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Old 02-20-2006, 03:47 PM   #1
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How to install SUSE 10 on external USB HD ?

Now I am using Windows XP Pro.O.S.(with SP2) but due to the programs on Linux which could be downloaded for free form internet need for Linux occured.

I downloaded Suse 10 and I started reading Linux forums, and I realized that there are a lot of problems using dual O.S (Linux+Windows). There are a lot of posts from people who make their previous (Windows) O.S. break and loose data and programs they already had. I concluded that there is a great risk installing Linux on my HD with Windows already installed (at least for me who never used or installed Linux O.S. before).

I purchased one 2.5 inch HD and case, so I can connect it with my laptop via USB 2.0 port. Now, I want to install SUSE 10 on this external USB HD. My Laptop (IBM T40) supports USB boot but I have red that there is a problem that some Linux installing software do not recognize external USB HD. There is also a problem (from forums) that some people by accident installed some of Linux O.S. componets on internal HD and their Windows, normally, crashed.

I wanted to be sure that nothing from my old HD is lost and I simply physically replaced my old HD with new one (now there is not possibility that anything form old Windows HD will be ruined). I normally installed SUSE 10 and everything worked fine. But, when I put my new Linux HD in case, returned my old HD, restart system with USB (with my linux HD) boot as primary boot, SUSE did not want to boot...

This is obviously the wrong way of safely installing Linux...

Now, how can I make SUSE 10 boot from my external USB HD ???

P.S. Windows XP HD still works fine


Last edited by Mrakzrak; 02-20-2006 at 03:50 PM.
Old 02-20-2006, 07:34 PM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Indiana
Distribution: Suse 6.0+, Mandrake 5.0-10.0, Redhat 6.0-9.0, Gentoo 1.2+, Gnoppix, Knoppix, Sabayon, Ubuntu 5.04+
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You can make it boot by not putting replacing your hard drive with the linux one, and just plain installing it while it's connected via usb.

Also, think about why moving a hard drive doesnt work. Hint, it has to do with the computer knowing where the hard drive is located when it installs software to it...
Old 02-22-2006, 03:50 PM   #3
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How to install and boot SUSE 10 on external USB HD?

Well, you missed the point why I did all that ...

I do not want to mess with SUSE 10 while my HD with Windows XP is still inside computer!!! Why?

well...look at number of posts on this forum and you will realize that a lot of them starts with: "I have installed Linux and now I have problem ... computer will not work ... grub error XXX ... MBR ruined ..." etc.

I have important data on HD and there is not space for mistakes. If I am not sure that installation will work fine, I will not use Linux at all (Windows XP is buggy, unsecure, but IT WORKS !!!)

Please answer, is there any safe way installing SUSE 10 on external USB HD??? Is there any instruction manual for newbies, or it is just a simple procedure for 0.01% of Linux experts on this forum.


Last edited by Mrakzrak; 02-22-2006 at 03:54 PM.
Old 03-27-2006, 07:20 PM   #4
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Indiana
Distribution: Suse 6.0+, Mandrake 5.0-10.0, Redhat 6.0-9.0, Gentoo 1.2+, Gnoppix, Knoppix, Sabayon, Ubuntu 5.04+
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Erg... subscribed threads appears to be messing up, never said you replied to this.

Anyway. Once again, the only way to install it is to "not" move your hard drives around. Linux is detecting what location the drive has when it's installed and setting it figuring it will not change. If your worried about it, then go use knoppix or ubuntu or something live.
Old 03-28-2006, 04:34 AM   #5
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Distribution: Debian testing/sid; OpenSuSE; Fedora; Mint
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Smile Boot Loader

Linux needs a boot loader. Windows XP's boot loader will boot linux, but you have to edit boot.ini in windows. You tell linux not to install a boot loader to the MBR. If you don't tell linux not to install a boot loader to the MBR, it will. If you change boot.ini the regular Windows XP menu will come up with a choice for Windows and whatever you call linux in your boot.ini file.

Boot.ini is in the root directory of Windows. Here is what the file looks like:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional"/fastdetect

You have to add:


After you install linux with no boot loader in the MBR to the usb HDD. Every PC has one MBR. It is sector one of disk 0. This sector always points to a boot loader. If you install the linux boot loader in the MBR it will screw everything up. So, don't do that.

If boot.ini isn't in the root directory (C:\), you shouldn't be doing this yourself.

Last edited by AwesomeMachine; 03-28-2006 at 04:47 AM.


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