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iamawhore iamawhore is offline
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Default How does the mbr/grub get copied to an external usb drive for booting off of it? - 11-14-2009, 09:45 AM

How does the mbr/grub get copied to an external usb drive for booting off of it?

have searched several sites, and believe the answer is in the terminal with a code "dd".

the solution sought is an external thumb drive that is bootable, i.e., that the mbr and grub are on it, and it would be all that is needed to then boot into the installed Ubuntu 8.04+ LTS to then use the terminal and fix/repair/reinstall the MBR on the computer itself and or to be able to get to the command (terminal) before the OS boots, as the recovery media (disc) provided does not allow, (it is not a live dvd-rom, simply a complete fresh re-install, which deletes everything on the hard drive, partitions included).

Believe that accessing the terminal before boot is accomplished by interrupting to boot by pressing the letter "c" on the keyboard. if the MBR and GRUB cannot be on the thumb drive, please advice; as the assumption is that the mbr points to the grub, which then points to the installed OS's for booting.

Other than the partitions on the computer, nothing is essential, however it takes a long time to have the partitions formated (moved/resized), to simply fix/reinstall the MBR

The BIOS would have to be changed to boot from usb before the ssd, something which some computers aren't able to do, but not a problem for the mini 9.
Want to use 8.04 +LTS until an available DVD-Rom for the latest version is available for the mini 9.

1. Unable to connect the computer to the internet (purposely).
2. Do not want to use "thrid party" tools, i.e. gui interface software, only want to use what dell/canonical provided, the Ubuntu Recovery Media DVD-Rom of Ubuntu 8.04+ LTS and the installed OS, which is the same. ( in part to learn the Terminal (command line, as is simpler, that is if one knows what one is doing) and, as a Matter of Principal.

Have attempted to format the usb thumb drive using the terminal, and believe was succesful at it. Formatted "b" that is, FAT32. Some blogs suggested FAT16, one person seemingly made sense, all current OS's recognize FAT32, please advice.
Have a 2GB, a 4GB, and an 8GB thumb drive available.

As a last resort, a complete clone of the current installed SSD drive could be made (assumption), to then be able to boot into the terminal and accomplish the same that is intended with the mbr/grub bootable thumb drive. The Current size of the OS with a few files that are not essential amount to 3.7GB, with a few files that aren't visible. please advice on how to do this from the terminal. believe the "dd" code will also work here.

A newbie here, if does not seem so, it is due to a lot of searching on how to accomplish what is being sought for here, A detailed step by step on how to accomplish a bootable usb thumb drive to access the terminal for the Dell/Canonical version of Ubuntu 8.04+ LTS, to then fix/reinstall/recover the MBR/GRUB.

Hoping for enlightenment from Ubuntu veterans.

For those new, be aware that the "dd" command can be destructive if a mistake is made. Live a little, a LOT!. The accomplishment of this request would serve as a time saving backup in case something happens to your MBR (Master Boot Record), which in the case of computers that are not provided with a recovery disc, even if one is provided on the computer's hard drive (and one doesn't make the necessary boot discs, which tends to happen to those that don't know until you know, you know.), it is useless if your computer cannot boot, or if your multi boot ventures ruin your MBR.

Drop in a line as encouragement for the one's that can actually do something about this, the Ubuntu vets.
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