Using HD install as USB boot possible?

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Using HD install as USB boot possible?

Postby Lynux » 2006-05-11 15:52

Basically this is the situation: I had installed Debian to my main HD with a normal HD install (HD is connected via IDE). But now I would like to use the same HD as an external USB HD and boot from it, but do not want to reinstall everything... is it possible?
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Postby ajdlinux » 2006-05-11 21:01

Depends on if your BIOS can boot directly off USB and also depends on your kernel and if it is able to find your USB drive without loading extra modules.
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Postby lynux- » 2006-05-13 02:26

There is an option in the BIOS to boot into "removable drive" (I'm using a Compaq 2108US laptop). But, nothing happens when I force the comp to boot into the HD (which is now an external USB one). I tried reinstalling grub, but that didn't help either. I'm going to check to see if I can boot off a USB keychain drive with puppy linux.

I do have another idea though. Is it possible to boot off a CD which then transfers the boot process to the external USB hard drive in the middle of booting? So that I can run everything like if I had booted off the USB hard drive.
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Postby Lynux » 2006-05-13 21:39

After poking around a bit, I found out that this does indeed work. Even though I later realized that my laptop doesn't support booting off USB ("removable drives" refers to floppies I guess, though there are ironically no floppy drives installed). I even made a CD image that contains only Grub, which has the sole purpose of transfering the booting process onto the USB HD. I was able to half-boot Puppy linux this way (not completely because for some reason there were USB recognition problems *after* the initrd and kernel loaded from the USB drive for some reason). I'm going to try Debian very soon.
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