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I want to temporarily try Ubuntu. I want to run it from my USB portable hard drive (formatted as NTFS), mess around for a little, install some stuff, shutdown and remove it. However, after following how to create a bootable USB drive, when I click Create, it says it will overwrite the Master Boot Record. I imagine this could be dangerous, but since I don't mess around with file systems often I'm not completely sure. The portable HDD has a bunch of stuff I don't want to lose. As far as I know, the existing partition takes up the entire drive. I want to still be able to access everything on the drive from Windows afterwards. Will I be able to?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

It wants to repartition and reformat the entire disk because the Live USB must be formatted as FAT in order to boot. If you want to do it back up your files first.

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Thanks! Guess I'll try some other way. – user132100 Feb 15 '13 at 3:00

Yes, of course. I’ve tried Ubuntu on USB frequently, it’s totally safe.

But I think you can’t create a bootable Ubuntu USB on NTFS, you should use FAT32.

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I even installed Ubuntu alongside another OS on a USB drive some day! After removing USB, nothing changed. :D – AliNa Feb 15 '13 at 1:44

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