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I forgot to mention: my regular pc does boot from the penddrive. So I figure it's a problem with the ML6000 and tried USB zip instead of hdd. This works fine. I still have no idea why the hdd thing doesn't work...
its because there was no such thing as a usb hard drive when some motherboards were invented. ergo the bios does not support this. remembe there was no such thing as boot from cdrom back in the past. now there is boot from lan card, fibre card etc. but there isn't boot from 'technology foo that no one knows about yet' option.
you may be able to flash your bios, but i think this would be overkill. some bioses are just crap though to be fair.....