Booting F8 from USB Attached Hard Drive

Rick Bilonick rab at
Tue Nov 27 23:36:30 UTC 2007

On Sat, 2007-11-24 at 23:37 -0600, Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
> Rick Bilonick wrote:
> > Is it possible to install Fedora 8 on a hard drive (120 gb) attached to
> > a laptop via USB, and then boot from it without damaging the distro
> > installed on the laptop's internal hard drive? The laptop is about 2
> > years old (Dell Inspiron 2200) that I believe can boot from an external
> > hard drive or a USB flash drive.
> > 
> > I would like to test out F8 with the laptop's wireless card and I'm
> > debating whether to use a USB hard drive that I have or buying an 8 gb
> > USB flash drive. (If someone could point me to how to set up a usb flash
> > drive to boot F8, I would appreciate it.)
> > 
> > Rick B.
> > 
> As long as your BIOS will boot from a USB drive, it is not a
> problem. I would suggest you try the live CD to see if F8 is going
> to work for you before doing a USB install.
> I have not tested it with F8, but F7 installed just fine to a USB
> hard drive using the expert install. You have to tweak the Grub
> configuration after the install because the BIOS mapping of the USB
> drive changes between the install and when you you boot from the
> drive. If you are using LVM, you also have to make sure you are
> using different volume groups on each drive. If you are using
> labels, you have to make sure the labels on the USB drive are
> different then the ones on the built-in drives. If you are using are
> not using LVM or labels, you have to change the /etc/fstab entries
> to use /dev/sda for the USB drive. At least when I did it, the
> initrd only had the USB drivers, so the USB drive was the first SCSI
> drive, while during install, the internal drive was /dev/sda.
> Mikkel

Thanks. I have tried the live CD's/DVD's but I have a bcm4318 network
card that can use either ndiswrapper or must have Version 4 firmware
in /lib/firmware for the native driver to work. As far as I can tell,
this precludes it from working with a live CD or DVD because I can't
store the firmware in /lib/firmware.


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