grub error 18 on usb hhd

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http://www.linuxquestions.org – I have installed mint on a usb hdd. When i start the computer it say grub .....loading error 18. So what i did was create small boot partition, 100mbs ext3. At beginning of disk. Create a 18 gb partition ext3 for os mint 5 (gnome). A swap partition of 300mbs. I still have 57gbs unallocated space. I want to install ubuntu 8.04.3 (hardy) and use 18gbs. Then install mint 5 (xfce) on another 18gbs. My "?" is do i need to install 2 more small boot partitions for the next 2 os's. If so do i have to have 3 sepperate boot partitions on the beginning of the hdds. Or should each boot partition be at the beginning of each 18gb partition for each operating system. I have severall hdds installed in this computer. Some hdds have more than 1 opperating system on them. There are no boot problems on thease internal hdds. My problem is with an external usb hdd. (HowTos)