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Thread: Booting Ubuntu from an External Drive in OS X

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Question Booting Ubuntu from an External Drive in OS X

    Hello, there, Ubuntu forum posters. Last night, I created a Linux-ready partition on one of my external hard drives. I then booted up my Ubuntu installation DVD, loaded the installer, and started to install the system. The installer automatically noticed that my external drive had a partition fit for Ubuntu, and successfully installed there. Now, I am clueless as to how the newly-installed OS can be booted from this drive. Logically, I tried booting my computer whilst holding the alt/option key, but that only gives me two options: my main drive, and a drive entitled "Windows." Thinking that the second drive might actually be my Ubuntu drive, I chose that one. Upon selecting this drive, a grub error screen appears.

    Is there something here that isn't being done correctly? Is there a special command I can input to resolve the grub error? This Linux nub here has nary an idea as to how his problems can be fixed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Re: Booting Ubuntu from an External Drive in OS X

    Is this a USB drive? If so, it should appear as a usb device in your BIOS boot menu.
    "Adjectives fail me." - Hobbes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Re: Booting Ubuntu from an External Drive in OS X

    I was trying the same thing basically for two days now. I have an extra internal drive that I enclosed. It has Ubuntu on it and my internal hdd has win 7 ultimate on it. My bios allows me to change order to whatever settings. But when it goes to boot it says
    unknown filesystem
    grub rescue>

    Other times it will just sit with a cursor and blank screen. I tried using Easybcd in win 7 to set-up boot records and save settings. Only after re-installing ubuntu 3x did I figure this one out.

    I did however get it to work one time with easybcd.
    My set-up was win 7 on internal drive and ubuntu on the ext/hdd (mass storage). It booted up and loaded but when i went to use the programs it lagged and not responded. So i had to re-boot cause it was locked-up. Then when I went to reboot I got the same message thats been haunting me for two days Unknown filesystem & grub rescue>. This was btw right before the last time I re-installed ubuntu. So far might best luck has been with Easybcd. There are a couple of tuts on youtube. for using it. You might have better luck.
    Several other forums and even this one say win 7 on ext/hdd will not work so dont waste your time. I think I've given up pretty much because once you do get it running it lags and freezes anyway!! Guess I just have to manually remove and insert hdd when I want to swithc OS's. A pain in the A and also wears on my contact pins.
    Last edited by Powned2death; December 31st, 2012 at 12:52 AM.


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