How to install ubuntu 12.04 on usb external hard drive

Asked by gustav on 2013-04-13

Hello everyone! How can I install ubuntu 12.04 on a usb external hard drive so that I can have my Desktop files, Docs,

Pictures, etc. on the usb, just as I now have them on my Desktop PC? I would be using a WD 2TB Elements USB. I need a

tutorial web site, I think. I have burned the .iso to a CD already. I would be booting off the USB, and not an internal

Hdd. I have a few PCs and not enough hard drives. Thank you for any help!

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N1ck 7h0m4d4k15 (nicktux) said : #1

If you want to be sure that the internal HDD will remained untouched , then you can remove it completely from your Desktop. (if is a Desktop).

Then attach the external USB-HDD and boot from CD . Install Ubuntu on the USB-HDD. Grub should be installed there too.

Now when you want to boot into Ubuntu (external HDD) you have to hit the one boot key (if your BIOS has one) and select to boot from USB-HDD , or you have to get in to CMOS configuration page and change the boot order.

Be aware that USB is slowest compared to SATAII and Ubuntu will not have the same performance as if installed in internal HDD (SATA II connection .. usually these days).


gustav (gustav521) said : #2

Hello again NikTh. Seems like I am getting my two questions tangled up. Sorry! I am

presently downloading Ubuntu 12.04 iso again and have UNetbootin ready. I did try to

boot off the CD and into the USB. The light on the CD drive was blinkung, but the screen

was blue. If this USB install runs too slowly for me, I will try to install into an internal Hdd..

Ten min. to go on the iso. I will let you know. Thank you!

gustav (gustav521) said : #3

Hello NikTh: Since UNetbootin could not see the USB drive, I put in the Ubuntu install CD.

I picked "something else" on one of the pages. It showed my present Hdd with 10.04

installed, but it did not "see" my 500gb USB drive either. When I was working with

Gparted, I must have configured something wrong on it. That must have been the

problem all along. I will put in a new question re Gparted usage, ok? I guess this question

 is solved! Thank you for your patience and help!

Is the USB storage partitioned?

N1ck 7h0m4d4k15 (nicktux) said : #5

If the question is solved , then please mark it as such (Solved).

If you have further queries , then you can ask here..


gustav (gustav521) said : #6

Hello actionparsnip: I am going to check GParted to see what is what! Should I ask a

GParted question or continue right here? Oh, I have a big problem with Firefox 20. Can I

ask in Launchpad or go to Mozilla Forums?? Thank you and NikTh.

gustav (gustav521) said : #7

Hello! Formatted USB drive with Ext4 file system no less than 3 times, before finally the

install using Ubuntu 12.04 CD worked.