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The hard drive in my computer is dead and the Xubuntu installer is saying that it cannot install a bootloader on the external hard drive on which I am attmpting to install Xubuntu on. What is a fix? Could I possibly install GRUB on a USB drive and then load the OS on the External HDD from there?

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migrated from Mar 8 '11 at 8:54

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Pull the disk out straight away and replace it with another.

Install all the software you need on the new disk then copy whatever data you can off the old one by plugging it into an external drive container.

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im not using a disk though. rather an external hard drive. Could I have the bootloader info on a usb and the os loaded on another hard rive? – liamzebedee Mar 8 '11 at 8:57
He meant the hard disk. hard disk = hard drive = hard disk drive – WindowsEscapist Jun 22 '12 at 19:48

The standard Ubuntu LiveCD, once running, makes it pretty easy to make a new USB startup disk. But you might just want to disassemble your USB drive to use in your computer, if that drive is dead already.

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Could I possibly make a bootable usb that boots the external hard disk – liamzebedee Mar 8 '11 at 8:58
Not recommended for performance : External drives are typically 5400 rpm while internals are 7200. – harrymc Mar 8 '11 at 9:00
@Liam E-p, yes, the standard Ubuntu install includes a tool easily accessible from the menu to create new USB bootable media. I assume Xubuntu must provide a similar tool, it's just too useful to not have. :) – sarnold Mar 8 '11 at 9:00
@harrymc, not to mention internal drives often go at > 60MBps, while USB is too often 10MBps, so bulk data transfer sucks in addition to bad rotational latency. – sarnold Mar 8 '11 at 9:01
@sarnold whats the tool in ubuntu called? – liamzebedee Mar 8 '11 at 9:02


No, that's not me being rude. Plop is a very powerful boot manager. It will boot anything from anywhere.

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