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Windows 7: dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu on external harddrive

21 Jun 2010   #1
doedelzak

Windows 7 32bits
 
 
dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu on external harddrive

Is it possible to dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu, with ubuntu on a external hard drive? I can connect my external hard drive via USB 2.0, USB 3.0 or E-SATA. I want windows 7 as my main OS. Could someone please help?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jun 2010   #2
osholt

Windows 7 Profesional x86, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
 
 

You need to enter your BIOS and change the boot priority to that external drive.

Your BIOS may allow you to enter a boot menu during startup which makes it a lot simpler.

While your PC is turning on it will flash with your PC vendors logo, at the bottom of this screen it should say press F2/Del to enter the BIOS or something similar.

BIOSes vary greatly from PC to PC so I can't really give you anything more than general advice but I'll try my best.

If you need any more help or explanation just ask.

Oli
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #3
doedelzak

Windows 7 32bits
 
 

Thanks,
Is it possible to have windows automatically boot up unless the external hard drive is connected. Without having problems that nothing boots up when the external hard drive is not connected because the bootloader does not see the ubuntu partition. And what is the best bootloader (program) to automatically load windows 7 unless the external hard drive is inserted or a key is pressed within a time window?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jun 2010   #4
NilsE

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

What osholt said is the best direction.

I boot Ubuntu off of a USB drive and what I have done is set USB as the first boot and internal hard drive as second in the BIOS boot order. If my USB drive is plugged in it automatically boots to Ubuntu. If not it goes to Windows. I also use the same USB drive with a FAT32 partition (in addition to Linux partition) and use it for backups by just plugging it in after boot to Windows is done.

NOTE OF CAUTION: If you want to install Ubuntu to an external drive make sure the internal drive is not accessible while doing the install or it will change the boot record on the internal drive. Especially if you don't want to set up true "dual boot" or take the chance of corrupting your MBR.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #5
doedelzak

Windows 7 32bits
 
 

Ok thanks a lot
But how do I make the internal hard drive inaccessible during installation?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #6
NilsE

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by doedelzak View Post
Ok thanks a lot
But how do I make the internal hard drive inaccessible during installation?
If it's a laptop just unscrew it from the bottom and remove it. If it is a desktop open the back and disconnect the cable
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #7
osholt

Windows 7 Profesional x86, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NilsE View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by doedelzak View Post
Ok thanks a lot
But how do I make the internal hard drive inaccessible during installation?
If it's a laptop just unscrew it from the bottom and remove it. If it is a desktop open the back and disconnect the cable
warning   Warning
MAKE SURE THE BATTERY/ POWER SUPPLY IS UNPLUGGED AND THAT YOU HAE DISCHARGED IT BY TOUCHING A NON SENSITIVE METAL COMPONENT


Oli
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #8
doedelzak

Windows 7 32bits
 
 

Thanks a lot,
One final question do I need to use the E-SATA connection or is USB 3.0 connection supported as bootable external hard drive with winows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #9
osholt

Windows 7 Profesional x86, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
 
 

It depends on your BIOS again, check it's up to date.

Likely they will both be bootable but there are no guarantees.

Oli
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu on external harddrive




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