[ubuntu-uk] Installing on a USB drive

Keith Powell keith at keithg4jvx.force9.co.uk
Tue Feb 2 19:07:15 GMT 2010

Jonathon Fernyhough wrote:
> 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.
> Jonathon

Tony and Jonathon.

I don't know about a USB hard drive, and can only say what happened with 
my two IDE drives.

Grub was always installed on the Linux drive, never on the Windows 
drive. In fact, to play safe, I unplugged the Windows drive when I 
installed Linux.

If all drives were connected, when I pressed F8 on boot up, then all 
drives showed on the boot menu. If one or more drives were unplugged, 
then just the remaining drives were on the menu. I found that not having 
one or more drives connected, didn't affect the remaining drives. I 
could select them as usual.



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