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Booting from a external HDD (w/o dualboot!)

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:30 pm
by ItsGin
I have Mint already installed on my old netbook and now I finally decided to use it on my work laptop as well. About two weeks ago I asked a similar question just that time I wanted to create a dualboot system. This was the page I was refered to by gold_finger: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 31#p980629.

Now I think it be easier to just install it on the external (USB 3) hard drive and change the boot order so that it boots from it if it is plugged in. Will I get the grub menu if the bootloader is installed to the external HDD, if so wouldn't that mean that the external drive will have to be always plugged in if I want to boot?

I was already told to turn the internal hard drive off or take it out just to make sure. I'd rather not do the latter because I feel a little insecure taking my computer apart. And disabling it is turning out be difficult because I cannot find a option like that in the BIOS settings.

I'd appreciate any tips you can give and thanks in advance,

Gin

Re: Booting from a external HDD (w/o dualboot!)

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:51 pm
by jungle_boy
ItsGin wrote: Now I think it be easier to just install it on the external (USB 3) hard drive and change the boot order so that it boots from it if it is plugged in. Will I get the grub menu if the bootloader is installed to the external HDD, if so wouldn't that mean that the external drive will have to be always plugged in if I want to boot? Gin
When you install linuxmint on external hd, sdb probably, install grub on the same external hd, choosing to install the bootloader on the sdb. Windows must be installed on the primary HD, sda.
Then change the boot order in the BIOS, placing as first boot the external HD, then the CDROM, and then finally the internal HD.
When the system boot up, go find those drives, not they finding, will boot on internal HD with windows.
When you want to run linuxmint, plug the external hd and boot the system.
ItsGin wrote: I was already told to turn the internal hard drive off or take it out just to make sure. I'd rather not do the latter because I feel a little insecure taking my computer apart. And disabling it is turning out be hard because I cannot find a option like that in the BIOS settings.
Gin
I don't think it's the best solution.

Re: Booting from a external HDD (w/o dualboot!)

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:25 am
by Biker
When I had my Toshiba notebook, I ran Linux off the external drive. I set the boot order in the BIOS to check for the external first and if it was plugged in, to boot from it. You can set the delay in Grub to 1 second on sdb and it will pretty much seem as it's an auto boot.

Re: Booting from a external HDD (w/o dualboot!)

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:35 pm
by Mark Phelps
Mint automatlcally installs GRUB to the "first" hard drive it finds, so to force it to install to the external drive, it's best to have ONLY the external drive connected when you do the Mint install. This prevents you from accidentally installing GRUB to the internal drive.

Re: Booting from a external HDD (w/o dualboot!)

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:49 pm
by Droidriven
I'm also trying to do this. But I have a 2TB ext HD that I want to split in half so that Linux mint 17.1 boots from it and has half the drive to itself and leave the other half for windows. The drive already has stuff on it plus my system backup so I don't want to mess with that, do I just need to create and format a partition to install Linux to, my internal drive is very easy to disconnect if that's all it takes to make sure the bootloader goes to the right drive, so I'd like to get it installed and set where it doesn't have to be plugged in at all times to boot, I'd like to set it up where I can use it with both my laptop and my desktop whenever I choose and have it boot Linux on both systems when I choose, I know this can be done, i would appreciate if someone could tell me the easiest way to get this setup like I need it.

I also have a wireless flash drive that uses micro SD cards, can I get a 16GB or 32GB SD card and install Linux on the SD card as a bootable USB is done? I was thinking of setting something like this up where I would have an SD card for each OS I wanted to run then just boot it from USB and just use the ext HD for storage by both windows and Linux so that I don't have to install Linux to the ext HD, would the SD cards setup with bootable OS's work better or would it work at all?

Re: Booting from a external HDD (w/o dualboot!)

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:11 pm
by ItsGin
I googled a lot on that subject and seems like a lot of people have the problem that because of UEFI when you install grub on a external hard drive the PC won't boot unless the drive is plugged in. Of course it might just be a misunderstanding on my part (not a native english speaker) but I can't afford to mess up my PC right now because I need it for college.

Re: Booting from a external HDD (w/o dualboot!)

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:21 pm
by Droidriven
ItsGin wrote:I googled a lot on that subject and seems like a lot of people have the problem that because of UEFI when you install grub on a external hard drive the PC won't boot unless the drive is plugged in. Of course it might just be a misunderstanding on my part (not a native english speaker) but I can't afford to mess up my PC right now because I need it for college.


I've got it installed correctly, all you do is select "something else" during install then create the partitions then just make sure you install the bootloader to the root of the drive(not the root directory that you create during install), for example if your drive is listed as dev/sdb, then the partitions you create will be dev/sdb1, or sdb2 and so on, don't put the bootloader in any of the partitions you create, select the drive itself, for example:

sdb(the drive itself, install grub bootloader here)
sdb1(the first partition you create will be called this)
The rest of your partitions will have a number attached to them also, you don't put the bootloader in a partition that has a number.

After you have the partitions setup and mint is installed you go to your bios and set your boot order(boot priority) to boot from USB first then HDD, with this setup all you do is plug in the drive when you want to boot Linux or unplug it before you boot and it will boot to windows(or whatever your onboard OS is).