[ubuntu-uk] Installing on a USB drive

Jonathon Fernyhough j.fernyhough at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 17:36:47 GMT 2010

On 2 February 2010 17:27, Tony Pursell <ajp at princeswalk.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
> I have seen people with problems on Launchpad Answers.  If GRUB
> is on the USB drive you will always need the USB drive attached to
> boot BOTH Ubuntu and Windows 7.  If you have no way to put back
> the original MBR, you will have problems if, for instance, you want to
> sell/pass the laptop over to someone as a Windows 7 only machine.
> If you can just rely on the machine's own boot menu to choose
> between booting the internal drive or the USB drive, you should be
> OK.

No, wait!

Installing GRUB on the USB drive *will not* overwrite the MBR (and
Windows 7 bootloader) on the internal drive!

However, installing GRUB on the USB drive /may/ pick up the Windows 7
installation on the internal drive*, so when you boot from the USB
drive you can pick whether to start Ubuntu from the USB drive or
Windows from the internal drive. Starting the PC without the USB drive
attached (or choosing to boot from the internal drive first via F8 or
whatever) will boot Windows from the internal drive normally.

*this should only happen if the Windows 7 drive is mounted; you can
always remove it from the USB drive's GRUB menu afterwards.


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