I have a Toshiba M35 Notebook which supports booting from external
devices from the bios. I wanted to install Linux to an external USB
2.0 hard drive so that I can leave my internal HD untouched and
unspoiled. I've performed a complete install to the external drive
successfully using the Mandrake Linux 9.2 CD's. This led me to believe
that Mandrake successfully located the external drive and recognized
it as an external SCSI since it gave it the tag /dev/sda

Upon rebooting after installation I get a kernal panic saying that I
can't mount the /dev/sda.

I've seen other postings saying that I need to edit the fstab file as
a work around; however, I'm a complete newbie to Linux and don't even
know how to access a prompt before I get a failure. Most of the help
I've seen assumes the user knows how to access the drive to make
changes to files used during the boot process. Should I try booting
knoppix to access the drive? Am I choosing the wrong mount point
during install? (/, /sda, /sda5). I would have thought that if an
installer had no trouble accessing a drive that booting to that drive
would be a piece of cake.

Please anyone help.

Thanks in advance,