USB installation doesn't show where to install the bootloader

Hi everybody!

I’m trying to install Manjaro on external USB drive which I’m going to use on different computers.
I did it before but this time when I use another laptop I have an obstacle.

To keep the laptop working without my usb drive I need to install bootloader on that usb (as I did it previously). Earlier it was available when I make partitions. But this time somehow I don’t have such an option.

Boot environment is EFI and USB partition table is MBR. Could be this the cause of a problem?

Please help to figure out what is wrong…

Welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:

Even though the UEFI specification holds that MBR-style partition tables are supported, not all UEFI implementations do support it. The fact that the drive is removable makes things even more complicated. So yes, I’d say that this is where your problem lies.

Your best bet is to repartition the drive as GPT. :man_shrugging:

There is a guide on how to install Manjaro on stick - see section 9 in this article from the now archived forum. If you didn’t use f2fs for your stick - obviously leave that part out.

Also - if you generated an fstab on your stick remember to remove references in the stick’s fstab to your system - e.g. swap partition.

When I get some free time - I will revise the old article and post it in #contributions

I recommend creating a 512mb FAT32 first partition with Gparted, then apply the boot and ESP flags, that way the installer will recognize it! :smile:

Unfortunately formatting USB to GPT didn’t help. Installer does not to offer me where to place the bootloader ((

Good manual. It could help to understand the roots of the process but to much work to do. I will get back to it as the last possible measure. Thank you! Now I need easier way…

I did exactly as you suggested but no luck (((

Just realized that all my previous successful attempts were with “Legacy BIOS mode”. Now new computer somehow doesn’t support this mode (I couldn’t find it in BIOS/UEFI setup and according to internet I am not the only who have a problem) and I am forced to use UEFI.

So I started the installation on old computer with Legacy BIOS and installer offered me the option of bootloader placement.

When I start installer with UEFI mode, it never offers me where to place bootloader for this new installation and it doesn’t depend on computer…

Any ideas what to do?

In a UEFI system, the bulk of the boot loader is installed in /boot, and the rest ─ i.e. the first stage of the boot loader ─ automatically goes in the EFI system partition, which is a partition of about 512 MiB, formatted with vfat (FAT32), mounted at /boot/efi and marked with the boot and esp flags.

So, you must create an EFI system partition first.

I’ve tried to create EFI partition in advance (with GParted) with all flags needed before starting installation and also tried to choose Erase Disk option during installation (in this case EFI partition to be created by installer). But in both cases installer hasn’t offered the bootloader placement.

is it possible to install manjaro on usb with UEFI without interfering with main computer efi partition at all? :thinking:

With gnome-disk , you can create a partition image of your PC’s EFI partition, save it somewhere, then erase this partition while you install Manjaro!

After installation, you can just restore the partition image, and everything will be as if it were untouched!

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Ouuu, smart!:relieved:

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