My Dell laptop has both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. I have installed Ubuntu 12.04 on a USB 3.0 external hard drive. It can boot from the USB 2.0 port, but not from the USB 3.0 port. It seems to me the BIOS won't recognize USB 3.0 drives in the boot menu. I've done some research about GRUB, but it doesn't seem to address the USB 3.0 issue. Is there any other way that I can boot from the USB 3.0 port?

I found a discussion related to the same issue. It seems like it's a hardware issue. In such case, is there any other workaround?

If it is impossible, and that I have to boot entirely from the USB 2.0 port, what are some ways to speed up Ubuntu? Is it possible to use two drives, and put the home folder and maybe some programs on the drive connected to the USB 3.0 port?


If you can't even see the drive when plugged in USB3 (in bios), then the bios simply can't trigger a boot from that port.

You can try two things:

  1. Set up a grub on your hard drive, and boot to it. Hopefully, GRUB can now read drives in usb3. However, last time I tried, GRUB wouldn't detect my usb keyboard when plugged in USb3, so I would expect the same for using an external hard drive.

  2. Find if there is a bios update for your motherboard. This probably easiest to do from a Windows partitions, as most updater will exist in a convenient .exe form. No guarantee support has been issued for your specific motherboard.

Hope it helps

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