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Old 05-02-2006, 11:47 AM   #1
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Registered: May 2006
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Help. USB external drive problems with fedora


I messed up. I am trying to install Fedora core 3 on seagate External USB drive

I think my BIOS does not support booting from USB

HEnce i get just GRUB on screen with flashing cursor.

How can i solve this problem

Old 05-02-2006, 01:44 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2006
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More information please. Assuming you have a working computer into which your external USB drive is plugged, what operating system is installed on the working computer? What specific information can you provide about your computer. Age, CPU, etc. Why are you trying to install linux on an external device?

Old 05-02-2006, 03:18 PM   #3
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Here is information
I have a dell inspiron 2650 brought in 2003(feb)
Processor is pentium p4 (mobile version)
I have internal HDD with fedora core 3 and windows xp.

Recently my HDD is showing unreadable sectors.
I decided to have external USB to load linux as i am doing a project on linux

the BIOS does not recognizee the USB drive
Any more questions ??
Old 05-02-2006, 03:25 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Distribution: Slackware current, Fedora Core 5, SuSE 10.1 OSS
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one more question: is grub installed in a partition on your internal harddrive or on the external harddrive? Perhaps you wrote on the MBR for your computer to look for GRUB in a place that cannot be found (AKA, the external harddrive when not plugged into the computer)

also, do you have legacy usb enabled in your bios?

Last edited by mrchaos; 05-02-2006 at 03:36 PM.
Old 05-03-2006, 09:44 AM   #5
Registered: Apr 2006
Posts: 78

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Cool Fedora 3 on external USB drive...

What follows is pure conjecture. Wait for additional input from others on this site unless you are inclined to experiment!

It would probably behoove you to get a program like System Commander to handle launching your USB Fedora installation if your computer bios provides for it.

If you can swap your drives, it will be easier to make sure your Fedora install is set up correctly. Can you do your project this way? If so, you may want to consider doing so instead of using the USB drive.

You should have available a "rescue disk" or a floppy "boot disk" before messing with your grub.conf files! You may need to restore your grub.conf file using your backup grub.bk file if your system won't boot!

I suggest you use your Fedora installation on the computer to take a look at your /boot and /boot/grub files. BACK UP YOUR grub.conf FILES BEFORE EDITING ANYTHING. "cp /boot/grub/grub.conf /boot/grub/grub.bk" It seems your grub.conf on the computer should offer a boot option when you start the computer for your usb device. I am not a guru here, but it seems to me you would want to add a section (after your last linux option, if you have more than one kernel version to optionally load from your computer's Linux installation), before the chainloader for MS Windows if you have a dual boot situation.

boot=/dev/hdc or?
title Fedora Core (2.6.16-1.2096_FC5)#or your kernel version#root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.16-1.2096_FC5#or your kernel version# ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
initrd /initrd-2.6.16-1.2096_FC5.img#or your initrd version#

Notice the caveat - I am not sure about this, only guessing. Also, check your /etc/X11/xorg.conf settings to make sure they are correct for your monitor and video card. Finally, regarding your bios capabilities. If there is not an option to specifically boot from an external device, or devices - you may not be able to boot from the USB no matter what else you do.

Good luck

Last edited by svarmido; 05-04-2006 at 12:53 PM.
Old 05-05-2006, 10:31 AM   #6
Registered: Apr 2006
Posts: 78

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It wasn't until I was dozing off last night, thinking about my post to your question and hoping others wouldn't be too critical of it when I suddenly realized what you were saying when you say "I messed up..." You are not able to boot into your computer install of Fedora... Provided you have not already reformatted your disk, try this. Boot your computer using the FC3 install CD. No matter whether you did an automatic partition installation or custom, select custom and use the manual partitioning tool. Choose to edit each partition, but select the "do not change partition", i.e. do not format for each EXCEPT the /boot partition. Proceed as you would for a new install. When finished, your files should be unchanged but a new /boot/grub/grub.conf file will be created and partition information written to disk. This should work. Nothing lost trying.

Good luck.


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