Nils Kassube kassube at
Fri Feb 19 17:47:13 UTC 2010

Grizzly wrote:
> But my install problems have grown since my first unanswered post

If something is unanswered, it usually means that nobody has an answer 
and I'm not so sure if my comments will be helpful either.

> Ran the install again (6 times so far) every time it just stops at a
>  random point (80%, 97%, 100% ??)

That's a bit unusual - I would assume there might be a hardware problem 
of some kind if the install doesn't stop at the same point each time. 
And what do you mean with "it just stops"? Is there some error message? 
Does the machine hang completely?

> Having had a few probs with installs going to the wrong place or been
>  forced to duel boot (or not I been able to choose my USB HD partion)
>  I turned OFF both IDE controlers in BIOS to protect my O so fragile
>  WinXp and ran the "install to harddisk" option from the Flash drive
>  choosing tto install to largest contig free space on the main USB
>  disk, install failed at the create Ext4 partion and exited

I'm not sure what you want to tell us about being forced to dual boot. 
If you install Ubuntu, you can choose where to install the boot loader. 
If you choose the MBR of your harddisk (that's the default) you get a 
dual boot setup. But you can choose to install grub in the Ubuntu 
partition. Then your XP should stay untouched and you would have to boot 
Ubuntu e.g. from the Windows boot loader. You can choose the grub 
location with the "advanced" (?) button at the last page of the setup 
pages just before you start the install process.

But in your case it is a bit more tricky because you want to install on 
an external disk. The problem is that your BIOS must select the right 
device to boot from and that device must be known to the grub installer. 
When I installed Ubuntu to a USB stick a long time ago, the result was 
that it only worked if I set the USB stick as first boot device in the 
BIOS of the machine. It didn't work if I selected internal disk as first 
boot device and then selected the USB stick from the BIOS boot menu. And 
maybe I had to edit the grub files to make it work. Sorry, I don't 
remember exactly what I had to do to make it work - it is too long ago. 

> When I went back to BIOS to turn on the IDE controlers again they
>  were both ON (yes I did save the settings first time or the USB
>  stick could not have booted) in disk manager (XP-Pro) I had two new
>  partions on my main drive (Swop and Ext4) both 240Gb insize any
>  ideas on why / how or more important how to install to my External
>  USB Hard drive WITHOUT the chance of effecting my main drives (short
>  of pulling the dam cables)

IIRC, disabling the IDE controller in your BIOS doesn't make the 
controller and disk(s) disappear. The kernel does its own hardware 
detection and should find the IDE disk(s) anyway. I suppose you didn't 
expect to find the internal disk and used that instead of the external 
one. What did you use to do the installation? Live CD or alternate CD 
and which Ubuntu version? And did you choose manual partitioning? Maybe 
you could tell us some more details.


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