Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Run Linux from a USB Hard Drive

Running linux from a USB hard drive is a great way to install Linux without affecting your Windows hard drive that is already on your computer!

First of all you will need to download the Linux operating system of choice. For me, I use Ubuntu Linux. You can download the ISO from the Ubuntu website.

Once you download the ISO image, you will need to burn it to a CD. Once this is done it is time to start installing!

*NOTE - I would remove the windows hard drive prior to installing. That was I can make sure I don't accidentally overwrite my Windows partition! You can put your hard drive back in the computer when you are done installing.

Place the CD/DVD into your drive and shut down your computer. Plug in your portable USB hard drive and turn the computer on. If your computer doesn't say "please press any key to boot from CD" then you will need to change your BIOS settings to boot from CD before booting from Hard drive.

Once the CD drive boots up you will be given the option to run Linux or to install it. Choose install, follow the prompts for networking/computer name etc and make sure you don't install it on your Windows hard drive partition!

Once Linux is installed on the portable hard drive all you will need to do is make sure you can boot your computer from a USB hard drive. This is done in the BIOS settings to choose your boot order.

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Can I override the bios at startup so that it will recognize a new hard drive - for linux?


There should be no need to play around with your bios settings. Linux will install on a brand new hard drive as the sole operating system, or on an existing hard drive alongside Windows without any problem.

If you haven't already got a Linux distro, have a look at
http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

Download whichever version of Ubuntu you prefer (LTS- the long term support version is recommended).

When the .iso file containing the operating system had downloaded, burn it onto a dvd, or install it on a usb drive.

Insert the dvd into the drive and restart or switch off/switch on the computer. The dvd will then kick in and offer you the choice of trying Ubuntu without installing, or a full install.

If you're using a new, empty hard drive just follow the on screen instructions and Ubuntu will install as the sole operating system.

If you already have Windows on your hard drive Ubuntu will give you the choice of either erasing Windows or installing Ubuntu alongside Windows. It's your choice.

Installing Ubuntu alongside Windows creates a dual boot hard drive. At start up you just choose which OS to use - Windows or Ubuntu. If creating this dual-boot system Ubuntu puts a (Linux) boot loader into the Windows OS so that Linux is recognised.

If you save the Ubuntu file to a usb drive you then have to change the bios settings so that your computer uses USB as the first boot device. Then restart your computer so that it boots in from your usb .. and Ubuntu will begin installing.

Whichever you use - dvd or usb - during the installation process Ubuntu will ask you how many GB of hard drive space it should use? You do not need to physically partition the hard drive. Linux will do it for you.

If it's a desktop PC you are using with Windows on the first hard drive and are fitting a second hard drive to install Linux on, or have installed Linux on the second hard drive .. and find that Linux doesn't appear at start up, it's because there's no Linux boot loader in Windows.

I quit using Windows many years ago.

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Nov 01, 2015 | Everex IMPACT GC2500 PC Desktop

2 Answers

I want to Install Linux Mint on ThinkCentre M55p Series Type 8811


If it Has Windows 8 or 8.1 you might need a new Hard Drive to do this. Windows 8 and 8.1 are encrypted so you can't use Linux of any type. If it has Windows XP try Linux Mint 13 "Maya", the replacement for win xp, If Windows 7 64 bit: Try Linux Mint 17.1 *Rebecca"

Apr 22, 2014 | Lenovo ThinkCentre® M55-8811 PC Desktop

1 Answer

boot from usb


Introduction UNetbootin allows you to create bootable Live USB drives for Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux distributions without burning a CD. It runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. You can either let UNetbootin download one of the many distributions supported out-of-the-box for you, or supply your own Linux .iso file if you've already downloaded one or your preferred distribution isn't on the list.
Requirements
  • Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7, or Linux, or Mac OS X 10.5+. Note that resulting USB drives are bootable only on PCs (not on Macs).
  • Internet access for downloading a distro to install, or a pre-downloaded ISO file
Features UNetbootin can create a bootable Live USB drive, or it can make a "frugal install" on your local hard disk if you don't have a USB drive. It loads distributions either by downloading a ISO (CD image) files for you, or by using an ISO file you've already downloaded.

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The current version has built-in support for automatically downloading and loading the following distributions, though installing other distributions is also supported:

Oct 15, 2011 | Microsoft Computers & Internet

1 Answer

linux with vista already installed


It sounds like you have Vista but want to install Linux as a dual boot. Have you ever tried a live CD? A live CD is a CD you can download for free for just about every major distribution. You can run the live CD without installing linux to try it out on your system. If you like it, you can install it from the live CD onto whatever hard drive you wish. Most major linux's installs are graphical just like windows so you shouldn't have any problems. You can get a live CD from most major linuxs'. I recommend Ubuntu because that's what I use and I could help you with it once you got started. You can go to the site and download it and burn it as an ISO.

Dec 06, 2007 | Hiro V.92 56K AGERE Chipset PCI Fax Voice...

2 Answers

FAT32 format, how to do it in Windows XP?


Try using a third party program, like Norton Partition Magic, Acronis Disk Director Suite, or Paragon Partition Manager.

Nov 20, 2007 | Western Digital WDG1C2500N MyBook Premium...

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