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I have been successfully able to install ubuntu on a 32 GB USB Drive, as if I was installing on a internal Drive.
I am able to boot into the USB with Ubuntu on it.
The only problem I am facing is every time I shutdown or reboot the ubuntu, and try to reboot it, the usb is not detected a bootable. I then have to use a live disk, and repair my boot loader on usb, and then boot. It boots back in USB, but when I shutdown/reboot, same issue repeats.

Its a 32 GB PenDrive.
Boot Mode is UEFI.
I have tired my liveUsb to create a installed ubuntu usb both on mac and windows same concern. Also, in the partition I am using the /dev/sdc (name of the usb device) rather than /dev/sdc1 (name of the partition) to install the bootloader.
Any kind of pointers, ideas will be very helpful. Thank you.

  • 1. Please tell us if it is a persistent live system or an installed system (installed like into an internal drive, but to a USB drive); 2. Do you give the USB drive time enough to sync and shutdown before you unplug it? 3. Does this happen only at shutdown and cold boot or also at reboot? 4. Are you booting in UEFI mode or BIOS mode? – sudodus May 30 '17 at 15:02
  • @sudodus. I have added the information in the question itself. If I am going a reboot, then I am not taking out the USB, and it takes its own time to reboot. I hope all the sync happens in that time. – Vivek Sharma May 30 '17 at 17:00
  • Thanks! What about the boot mode: Are you booting in UEFI mode or BIOS (alias CSM alias legacy) mode? And a new question: Is it a USB pendrive or an external SSD (or HDD). If SSD (or HDD), is there a separate power supply? – sudodus May 30 '17 at 17:59
  • Could you please run Boot-Info and edit your question to include a link to its resulting info log? Thanks. – David Foerster May 31 '17 at 10:07
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In UEFI mode, the installer will install the bootloader into the internal drive, whatever you specify.

I suggest this way to avoid that: remove (or disconnect) the internal drive before you start installing. Then the system will regard the target drive (the USB pendrive) as the 'internal' drive and install the bootloader (the EFI partition with its files) where you want it.

After the installation you shutdown and insert (connect) the internal drive again.

Otherwise you can identify and copy the relevant files from the internal drive to an EFI partition in the USB pendrive, but it is more difficult.

See also this link and links from it,

askubuntu.com/questions/912254/bootable-ubuntu-usb-with-custom-kernel/912280#912280

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