This is a howto on installing Feisty Fawn 7.04 on a external USB hard drive with no support for USB in the BIOS
First of all I am a newbie to Linux. Second you can do this too with a little trying on your part. Third there is all kinds of info out there if you search for it. There is one problem though. All the info I saw assumed that you had Linux to work with. Well DUH!! You wouldnâ€™t be trying to install it if you had it already. So we are going to work with the assumption that you have Windoze, are fed up with all the crap, and want to try something new.
Step 1) Fire up your favorite browser (Firefox or Opera) and download Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04 Live CD ISO. Next download the Ubuntu text base install ISO. You will need both for this method of install. Yes itâ€™s a lot to download, but how much do you want to install it? Burn the ISOs to a CD. Connect your USB drive to make sure your system can see it. (This always helps as a first step.) Everything working? Good, lets get started. My system has 2 SATA 80GB drives, and 1 USB 80GB external drive. Yours may differ if you have a ATA drive and the USB drive. My system also has no support for booting to a USB device even though the options are there in the BIOS. Ok set your BIOS to boot from the CD first then the Hard drive second. Now save the changes and exit the BIOS.
Step 2) Put the text base install CD in the drive and reboot. You will be greeted with the Ubuntu start-up menu that has a few options on it. Enter on the Install option. The install routine will analyze your hardware first then ask for your user name and password along with a administrator password. (Writing them down now would be a good idea.) It will also ask you to set up your DHCP to connect to the internet so have a computer name ready for your system. Next up is where you are going to install to. It will also ask where to put GRUB. This can be tricky to pick the correct drive to install to if your system has SATA drives on them like I do. See Linux sees the SATA drives as SCSI drives and assigns the drive names as SDA, SDB, SDC. Throw in a few partitions like I have and you have SDA, SDA1, SDB, SDB1 get the picture it gets confusing. So it is best to know what is in your USB drive. I have a Maxtor. My other 2 drives are Seagate. The partitioner GParted will list the drive as a Max 80 and the others as SB76xxxxxx. Now if you have an ATA drive they will show up as HDA, HDB. With the partitions as HDA(0,0), HDA(0,1), and the USB as SDA. Select the correct drive for you. As far as GRUB goes we want to install it to the drive that the system is being loaded to as you donâ€™t have USB support and it wonâ€™t boot up anyway. It will then ask how to partition the drive. The best method is to let it do it automatically. In my case I didnâ€™t have any other options it just took the whole drive and split it up the way it wanted to with a ROOT, an EXT3, and a SWAP partition. And that was just fine as now I have plenty of room for Pics and Music. Click next and let it do its thing. When its done it will start to load files on the drive just sit back pop a cold one and relax. After the files have loaded it will want to reboot. Hereâ€™s the catch you canâ€™t!!! You donâ€™t have USB support so it canâ€™t see the drive and will boot right into windoze. Not only that but now in windoze you canâ€™t see the USB drive any more because itâ€™s EXT3 file system isnâ€™t supported! Great canâ€™t see the drive and canâ€™t boot to it. Or can we?!? We now need 2 things. 1)Ubuntu Live CD. 2) A little program for windoze called EXT2IFS by Stephan Schreiber. Time to fire up that browser again and Google for it. Download and install it with the USB drive turned on. When installed it will give your USB drive permanent drive letters. Why this program? Well it lets you see whatâ€™s on the drive as far as files, and it also lets you write to them. Youâ€™ll need this later.
Step 3) Ok you got your EXT2IFS on look at the USB drive. Are the files there? Good! The install worked. Now pull out the Live CD put it in the drive and reboot the pc. Choose the install from the menu and it will load the live version into memory and nothing on the hard drive. Welcome to Ubuntu! You can now access all the files on the drive. Um! Well sort of. Your running off the cd and not actually in the system. Oh Poopy! So to get your system to boot we need to create a boot CD. No we canâ€™t do a boot floppy as it canâ€™t hold enough info. To start the process to make the boot cd we need to edit a few files so the system can find the USB drive. Itâ€™s best to look around at the files on your system to get to know where some of them are. Look for the â€œHomeâ€