I'm having problems with installing Ubuntu 14.04 onto my Verbatim 1TB external drive. I tried all kinds of tutorials, partitioning but nothing seems to work. I did put the bootloader on sdc (hard drive) When i boot from the hdd, it just loads grub rescue. I'm installing this from laptop HP Probook 455, could this be a problem?

  • What partitions should i put; where should ntfs partition be and what mount point?
  • I've tried repairing grub from live cd, don't know what to try else.
  • Is this a new UEFI system? And are you installing to external drive in UEFI or BIOS boot mode. How you boot installer is how it will install. But if UEFI better to have an efi partition on external drive. External must be gpt partitioned also if for UEFI boot. – oldfred May 16 '14 at 15:58
  • There shouldnt be an NTFS on your harddisk as you are running a Linux System – Timothy Wong Mar 22 '17 at 23:39

First of all try to follow the default partitioning, or if not, use the 2 partition schema: one for the system, and a swap big as your amount of ram. This is kind of foolproof.

(Just wondering: why are you installing a system on an external drive (I suppose, USB connected), which has a bandwith of 10Mb/s instead of 100-500Mb/s in case of internal HDD. This is not a good ideea!)

  • 1
    or even use the "use entire disk" option – rajan May 16 '14 at 15:38
  • I have ubuntu on a dedicated pendrive too. I use it to exploit other computers. That's fun. – Uttam Pal May 16 '14 at 15:50
  • @Uttam Pal: I have reported that to the authorities. ;) Thanks for sharing this info. – Frantique May 19 '14 at 8:40

I got 14.04 installed to my external usb3 drive. Installed from a usb3 key. Boots using UEFI

At the "How do you want to install uduntu" window. Select something else.

For boot system files Select your external drive in the drop down box near the bottom. MAKE SURE THE EXTERNAL DRIVE IS SELECTED Click the plus. I made a 1gig UEFI partition at the begging 4096 swap space at end of the drive The rest /

Click continue.

Let it do its thing.


You should make sure you have the right version of Ubuntu (i386 for 32-bit machines and amd64 for 64-bit) installed. If you have the wrong version you will not be able to boot your system.

Also, some external hard drives do not boot very well, because sometimes the system only detects the SATA to USB adapter and not the drive, making it not able to find what to boot. This is less of a problem with ESATA drives because they don't need to adapt to another standard, so the system will generally detect them as just the hard drive and not an adapter.

You should also make sure that when installing GRUB you installed it to the external hard drive and not the internal one.

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