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No Such Disk error - please help

From: Jami
Subject: No Such Disk error - please help
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 16:53:13 -0600

I installed Ubuntu v.9.1 on an external USB HDD to test out the OS, and GRUB was installed along with it. With my external HDD connected, GRUB loads and prompts me to boot Ubuntu (on the external) or Windows Vista (on my primary HDD, connected via SATA 0). However, if I turn on my computer with the external HDD disconnected, GRUB still tries to load, and returns an unresponsive grub recover prompt.
My boot priority is 1. Primary 2. Removable 3. CD-ROM
I'm confused as to why GRUB would even try to load if it is affiliated with the removable HDD, since the removable is second in my boot priorities. If GRUB is not dependent on my external HDD, I am confused as to why it fails to boot windows or give me the option to boot windows. My primary HDD had nothing to do with my installation of Ubuntu or GRUB.
I have read the instructions on installing GRUB, and am worried I will make my primary drive unbootable if I try. I have read the help archives and manual as well, but couldn't make sense of any troubleshooting within. I'm fairly tech-savvy for a normal user, but everything I read was way over my head.
Please help me if you can. I can provide additional information if required. I'm unable to boot my computer without my external HDD connected, and if the external fails in some way my computer will be unusable.
Thank you for your time,

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