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Thread: Need Help booting Backtrack 4 R2 on External Hard Drive

  1. #1
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    Default Need Help booting Backtrack 4 R2 on External Hard Drive

    I have windows 7 installed in my internal HD and I like to boot BT4 from my external HD(seagate goflex pro). I like to boot windows 7 as my primary OS without the external HD plug in.

    any advice?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need Help booting Backtrack 4 R2 on External Hard Drive

    I have done same thing on my laptop, and it works.
    - Boot up from DVD
    - Click install.sh
    - When asked where to install, do not select SDA (or any other variant of your primary HD). Your external should show up as SDB. Create partition as full hard drive or only partial, your choice.
    - If you want to install GRUB, install it on SDB (not SDB1 or HD0 or HDA or any variant of your primary HD)
    - After installation is complete, reboot, go to your BIOS and change device boot priority. I have CD/DVD as 1st, USB as 2nd, internal HD as 3rd.
    - Enjoy.

    Now, it you want to boot from external hd (BT4 that you just installed), plug in your HD and reboot. It should boot into BT. If you want to go into Windows, power off (if you are in BT), remove your external HD and boot-up normally straight into Windows.

    I used 2.5 IDE HD, 250GB, and it works just fine. I even mounted on the back of my laptop dislay. That way it's always secure in it's place, and not moving around on my desk. One draw-back with my set-up, is that 2.5 inch HD is using 2 of my USB ports, and it only leaves me with one available USB port (I got 3 total).
    Last edited by BushRat; 02-25-2011 at 01:20 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need Help booting Backtrack 4 R2 on External Hard Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by BushRat View Post
    I have done same thing on my laptop, and it works.
    - Boot up from DVD
    - Click install.sh
    - When asked where to install, do not select SDA (or any other variant of your primary HD). Your external should show up as SDB. Create partition as full hard drive or only partial, your choice.
    - If you want to install GRUB, install it on SDB (not SDB1 or HD0 or HDA or any variant of your primary HD)
    - After installation is complete, reboot, go to your BIOS and change device boot priority. I have CD/DVD as 1st, USB as 2nd, internal HD as 3rd.
    - Enjoy.

    Now, it you want to boot from external hd (BT4 that you just installed), plug in your HD and reboot. It should boot into BT. If you want to go into Windows, power off (if you are in BT), remove your external HD and boot-up normally straight into Windows.

    I used 2.5 IDE HD, 250GB, and it works just fine. I even mounted on the back of my laptop dislay. That way it's always secure in it's place, and not moving around on my desk. One draw-back with my set-up, is that 2.5 inch HD is using 2 of my USB ports, and it only leaves me with one available USB port (I got 3 total).
    Thanks for the help. you said * if I wanted to install grub* so does that mean it's optional?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need Help booting Backtrack 4 R2 on External Hard Drive

    Try it with-out GRUB. It should work.

    Edit: I followed my own advise, it didn't work, will re-trace my steps to see where the problem is.
    Last edited by BushRat; 02-28-2011 at 04:44 AM. Reason: update

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need Help booting Backtrack 4 R2 on External Hard Drive

    @ BushRat,

    I was able to follow your instruction to install to an external GoFlex Pro 500GB drive. It of course set up GRUB somewhere, I guess on my WinVista32 c:\ drive.

    I could then successfully boot into either BT4 or Windows. However, when I removed the external HD and rebooted it would give me a GRUB error of "21" and boot would fail.

    I followed the instructions here
    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/grub-er...sb-hard-drive/

    without success...

    I did not use pendrive to install BT, but rather this
    http://www.linuxliveusb.com/en/home

    The only way I could get Vista to successfully boot with the BT usb hard drive remove was to execute Bootrec.exe /FixMbr through a Win Vista recovery console. Of course now my external usb hard drive with BT on it will not boot at all, but at least I'm back in my Win box successfully.

    My real: question is this. Would you be kind enough to explain to me step by step how to NOT install grub and get this thing to work?

    What I would like to have is my Vista would boot normally UNLESS I changed the BIOS manually to boot from USB, in which case my external USB hard drive would then boot into BT. Alternatively, I would like to have GRUB or something similar that would boot into Windows without the BT drive attached and would also boot into BT by manual selection at boot time when the actual BT external USB drive was attached.

    I have worked for days on this without success. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks is advance.

    Glenn


    Edit:

    @ BushRat again,

    Actually there is an error in my previous post. I DID NOT us linuxliveusb to create the BT external hard drive, but rather used your advice upthread of booting from a BT live CD and then doing install.sh from the desktop.

    The rest of my post is correct.

    Thanks for any detailed steps you can provide that will boot from CD, install BT to external hard drive, and NOT use GRUB.

    Glenn
    Last edited by sickness; 02-27-2011 at 09:09 AM. Reason: Merged

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need Help booting Backtrack 4 R2 on External Hard Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by GAtkins View Post
    .. It of course set up GRUB somewhere, I guess on my WinVista32 c:\ drive.

    I could then successfully boot into either BT4 or Windows. However, when I removed the external HD and rebooted it would give me a GRUB error of "21" and boot would fail.

    .....

    My real: question is this. Would you be kind enough to explain to me step by step how to NOT install grub and get this thing to work?
    .....
    Well you answered yout own question: You installed GRUB on your primary HD. With that, you MUST have external HD plugged in order to boot into Windows or BT.

    Quote Originally Posted by BushRat View Post
    ......
    - If you want to install GRUB, install it on SDB (not SDB1 or HD0 or HDA or any variant of your primary HD)
    - After installation is complete, reboot, go to your BIOS and change device boot priority. I have CD/DVD as 1st, USB as 2nd, internal HD as 3rd.
    .......
    Currently, I am trying to install on another external USB HD. With any luck, I'll reply with pictures of every step.

    EDIT: I could not het BT to boot up without GRUB. Everything else is same.
    Posting screen snapshots may be delayed of cancelled alltogether due to unforseen circumstances beyond my control.
    Last edited by BushRat; 02-28-2011 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Update.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need Help booting Backtrack 4 R2 on External Hard Drive

    Here's how I got this to work:

    1) Boot from Live BT DVD
    2) startx
    3) Click "Install.sh" on the desktop
    4) Select Guided mode
    5) Select the appropriate external usb hard drive
    6) Click "Advanced"
    7) Select the location of the same external usb hard drive from step 5 above as the location to install the Grub bootloader

    To boot from your regular OS change your bios to boot from where ever your normally boot from. To boot your external usb hard drive into BT plug your usb into your computer, change the bios to boot from usb and enjoy.

    By the way, thanks, in a twisted sort of way for letting me figure this out on my own. It was frustrating for a while but I learned something by you allowing me to become "quieter."

    Again, many thanks....

    Glenn

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