Need help installing Linux on external drive

I have a laptop running XP. I recently got a USB powered external drive. I would like to install XP on the external drive, then install some kind of virtualization software (VirtualBox etc.) and then install Linux (Unbuntu preferably). I would then be able to use this bootable external drive anywhere.

Is this possible? Sorry if I am not making any sense but I am a newbie to all this. Never installed more than one OS before ! What partition type should I use on the external drive (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3) ?



I think you'd be better off doing it the other way around, installing Ubuntu on the drive then running Windows XP through VMWare, as from what I understand it can be real a pain trying to get windows to boot.

Discussions about installing Ubuntu to a USB drive here:

Info on VMWare here:

Just incase you still wanted to do it t your way round:
Windows on a USB drive (it's about pen drives really, but the principal is the same):

Hope that helps...

Original Poster

Thanks megalomaniac. Will try the other way round and see whether it works !

This thread contains a tutorial i wrote for my Unis Wiki, very step by step, not at all as long and complex as it looks. Only takes around 15min and most of that time is spent turning your co mp on and off. Let me know if you want any help:…nux

You can run a Live Linux OS on any machine, Windows installations are tailored to the PC you used during the installation though. Even if it did run on another machine, it would be confused because all of the components would appear alien to it as it only really "understands" the hardware that it was installed on.

Run Windows from your HDD and then either emulate Linux within Windows using QEmu, or install Linux to USB pendrive.
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