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Old 06-23-2005, 05:25 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Waterloo, Ontario (Canada)
Distribution: Gentoo, Kubuntu, FreeBSD
Posts: 37

Rep: Reputation: 15
Installing Debian on an external USB harddrive (NOT a flash drive)

I have one of those large, external hard drives that connect to your computer by a USB cable. Basically, I'd like to install Debian on that and have it be bootable anywhere, not just my home computer.

I ran the sarge installer and everything worked fine. Then it got to the part asking about where to put GRUB. I knew I didn't want it on /dev/hda because then it would only be bootable on my home computer, and I need it bootable everywhere and anywhere. So I put "/dev/sda" instead. Well, I finish the install, go to my BIOS, make sure that its boot order has "USB Drive" listed first, and reboot. But ... it boots straight to Windows Doesn't even pay attention to my USB drive. So, I reinstall and this time I stick the bootloader on an old floppy. Now when I boot from floppy it says "GRUB Hard Drive Error" and still no luck...

So, can anyone lend a hand? Where must I put the bootloader in order for the external drive to boot on any computer that has USB Drive as "first" in their boot order?

Thanks in advance
Old 06-23-2005, 09:40 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Canada
Distribution: Debian Etch/Sid, Ubuntu
Posts: 529

Rep: Reputation: 32
A) Maybe your BIOS has a problem.
B) Look at
and try this, to know if your BIOS is fine
C) "GRUB Hard Drive Error": I'm not sure at all, but I think this is because GRUB does not support usb without the BIOS's help. I could well be wrong


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