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Thread: Help with an external Harddrive

  1. #1
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    Help with an external Harddrive

    Hi there,
    I wanted to install Ubuntu 10.10 on external harddrive. So I put in the Live-CD, and installed it on the Harddrive. But now, I realised, that Ubuntu must have changed the MBR on the internal hardrive, because if the external HD isn't connected, it gives me a "Grub error". So the Laptop is not usable without the external HD.
    My idea was: If the external Harddrive is connected, then boot from the Harddrive ( I have that option in the BIOS), but if it isn't connected, then boot Vista.
    Can you please halp me to get the Laptop working without the external HD?

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Help with an external Harddrive

    Was your laptop running Vista to begin with? Are you trying to get back to Vista?

    If I'm re-reading you right, you want to boot to Vista under normal circumstances. I believe the FIXMBR windows command accomplishes this. You'd need your Windows installation disk to boot to a command prompt I believe.
    Last edited by ZeroAdam; February 28th, 2011 at 07:58 PM. Reason: Update response

  3. #3
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    Re: Help with an external Harddrive

    Yes, the Laptop was running Vista at first. Ill try try the fixmbr.

  4. #4
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    Re: Help with an external Harddrive

    Hi there, I just noticed, that I dont have the Install Cd, because Vista was pre-installed. What can I do?

  5. #5
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    Re: Help with an external Harddrive

    ok, I need to corrct myself: after booting it gives me: error: no such device : ... grub rescue> the I put the ls command grub rescue> ls (hd0)(hdo,msdos3)(hd0,msdos)(hdmsdos1) I hope it helps you

  6. #6
    beew is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Re: Help with an external Harddrive

    At one point during the install you have to specify that the bootloader be installed in the external drive. As far as I remember this doesn't happen by default (you have to choose "advanced" at some point)
    I have done this many times(with 10.04 and 10.10) it never messed up the internal system. But if you want to be safe you can disconnect the internal drive first next time.

    I am sorry, can't help you with the problem of getting back to Vista without a disk, but I think the fixmbr command works only with XP even if you have a disk, with Vista and Win7 it is a bit different.

    Hope someone more knowlegable will help you to get your system back.

  7. #7
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Help with an external Harddrive

    Well, you have two options, one that is easy, if you have the right disk, one that is hard(er) but will work, regardless. The first option is to boot from a vista (and I think win 7) recovery cd. If you don't have one, you can always ask a friend if you can borrow it. The second option is to install GRUB on the internal hdd, so that the error messages go away. I do not have experience with doing that, but after a quick google search,
    Code:
    grub-install /dev/hda
    may help. Now, please do not do that until someone else says it is okay, since I may just be getting you into deeper trouble. But after installing GRUB, you should be fine!
    I am mainly active on XDA-Devs as hanthesolo, but I may come here every so often to contribute. I develop for the Galaxy Player 4.0 with my self-founded team TeamSuperNova.

    I am always trying to learn, as I acknowledge that I am not omniscient.

  8. #8
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Help with an external Harddrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonker View Post
    Hi there,
    I wanted to install Ubuntu 10.10 on external harddrive. So I put in the Live-CD, and installed it on the Harddrive. But now, I realised, that Ubuntu must have changed the MBR on the internal hardrive, because if the external HD isn't connected, it gives me a "Grub error". So the Laptop is not usable without the external HD.
    My idea was: If the external Harddrive is connected, then boot from the Harddrive ( I have that option in the BIOS), but if it isn't connected, then boot Vista.
    Can you please halp me to get the Laptop working without the external HD?
    That is exactly the arrangement that I wanted a few years ago, and managed to get. The essential aspect of the installation was to take out the internal hard disk beforehand so that grub would only load onto the external HD (and thus only be activated when the external HD was attached at boot up).
    Laptop1: Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 2515, 2Gb RAM, 160Gb HDD (2 x NTFS parts), Window$ Vista Home Premium
    USB HDD (usually connected to Laptop1): 80Gb total, 2Gb Linux-swap, 20Gb Linux-root (Ubuntu 10.10), 3.6Gb Linux-home, 50Gb NTFS

  9. #9
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    Re: Help with an external Harddrive

    Hi there,
    I posted my problem in the General part of this forum, because I thought, that it isn't really a beginner Question. And I found help there:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1697219

    Thank you for trying to help me!!!

  10. #10
    beew is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Re: Help with an external Harddrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Allott View Post
    That is exactly the arrangement that I wanted a few years ago, and managed to get. The essential aspect of the installation was to take out the internal hard disk beforehand so that grub would only load onto the external HD (and thus only be activated when the external HD was attached at boot up).
    There is no need to remove the internal hard disk, just make sure you install the bootloader in the external one.

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