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This is a bit tricky question. I have a Ubuntu 11.10 installed onto a USB 16GB Flash drive. I used the Ubuntu installer to do this. It runs great! Except the I/O is slow. I also have a 250GB USB external HDD with one partition formatted as a FAT32 file system which I use to store all my data.

Here is the crux. I'd like to directly copy my USB Flash system to the USB external HDD. To do this and still maintain the Linux ext2 file system I would need to make a 16GB image (would that e called an IMG or ISO?) which is read/writable. Then move that image to a directory on the FAT32 HDD. Then place a grub2 install to the HDD's MBR. Is this correct? Or am I missing something? And how would one do this? The GRUB2 documentation is a bit confusing in this context.

I do not wish to loos my FAT32 drive. Can you boot to a read/write file image stored within a FAT32 partition or are you required to re-partition a drive?

And if this is possible can anyone offer the steps to do this?

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migrated from serverfault.com Feb 27 '12 at 1:42

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Do you still have this problem? If so, It's possible to boot a disk image with grub2 but you won't be able to store a 16GB image on a FAT32 filesystem due to limitations. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table – Elder Geek Apr 14 '15 at 1:44

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