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I'm trying to make a bootable thumbdrive using Ubuntu 10.04, and have come across a problem with GRUB.

I am able to make a bootable Ubuntu installation on a thumb drive either using a LiveCD or actually installing Ubuntu. However, I want to heavily customise that installation, which takes far too long to do when trying to apply to the thumbdrive installation.

As a result, I want to make an installation of Ubuntu on my laptop HDD, in a separate partition to a Windows installation, and do my customising there (as it is a lot quicker). Then I will use FSArchiver to copy that installation to the thumbdrive, which should then be bootable.

It seems to have mostly gone fine, except that when I try to boot from the USB drive GRUB comes up with the error that there are missing operating systems. As a result, I can only manage to boot from my HDD. How do I avoid this?

I know the reason is that GRUB expects to find Windows XP and a second Ubuntu installation, which are not on the thumbdrive, but is there a way to customise GRUB once it is on the thumbdrive, considering that I cannot boot into it?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I use "grub-customizer" to do the same thing, though I am using dd to copy the filesystem over to the usb drives. Grub-customizer can install grub to the mbr of other drives, as well as customize entries on other drives easily. It's a great tool, and works with BURG as well.

PPA here:

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Thanks very much for the answer - I downloaded it and it did the trick! – Wheels2050 Apr 20 '12 at 14:18

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