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  • Posts: 1
  • Registered: ‎06-22-2018
  • Location: GB
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Installing Ubuntu with EFI Grub on External Drive connected to Lenovo Y50-70

2018-06-22, 11:59 AM



I would like to install Linux on my Y50. There is no bootable recovery media or utilities capable of working even if the entire drive gets nuked and all partitions are erased.


So I want to be careful about this and make sure that no recovery partitions or the EFI partition can be erased on my main drive, therefore I would like to install Ubuntu and the Grub EFI bootloader to a USB powered external hard drive. I definitely don't want to format or overwrite my internal Windows EFI partition.


To anyone who's done this I'm  asking if what I intend is the correct way to do this and won't screw up the internal drive of my laptop.


I assume I will be assuming that the Ubuntu LiveCD will give my internal drive the path of /dev/sda and the external drive will be /dev/sdb. I will use Gparted and create a 100MB FAT32 partition with the volume label EFI and set the boot flag on it. I will then create another partition for installing the root file system to. When installing on an MBR system I would select the something else option in the installer and at the partition setup menu simply select my external drive /dev/sdb as the device for bootloader installation at the bottom of the partitioning setup menu and it would install the bootloader to the MBR of my external drive. I assume with an EFI install I should select the EFI partition I will create on my external drive sdb which I also assume will be detected as sdb1 as it will be the first partition of my external drive when I partition it for Linux.


Is this correct? Has anyone done this and can you confirm that this is the correct way to partition for EFI without corrupting the main Windows drive's EFI partition?


I read that Ubuntu when doing an EFI install auto detects which EFI partition it should install to and that the bootloader installation device drop down menu will have no effect meaning it could auto detect the internal drive's EFI partition and install  to it - exactly where I don't want it for several reasons


The internal drive's EFI partition on my internal drive is where my Windows boot manager is located, I don't want to modify it


The EFI partition I believe could be formatted when Ubuntu installs the bootloader to it, erasing the Windows boot manager EXACTLY what I don't want to happen.


The Internal drive's EFI partition is small, I'm not sure how big exactly Lenovo made this partition but all EFI partitions have to be a minimum of 100MB and I'm not sure if there is enough space for Grub and the Windows boot manager EFI even if the Ubuntu installer doesn't format the partition.


Mainly I would prefer it if Lenovo had some sort of online restoration tool that can boot from USB or DVD, connect to the internet, download all the files needed for restoration from lenovo, and restore all partitions, the utilities in those partitions, the EFI and the OS in the event of a complete drive erasure, then if Linux did overwrite the EFI or anything else it wouldn't matter, as it would be put back from the bootable utility.


Onekey recovery relies on there being a bootable partition on the Internal drive, Onekey can create files which are basically an image of the Windows C: drive but not the whole drive with all partitons, and it can't create bootable USB or DVD media. I'm a bit disappointed with the usefulness of the recovery tools Lenovo supplied or lack thereof.

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