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Old 12-31-2001, 10:17 PM   #1
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Default Re: XP wont boot w/o external HDD.

The problem there was seen when replacing the XP mbr entries with Grub instead of seeing Grub installed onto the external drive where you would use the F1 or other option to bring up the list of drives and select the external when wanting to boot into Linux.

Once you have the XP mbr repaired at the recovery console you would likely need to reinstall ubuntu to make things easier by selecting the external drive when the installer asks where you want Grub installed. Obviously you had selected the XP internal instead.

The way the ubuntu installer works is first selecting the partition to be the root holding the Linux system files, any small partition desgnated for a swap, and making sure the edit option sees the root made the "/" mount not "/boot" but simply the mount point with the external L or "X"(unspecified drive letter) drive itself is selected not a partition on the drive but the drive itself for seeing grub installed.

When going to select a drive in the boot device menu you simply choose that to see ubuntu load with the option to boot into XP. Since you repaired the XP mbr the internal drive is now a stand alone by itself. If ubuntu was installed onto a second partition Grub would then be made the default loader for both OSs with ubuntu being the default.
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Old 12-31-2001, 10:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: XP wont boot w/o external HDD.

Once you repair the XP mbr at the recovery console that will then leave ubuntu out since the Grub entries will have been removed making the laptop's internal drive a stand alone bootable device again. To see the external drive bootable and not hamper XP you will need to reinstall ubuntu with one thing different the next time around to see it run.

When first installing the distro and asked where you wanted Grub installed you obviously selected the XP drive(internal) along with not making some designations needed on the external drive. The next time you select the root for the Linux system files as you would but use the edit to make it the "/" mount not "/boot".

When the installer "asks" where you want Grub installed you select the external drive itself not simply a partition but click on the drive icon to set that. This will insure that the external drive is made bootable as well but for seeing ubuntu load.

When pressing the F1 key or other to bring up the list of drives at post you simply select the external to see ubuntu load with the option for XP since there will be an entry for Windows seen as well. The problem with trying to boot XP there however will be seen when unplugging and replugging the drive back in changing the configuration for XP while ubuntu will still boot up.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:27 PM   #3
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Default XP wont boot w/o external HDD.

Okay I have a Dell laptop running Win XP. I wanted to try out Linux, but I didn't want it on my hard drive. I installed Ubuntu on a usb external drive. Both systems boot fine and I like Ubuntu, but I can't boot XP without the external drive attached. This is kind of inconvenient for me being that I do use it as a laptop. The Ubuntu was just for fun, I don't really need it. Is there any way I can resolve this? I am pretty new to installing operating systems so try to dumb it down a bit if you could.

no ideas? Could I install Grub on my internal HDD as well so I wouldn't need the external to boot.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: XP wont boot w/o external HDD.

Yeah, first uninstall Ubuntu off the external and insall it on the internal hard drive. It should then work.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: XP wont boot w/o external HDD.

The whole OS or just Grub? How would I do that?
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: XP wont boot w/o external HDD.

U should have just ran the disc live to try it our instead of installing it.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: XP wont boot w/o external HDD.

You would first have to shrink the XP primary down enough to allow for the root partition in the then empty drive space. Once the ubuntu installer goes to work you would use the custom option to avoid it's default of using the entire drive. Set the root/system partition #2 on drive as the / mount.

The new boot loader will see ubuntu as the default OS with XP as an option. Later you would have to configure XP as default. If you don't want to see changes like those made then AzNVi3t2007 has a valid point about trying out a live distro before seeing any changes made.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: XP wont boot w/o external HDD.

As was said above, you can install grub on your internal HDD, it doesn't matter where on the disc it goes so you could resize and move your C drive to put it at the start of the disk, or you could put it at the end of the disk.

If you have a D drive you may find it easier to resize this partition since it's not a system partition.

you can install grub on a floppy disk, and just have your machine boot from floppy so that you can boot without the external HDD.

The last thing that you could do is use the windows disk, boot from the disc and select to use the revcovery console and type fixboot. this will re-write the boot sectors on the disk to make it boot windows, (but it won't let you boot linux from the OS selection menu in windows).
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: XP wont boot w/o external HDD.

Speaking of boot floppies while that won't help on a laptop at one time there was a ubuntu boot manager floppy where you simply selected any partition and it would see the OS installed there load right up using the OS's own boot loader.

A few updated cd versions are WinGrub, SuperGrub, BootOS for a start. One good article on setting up a dual boot with XP installed first can be seen at http://apcmag.com/how_to_dual_boot_w...lled_first.htm
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: XP wont boot w/o external HDD.

Yeah that the whole os. Dont uninstall jsut Grub but the whole operating system. Just a question what does Grub stand for?
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