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  1. #1

    External hdd with Debian won't boot, PC won't recognize it?

    I have a 1.5TB external HDD that I tried to install Debian on. I got Debian to install, but when I turned the computer back on, it wouldn't boot. I searched some forums and found that Debian won't boot on external hard drives. After reading this, I connected the hard drive to my Windows PC. I was never able to view the files, but in "devices and printers" in the control panel, it shows an external HDD. Aside from the fact that Windows knows it's an external hard drive, everything else is unknown. Is there a way I can view the files from my computer?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    You got Debian to install? Does that mean you went through the process and at the end you were informed the install was successful and you needed to reboot?

    I searched some forums and found that Debian won't boot on external hard drives
    Forums are generally not the best source of information like that. It's definitely not true. I'm sure there are all kinds of forums where individuals were unable to do it but it would be lack of knowledge on the users part. How did you try to install Debian on the external hard drive. You said after the install you connected it to your windows PC so were you using another PC to install Debian on the external?? Windows is not capable of viewing Linux filesystems natively which is why you could not see the Debian files. You will have to download and install third party software to windows to be able to do that. From Debian, you can read and write to windows. How and where did you install the bootloader (Grub) for Debian (the root partition, the master boot record of the external, don't know) and which version of Debian are you using. How old/new is the computer? What windows OS do you have?

    I would suggest you post more information such as drive/partition on the computer you expect to attach the external to. Boot the Debian CD and open a terminal and run this command: sudo fdisk -l (lower case Letter L in the command). You could also access it by clicking on the System tab at the top of the Desktop of Debian and looking for Terminal.

    If you want to use Debian on the external on different computers, you should install the Debian Grub bootloader to the mbr of the external drive. There are a large number of tutorials on installing Debian and you might try searching for some. I found a few which have graphical images of each step in the process. You don't indicate which Debian release you have and without more information, there is really not much for anyone to do but guess so for starters, answer the questions above and post here.

    Below is a link to an install tutorial for an older version of Debian. You didn't indicate which you are using?? The steps should be similar.

    Install Debian Lenny on USB Hard Drive | Debian Ubuntu Linux Solutions Blog

  3. #3
    I booted Debian Squeeze from a flash drive. I just went through the normal install process that you use for installing on an HDD. The computer is an old PC with an IDE HDD and an AGP GPU. The hard drive is only 80GB, and I had an external hard drive that I remembered I had, and I wanted to use that instead. I'll try the link you provided, and see what happens. Thanks

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  5. #4
    All I needed to do was remove the internal hard drive. It's funny: It was something as simple as removing the internal hard drive so that the GRUB wouldn't be installed to the it., yet I have spent the past 3 days trying to figure it out. Thanks for your help!

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