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Old 03-20-2009, 02:28 AM   #1
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Question OS on a external Hard Disk ?

Ello folks,

I have bought a new 500GB external hard disk, is it possible to install few distributions on the external hard disk n boot through USB.

what distributions are prefered booting through USB n how to do all this ?

thank you ..
Old 03-20-2009, 03:34 AM   #2
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It should be possible, as long as:
— either you bios can boot off this drive,
— or your boot drive has a boot-loader (such as Grub or Lilo) that can reliably point to the external drive.

Old 03-20-2009, 03:56 AM   #3
Registered: May 2008
Location: Romania
Distribution: Debian
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Have you tried to install a distro and it didn't work ?
or what seems to be the problem ?

I guess you attache the external HDD to the computer....set the computer to boot from cd...insert the distro's cd ...boot...when it detects the hard drives select the external one for partitioning..install grub or lilo on the MBR of that HDD...just the long as the PC can boot from USB hard drives

Last edited by ddaemonunics; 03-20-2009 at 03:59 AM.
Old 03-20-2009, 04:58 AM   #4
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There are lots of distribuitons to install on USB external device.
Just check:

Remember that you'll need a bootable USB device, and isolinux (or syslinux) to boot from that device.
You'll find all the info into each distro website.
Old 03-20-2009, 07:52 AM   #5
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Hello there. It is possible. I have installed Kanotix, Ubuntu, sabayon, and Arch on my External USB HDD. I installed Grub on MBR, so it is easy to chainload other OSes. I also shared SWAP partition among them.

The booting sequence is DVDROM, USB HDD, internal HDD.
Old 03-21-2009, 04:30 AM   #6
Registered: Mar 2009
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Distribution: LAPTOP->DreamStudio & Saline-Debian
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Many to choose from

I use a Maxtor USB external drive, and do it all the time. I ve done it with:
Mandriva, OpenSUSE, Debian, Mepis, and they all work great.
Here's my latest review on OpenSUSE 11.1 that I installed onto a USB drive that you can read to help you.
I also have a GRUB Boot CD on my website (already in an ISO file) so you do not have to change the BIOS boot order, as long as you can boot from CD.


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