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I've got a problem with installing Ubuntu on Pendrive.

Steps I made:

  1. Downloaded ISO from Ubuntu site.
  2. Burn it on DVD.
  3. Run PC from the DVD (pendrive is plugged in).
  4. Followed instruction on the screen.
  5. During partitioning phrase select SDB (Pendrive), create partition, select mountpoint to / and install GRUB on SDB.
  6. Wait for installation to complete.
  7. Reboot PC, and remove DVD from drive.

Now my PC displays information: No operating system were found, and then my Windows is starting up normally. Pendrive is of course plugged in and boot order is set to:

  • DVD
  • Pendrive
  • Network
  • HDD

Any suggestions?

PS: Pendrive: A-data S102 32GB USB3.0

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it seems you installed boot loader on partition. Try to install GRUB On Hardisk – BigSack Aug 21 '12 at 9:30
I tried both ways. Firstly I installed GRUB on sbd (named as A-data USB drive 3.0) and then on sdb1. Results are the same. Ubuntu does not start. Bot priority is set correctly - I am sure about it. – Grzegorz K Aug 21 '12 at 9:32
Hello Grzegorz, I am running ubuntu usb edition right now, and it works fine. But I partitioned entire flash drive in one partition and some partition for swap. I also installed grub on pendrive, and it works. Don't let any fat32 space on your pendrive or else installation won't work – Taz D. Feb 25 '14 at 8:04

I am running ubuntu usb edition right now, and it works fine. But I partitioned entire flash drive in one partition and also made a small partition for linux swap. I also installed bootloader on the pendrive, and not the hard disk, and it works. I prefer to press F12 to access the boot screen at start-up, and then select Boot from USB Flash. I could change BIOS settings to place usb boot first but I like it this way better. You may have to press a different key to enter boot screen at startup but it's the same.

Don't forget this one - leave no Fat32 or NTFS free space on the pendrive, I mean you have to partition entire usb flash disk for linux as you find it fit (i find it convenient to make a large single partition ext3 or ext4), and also make a max. 1-2 gb partition for Swap, and then boot the live DVD, and install your system. You may have to format partition again during ubuntu installation, and maybe make some other changes, but on the whole it should work just fine in the end.

Also, don't forget to use the correct iso image for your machine, 32-bit or 64-bit, pae or non-pae and so on.

When asked where you want to place bootloader, choose the usb stick, do not choose the hard disk, I mean place bootloader on the same usb stick where you installed ubuntu.

Good luck with this one, Grzegorz!

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Only a suggestion, you can use a a live usb instead. this is done with a tool of your choice from here and then just use the windows boot manager instead of GRUB. The tool will repartition it by the size of the persistent file you make essentially, so if u want 16 GB for general use and 16 GB for Linux, just set the persistent to 15360MB(15GB for you need 1GB for Linux system files). then in boot manager just hold down whatever button you used to boot of the disc and slect your drive whenever you want to use linux. let me know if that answered your question.

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Hi Boi, I dont want to use live USB I want to install Ubuntu on my USB drive :) – Grzegorz K Aug 21 '12 at 8:54
there is almost no difference, but if you are dead set on this, then thats not how it goes for GRUB is a bootmanager, a boot manager needs to be in the computer at all times or else it doesn't work, soi think its either live usb or no usb sorry. – Boi Aug 21 '12 at 9:18
I cannot install GROUB on my hard disc because I have got installed Windows 7 which is encrypted using TrueCrypt. It uses its own boot manager, so it cannot be replaced with Grub. – Grzegorz K Aug 21 '12 at 9:34
well grub is meant to be on hard disk and I would be very suprised if you can get it on a mem stick. i have grub as my boot manager for my linux and windows and it works fine for me. – Boi Aug 21 '12 at 10:06
Yes I know. Some time ago I got the same situation on my HDD, but I was forced to implement encryption so Linux was removed. Now I want to get it back on my mem stick. – Grzegorz K Aug 21 '12 at 10:11

Looks like you are trying to create a bootable usb disk (from which you can boot your machine into live ubuntu session). There is a comprehensive guide available for the same here.

For this you need a working ubuntu system and ISO image of ubuntu version you want to create bootable disk.

Steps are pretty easy:

  • Insert a USB stick with at least 2GB of free space.
  • Open application Startup Disk Creator.
  • choose the downloaded ISO file.
  • If the disk is not formatted already then choose format and then Select the USB stick in the bottom box and click 'Make Startup Disk'.

That's it! When the process completes, you'll be ready to restart your computer and boot with your Pen Drive in your preferred ubuntu version.

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Hi Amos Sale, no I do't want to prepare live pendrive. I want to install ubuntu on pendrive. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. The OS should work because installation was completed without any error and Grub was installed on Pendrive. – Grzegorz K Aug 21 '12 at 9:02

Pen drives and CDs require some files to tell the motherboard that they are bootable, and more files to load the minimal OS necessary to load up the iso file to load Ubuntu, or for that matter command line utilities.

The above using startup disk creator is the easiest way. To boot from the pen drive after installing Ubuntu to it, you must set the BIOS to boot from the Pendrive. Older machines may not have this option.

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Let me clarify. I have installed Ubuntu on mem stick, but it does not boot. Now, if I use startup disc creator then my linux will boot normaly like from HDD? If yes then please tell me something more about the process of preparing pendrive. I really want to get it done ;-) Thanks in advance – Grzegorz K Aug 21 '12 at 18:42

watch out, this may the case why your USB device is not bootable.

Maybe try repartitioning the USB stick?
Did you partition it yourself or left the MBR as it was before install?

In my honest opinion installing livecd on the USB with the startup creator, then burning down the partitions and install

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The pointer may not be correct. When you boot up your computer normally and you insert your pendrive and install ubuntu there. The pendrive may be assigned sda1. However, when you boot with your pendrive (installed with ubuntu), it may not be sda1 anymore. So you need to change it to 0 instead of 1! If it is the case, you need to find out the txt file and change the word!

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