Create a bootable partition on a USB disk

Fred Roller froller at
Fri Sep 4 14:45:14 UTC 2009

Garfield071 wrote:
> Hi,
> I want to boot Ubuntu from my 550 gig usb disk. My disk has been initialy
> partiotionned with only one big partition. I have created a new NTFS
> partition on the disk for this purpose with GPartEd. I have shrink the
> current partition to free 50 Gig at the end of the disk and created the new
> partition in this space. I have formatted it in NTFS format.
> The problem is the "USB Startup Disk creator tool" doesn't see this new
> partition. It sees only the old one. What do I have to do to make this
> partition available for boot.
> Thank you.
Unless you have the ntfs tools:

sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g

Your system will not recognize the windows file system "ntfs".  reformat 
to ext3, which you need for linux OS any ways. (there are others, but 
ext3 is what I use.)

sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb1

where sdb is the device of your usb harddrive and the 1 is the number of 
the partition you want to format.  *DOUBLE CHECK THIS* don't want you 
reformatting your main drive. ;-)

Mine looks like:

froller at metis:backups$ ls /dev/sd*
/dev/sda  /dev/sda1  /dev/sda2  /dev/sda3  /dev/sda4  /dev/sdb  
/dev/sdb1  /dev/sdc  /dev/sdc1

dev sdc is my usb drive:

froller at metis:backups$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdc1             112G  191M  112G   1% /media/MERCURY_120

Once it's done formating, unplug and replug the drive in the usb port.  
The system should automount and the USB Start Up Creator should 
recognize it now.


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