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Thread: Issues Booting From an External HDD

  1. #1
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    Issues Booting From an External HDD

    Hi, I was attempting to install Xubuntu on my external HDD to make my Linux OS more portable. I successfully installed Xubuntu (32-bit) on my HDD with the desired ext4 filesystem and swap space and configured my BIOS (on my HP Pavilion dv6 series) to boot from usb HDD first. Despite all this it will not boot from the HDD and gets stuck with a blank screen, and will not continue. (I require the OS to work on my main HP.)

    I tried to plug the HDD to my Toshiba machine and it booted fine.
    Please note that my HP machine is a 64-bit system as opposed to my Toshiba machine. Can there be an issue with the BIOS on my HP machine that is causing this problem OR should I try installing a 64-bit version Xubuntu?

    Guidance appreciated,
    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Re: Issues Booting From an External HDD

    Do you have a very large / (root) partition? Some BIOS or grub issues cause boot issues with very large / partitions.

    Or it could be a video issue. If you hold shift key from BIOS do you get grub menu? The can you boot from recovery mode?
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  3. #3
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    Re: Issues Booting From an External HDD

    Oh, yes my root partition is very large, it takes up all the space of my HDD that is not including swap (950GB is size). I tend to do this because I dislike to split partitions. Similarly configured, Windows on my internal HDD works fine.

    Regarding GRUB, true, it normally comes first always, but in my case there is just a blank screen and nothing comes up whatsoever even when pressing SHIFT (I can't see GRUB or get into recovery mode), which makes me doubt it is a video card issue. Installing from the live-cd GUI works fine though. Odd.

  4. #4
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    Re: Issues Booting From an External HDD

    If it works on your other computer, it has to be something unique to your HP.

    Some can also be BIOS settings.

    If you have Fastboot or Quickboot or similar turn that off.
    Is system in AHCI mode?
    BIOS & disable "Boot Sector Virus Protection"
    Some BIOS do not boot from USB3 ports, but work from USB2.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  5. #5
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    Re: Issues Booting From an External HDD

    Make sure that you do not have any other USB media connected.
    My laptop won't boot from external HDD if I forget to remove the SD card that is always in the card reader.

  6. #6
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    Re: Issues Booting From an External HDD

    Yes, I have realized that the BIOS will not boot from the USB 3.0 ports (it will skip straight to booting into my internal Windows HDD). It is when I boot from my 2.0 ports that the screen goes blank and seemingly hangs. I am unsure whether my system is in AHCI or not. Please show me how to disable this Quickboot, as I cannot find these options in the BIOS (it is a limited InsydeH20 BIOS).

    @coldraven, I have disconnected all USB/SD devices (even the mouse) and the results are the same.

  7. #7
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    Re: Issues Booting From an External HDD

    If you have one of those really limited BIOS, you may not have many settings.

    It can still be a video issue or a system needing other boot options. Boot options are often unique to each vendor's system.

    How to set NOMODESET and other kernel boot options in grub2
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1613132
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BootOptions

    I always need nomodeset to boot first time until I install nVidia drivers. But if you want a system that boots multiple systems you should not install proprietary drivers although some have used scripts to switch drivers.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  8. #8
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    Re: Issues Booting From an External HDD

    Ok, I will try as you suggested and re-install Xubuntu, one slight issue with this though. I am using Xubuntu Desktop Live CD and will directly boot into GUI install, and there are no options to pre-config the GRUB menu isn't there? Do you know of a way I can accomplish this by getting into GRUB pre-installation? Also, do you recommend changing only NOMODSET or the acpi settings as well? As I said I am not certain, but I think my system is in acpi mode.

  9. #9
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    Re: Issues Booting From an External HDD

    Acpi is a seperate issue that used to be larger, and has to do more with power settings and saving power.

    You want AHCI which has to do with drive support. Alternative is Large, LBA (Large Block Allocation), but not IDE every BIOS varies on names.

    Does your liveCD have the little accessibility icons at the bottom of the screen for just a few seconds when you start to boot. Press any key to get a menu, then f6 to get boot options. You can add nomodeset.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  10. #10
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    Re: Issues Booting From an External HDD

    Pardon me! I've got the terms confused, ACPI is most likely not the issue here. I came across it once when installing kernel modules for power management. As mentioned earlier, my limited BIOS settings doesn't have options to switch between AHCI and IDE modes and I presume defaults to AHCI. I am also guessing that Linux installs these drivers by default which is good.

    Yes, it does have accessibility options in Live-CD and I will proceed with installation. I will inform you if it works.
    Thank you.

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