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ospaco69 07-12-2011 12:39 PM

Debian installed on usb external hard disk doesn't run
Hi, I have a notebook dual core with processor centrino and i installed on an usb external hard disk of 1 Tb Debian Lenny distribution - through net installer cd -, without internal disk notebook pluged, installing even Grub on it.
The thing is that when i trying to boot with the external disk, appears the message "Operative system not found", although this notebook allows to boot from usb.
Also, I 've tried reducing the size of boot partition less of 128 MB and configure menu.lst grub's file in manually way, so I don't what else to try.
Any comments or sugerences are Welcome!!!!.



alfredo10 07-12-2011 01:08 PM

You first should find out where / if Grub was installed -> see post #5
You can run that command on an installed Linux or on Linux live as root.

jefro 07-12-2011 09:13 PM

I'd install the usb drive to a powered off system. (plug in usb that is)

Then boot to bios.

The bios should show the hard drive as a choice under the installed drive. Move it up and then save. It should then boot as a hard drive choice.

ospaco69 07-13-2011 07:21 PM

Hi, thanks first for your time!. I did that you said and nothing happens, doesn't boot, just boot the internal hd with windows. I don't know what else to try... i'm thinking about throw out the towel....

yancek 07-13-2011 09:13 PM

I've never done a netinstall so don't know the steps. In a standard install, you will get a message that the installation is complete and reboot. Did you get a message like that? In most systems, you have at least three options for bootloader installation:
1.master boot record
2.system partition
3.Don't install bootloader

What did you select?
You created a separate boot partition?
Is your install of Debian the only thing on the external drive?
Do you have any Linux Live CD available to boot to gather information to post here?

alfredo10 07-14-2011 05:41 AM

Hi Pablo!
Don't give up; I recommend to download PartedMagic 6.3 and SuperGrubDisk and burn 2 images.
PM is a Linux operating system, but you have many tools, access to all files on hd and are able to connect to the net:
With SGD you can start your Windows or Linux or repair Grub:
You must know, if you have Grub1 (v. 0.97, called legacy) or Grub2 (v. 1.9x).

ospaco69 07-14-2011 08:36 AM

Yancek, i think that i installed out with "mbr option", i don't remember really, because of that i will try with the second option "system partition", and 've like to see what happens.
I have created on separated boot partition and its size is greater than 128 MB and yes, the only soft installed there is Debian.
Thank you so much for your sugerences.

ospaco69 07-14-2011 08:37 AM

alfredo10, i will try your sugerences and tell you later.
Thank you so much.


alfredo10 07-14-2011 11:18 AM

Hi Pablo!
Again: the first thing I would do: find out where Grub is installed; I suppose you have Grub 0.97.
After having created live PM, you there can run the command to find Grub (LXTerminal).
(-> hint I gave you in answer #2!)

Part of my output: (with comment):

/dev/sda: GRUB Legacy -> Grub 0.97 in MBR of first hd
/dev/sda1: No GRUB b60
/dev/sda2: No GRUB 55aa
/dev/sda3: No GRUB 55aa
/dev/sda4: GRUB Legacy -> Grub 0.97 in partition #4
/dev/sda5: No GRUB 00
/dev/sda10: GRUB 2 v1.97 or higher
! second hd =>
/dev/sdb: GRUB Legacy
/dev/sdb1: GRUB Legacy

ospaco69 07-22-2011 09:37 AM

Grub installed on external HD doesn't run
Hi, i was trying the things that yours said to me and nothing happens... I mean still keep appearing 'Grub' text on black screen text and hang on. One thing that i cannot understand is if i boot with PartedMagic, my external hd appears like /dev/sdc instead of /dev/sdb if i boot with debian net installer cd in rescue mode. So i'm continue the fight..., until the victory! (who knows what time will be......)


yancek 07-22-2011 10:37 AM

If you are trying to install Debian to an external drive so that you can select the external in the BIOS at boot, you need to select to install Grub to the mbr of the external drive. If you do not have other drives attached during the install, this will probably be sda.

Can you boot Parted Magic and mount the Debian partitions and get output from the menu.lst file? If you don't know how to do this, post back.
Is your Parted Magic on a usb stick?

alfredo10 07-22-2011 10:47 AM

Hi Pablo!
An USB drive and even an USB flash is identified as /dev/sdaX, X depends on the order of plugging in the devices, so an external hd can be sdb or sdc.
But why don't you try to find out where Grub is installed? (See my previous posts.)

ospaco69 07-26-2011 08:47 AM

File menu.lst
Hi, this is the result of script to find where Grub installed is, and the second is the content of file menu.lst.

/dev/sda No GRUB 9f83
/dev/sda1 No GRUB 55aa
/dev/sdb No GRUB 00
/dev/sdb1 No GRUB 00
/dev/sdc: GRUB 2 v1.96
/dev/sdc1: GRUB 2 v1.96
/dev/sdc2 No GRUB 00
/dev/sdc3 No GRUB 55aa
/dev/sdc5 No GRUB 00
/dev/sdc6 No GRUB 00

Menu.lst (part of it)

## DO NOT UNCOMMENT THEM, Just edit them to your needs

## ## Start Default Options ##
## default kernel options
## default kernel options for automagic boot options
## If you want special options for specific kernels use kopt_x_y_z
## where x.y.z is kernel version. Minor versions can be omitted.
## e.g. kopt=root=/dev/hda1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8=root=/dev/hdc1 ro
## kopt_2_6_8_2_686=root=/dev/hdc2 ro
kopt=root=UUID=9da57bf8-e3a2-40bd-ae36-790ac5f45238 ro

## default grub root device
## e.g. groot=(hd0,0)

## should update-grub create alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. alternative=true
## alternative=false
# alternative=true

## should update-grub lock alternative automagic boot options
## e.g. lockalternative=true
## lockalternative=false
# lockalternative=false

## additional options to use with the default boot option, but not with the
## alternatives
## e.g. defoptions=vga=791 resume=/dev/hda5
# defoptions=quiet

## should update-grub lock old automagic boot options
## e.g. lockold=false
## lockold=true
# lockold=false

## Xen hypervisor options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenhopt=

## Xen Linux kernel options to use with the default Xen boot option
# xenkopt=console=tty0

## altoption boot targets option
## multiple altoptions lines are allowed
## e.g. altoptions=(extra menu suffix) extra boot options
## altoptions=(single-user) single
# altoptions=(single-user mode) single

## controls how many kernels should be put into the menu.lst
## only counts the first occurence of a kernel, not the
## alternative kernel options
## e.g. howmany=all
## howmany=7
# howmany=all

## should update-grub create memtest86 boot option
## e.g. memtest86=true
## memtest86=false
# memtest86=true

## should update-grub adjust the value of the default booted system
## can be true or false
# updatedefaultentry=false

## should update-grub add savedefault to the default options
## can be true or false
# savedefault=false

## ## End Default Options ##

title Chainload into GRUB 2
root (hd1,0)
kernel /boot/grub/core.img

title 컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴

title When you have verified GRUB 2 works, you can use this command to

title complete the upgrade: upgrade-from-grub-legacy

title 컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴

title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.26-2-686
root (hd1,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-686 root=UUID=9da57bf8-e3a2-40bd-ae36-790ac5f45238 ro quiet
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.26-2-686

title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.26-2-686 (single-user mode)
root (hd1,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.26-2-686 root=UUID=9da57bf8-e3a2-40bd-ae36-790ac5f45238 ro single
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.26-2-686


# This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
# ones.
title Other operating systems:

And file:

(hd0) /dev/sda
(hd1) /dev/sdc --> (or should be /dev/sdb????).

Thanks to all for your time!!!.

alfredo10 07-26-2011 09:43 AM

Hi Pablo!
What I see:
Grub1.96 is installed in the MBR of /dev/sdc and in the first partition, /dev/sdc1;
in /dev/sda1 and /dev/sdc3 was/ is installed W7 or VISTA or parts of it.
It is a sort of disorder and without more details I can't help.

As I wrote before, you should download and burn an image of PartedMagic to see your partitions with GParted or another partition editor,
and we must know which operating system you installed (Windows preinstalled? - You want to keep it? If it works, yes!).

ospaco69 07-26-2011 02:00 PM

Alfredo, on /dev/sda is an internal hd with Vista, /dev/sdb is an ocassional pendrive and /dev/sdcY is the external usb HD with some other partitions with one of them is formatted on ntfs. The thing is i want to boot only with external hd, regardless the internal one. Tell me what other info do you need.

Thanks a lot.


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