I have a Samsung RF511 laptop and a new USB 3 2TB external hard drive (Samsung M3 2TB USB 3.0 Portable). The laptop runs Windows 10 so I thought I'd try taking advantage of USB 3's speed to install Ubuntu on the external hard drive. I downloaded 15.10, put it on a USB 2 Pen Drive and followed this answer to install Ubuntu onto the external hard drive.Everything installed fine. I created a 120GB partition for /, a 4GB partition for swap and left the rest for Windows. The MBR was written to the external hard drive.
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ mount | grep "^/" /dev/sdc1 on /cdrom type vfat (ro,noatime,fmask=0022,dmask=0022,codepage=437,iocharset=iso8859-1,shortname=mixed,errors=remount-ro) /dev/loop0 on /rofs type squashfs (ro,noatime) /cow on / type overlay (rw,relatime,lowerdir=//filesystem.squashfs,upperdir=/cow/upper,workdir=/cow/work) /dev/sdb1 on /media/ubuntu/e9da06b1-bcd9-49ae-9d6d-161b7b70b182 type ext4 (rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime,data=ordered,uhelper=udisks2) /dev/sdb2 on /media/ubuntu/DATA type fuseblk (rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime,user_id=0,group_id=0,default_permissions,allow_other,blksize=4096,uhelper=udisks2) ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ ls /cdrom/ # this is the USB2 pen drive boot EFI license.txt pool System Volume Information uui casper install md5sum.txt preseed Uni-USB-Installer-Copying.txt dists isolinux pics README.diskdefines Uni-USB-Installer-Readme.txt ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo file -s /dev/sdb # this is the external hard drive /dev/sdb: DOS/MBR boot sector ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ ls /media/ubuntu/e9da06b1-bcd9-49ae-9d6d-161b7b70b182/ bin cdrom etc initrd.img lib64 media opt root sbin sys usr vmlinuz boot dev home lib lost+found mnt proc run srv tmp var
However, my laptop doesn't appear to like booting from the external USB 3 hard drive or its USB 3 ports. The USB 2 Pen Drive boots from one of the USB 2 ports, but that's about it. I couldn't even get the external hard drive to boot when connected to the very same USB 2 port.
If I plug the external hard drive into one of the USB 3 slots, the laptop doesn't recognize it as bootable and boots Windows 10 instead.
I was wondering if I could boot from USB 2 using a pen drive, mount the external hard drive using USB 3, and somehow convince grub to boot from
/dev/sdb1. Is this possible? Or perhaps any other solution?