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08-18-2019

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Unable to boot ubuntu from external ssd on thinkpad

2019-08-18, 23:07 PM

I have been trying to boot ubunto from an external ssd but it doesnt seem to be working. I created a bootable flash drive with linux live, and used that to do a full install on an external ssd using this tutorial. But when I try to boot it from my thinkpad, the ssd is visible in my boot options, but everytime I click on it the screen turns black for a couple seconds, and I am returned to the boot menu. The bootable flash drive still works and I know ubuntu installed correctly on the ssd because I am able to boot it using an old dell laptop as well as my pc, the thinkpad is the only one that wont work(and the only one I even need it to work on). I have tried disabling secure boot, and using legacy boot instead of UEFI and experience the same issue. Any help is appreciated.

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41 Posts

12-30-2016

Australia

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Re: Unable to boot ubuntu from external ssd on thinkpad

2019-08-19, 1:12 AM

HI, I boot Ubuntu (and other linux) from external usb media on a T480 and a P50 quite a lot.

Focusing on Ubuntu:

you want secure boot off (to keep it simple, in principle I think you can use secure boot, but I don't bother)

you want to use UEFI booting, and your existing installed operating system needs to use this. A modern Thinkpad will do this. 

Do not use legacy boot if your first OS is not using legacy boot.

If you are using legacy boot, then you will have to get help from someone else. 

 

There is an unfortunate bug in the ubuntu installer which may be biting you. Normally when you want to install Ubuntu on an external SSD, you want to have the machine boot from the SSD and therefore you want the Ubuntu boot loader on the SSD. This means you do not touch your existing internal HD at all. With this objective, you carefully tell the ubuntu installer to put the boot loader on the external SSD. However, you are ignored, it puts the boot loader on the first EFI partition it finds, which is the internal SSD. 

 

Instructions to fix that are here:

https://askubuntu.com/a/1056079/152287 (that is, my answer). 

 

Note: after doing this, you must activate the boot-time boot menu (F12 on my Thinkpads). You will see an option to change your boot device to the external drive you installed Ubuntu to. You must change to this boot device. 

 

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41 Posts

12-30-2016

Australia

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  • Message 2 of 11

Re: Unable to boot ubuntu from external ssd on thinkpad

2019-08-19, 1:12 AM

HI, I boot Ubuntu (and other linux) from external usb media on a T480 and a P50 quite a lot.

Focusing on Ubuntu:

you want secure boot off (to keep it simple, in principle I think you can use secure boot, but I don't bother)

you want to use UEFI booting, and your existing installed operating system needs to use this. A modern Thinkpad will do this. 

Do not use legacy boot if your first OS is not using legacy boot.

If you are using legacy boot, then you will have to get help from someone else. 

 

There is an unfortunate bug in the ubuntu installer which may be biting you. Normally when you want to install Ubuntu on an external SSD, you want to have the machine boot from the SSD and therefore you want the Ubuntu boot loader on the SSD. This means you do not touch your existing internal HD at all. With this objective, you carefully tell the ubuntu installer to put the boot loader on the external SSD. However, you are ignored, it puts the boot loader on the first EFI partition it finds, which is the internal SSD. 

 

Instructions to fix that are here:

https://askubuntu.com/a/1056079/152287 (that is, my answer). 

 

Note: after doing this, you must activate the boot-time boot menu (F12 on my Thinkpads). You will see an option to change your boot device to the external drive you installed Ubuntu to. You must change to this boot device. 

 

0 person found this solution to be helpful.

This helped me too

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21 Posts

05-02-2021

Malaysia

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  • Message 3 of 11

Re:Unable to boot ubuntu from external ssd on thinkpad

2021-05-08, 7:44 AM

timatgca,

 

I tried what you suggested. However, I still get the same problem as described by the OP.

 

But when I try to boot it from my thinkpad, the ssd is visible in my boot options, but everytime I click on it the screen turns black for a couple seconds, and I am returned to the boot menu. 

 

Firstly, what are the possible reasons the X1 carbon does this? 

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Re:Unable to boot ubuntu from external ssd on thinkpad

2021-05-14, 3:10 AM

Can anyone help me with this problem as I am running at wits end?

 

After trying many different options, I am still unable to boot Ubuntu from the external USB SSD (4TB SATA III, 2.5" form factor).

 

To recap,

 

HELP NEEDED: despite all the above, I cannot boot Ubuntu from the external USB SSD. Please help here. Do have a look at the boot-repair details here.

 

cheers

fazz

 

 

 

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17 Posts

12-17-2020

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  • Message 5 of 11

Re:Unable to boot ubuntu from external ssd on thinkpad

2021-05-24, 22:10 PM

Hi fazz27 sorry for the delay, I'm back and have no problems in booting from external USB hard drive. I've been looking at your boot-repair listing, compared yours with mine and yours looks very strange to me. I don't see any directories in the config of your boot manger, for instance your Boot0000 reads:  ....../File(EFIMicrosoftBootbootmgfw.efi)WINDOWS........              and it should be:

....../File(\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi)WINDOWS........ 

 

efibootmgr -v from chroot before grub installBootCurrent: 001FTimeout: 0 secondsBootOrder: 0001,0003,0000,0019,001A,001B,001C,001D,001E,001F,0020,0021,0022,0023,0024,0002Boot0000* Windows Boot Manager	HD(1,GPT,a9fcc296-9166-49ec-b48f-f1c45a72f023,0x800,0x82000)/File(EFIMicrosoftBootbootmgfw.efi)WINDOWS.........x...B.C.D.O.B.J.E.C.T.=.{.9.d.e.a.8.6.2.c.-.5.c.d.d.-.4.e.7.0.-.a.c.c.1.-.f.3.2.b.3.4.4.d.4.7.9.5.}...N................Boot0001* ubuntu	HD(1,GPT,e9a2b275-d8df-4506-b81e-2c8a589a0e92,0x100,0x1f400)/File(EFIubuntushimx64.efi)Boot0002* Linux-Firmware-Updater	HD(1,GPT,a9fcc296-9166-49ec-b48f-f1c45a72f023,0x800,0x82000)/File(EFIubuntufwupdx64.efi)Boot0003* myubuntu	HD(1,GPT,e9a2b275-d8df-4506-b81e-2c8a589a0e92,0x100,0x1f400)/File(EFIubuntugrub.efi)Boot0010  Setup	FvFile(721c8b66-426c-4e86-8e99-3457c46ab0b9)Boot0011  Boot Menu	FvFile(126a762d-5758-4fca-8531-201a7f57f850)Boot0012  Diagnostic Splash Screen	FvFile(a7d8d9a6-6ab0-4aeb-ad9d-163e59a7a380)Boot0013  Lenovo Diagnostics	FvFile(3f7e615b-0d45-4f80-88dc-26b234958560)Boot0014  Regulatory Information	FvFile(478c92a0-2622-42b7-a65d-5894169e4d24)Boot0015  ThinkShield secure wipe	FvFile(3593a0d5-bd52-43a0-808e-cbff5ece2477)Boot0016  Startup Interrupt Menu	FvFile(f46ee6f4-4785-43a3-923d-7f786c3c8479)Boot0017  Rescue and Recovery	FvFile(665d3f60-ad3e-4cad-8e26-db46eee9f1b5)Boot0018  MEBx Hot Key	FvFile(ac6fd56a-3d41-4efd-a1b9-870293811a28)Boot0019* USB CD	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,86701296aa5a7848b66cd49dd3ba6a55)Boot001A* USB FDD	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,6ff015a28830b543a8b8641009461e49)Boot001B* NVMe0	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,001c199932d94c4eae9aa0b6e98eb8a400)Boot001C* NVMe1	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,001c199932d94c4eae9aa0b6e98eb8a401)Boot001D* ATA HDD0	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,91af625956449f41a7b91f4f892ab0f600)Boot001E* ATA HDD1	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,91af625956449f41a7b91f4f892ab0f601)Boot001F* USB HDD	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,33e821aaaf33bc4789bd419f88c50803)Boot0020* PXE BOOT	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,78a84aaf2b2afc4ea79cf5cc8f3d3803)Boot0021* HTTPS BOOT	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,ad38ccbbf7edf04d959cf42aa74d3650)/Uri()Boot0022* LENOVO CLOUD	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,ad38ccbbf7edf04d959cf42aa74d3650)/Uri(https://download.lenovo.com/pccbbs/cdeploy/efi/boot.efi)Boot0023  Other CD	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,aea2090adfde214e8b3a5e471856a35406)Boot0024  Other HDD	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,91af625956449f41a7b91f4f892ab0f606)Boot0025* IDER BOOT CDROM	PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x16,0x2)/Ata(0,1,0)Boot0026* IDER BOOT Floppy	PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x16,0x2)/Ata(0,0,0)Boot0027* ATA HDD	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,91af625956449f41a7b91f4f892ab0f6)Boot0028* ATAPI CD	VenMsg(bc7838d2-0f82-4d60-8316-c068ee79d25b,aea2090adfde214e8b3a5e471856a354)

Here is the  listing of my Boot manager

 

Here is   "tree /boot/efi/EFI"

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21 Posts

05-02-2021

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  • Message 6 of 11

Re:Unable to boot ubuntu from external ssd on thinkpad

2021-05-25, 9:31 AM

Hi pvdeynse

 

No worries for the delay. In fact, I am super happy that you are responding to my issue.

 

I've been looking at your boot-repair listing, compared yours with mine and yours looks very strange to me. I don't see any directories in the config of your boot manger, for instance your Boot0000 reads:  ....../WINDOWS........              and it should be:

....../WINDOWS........ 

 

It appears that my Boot0000 does not have the backslashes - or it has been removed from the directory / paths.

 

However, as I searched further down in the boot-repair details - the "UEFI" Section of the Boot0000 does include the directory paths. But the directory paths does not appear in the "Reinstall the grub-efi-amd64-signed of sdb3 - efibootmgr -v from chroot before grub install" and "efibootmgr -v from chroot after grub install". 

 

I am not sure why this happened.

 

Any idea how to correct this?

 

fazz

 

 

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12-17-2020

Belgium

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Re:Unable to boot ubuntu from external ssd on thinkpad

2021-05-28, 8:45 AM

sudo gparted of my external USB HDD

-  /dev/sda1 is an EFI System Partition with boot and esp flags

- /dev/sda6 is Ubuntu partiton

rest of partitions are from old system and are useless

 

gparted of external USB HDD

 

listing of /dev/sda1

 

pvdeynse@lenovo:/mnt$ ll /mnt/EFI/
total 32
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 8192 mei 27 08:32 ./
drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 8192 jan  1  1970 ../
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 8192 mei 24 19:04 BOOT/
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 8192 mei 24 19:04 ubuntu/
pvdeynse@lenovo:/mnt$ ll /mnt/EFI/ubuntu/
total 4920
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root    8192 mei 24 19:04 ./
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root    8192 mei 27 08:32 ../
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root    8192 mei 15 17:52 boot/
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root     108 mei 24 19:04 BOOTX64.CSV*
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root  954576 mei 24 00:13 bootx64.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root   85672 mei 24 00:13 fbx64.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root     139 mei 24 19:04 grub.cfg*
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root 1718144 mei 24 19:04 grubx64.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root  379992 mei 24 00:13 LenovoBT.EFI*
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root    1523 mei 24 00:13 License.txt*
drwxr-xr-x 38 root root    8192 mei 19 04:03 microsoft/
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root  856232 mei 24 19:04 mmx64.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root      74 mei 24 00:13 ReadMe.txt*
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root  954576 mei 24 19:04 shimx64.efi*
pvdeynse@lenovo:/mnt$ ll /mnt/EFI/ubuntu/boot
total 2216
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root   8192 mei 15 17:52 ./
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root   8192 mei 24 19:04 ../
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  41504 aug 17  2016 acpidump.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 284696 apr 30 00:19 boot.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 951840 mei  8 22:55 BOOTX64.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  85672 mei  7 15:13 fbx64.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 856232 mei  7 15:13 mmx64.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root     18 mei 15 17:52 startup.nsh*
pvdeynse@lenovo:/mnt$ 

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Re:Unable to boot ubuntu from external ssd on thinkpad

2021-05-29, 3:29 AM

Hi pvdeynse,

 

Thanks again for sharing further clues.

 

Looks like I have some problems with the Ubuntu boot partition of my external USB SSD (in my case, sdb1). And perhaps this could tell me what I need to do.

 

For some reason, no matter what approach I followed in the Ubuntu installation instructions online, I cannot get the right boot files on sdb1.

 

Here is the screenshot of sdb in gparted:

 

screenshot of sdb partitions in gparted

 

I viewed gparted in the Ubuntu Live Installer USB flashdrive (which is sda). The sdb is my 4TB USB SSD that I have installed Ubuntu 20.04 LTS before.

 

Here is my file lists in sdb1:

 

<pre>

ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/efi$ ll
total 16
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 May 15 02:32 ./
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Jan  1  1970 ../
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 May 15 02:32 BOOT/
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 May 15 02:32 ubuntu/
ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt/efi$ cd
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ cd /mnt
ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt$ ll /mnt/EFI/
total 16
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 May 15 02:32 ./
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Jan  1  1970 ../
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 May 15 02:32 BOOT/
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 May 15 02:32 ubuntu/
ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt$ ll /mnt/EFI/ubuntu/
total 4256
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root    4096 May 15 02:32 ./
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root    4096 May 15 02:32 ../
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root     108 May 15 02:32 BOOTX64.CSV*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root     126 May 15 02:32 grub.cfg*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1718144 May 15 02:32 grubx64.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1277024 May 15 02:32 mmx64.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1341560 May 15 02:32 shimx64.efi*
ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt$ ll /mnt/EFI/BOOT/
total 3764
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root    4096 May 15 02:32 ./
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root    4096 May 15 02:32 ../
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1341560 May 15 02:32 BOOTX64.EFI*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1222800 May 15 02:32 fbx64.efi*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1277024 May 15 02:32 mmx64.efi*
ubuntu@ubuntu:/mnt$

</pre>

 
 

Observations:

  • there is no directory /mnt/EFI/ubuntu/boot/
  • the files in /mnt/EFI/ubuntu/ seem incomplete

Any ideas how to fix this properly?

 

fazz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Message 9 of 11

Re:Unable to boot ubuntu from external ssd on thinkpad

2021-05-30, 9:05 AM

Have a look to the instructions explained in following document:

     Move bootloader or remove efi partition in second drive

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Re:Unable to boot ubuntu from external ssd on thinkpad

2021-05-30, 12:03 PM

@ pvdeynse wrote:

Have a look to the instructions explained in following document:

     Move bootloader or remove efi partition in second drive

 

Thanks for this pvdeynse. Will try this out. 

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