Re: Installing Linux on a USB hard disc
From: Bill Unruh (unruh_at_string.physics.ubc.ca)
Date: 7 Jan 2005 16:02:15 GMT
> I bought a lovely Freecom external USB hard disc (with its shiny,
> My Dell laptop has WindowsXP, and I wanted to smack Linux all over
>the external disc. (I specifically do not want to repartition the
>laptop's internal disc)
> I hit problems with SUSE 8.2, 9.1, Fedora 2 and Ubuntu (something),
>and googling tells me that the problem is not having usb modules
>loaded at boot, so Linux can't see the hard disc, and can't find init.
> The recommendation from emails concerning this was: a) Use a boot
>floppy, or b) recompile the kernal with usb support built-in.
> I don't want to do (a), so I'll try (b).
> But here is the problem: I don't have a Linux system in which to
>compile a new kernel with the required modules.
> Can I compile Linux under (try not to laugh) WindowsXP?
> I don't have a Knoppix right now, but could I compile a kernel
>under a liveCD Linux?
> Is there anyway to just change a configuration script to force the
>kernel, during boot, to add the USB modules?
> And finally: is there any distribution out there that has the USB
>modules compiled into the kernel already, so that I can just install
Sorry-- to continue my previous ruminations.
You could try the following.
Install your linux distro onto the usb drive and make a boot disk so you
can initially get into it. Now copy the /boot directory onto one of the
Windows partitions. To do this you will have to have a vfat drive
somewhere. You could make a small partition on the usb disk for that --
this is to allow communication between linux and windows. (Windows cannot
read a linux filesystem, and linux cannot yet write to an ntfs partition).
Copy the contents of /boot to that vfat partition, and then bootup windows
and copy the contents to a windows partition located somewhere on a windows
disk, with a kernel you compiled with usb support built into the kernel
Now boot up linux again, using the boot floppy or cdrom and place an entry
root=/dev/hdusb1 ---> or whatever the / directory is as listed in /etc/fstab
Where you have mounted the windows partition containing the /boot onto
I have no idea if this will work. I do not see why not, but that may just
display my deep ignorance. thus, I accept no responsibility if this causes
your computer to self destruct, your wife to leave you, your cat to scratch
you, or causes any other damage to anyone at all or to any thing at all, forseeable or not.