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Install from live cd to external hard drive

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#1 cafejose


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Posted 29 July 2012 - 09:06 PM

Does it make any sense to use a Live CD of some linux to install the linux onto an external hard drive, and then later to start the computer to start the linux on the external hard drive, all the while keeping Windows and the Windows system undisturbed on the main INTERNAL hard drive?

Edited by cafejose, 29 July 2012 - 09:07 PM.

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#2 DarkSnake-Kobra


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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:37 PM

Hi :)

I don't think it's possible to install directly to an external hard drive as it's not the same as an internal hard drive. You may wish to use something like the Universal USB Installer which creates a cache to save the changes on the live media. However, the cache size is limited and only works with Ubuntu and the performance is not as good compared to installing on your internal hard drive.


#3 buddy215


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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:58 AM

You asked "does it make any sense". Well, that depends on why you want to do that. Most
choose to have the Live Linux on a flash drive for portability or for doing banking as it boots
much faster than from a Live CD.

You can install on an external disk hdd just as you would on an internal disk hdd. You would want
to disconnect your internal drive during installation to prevent installing the boot loader on the internal drive
unless you want to put the external drive into a dual boot with Windows.

Don't expect the USB drives to run as fast as an internal one. I have Ubuntu installed as persistent on
a flash drive that boots under a minute. Typing and mouse are obviously slow and videos are a little choppy.
You would not want to use an external drive as the default drive unless you had a problem with the internal hdd(s).

Your external drive will be formatted during a Linux install causing you to lose whatever is presently stored on it.
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#4 stiltskin


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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:55 PM

Can you install to an external? Yes. Nothing to stop you. If the external drive is fast enough (at least USB2), and if it's a real hard drive and not a flash drive, it will run almost as good as if it was installed on the internal drive. (Flash drives work, but won't be as fast. The advantage is you can carry them with you if you're willing to lose some speed.)

However, if you do use an exteranl hard drive you must use the linux bootloader. You can use a Windows bootloader to load linux and vice versa. But Windows isn't smart enough to boot an OS from an external drive. At least, it wasn't the last time I tried it, and I doubt that it's changed. There are exceptions to that "always" rule. But they sometimes aren't straightforward.

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