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booting with grub to /dev/sda

I got a USB hard-drive recently, it appears automatically (nice!) on my desktop...

I want to install a Linux onto it, so I can use it like
a liveCD for other peoples boxes with broken OSs ;-)

I installed Debian onto it  (IIUC, fedora installer doesnt do this)
and used EXTLINUX ( part of syslinux-3.00, verry nice)
to make it bootable.

On my dads dell, it is partly successful,
extlinux works - the kernel boots, but panics when it cant open dev/console

Id like to test it from my laptop.
but when I try the same from my laptop (FC-3 on Sony VGN-A190)
grub doesnt even recognize the drive.

when I try editing the boot-setup to try (hd1,0) it fails:

(e for edit,
e again to edit 1st line - the root (hd1,0) line
backspace thru the (hd1,0)
then retype '(h' and hit tab,
it autocompletes to '(hd0,' and prompts me for one of the partitions on /dev/hda)

IOW - its not even seeing /dev/sda, so autocompletes right past that choice.

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