From the title, my question probably sounds very similar to old questions but as far as I can tell it is not. I've looked through many of those questions and have not found an answer to my complete question. Specifically, I have a few questions that do not seem to be addressed in other questions.

I'll start by describing what I want to do.

I have a flash drive with 128 GB disk space. (It's this one)

I also use a Surface Pro 1 which is my target computer. Lastly I have another flash drive around 8 GB that I can use for any setup purposes. (also, I'm using a usb hub on the computer, dunno if that effects anything.)

I want to setup the large flash drive so that I can have ubuntu on it and be able to boot to the flash drive from my computer (or another in theory, but that is more of a side goal). I also want there to be a persistent form of storage on the drive that I can access from its ubuntu when I boot to it that is more than 4 GB, so it'll have to be a partition.

This is where my problem gets different from others.

First of all, the Surface Pro uses UEFI, and I'm not sure whether or that will cause problems.

I'll now describe what I tried to do and how it failed.

Firstly I used Rufus (a linux-on-a-usb-drive maker) to put ubuntu 14.04 onto both of the flash drives. I chose Rufus after some testing since it seemed that was the only one that supported UEFI.

I followed the instructions here:

I booted to the smaller flash drive, then partitioned the larger one using gparted. I booted to the large flash drive, but it then seemed to only have the smaller partition. When I opened gparted (still booted to the large flash drive), the larger partition was gone for some reason.

How do I get the large partition to work?

I also have some other questions:

How long might the flash drive survive? I saw somewhere that installing full ubuntu onto it would likely damage it because of the frequent reading and writing?

The two times I "booted" into the two flash drives, a GRUB menu first showed up asking me whether I wanted to Try Ubuntu or Install it. I've chosen Try every time, not knowing what Install will do (and above, whether I should).

So should I install ubuntu on the drive? Before when I booted, my wifi settings and other system settings did not seem to persist. Is there a way to make those keep?

Is there a way to avoid the GRUB menu every time I try to boot to the drive?

Is what I'm trying to accomplish even feasible?

Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    related: askubuntu.com/questions/16988/…
    – Takkat
    Apr 6, 2015 at 6:33
  • If you're worried about read/write damage to the pendrive, you could also use a 128GB pocket-sized external SSD.
    – karel
    Apr 6, 2015 at 7:55
  • @karel, I guess that's a possible idea. I'll think about that.
    – Chris
    Apr 6, 2015 at 14:19
  • Here's a link to get started. Visit the link and click on the 128GB button to show the 128GB model.
    – karel
    Apr 6, 2015 at 16:05
  • I'd still like to see if the flash drive method is completable.
    – Chris
    Apr 6, 2015 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


Mkusb, https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb, will automatically make a Grub2 Persistent Live USB with persistent partitions of whatever size you want, (limited only by USB size).

It will make the remaining space the first partition with NTFS formating so it can be used by both Linux and Windows.

It is a Linux tool but can be easily installed to a Live session on CD and used from there.

I do not worry about too many writes to Flash drive, they are good for at least 10000 writes, even with a write speed of 50 MB/s that is a long time. I think you can edit grub so it does not come up with every boot.

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