The Windows XP of my father's old PC was utterly broken (no wonder), so I removed his 160 GB internal SATA-drive from his PC, took it at home, connected it via a universal USB connector for all kinds of old hard drives, and installed Xubuntu 14.04 onto it.
To install, I used my Dell Laptop Latitude 6400, also running Xubuntu (which does not matter in this problem), and the Xubuntu installation ISO burnt on a freshly formatted USB stick.
Everything worked fine, the installer even came to the very last point where it said "remove USB stick now and reboot" (or something similar).
But I just cannot get my Dell Laptop to boot from this (now) external hard drive, still connected via the USB adapter. I have googled now for more than 5 hours and followed all kinds of hints, but none of them works.
The only thing I can imagine that I have done wrong was when it came to the question "where do you want to install the master boot record on?"
During installation, my laptop had 3 drives available:
- /dev/sda - internal HD of Dell laptop
- /dev/sdb - USB stick with Xubuntu installation ISO on it
- /dev/sdc - father's previously internal hard drive connected via USB
I chose /dev/sdc.
I have tried each and every boot sequence in the BIOS - nothing works. I have also tried boot tools such as the Universal Boot CD (ubcd). Now, as I have removed the USB stick, the external drive is recognized as /dev/sdb. When I explicitly boot from it, I either get a blank screen, or it just boots from /dev/sda (my laptop hard drive), or I get "Gave up waiting for root device" "/dev/disk/by-uuid/xxx does not exist".
What the hell do I have to do?
And if some day this problem is solved, can I just insert the drive back into my father's PC and will it boot from it?
I admit that I might not have completely understood what a MBR is. And then, there is GRUB. Or is it not?
Here comes my 19th nervous breakdown... (Rolling Stones)