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I installed 12.04 LTS 64 bits from a USB drive, but I can't seem to boot from the HDD. I have a single partition, with no other OSes. I need to plug in the USB drive for the PC to boot Ubuntu. Is my install OK?

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3 Answers 3

I'm no expert but could it be that you installed the boot loader GRUB on your USB drive? Would explain your problem to me.

When you have booted succesfully, you can check your boot loader location from a Terminal while the USB drive is mounted:

sudo fdisk -l

You will get a output like that:

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 Köpfe, 63 Sektoren/Spur, 60801 Zylinder, zusammen 976773168 Sektoren
Einheiten = Sektoren von 1 × 512 = 512 Bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xe3746708

   Gerät  boot.     Anfang        Ende     Blöcke   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *        2048      206847      102400    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2          206848   163839999    81816576    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3       163840000   794142719   315151360    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda4       794144766   976771071    91313153    5  Erweiterte
/dev/sda5       968773632   976771071     3998720   82  Linux Swap / Solaris
/dev/sda6       794144768   968773631    87314432   83  Linux

Partitionstabelleneinträge sind nicht in Platten-Reihenfolge

Disk /dev/sdb: 2000.4 GB, 2000398934016 bytes
255 Köpfe, 63 Sektoren/Spur, 243201 Zylinder, zusammen 3907029168 Sektoren
Einheiten = Sektoren von 1 × 512 = 512 Bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000c8204

   Gerät  boot.     Anfang        Ende     Blöcke   Id  System
/dev/sdb1            2048  3907026943  1953512448   83  Linux

The * indicates the boot loader location. When it is listed somewhere on your OS HDD, I was wrong.

If I was right, I will post a solution when you commented to my answer. I don't want to talk you into doing the wrong commands and break you installation completely.

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I had similar experience after latest install - GRUB install failed.

First of all check your BIOS boot order settings - is your disk enabled at all?

If that is OK following one of "How to fix GRUB2" guide should get it fixed. Try this one at WebUpd8.

If command line doesn't suit you, you can try Boot-Repair graphical tool.

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I need to plug in the USB drive for the PC to boot Ubuntu.

means that your bootloader (GRUB) is installed on this USB disk, but not on your hard disk.

Solution is simply to install GRUB in the MBR of your hard disk. You can do it for example this way:

  1. Boot your installed Ubuntu system
  2. Disconnect your USB key
  3. Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T)
  4. type sudo grub-install /dev/sda

Or you can use the Boot-Repair graphical tool.

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