Installing Ubuntu on external USB HD

Clint Savage herlo1 at
Tue Nov 7 20:40:51 GMT 2006


I think you are actually really close to a solution.  What needs to happen
at grub-install time is that you need to provide the whole path as an
argument.  Like so:

grub-install /dev/hdb  (hda = drive1, hdb = drive2, etc)

In addition you may also need to add the following arguments to the above

--root=/mnt/sysimage  (or whereever /boot (on the hard disc) is mounted in
the live environment)
--force - just in case grub-install balks.

I would make sure to read up on how these will affect your system, but that
should take care of getting ubuntu to boot from the usb drive.

Let me know if there is anything further I can provide.



On 11/7/06, Michael Moore <stuporglue at> wrote:
> A friend of mine went to the install fest a few weekends ago, and got
> help putting Ubuntu on his exteranal HD. When he installed XP, it
> wiped the MBR, so Ubuntu doesn't boot any more.
> He wants the MBR on his external HD, so he can plug it into any
> computer that can boot USB and it will just work.
> I was able to get grub to install to the MBR, but I wasn't able to
> configure grub properly to boot Ubuntu. We keep getting Grub error 22.
> Does anyone know how to configure this, or know of a good tutorial?
> Here's what I was trying
> Booted live CD
> mount -o bind /dev /media/usbdisk/dev
> mount -t proc proc /media/usbdisk/proc
> chroot /media/usbdisk
> <<Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst such that it points to hd0,0 as the root
> partition.>>
> <<Edit /etc/initramfs-tools/modules such that USB related modules are
> included in the ram disk>>
> <<make initrd -- mkinitramfs /boot/initrd.kernelnumber
> /path/to/kernel/modules>>
> grub-install hd1
> exit chroot
> reboot and select boot from USB from the BIOS list
> Perhaps my confusion is in how Grub names devices. When booted from
> the live CD, the internal HD gets hd0, the external HD gets hd1. I
> thought that when booting Grub always assigned the boot device to hd0.
> Thanks,
> --
> Michael Moore
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