Sorry for asking, especially as I've trawled through many similar questions. Mine is of the most basic element I think as this kind of thing is really out of my ball park.

Anyway I wanted to if by installing ubuntu on my old laptop hdd (I now use it as external storage), can I run it on my laptop which has windows installed.

I can't take the chance of installing on the laptop as I'm currently studying, and I have a years worth of work on here (most backed up elsewhere), and will be using it a lot.

However there are some programs I can use if I can get ubuntu that will be helpful for one or two classes.

  • this is not an answer to your question but might help also.. if you got an usb you can also run ubuntu from usb, using startup disk creator using ubuntu iso or customize your own live installation using uck application , i think also you can install to an usb but not sure cause never try
    – user49523
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 0:56
  • Thank you for the responses, ill probably still wait til im done with the college work, or do it on one of the 3 pcs.
    – user53212
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 22:12

1 Answer 1


Yes, you need to install Ubuntu on the external drive. After that when you computer is booting, hit F8 or whatever gets you to the boot menu. If your laptop does not have a quick boot menu, than you can hit Delete to enter the bios setup. Change the boot order so the external is on the top of the list. There will also be CDROM and others. This menu tells the bios which device to try to boot first. I.e. If CDROM is at the top or has first priority than it will be checked first. If no boot media is found I.e No cd is in the drive, than the bios will check the second option on the list for some boot media. Note: Most computers have a quick boot menu by pressing a key in the bios start up (Usually F8). You will see the External in that menu by its' manufacturers name.

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