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I want to install Fedora or any other Linux in USB hard disk. I have Windows XP installed in internal HDD.

When USB HDD is attached to my PC, it should ask me to boot from Win XP or Linux.

In any case of boot, I should be able to use both HDDs.

If USB HDD is not attached to my PC, it should boot from Win XP.

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This has also been asked on unix & linux:… – TomH Jul 6 '11 at 13:17
I fear the "ask if USB disk attached" part is hard to do: You'd need to start the bootloader on the USB disk (OK, boot from it) and chainload the one on the resident disk, But that defeats (I presume) the idea of a portable Linux distribution. – vonbrand Jan 16 '13 at 13:28

You can probably set up your BIOS with USB as the first boot device and HDD as the second.
It depends on your BIOS as to whether or not it will prompt before booting to the USB though.

You can always hit F12 during start up to get a list of boot devices.

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