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RE: Trouble booting from a large USB hard drive

From: Daniel Richard G.
Subject: RE: Trouble booting from a large USB hard drive
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 15:45:06 -0500

[Replying with Outlook, please forgive the atrocious formatting]

Isaac Dupree wrote:
> I accidentally have an out-of-order partition table
> and I was surprised
> that such a thing is possible (vs. that everything
> gets automatically
> numbered in order).  Nevertheless, it is a useful
> feature, though not
> obvious how to control with 'gparted' and the like.
> "extended
> partitions" probably add a bit of complication too.

Yes, I used fdisk(8) to get the effect, but with most "user-friendly" 
partitioning tools I'd have been SOL. I'm thinking about the implications for 
something like the Ubuntu installer/partitioner, which has to be dead simple 
for the user, and yet producing an out-of-order table would be a helpful 
measure of interoperability with Windows systems.

> if grub-install, which doesn't have code space
> limitations, could
> possibly check for it, it would be a great help.  But
> is it possible for
>   a running system to check the BIOS like that? (or
> possible for grub to
> check somehow on a non-running system in a safe
> testing sort of manner?)

Consider, too, that GRUB may be installed on a system where the BIOS is good, 
and then booted on a system where it borks. USB drives have a natural mobility 
to them, of course, and even IDE/SATA drives may be transplanted from one 
computer to another.


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