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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    installing linux of any variety on usb hard drive.

    hello everybody, am hoping someone can assist me. I bought a 250 gig usb h/d with the idea of installing up to 3 different o/s on it. My bios says I can boot from an external h/d which I did. I had partitioned the h/d into 4 bits,hoping to install into the first partition. However, Ubuntu only recognized the whole h/d,no worries, I installed anyway. When however I started up I got the usual screen asking me to indicate which o/s to run. Obviously, I chose Ubuntu. which loaded. However, when I finished and shut down, I detached the external h/d to boot back into Vista, and got the usual boot loader error. What I really need to know is how I alter the boot-up sequence so I can boot into Vista without attaching the h/d (external) Is this possible or is the boot loader actually resident in my laptop? Otherwise I have a 250 gig h/d which I can only use for storage purposes, which is'nt what I really bought it for. Please help, thank you everybody. Chris Yarker

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    I expect the reason it doesn't boot vista is that the stage1 of Grub was installed to the mbr of the internal drive while the majority of the bootloader (Grub) is on the external drive. You can install Grub to the mbr of the external drive to boot any OS on the external but will need to set the external to first boot priority each time you want to use it. You will need to use your vista CD's to repair the mbr on the internal drive or perhaps EasyBCD from neosmart technologies.

    Another option is to create a separate Grub partition on your internal drive which is OS independent and can boot any number of systems, including vista. Check this site for a detailed how to, specific to Ubuntu:

    grub page

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