I have Windows 8.1 installed on an SSD in my PC. It is my main OS and I use it the most. I currently need Linux for development purposes and I installed Linux Mint on the same SSD where Windows is installed. I want to have a USB flash drive, which, when plugged in, will show the GRUB bootloader and let me boot into Linux. Otherwise the PC should boot straight into Windows. When I was installing Linux Mint, I selected the USB flash drive as a "device for bootloader installation" but it seems that nothing was installed on the flash drive but I now have an "ubuntu" option in my UEFI BIOS boot devices list, which just launches Linux from its main partition and does this in Legacy BIOS mode, even though I installed Mint in UEFI mode. Also, I think that nVidia graphics drivers don't work because of the Legacy mode.

Can anyone provide me a complete, step-by-step noob tutorial on how to make a UEFI and Secure Boot compatible flash drive and install GRUB2 EFI on it, so it will let me boot into Linux Mint installation straight from the flash drive?

  • External drives only boot from /EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi on external drive's ESP - efi system partition (FAT32 with boot flag). Standard install does not create that file/folder on external drives. Create flash drive partition and copy from Internal drive's ESP the /EFI/ubuntu folder to flash drive. Then copy files again into /EFI/Boot and rename shimx64.efi to bootx64.efi. You have to have both as grub/shim with full install is hard coded to look for more files in /EFI/Ubuntu. askubuntu.com/questions/886528/…
    – oldfred
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


EDIT: To explain a bit more what this will do. This will install a bootloader on your USB drive and it will allow you to enter a bootloader when plugging the USB drive in the computer. Booting the OS' on the computer.

!This is not grub but it does exactly the same.!

It is very simple.

You can download rEFInd here and burn it on a USB drive with rufus you can download it here.

  1. Open rufus and select your usb drive
  2. Navigate to the iso file you downloaded earlier by clicking on the cd icon.
  3. Click on start en wait until the progress is finished.
  4. When booting on the usb drive you will get a boot loader where you can choose a OS.

enter image description here

  • Notice this will only install a bootloader not a linux mint. i tought this is what you were searching
    – Cyber_Star
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 13:41
  • No. I already have Mint installed. I only want to install a bootloader to USB, so I can boot to installed Linux using USB.
    – Gustas
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 13:51
  • This is exactly what it does than! :)
    – Cyber_Star
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 13:57
  • Man, I didn't think it could be that simple! Will try in a second...
    – Gustas
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 14:02
  • I learned this method few days ago haha :) hope it will work
    – Cyber_Star
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 14:02

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