Q

Installing Ubuntu from a USB drive

An Ubuntu expert describes why Windows XP Pro would refuse to recognize Ubuntu from a USB drive.

I want to migrate to Linux over a period of time. Initially, I want to install it as external hard drive on a old 10GB hard disk with USB boot capabilities. As its functionality and my familiarity improves, I will take it as a slave hard disk to boot under F11 boot option.

Since Ubuntu gives regular updates, I would like to use the latest Ubuntu 7.04 version. I have installed it to

a USB hard disk and have updated it, but when it came time to reboot it failed. The HD on USB is also not seen with F11 boot option or in the disk manager in Windows XP Pro. Can you tell me where the problem could be?

Windows won't see the Ubuntu disk in disk manager unless it is as an 'unknown disk' because you most likely have it formatted as an EXT3 file system which Windows does not support. If Windows does not see the drive at all (no unknown disk in disk manager) AND the boot option does not see it, then I would check to make sure that the USB interface on your computer is functioning properly. It sounds as if the computer is simply not connecting to the USB disk.
This was first published in July 2007

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