How to install GRUB2 in USB driver

Liam Proven lproven at
Thu Oct 31 16:56:34 UTC 2013

On 31 October 2013 03:18, 李季 <liji597760593 at> wrote:
>  Hi, guys.
>      This is my first email sent to the 'ubuntu-users' maillist. I have
> encountered a problem in installing GRUB in my portable USB.
> I just want the GRUB stand alone in USB. However, the dual OSs (include
> Windows XP professional and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS) stand
> two partitions on a only hard driver. If I plug in my USB. I wish to boot
> the Ubuntu 12.04 on D: diver (for example), but not to read the
> hd MBR. I want to know whether it can be implemented or not.  Also, I have
> read some tutorial on Internet, It seems that letting alone
> GRUB in USB  is OK. but I followed the steps, I failed. So if you can give
> me a detailed tutorial, it preferred. Of course, give me some
> information is good. THANK YOU in advance.  Please ignore my poor English.
> and I wish the question is described clear.

I too have had this problem.

The way I got around it:

* Use VMware Player

* Create a new VM

* Remove the hard disk from the VM

* Attach the USB key as storage to the VM
(This last step is the reason for VMware Player - VirtualBox does not
do this last item easily)

* Boot the Ubuntu ISO in the VM

* Install onto the real physical USB key

* To test, try to boot the VM off the key

(This is hard because VMware and VirtualBox both cannot boot off USB.
Use the Plop Boot Manager to overcome this:
Extract the ISO - it is tiny - boot the VM off the ISO, and then use
the boot manager to boot off USB)

Beware - if you apply updates to the USB, it will run `update-grub`
and that will add the partitions on the hard disk. Rerun `update-grub`
inside the VM to "clean up" the boot menu.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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