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I'm trying to install Debian to a partition (not the whole disk) on my external HDD.

I'm choosing the "Manual partition" option where I select my 100GB partition as root "/" of my external hdd.

The install goes through but it never prompt me on which MBR to install GRUB. It automatically installs it on my primary drive. I would like to install it on my external HDD mbr so that I can plug my drive anywhere and can boot into Debian.

How can I achieve this ? Am I missing a step when partitioning ?

  • Which install method are you using? Netinstall or full CD/DVD? Using the GUI or text installer? Been a while for me, but it has always been there for me using the netinstall+text installer combo.... – ivanivan Sep 30 '18 at 12:53
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You must create partition /boot on your external HDD.

It should be at least 512MB and it's recommended to format it as ext3 as it's more compatible than ext4.

You could also execute

grub-install /dev/sdb1

Where sdb1 is partition /boot of your external HDD.

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