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I'm currently running windows 7 on my computer and despite a little experience with programming and building computers, I'm a complete novice when it comes to Linux. Because I don't ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    Jun 2012
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    Multiboot on an External Drive - Grub questions


    I'm currently running windows 7 on my computer and despite a little experience with programming and building computers, I'm a complete novice when it comes to Linux. Because I don't know how to fix any problems I encounter and don't want to ruin my current system, I want to get my external hd rigged up to boot a couple distros to get a feel for them. I think I almost know how to set it up except for a few hangups:

    1. Do I need to create a partition exclusively for GRUB? If I do, does it matter whether it is primary or logical?

    2. Once BIOS is set to run from my external, how do I make sure it runs GRUB? Do I need to mess with the MBR, and if so, how would I do that?

    Also, if anyone knows of any good sources to use to learn more about multiboot, that would be much appreciated. It seems everything is written for people who already know a lot about grub and linux.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
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    Oct 2007
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    Tucson AZ
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    You do not need a separate partition for Grub although you can do that. It is not the standard method. When you install Linux to the external drive, you would need to install Grub to the master boot record of the external drive from one of the Linux distributions and install Grub to the root partition of the other Linux distribution. Install the system you want in the mbr after the other system. There are two different versions of Grub, Grub2 would probably be better installed second. You need to make sure you install Grub of your primary Linux to the mbr of the EXTERNAL DRIVE or you mess up your internal. It would help if you indicated which Linux distributions you intend to try.

    Other options could be downloading a Linux distribution and burning it to a CD/DVD and trying it or installing VirtualBox on windows and trying your Linux distributions there.

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