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It might sound absurd, but I'd like to configure a bootloader on a USB flash drive to load from a removable HDD. The reason why is that the data fits on the HDD (where it has its own partition) but it has to coexist with other data and a previous partition, so I can't boot straight off the HDD - I tried setting the new partition as active (boot) and using bootsect but that didn't do the trick...

Any idea of how I could achieve the target? (tools, procedures...)

Edit: trying to boot windows 8 dev preview installer from a USB HDD with 2 NTFS partitions (the setup would be on the second partition) starting from a USB flash drive (1 partition, FS doesn't matter). The laptop has just one HDD, with two NTFS partitions.

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What are the partitions on the HDD that prevent you from using the bootloader on it? GRUB2 can be pretty easily configured to find any partition, and the changing the MBR should leave the partition tables alone. – Rob Sep 14 '11 at 13:25
I know I have use GRUB2 on a USB flash drive to boot things on another drive. So it should certainly be possible, But you will need to provide a lot more details about your partitions, and what operating systems you actually need to boot. – Zoredache Sep 15 '11 at 4:14
Sounds good, added details so that hopefully you can help me further :) – em70 Sep 15 '11 at 9:40

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