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Thread: Dualbooting Windows XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu installed on an external USB HDD

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    Dualbooting Windows XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu installed on an external USB HDD

    Hello, I would like to be able to dualboot windows xp and ubuntu while having ubuntu installed on an external usb hard drive. I have shrunk my 500GB external drive which is formatted in NTFS to make room for ubuntu and created a 40GB ext4 partition for ubuntu and a 1.5GB parition for swap space. I proceeded to install ubuntu onto this external usb drive to /dev/sdb2 as well install the grub2 bootloader to /dev/sdb2 because this is where the root parition is. I am atempting to dual boot using GAG, the graphical boot manager. I can boot into widnows xp fin with GAG but when I try to boot ubuntu it says something to the affect of boot sector not found or something similar. GAG recognizes that linux is installed on my external usb drive but strangely it sees it as ext2 partition instead of ext4 which is what I made the partition to be. Can ayone help me? Thanks.

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    Re: Dualbooting Windows XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu installed on an external USB HDD

    Quote Originally Posted by startgame412 View Post
    Hello, I would like to be able to dualboot windows xp and ubuntu while having ubuntu installed on an external usb hard drive. I have shrunk my 500GB external drive which is formatted in NTFS to make room for ubuntu and created a 40GB ext4 partition for ubuntu and a 1.5GB parition for swap space. I proceeded to install ubuntu onto this external usb drive to /dev/sdb2 as well install the grub2 bootloader to /dev/sdb2 because this is where the root parition is. I am atempting to dual boot using GAG, the graphical boot manager. I can boot into widnows xp fin with GAG but when I try to boot ubuntu it says something to the affect of boot sector not found or something similar. GAG recognizes that linux is installed on my external usb drive but strangely it sees it as ext2 partition instead of ext4 which is what I made the partition to be. Can ayone help me? Thanks.
    Do not no what GAG is but I do know you put your grub in sdb not sdb2 for sure. If you have a Live cd (install CD) it can be done with that. Or you can reinstall and in page 8 put grub in sdb
    Let us know what you want to do.
    Remember hence where you come and pass it down.
    Ubuntu Forums member #899097 and Ubuntu Member:


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    Re: Dualbooting Windows XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu installed on an external USB HDD

    Hello, thanks for the reply. I'm supposed to put grub on the main part of the external drive and not install grub in /dev/sdb2which is where I installed ubuntu. This external usb dirve is just used for data and has no operating systems installed. The way it is set up is as follows according to ubuntu. /dev/sdb represents the usb drive as a whole. /dev/sdb1 is the NTFS partition with music movies phots and documents of mone. /dev/sdb2 is where i installed ubuntu and /dev/sdb3 is the swap partition. I have an ubuntu lucid live cd. How do I fix it using this live cd? Thanks.

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    Re: Dualbooting Windows XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu installed on an external USB HDD

    I installed grub to /dev/sdb2 because the graphical boot manager states to install grub to the root partition of the linux installation to be able to boot linux from the graphical boot manager. Thanks.

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    Re: Dualbooting Windows XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu installed on an external USB HDD

    So here is a link to the GAG main page , notice the line.
    http://gag.sourceforge.net/index.html

    GAG doesn't need its own partition. It installs itself in the first track of the hard disk, wich is reserved for these kinds of programs. It can also be instaled on a floppy disk, without using the hard disk.
    If I read this correctly, and as garvinrick4 suggested the bootloader goes in the mbr which as you describe your setup is sdb. sdb=first 512 MIB=mbr, the rest is your operating systems. It might help to post the bootscript in my sig or run it for yourself. If you post it put it in code tags, by ticking the # in the reply panel.

    Sounds like you have a grub2 reference but here is another.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Gr...0from%20LiveCD
    Last edited by wilee-nilee; September 11th, 2010 at 05:27 AM.





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    Re: Dualbooting Windows XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu installed on an external USB HDD

    Quote Originally Posted by startgame412 View Post
    Hello, thanks for the reply. I'm supposed to put grub on the main part of the external drive and not install grub in /dev/sdb2which is where I installed ubuntu. This external usb dirve is just used for data and has no operating systems installed. The way it is set up is as follows according to ubuntu. /dev/sdb represents the usb drive as a whole. /dev/sdb1 is the NTFS partition with music movies phots and documents of mone. /dev/sdb2 is where i installed ubuntu and /dev/sdb3 is the swap partition. I have an ubuntu lucid live cd. How do I fix it using this live cd? Thanks.
    Ok I like to use labels for my partitions so here is what we will do.
    Put in the Live Cd and boot off of it and choose to Try Ubuntu not install it.
    Open up a program called gparted in System/Administration to gparted.
    When it opens it will be a graph in upper right hand corner choose the sdb drive.
    Then right click on sdb2 where Ubuntu is installed and go to label and then give it a
    label of lets say lucid then hit green arrow to apply it.
    Get out of gparted and go to Applications/Accessories to Terminal and open a terminal
    give these commands copy and paste easiest.
    Code:
    sudo mkdir /media/lucid
    Code:
    sudo mount /dev/sdb2 /media/lucid
    Code:
    sudo grub-install --recheck --root-directory=/media/lucid /dev/sdb
    Code:
    sudo umount /media/lucid
    (not a typo)

    Now you have put grub into sdb and it looks in sdb2 for boot/grub

    THIS IS FOR GRUB2 INTO MBR I HAVE NEVER USED GAG. SHOW THE BOOTSCRIPT THAT
    wilee nilee has asked for to make sure there is a partition in sdb2 that holds Ubuntu.
    Last edited by garvinrick4; September 11th, 2010 at 05:31 AM.
    Remember hence where you come and pass it down.
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    Re: Dualbooting Windows XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu installed on an external USB HDD

    I do not see where GAG has been updated to know about ext4 partitions. They are modifications of ext2 with improved journaling.

    If you really want GAG create a small grub only or boot partition that is ext2 and use that to chainload from GAG. It complicates the boot process as you have to also mount the boot partition for any repairs in addition to root.

    Grub2 does not recommend that it be installed to a partition as there is not enough room and it has to use blocklists or hard coded addresses of its boot files. If the files get moved for any reason you will have to reinstall grub.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

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    Re: Dualbooting Windows XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu installed on an external USB HDD

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I think grub2 and using ext4 file system are my problems because I was able to install grub legacy to my root partition and it still didn't work so looks like it may be more of a problem with graphical boot loader's inability to boot from ext4 file systems. I will try all the suggestions here and post back. Thanks everyone.

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    Re: Dualbooting Windows XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu installed on an external USB HDD

    If you are only dual booting, why use GAG? Why not just use Grub only, and let it manage your boot for you?

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    Re: Dualbooting Windows XP and Ubuntu with Ubuntu installed on an external USB HDD

    Absolutely the easiest way to do it with your setup:
    1. Set the external drive first in the bios boot order.
    2. Install grub 2 to the mbr of the external drive (leaving the windows boot loader fully intact in the mbr of the internal drive).
    3. You may need to set grub to re-map the drives in the boot options for windows, to let the internal drive become the first drive only when windows boots.

    This way, if you unplug the external drive windows will still boot normally from it's own boot loader.

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