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My computer boots to a black screen, what options do I have to fix it?

I have installed ubuntu on an external hard drive, and i'm asked to restart the computer to finish the installation. But, if i choose "ubuntu" and not "windows xp" when starting up, I get a black screen who asks me to write something (i think).. (grub)

A couple of years ago i had ubuntu running alongside with windows on the same machine (an old and slow one) so it has worked before!

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marked as duplicate by Jorge Castro, hhlp, Ringtail, fossfreedom Dec 7 '12 at 15:02

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

tell what exactly you see. – Web-E Dec 7 '12 at 13:00
GNU Grub version 2.00-7 ubuntu II Minimal BASH-like line editing is supported. For the first word, TAB lists possible command completions. Anywhere else TAB lists possible device or file completions. grub > – teliskj Dec 7 '12 at 13:09

Thanks for the input. You grub is installed but it couldn't find the linux location.

The reason could be you installed linux in your external hard disk which may have different name at time of boot and at time of installation.

So it would be better to do the following way,

Install grub & linux at secondary disk.

Boot from secondary disk.

Now, You follow the below procedure.

  1. Take XP cd, boot into recovery mode. Use fixboot, fixmbr commands to delete GRUB. You can google for more information.
  2. Plug in the external hard disk.
  3. Boot using the live usb/cd you used for installation earlier.
  4. Open dash, search for disks, open it, identify the external disk name. Refer the picture below

    sda name

  5. Connect to internet, install boot-repair tool using following commands

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair
  6. Choose Advanced options
  7. Go to Grub location. Refer the image below reapir
  8. Choose Place GRUB into, and select the device name from dropdown. External device name will be same as you identified in step 4.(it likely to be sdb, please verify)
  9. Then click on apply.
  10. On reboot, open BIOS and change the boot order. External disk should be on top of internal disk so that ubuntu can load.

I personally don't have experience in using external disk as ubuntu boot medium, if there are any easier method, let me know

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Secondary disk = ? (usb?) And, i dont' have the xp-cd (not in this house) But, if there is no other solution i will look for it. I don't think installing ubuntu on the main hard drive is an option, it barely runs windows xp(which i cannot (and will not!) delete) – teliskj Dec 7 '12 at 13:54
you said you installed in external hard disk. Thought you are using two hard disk (not thumb drive), one for xp another for ubuntu – Web-E Dec 7 '12 at 17:05

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