View Full Version : [ubuntu] Installing Ubuntu 12.04 on an external HDD―problem

June 4th, 2012, 04:41 AM
Hi all.

First off, I apologise if this is in the wrong section of the forums, or if I'm otherwise breaking any rules. Please correct me if I am :redface:

So, I'll try to keep this as brief as I can.
I've been trying to install Ubuntu 12.04 to my portable external HDD (USB-powered), and have run in to a few issues. The drive is ~931GB, (marketed as 1TB), and I've separated it into five partitions: a 750GB storage partition & a 60GB backup partition, a 110GB Ubuntu partition, a 10GB swap partition, and there's also about 1.5GB of unused, unformatted space.

I went about the installation from a LiveCD, and I seemingly successfully installed Ubuntu to the external HDD. Under the 'Something Else' option during the installation, I made sure to select my external HDD as the location to install GRUB (/dev/sdb), selected my Ubuntu partition (/dev/sdb3) as the location to install Ubuntu itself, and selected my swap partition as well (/dev/sdb4).

After, I tried booting off the external HDD, and was taken to the GRUB rescue menu:
error: unknown filesystem.
grub rescue > _

So, I booted back into my LiveCD and searched around for a bit, and on the way noticed that GRUB had been installed to /dev/sdb3 (my Ubuntu partition), under the folder /boot/grub. From what I understand, this is because GRUB automatically installs where ever Ubuntu does? Maybe not.

Anyway, after going through the Fixing a Broken System and Troubleshooting guides on the Ubuntu website (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/Installing, https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/Troubleshooting), I am still stuck with the same problem, and I'm clueless as to how to fix it.

I wouldn't call myself a Linux/Ubuntu newbie―I've been using it on and off for a few years now―but apart from knowing the basic way around a command line, my knowledge is very limited.

The only thing I can possibly think of is that the partitions need to be at the 'front' of the drive, if that even makes any sense? I've also attached a screenshot from GParted to illustrate the way my HDD is set out.


Any advice/help at all would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your time, and sorry for the essay :biggrin: