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Hello, I plan to install Suse 10.0 on an external usb hard disk. My question is: 1) During the installation process, when I choose on which partition, I want to ...
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  1. #1
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    Install Suse 10.0 on external Hard disk


    Hello,
    I plan to install Suse 10.0 on an external usb hard disk. My question is:

    1) During the installation process, when I choose on which partition, I want to install Suse, will my external hard disk be listed as /dev/sd[a-z] ?

    If not, then what can I do, to get my external hard disk listed during the installation process? Your help will be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    abbas

    It has been afour months since I installed SUSE 10 on my USB drive but here goes. Since my USB drive was prepartitioned using PartitionMagic in Windows the USB drive was recogonided right away, it was listed as /dev/sda with the internal drive being /dev/hda. If the drive is not prepartitioned it may be necessary to install using the "linux expert" command. You can find out by reading the various boot options noted in the startup screen-F1, F2 etc.

    Most linux installers will install the USB drivers if they detect a USB drive with linux partitions at boot up. That is why I use a prepartitioned USB drive.

    I have found that it is best to install either lilo or grub on the first partition of my USB drives. By doing that I DO NOT an error message and refusal to boot if the USB drive is either switched off or not plugged in. Note that my computer can boot from a USB hard drive.

    I normally install using 3 partitions: / and /home as well as a swap partition
    and except for swap use ext3 format. My / & /home are both 10 GB with a 1 GB swap. Swap is approx 2 x my 512 MB memory.

    There are several good articles that can be found about installing linux on USB drive by usig Google, with at least one about installing SUSE 10 on an external USB drive.

    Check the following:

    http://forums.devarticles.com/the-li...rive-6250.html

    This is the info I used to install SUSE on my USB drive.

    Jim

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply.

    I have read from people's experience on installing Suse on external hard disk that:

    1) After the installation, when the computer boots from the USB hard disk, Kernel panic or cannot mount root drive, is a common error.

    What can be done here, so that before the kernel boots up, the usb drivers are loaded.

    2) You mentioned, that it is wise to install the boot loader on the first partition and that this can resolve the kernel panic error? Is that so?


    3) If for the above reasons, I cannot boot from my external hard disk, my internal hard disk which has windows home edition installed, will that still be safe? Or there is a chance, my internal IDE getting screwed up.

  4. #4
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    Lets take your questions one at a time.

    1. Boot kernel panic.

    Yes it will happen if you boot directly to SUSE before changing the initrd.img file as described in the link I provided. The whole purpose of changing the initrd.img is to provide the necessary USB drivers when they are needed.

    EDIT: In the http://forums.devarticles.com link above the first post by punkrawpat gives a detailed description of how to change the initrd.
    There is one thing I changed in his instruction. At 6 I did the following:

    'mount -tproc none /proc'
    'mkinitrd /boot/usbinitrd-<kernel-version>.img <kernel-version>'

    I then changed the initrd line to /boot/usbinitrd-<kernel-version>.img

    The kernel-version is the info after vmlinuz in the kernel line. In punkrawpat example the version is -2.6.8-28-smp

    When I did my installation I was not used to using the CLI editors in linux so I used a livecd (PCLinuxOS .92) to examine and edit the files necessary. In order to do that it was necessary to boot PCLOS in the root mode. It was more like working in Windows so it may be easier for linux newbies.

    2. The boot loader on the USB drive has no effect on getting a kernel panic message or not. Any installation can give a kernel panic if all items required for boot are not met. Do not worry to much about boot panic it can be resolved if it happens. You just have to get back to this or other forums for help at that time.

    3. By putting the boot loader on the external drive you completely protect your main drive as nothing is changed on it. As I said in my earlier post in order to use your computer with out to USB drive just unplug it, boot your computer and see the normal Dell boot process as it existed before.

    My computer is a Dell Dimension 3000. Do not be suprised to find that your Dell computer has 1 or 2 hidden partitions on the main drive. They are arranged as follows hda1- Dell Utility, hda2- Windows XP and hda3- Dell Restore.

    I have 3 USB drives which I use for linux distros. One 15 GB for SUSE, a 160 GB with 6 different distros installed and 80 GB which I use to try different comfigurations and distros. My 160 GB and 80 GB drive both have a 10 to 15 GB Windows partition formated as FAT32 in order to transfer files between Windows and linux.

    Jim

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    sorry for the late reply.

    thanks a lot, for helping me here to set suse on my external hard disk. its working perfectly fine now!!

  6. #6
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    I am happy you now have SUSE up and running on your USB drive.

    Enjoy


    Jim

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    excellent, well explained steps. i will recommened this page, to my friends who wish to install suse on external hdd.

    thanks again, oldman!

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