Harddrive has a lot of data, videos etc on it which I do not want to lose. I was wondering if I installed linux to it, would it wipe out the existing files on it? I cannot make a backup of those files because it's now about 70GB!

Thanks
As you were advised in a previous post, It's better to get a spare internal hard drive and install linux on it than mess with your external drive.If you insist on installing to your external drive you will need to re-format it or shrink your existing partition to make room for the linux one. If you re-format the drive you WILL LOSE ALL DATA ON THE DRIVE. If you shrink the partition to make room for the linux partition you may CORRUPT OR LOSE DATA ON THE DRIVE.So before you do anything to it you should back-up your data on another drive or to your windows drive.Linux will quite happily install to your external and just as happily wipe out any existing data there too.It seems that you value your data on the external drive so please be careful before committing to anything you can't get out of!
 
  


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