First a bit of background:
I am very new to GNU/Linux, so my knowledge base is virtually zero. You have been forewarned.
I'm running an almost brand new Windows 7 x64 system - Intel Celeron G1610 dual core @ 2.60 GHz with 6GB Ram.
I really want to get away from Windows, and have been learning LMDE within a VBox virtual machine to get used to it, and love it very much.
What I want to do, is set up a full linuxmint-201303-cinnamon-dvd-64bit (non-live) installation on my 32GB USB Flash Drive. I wrote the iso to another USB drive to create a live USB, and booted from it fine. I then clicked on the Install icon, and followed the installation process through, using the default for partition 1, but changing the root/home partition to ext2 to prevent flash wear from journalling. I put the Grub bootloader into partition 1. I then watched the installation all the way through to completion, and it said that the install was successful, and asked to reboot.
I clicked yes to reboot, but the system froze. I left it that way, waiting for around 30 minutes to be sure it would not complete the reboot, before having to manually power down the machine. When I go to boot from the USB drive, Grub flashes up a message that it doesn't recognise the file system.
Now the really strange thing (to me at least) - is that when I go back into my Windoze system and mount the USB Flash Drive, it is showing as a completely empty FAT32 filesystem, just the way it was before I installed LMDE. Colour me confused.
I do not understand how that can be, when I watched the install all the way through, and it was sure doing something, lol. But there is no data showing up on the device, and there is nowhere else the install could have written to, at least as far as my very limited knowledge can explain. The Live USB I used for the install is untouched, the native OS is exactly as it was before, and LMDE can't have installed to the HDD instead of the USB I allocated as the available free space is the same as it was before also.
If anyone has any ideas and is willing to patiently work with me on solving this issue, I will be most grateful to you.
Thanks in advance, and any further info you need, please ask.