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Thread: Booting from External HDD w/ Macbook Pro

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  1. #1
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Unhappy Booting from External HDD w/ Macbook Pro

    Alright, this is kinda of an obscure problem, but I have faith in you guys.

    What I'm trying to do is boot BackTrack from an external drive (2.5'' ATA 40GB in a case w/ USB2.0 interface) with my Macbook Pro (Core Duo). If at all possible, I would like to keep the external Fat32 formatted so that OS X, Windows and BackTrack can all access it easily.

    What I've done so far:

    - formatted and mkdosfs the external drive as vfat (LBA)
    - mounted the drive and installed BackTrack (uncompressed install) to the external (/dev/sdb/) to its root
    - set bootable flag w/ fdisk

    I have rEFIt on the computer and have successfully done a Ubuntu triple boot in the past. With the Ubuntu install, the most difficult part was switching from GRUB to LILO as GRUB does not support the EFI setup (?) that are on Macbooks. It's my understanding that LILO is already the default boot loader on BackTrack, so that problem is out of the way.

    I can boot into both OS X and Windows and access the external (rw) perfectly and it appears that BackTrack installed successfully.

    When I have the external plugged in during boot, rEFIt list four boot items: my OS X internal partition, Windows internal partition, a Linux external partition and a Legacy OS (unknown) external partition.

    Trying the legacy OS just produces a black screen and hangs, choosing the Linux partition says something along the lines of "No system disk, please insert a floppy..."

    Keep in mind that I only made one fat32 partition to the external, so I'm not even sure why a fourth option in rEFIt is appearing. I verified this with fdisk.

    If I try to boot from the external on a Dell Optiplex 160L and just hit Enter at each prompt, I get a repeating error: "*tkbd.c: Spurious ACK on isa0060/serio0. Some program might be trying to access hardware directly."

    That * I can't read - the video is misaligned off to the left of the screen slightly.

    Any light you could shed on the situation would be great. I'm kind of a Linux newbie in general, but I get around a shell and whatnot.

    Also, I'm sure I forgot to supply some vital information. Let me know.

  2. #2
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    here is my lilo.conf:

    boot = /dev/sdb
    timeout = 20
    vga = 0x317
    image = /boot/vmlinuz
    root = current
    initrd = /boot/splash.initrd
    label = bt

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