Vista - Kubuntu (external)

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Ok. I have Vista on my laptop. I recently got interested in the Ubuntu-flavored Linux. I put Kubuntu on a spare desktop box and liked it so much I'd like to carry it around with me. So I hooked a hard drive up to the box, installed Kubuntu as if it were the boot drive, took it out and shoved it in an external enclosure. Now I'm trying to figure out how to boot to the USB drive when I want to run Kubuntu. I checked my laptop BIOS and there's no "Boot from USB" selection so I might try this EasyBCD thing. Can it work? Or am I engaging in wishful thinking?


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hi ElSeeDee, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

What OS do you have installed on your laptop?
Ok, so I'm not getting any help. Even though I was asked a question that was unnecessary:

ElSeeDee said:
Ok. I have Vista on my laptop.
Computer Guru said:
What OS do you have installed on your laptop?
and help could have just been provided at that point. But that's ok. Maybe one of the not-so-popular aspects of forums like these is that when you don't get the help you ask for you are forced to figure it out for yourself or just move on to something else to solve your dilemma.

I fall into the latter category.

When I didn't get an answer to my post, I decided to give up on the external hard drive idea and just add Kubuntu to another partition on my hard drive.

After much searching, I came across the APC Mag tutorials, specifically this one on adding Ubuntu to a Vista machine. I followed the tutorial using Kubuntu 7.04 instead of Ubuntu 7.04.

Everything worked wonderfully except for one little typo in the tutorial. When you get to the "Prepare disk space" page of the install process, APCMag says to choose "Manual - use the largest continuous free space." Two of the choices available are "Guided - use the largest continuous free space" and "Manual."

Well, I tried the "Manual" choice first and that didn't work too well. I went into Vista and re-set the free space and tried it again. Choosing "Guided - use the largest continuous free space" this time, it all worked like it was supposed to.

I then tried to get EasyBCD to change the Vista bootloader. If I used the Linux-Grub option, I got a "Cannot load from harddisk" error. Upon searching these forums the only fix offered was to tick the GRUB not installed box. I ticked the box. Rebooted. Selected the Linux choice. Then I was greeted with a GRUB menu where I had to select Linux again (it also had a Vista choice. Which worked.).

So, there I was. I could use this program (yes, I know it's free and I didn't pay for it.) to boot to a second OS using Vista's bootloader and have to select Linux twice to get Kubuntu to boot. Or I could use the GRUB bootloader that loads either OS with just a single choice. Hmmm.

Tell me again why this EasyBCD program was written?


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
I'm sorry, but in case you hadn't noticed, the forums are flooded with support requests - so sorry if I missed the sentence where you mentioned you had Vista installed on the laptop. Sorry I wasn't on the forums 24/7 just waiting to reply. Sorry I have other things to do.... Like working on the coding part of the software.

Your answer, sir.

By installing GRUB to the bootsector of the removable drive's primary partition, you should have been able to use EasyBCD's Linux support to get it booting.

Since you've already installed it to the HD: Using the "GRUB isn't installed" loads the menu that Ubuntu was using.

To make it boot to Ubuntu directly just edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and remove the section that starts "title Windows" or whatever... Ubuntu will load immediately after choosing it from the Vista bootloader.

I'm not even going to dignify your last question with a response.

If you go through the thousands of posts made for help in the forum, you'll realize that we stick through with them until the very end.
Do you know of any turtorials for "installing GRUB to the bootsector of the removable drive's primary partition" or for getting UBUNTU 7 to boot from the external HD?

Mak 2.0

Staff member
I have helped you in your thread. Please be patient. We will be around to help you. :wink:
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