I am trying to install Ubuntu 14.04 on a Toshiba 2.0TB portable harddrive I own using my girlfriend's HP Pavilion dm4. Every time I reboot to try and complete the install, I get a blinking cursor with just the message:

Try (hd0,0) EXT2:_

With the underscore marking the blinking cursor.

Attempt 1: left ~1TB partition with the NTFS file system that had my Windows data on it. Created a ~500GB partition with EXT4 file system, 10GB SWAP, installed. Reboot, error message.

Attempt 2: Went nuclear. Wiped the drive. Deleted all partitions. Reformatted a 500GB partition at the start of the drive to mount /, formatted 10GB for SWAP. Installed. Rebooted. Error message.

Did some digging. Used the best Google Fu I have (no better than an acolyte, really).

Attempt 3: Re-wiped the drive. Deleted partitions. Created partitions in the following size and order:

20 GB to mount /

10 GB for SWAP

500 GB for /home

Installed. Reboot. Error message. That same message every single time. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, or where to look to find guidance on how to even learn what I'm doing wrong so I can START trying to find a solution. Help me Stack Overflow, you're my only hope.

Edit: I should probably also say, the whole point here is I'm trying to create a bootable external harddrive that I can plug into a computer and run my own OS. I'm teaching my self how to program, and this is something I'd like to gain a better understanding of (and I like programming/executing C++ in Linux environments vastly more than windows).

Edit 2: This is a direct copy/paste from my stack overflow question on the same topic.

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