View Full Version : [ubuntu] Install Ubuntu one a USB , but not install grub?

March 9th, 2010, 01:59 AM
Hey y'all,

This is what I'm imagining, and I've tried to do this before. Yet, I kept having an issue I'll explain below.

A while back I got the idea to install Ubuntu on a 16GB flash drive. I wanted a little computer I could carry around on my neck, and use on my schools PC's. Well, any PC really. I went out and got the USB flash drive, and got it all installed. What I didn't think about, or know, was that when I made the host computer boot from USB the USB installed grub. Then when I took out the usb, and restarted the computer grub was the MBR. I ended up needing to use supergrub to fix the windows MBR, and I didn't pursue it much more after that.

Latly, the idea of something like that has been itching at me. I've looked around Google, the forums, and other search engines, but I've not found my answer. Maybe you all can tell me if I installed it wrong, or if there isn't a way to prevent the USB installation from installing Grub when the computer boots from it.

Thanks all I eagerly await your answers! :P

March 9th, 2010, 02:02 AM
Umm... unless you tell it to install ubuntu, just running the bootable cd or usb system does not touch the hard drive.

March 9th, 2010, 02:08 AM
Yeah. That's what I thought too, but every computer I tested it on the USB installed GRUB and overwrote the window MBR.

March 9th, 2010, 02:46 PM
How did you build the USB stick and what version of Ubuntu are you using?

March 9th, 2010, 03:01 PM
These guides are great:


And you do want a persistent "live" usb if you're going to use it on various different hardware!

March 9th, 2010, 03:17 PM
Or you can just click the USB stick creator option in the menu of the Ubuntu livecd.

March 10th, 2010, 12:14 AM
How did you build the USB stick and what version of Ubuntu are you using?

Hello again,

I used a Cruzer Micro 8GB. (I know I said 16GB. My mistake) The guide I used was a guide from http://www.pendrivelinux.com, but for an older disro as it was about two years ago I tried to do this.

I don't think there was a USB Startup disk creator when I last tried to do this. I'm going to give that a try, and see if it fixes the issue I have. I can't have the USB disk install grub on every computer I use it on.

Thanks for the info I'll give an update in a bit. :)

March 10th, 2010, 03:50 AM
System -> Administration -> USB Startup Disk Creator.