install mint to usb hdd

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install mint to usb hdd

Postby calymea on Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:22 am

Hi, I want to install linux mint 14 to a usb hard disc drive and make it bootable. I have done this before, but can't seem to get it right now. I have Window$ 7 on my laptop HDD, but want to install Mint to the USB HDD When I try to do this it stuffs the Window$ MBR and I have to repair it using a recovery disc. Anyone know what's going wrong?
Thanks.
P.S I am installing from a live dvd.
P.P.S the new install won't boot either
Thanks to all.
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Re: install mint to usb hdd

Postby cwsnyder on Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:09 am

Your problem may be where you are telling Mint to install GRUB. If your USB hard drive is /dev/sdb, then you should be telling the installer to install GRUB to /dev/sdb, not to /dev/sda, which is your Windows drive. This is why your Windows boot went bad, and why your new install will not work.

One way to force things to work would be to temporarily disconnect your (working) windows drive while you simply boot from the DVD and install to the USB hard drive.
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Re: install mint to usb hdd

Postby calymea on Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:11 pm

Thanks for the reply. How do I tell Mint where to install GRUB? By working Window$ drive I assume you mean the laptop's internal HDD?
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Re: install mint to usb hdd

Postby cwsnyder on Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:41 pm

In the Mint installer, you will have to use the expert, custom install option, know what you are doing, and know which disk is which, or forget about your attempt, NOW. In the custom install option, there is the option to tell where you want GRUB installed. In this case, you must know what device name and/or partition. If you are not familiar with Linux device names, study up on this first, and on dual-boot with Windows before making the attempt, or else be ready to spend several days (yes I mean days, not just hours) in trouble-shooting where you went wrong.

Again, for emphasis, disconnect your Windows working drive when making this attempt and leave only the optical drive and the external USB drive connected if you don't know what to do in setting up drive partitions, GRUB, MBR and dual-boot. Mint can cope automatically with installing in this configuration, or with a dual-boot with Windows on one drive. Mint can't be expected to cope with a <removable> USB drive as your sometimes Linux boot drive installation. This is a custom installation, there is not going to be nice, neat, fully documented solutions posted on YouTube.
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