LinuxQuestions.org
Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 08-05-2014, 09:47 AM   #1
mrmayge
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2014
Location: Ithaca
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 6

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Question Help Installing Linux Mint to External Drive Without Disrupting Main (W7) Drive


I've installed Linux Mint on my old laptop and like it a lot, so I want to use it on my main computer (custom-built gaming computer with Windows 7), but I'd like to keep Windows 7 as my main OS, and put Mint on a 1TB Seagate USB drive I've had lying around a while.
I use the installer on the live boot and the custom division ('Something Else') menu is really confusing.
Could someone give me a walk-through, perhaps? It would help a lot.
Thanks.

Last edited by mrmayge; 08-05-2014 at 09:50 AM.
 
Old 08-05-2014, 01:12 PM   #2
yancek
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Apr 2008
Distribution: PCLinux, Slackware
Posts: 7,388

Rep: Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416
It would be pretty difficult for anyone to give you specific instructions with specific information on the drives/partitions you have. You can boot the Mint DVD and open a terminal and run this command: sudo fdisk -l(Lower Case Letter L in the command). This should output that information which you can then post here. The link below explains dual-boot with windows 7 and Mint 15. I don't know what changes if any were made in the Mint 17 installer but the information in that video should at least give you an idea of how to start.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgv_POYbbf0
 
Old 08-05-2014, 01:28 PM   #3
colorpurple21859
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: florida panhandle
Distribution: slackware64-current, puppy, ubuntu
Posts: 2,220

Rep: Reputation: 319Reputation: 319Reputation: 319Reputation: 319
If your not planning on keeping the usb hard drive connected at all times, be careful when it comes to installing grub. If grub is installed to the MBR of the internal partition and then try to boot with the usb drive disconnected will result in a non-booting computer. I would suggest to install grub to the MBR of the usb drive then use the bios to boot the usb drive.
 
Old 08-05-2014, 03:41 PM   #4
suicidaleggroll
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2010
Location: Colorado
Distribution: OpenSUSE, CentOS
Posts: 5,561

Rep: Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127
I suggest you unplug your Win 7 drive, install Mint to the external drive as if it's the only drive in the system (because it will be), and from then on you'll be able to pick which OS to boot into by selecting the boot drive from the BIOS.
 
Old 08-05-2014, 03:56 PM   #5
mrmayge
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2014
Location: Ithaca
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by yancek View Post
It would be pretty difficult for anyone to give you specific instructions with specific information on the drives/partitions you have. You can boot the Mint DVD and open a terminal and run this command: sudo fdisk -l(Lower Case Letter L in the command). This should output that information which you can then post here. The link below explains dual-boot with windows 7 and Mint 15. I don't know what changes if any were made in the Mint 17 installer but the information in that video should at least give you an idea of how to start.
mint@mint ~ $ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x34366758

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 2048 206847 102400 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2 206848 976771071 488282112 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204885504 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525167 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x5b6e2ab2

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 63 1953520127 976760032+ 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Disk /dev/sdc: 2000 MB, 2000682496 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 243 cylinders, total 3907583 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x05b2d324

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 * 2048 3907582 1952767+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
mint@mint ~ $ ^C


Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
I suggest you unplug your Win 7 drive, install Mint to the external drive as if it's the only drive in the system (because it will be), and from then on you'll be able to pick which OS to boot into by selecting the boot drive from the BIOS.
I will do that if I must, but I'd rather not mess with my computer's guts if I can avoid it.
 
Old 08-05-2014, 04:07 PM   #6
jefro
Moderator
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 17,188

Rep: Reputation: 2562Reputation: 2562Reputation: 2562Reputation: 2562Reputation: 2562Reputation: 2562Reputation: 2562Reputation: 2562Reputation: 2562Reputation: 2562Reputation: 2562
You can easily use a free virtual machine to load a large virtual drive on the usb if you want. It's pretty easy and very safe.

Basically what I do is already posted by suicidaleggroll

"I suggest you unplug your Win 7 drive, install Mint to the external drive as if it's the only drive in the system (because it will be), and from then on you'll be able to pick which OS to boot into by selecting the boot drive from the BIOS."


For the most part, a usb external on a new distro and newish system is exactly an internal hard drive. When you boot to bios with internal hard drive disconnected and usb connected, your hard drive order should only have the external shown. That is good for two reasons. One is your internal data is safe. Two, the installers work correctly.

So just load on to the usb as if it were a real internal drive. When fully finished you can then use F key at boot or bios boot order to select which drive to boot to.
 
Old 08-05-2014, 05:27 PM   #7
mrmayge
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2014
Location: Ithaca
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Unplugged my internal drive from my motherboard and successfully installed Mint via a Liveboot USB drive. But when I restarted my computer, the hard drive doesn't appear in my BIOS menu or on the list of drives in My Computer on Windows 7.
Help!
 
Old 08-05-2014, 05:45 PM   #8
Soadyheid
Senior Member
 
Registered: Aug 2010
Location: Near Edinburgh, Scotland
Distribution: Cinnamon Mint 17.3 and 18.2 at present.
Posts: 1,297

Rep: Reputation: 302Reputation: 302Reputation: 302Reputation: 302
Quote:
the hard drive doesn't appear in my BIOS menu
Does your BIOS boot menu have USB as an option? That should be the Linux Mint drive.
I don't think Windows 7 recognises Linux so the Mint USB Drive won't show up.

Play Bonny!

 
Old 08-05-2014, 05:50 PM   #9
mrmayge
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2014
Location: Ithaca
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soadyheid View Post
Does your BIOS boot menu have USB as an option? That should be the Linux Mint drive.
I don't think Windows 7 recognises Linux so the Mint USB Drive won't show up.
There's no USB option. Just two options that both lead to the main W7 drive.
 
Old 08-05-2014, 05:52 PM   #10
suicidaleggroll
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2010
Location: Colorado
Distribution: OpenSUSE, CentOS
Posts: 5,561

Rep: Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127
The external drive definitely won't show up in Win 7. Windows doesn't recognize any of the Linux filesystems without third party (sketchy, half broken, if they're even available) drivers.

It's odd that the drive doesn't show up in your BIOS. Clearly your BIOS is capable of booting from USB since you're able to boot the Mint live USB.

Which BIOS menu are you referring to? There are typically two options, first is you can press Del/F1/whatever to enter the BIOS setup, then scroll over to boot and you should see the USB drive listed somewhere in the boot order. The second way is to press F# (usually F12?) during the boot and it will pop up with a boot menu where you can select the drive.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 08-05-2014 at 05:54 PM.
 
Old 08-05-2014, 05:58 PM   #11
mrmayge
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2014
Location: Ithaca
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I hit F11. Would I have more luck trying F1?
 
Old 08-05-2014, 06:02 PM   #12
suicidaleggroll
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2010
Location: Colorado
Distribution: OpenSUSE, CentOS
Posts: 5,561

Rep: Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127Reputation: 2127
It's worth a shot. Go to the boot section and see what all is listed under the boot order.
 
Old 08-05-2014, 06:38 PM   #13
yancek
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Apr 2008
Distribution: PCLinux, Slackware
Posts: 7,388

Rep: Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416
Quote:
There's no USB option. Just two options that both lead to the main W7 drive.
If you installed from the flash drive it would have been necessary to change the boot priority in the BIOS to the flash drive. Also, to install to the 1TB drive, it would have had to be recognized in the installer. So if it was recognized then, you should still see it.

Quote:
the hard drive doesn't appear in my BIOS menu or on the list of drives in My Computer on Windows 7.
Are you talking about your BIOS or the windows boot menu. If you are booting windows 7, then you have the first drive set to first boot priority. You won't see Mint in the windows boot menu and the drives/partitions on the 1TB with Mint will not be recognized, probably shown as unknown, unallocated or free space.
 
Old 08-05-2014, 07:46 PM   #14
mrmayge
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2014
Location: Ithaca
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I'm talking about the BIOS menu. Like my motherboard make's logo appears, says 'press F11 for settings' or something, and leads to a blue screen with a bunch of options.
I tried the various other settings menus, pressing F11 and F2...none of them list the external drive. It's plugged in to the same USB port I used for the install, and the power LED is on, so I don't know why its not registering...
 
Old 08-05-2014, 11:36 PM   #15
yancek
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Apr 2008
Distribution: PCLinux, Slackware
Posts: 7,388

Rep: Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416Reputation: 1416
You should see a key to press to "enter setup" and in the BIOS you should always have a tab for Boot and that should have options. I suppose you could try an online search for changing settings on whatever motherboard you have.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[SOLVED] trouble installing linux mint to 500gb external hard drive due to normal.mod error beenlord Linux - Newbie 153 02-09-2015 03:47 PM
[SOLVED] External drive seen in Mint but not Fedora 14 boris152 Fedora 5 05-15-2011 09:00 PM
Installing Linux on External Drive mbp825 Linux - Laptop and Netbook 1 04-09-2011 10:50 AM
installing linux on an external drive tjgadu Linux - Newbie 4 07-08-2005 04:02 PM
Installing SuSE on an external FireWire drive: YaST can't edit partitions on drive kivimaki Linux - Distributions 2 09-13-2004 09:52 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:28 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration