General Question

Traveosa's avatar

Will installing Ubuntu on my USB Drive hurt my Windows partition?

Asked by Traveosa (60 points ) January 5th, 2009

I found a website, http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ubuntu-810-install-using-the-built-in-usb-installer/, that teaches you how to install Ubuntu on a USB Drive. I Was just wondering if anyone has done this before. I am running the live cd from a virtual machine called "VirtualBox". Is there anyway this is mess up my PC?

Or install the Grub bootloader?

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22 Answers

tonedef's avatar

No, booting from a USB stick will in no way affect your Windows installation. You can, however, manipulate files on your Windows partition from within Linux, which is handy if you have a crash, or otherwise cannot access Windows.

AlbertKinng's avatar

doit, nothing will happen to your windowzbox, I bought a netbook and did it my self and I ended up doing a full install of ubuntu and I love it!

tonedef's avatar

Way to go, AlbertKing! I love Ubuntu. I have to admit, though, since installing Mac OS X on my netbook, I haven’t booted into either Ubuntu or Windows.

squirbel's avatar

!!zomg it will wtfpwnage your winblows install!!

eambos's avatar

Just dual boot it. It will run faster and work much smoother. Windows + Ubuntu is a perfect combo.

Traveosa's avatar

I really don’t like to dual boot it. I think I will stick with the jump drive install :)

Traveosa's avatar

“No, booting from a USB stick will in no way affect your Windows installation. You can, however, manipulate files on your Windows partition from within Linux, which is handy if you have a crash, or otherwise cannot access Windows.”

Will installing it hurt my Windows partition though?

eambos's avatar

No. It doesn’t touch your hard drive if you are installing it on a flash drive.

Traveosa's avatar

So no grub bootloader? If not, then I’m going to do this :D

eambos's avatar

It’s really not a big deal at all. It doesn’t make a single internal change to your computer, whatsoever.

Traveosa's avatar

Oh dear, It seems my BIOS will not let my boot from my USB Drive. This was before I installed Ubuntu.

Vincentt's avatar

Yep, I’ve done it. It does absolutely no harm – in fact, you can do this from a LiveCD at any computer you want. I did this at my own computer and now plug it in when I’m at my dad’s, so it’d have been odd if it’d affected my dad’s laptop ;-)

That said, you will be able to access the files on your Windows drive, and if you select them and press “Delete”, they’ll be gone in Windows too, so don’t go deleting essential Windows files if you were planning to :P

Also, if you have any questions regarding loading it on a USB drive, I have quite some experience with that, so be sure to ask them at Fluther and tag it “Ubuntu” :)

Traveosa's avatar

Do you have to install Ubuntu before you can have the option to boot it?

Vincentt's avatar

Nope, once it’s on your USB drive you can just boot from the USB drive (just like you’d normally boot from your hard drive – you can set this in your BIOS and there’s a fat chance you can also get to a boot menu by pressing a key when you start your computer) to load it. Also, to install it onto your USB drive, you can just burn Ubuntu to a CD and start it from that, then from there you can save it to your USB drive. (It’s a bit cumbersome – supposedly with newer versions you’ll be able to do it from within Windows)

Traveosa's avatar

Sorry, I worded the question weird, Do you have to install Ubuntu on your USB to have the option to boot from your USB?

Vincentt's avatar

Oh, no. However, you do need to set the ‘boot’ flag on your USB drive to be able to boot from it (this is done automatically when you install Ubuntu to it) – but there’s not much point in doing that if there’s nothing on your USB drive to boot into ;-)

Traveosa's avatar

Okay…I am going to install it then :D Thanks for all of your help :)

eambos's avatar

Some older bios don’t support USB booting.

Traveosa's avatar

I think my BIOS’s firmware is from 2006. Do you think it will support it?

eambos's avatar

The only way to find out is to check.

squirbel's avatar

Check….mate.

<3 Eambos

Vincentt's avatar

I’d say: just install the thing to your USB drive and then check whether you can boot it. It’s not that much trouble to install it anyway.

@squirbel – wow, clever… :P

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