I've searched around but haven't found someone with quite my issue.

I'm running Windows and have so far used Rufus to burn the iso to an external USB drive, and boot into it.

What I now want to do is to install Elementary OS onto the USB drive. However, when I boot into the OS and try to install, I only get dev/sda from 1 to 6.

When opening the terminal and running:

sudo fdisk -l

I see that sda is my internal drive, and find that the USB is dev/sdb. My problem is that the sdb volume does not show up in the list of partitions I can install onto.

Is there another way I can boot and subsequently install from the USB?

  • 1
    You can't install the system in the same USB drive you boot it. Try with other.
    – bitseater
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 8:49
  • Feel free to add this as an answer and I'll mark it as the answer. I can definitely see sdb now, having booted eOS from a DVD. Thanks!
    – Reisclef
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 10:35

1 Answer 1


You can't install elementary OS (and any linux OS) in the same USB drive you boot the system.

You can install from DVD to USB or from USB to another USB.

If you want to create a bootable persistent USB drive with elementary OS, you can see the next entry in my blog:

Apuntes sobre elementary OS

For more information, you can visit:

Ubuntu wiki

Download and install elementary OS

  • Sorry, looks like I completely missed your answer, having previously upvoted your comment. Don't know why I was so silly as to think I could install on the install drive! Have some belated rep! :)
    – Reisclef
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 9:58

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