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Old 11-04-2012, 09:13 PM   #1
maskiepop
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booting from usb without bios support


I have seen a few posts around here similar to this. My problem is that most of the recommendations I've seen center around the use of the PLOP Boot manager -- and that is not working for me.

I have an USB 2.0 external HD, 60 Gig, with xubuntu 12.04 installed in it. Every so often however I find myself in a situation where the PCs available to me will not allow me to boot up the xubuntu in the USB ext HD -- the BIOS has no USB boot option. In this situation, I generally am not allowed to make any changes to the PCs configuration. Generally, the PCs can boot from the CDROM.

I have installed the PLOP Boot manager on a CD. It hangs, and forces me to push the reset button, whenever I try to get it to boot the xubuntu external HD. I am testing this by the way on my desktop, whose BIOS has USB support. I do not have an old laptop available to me right now. But I don't think that is the cause of PLOP's behavior anyway.

There seems to be other solutions out there, but I am unsure if they are. Is the Super GRUB2 Disk a solution?

Another one I came across: the ubuntu community documentation suggests making a limited Linux boot cd. It talks about GRUB however. I have GRUB2.

What I am most interested in is a statement from this forum that said: "there are distros and rescue disks out there that does what plop is supposed to do." The person who posted did not elaborate, unfortunately.

My preferred solution is a boot CD that ends up booting up the OS in my USB ext hd. But I will consider others as well.

TIA,

m
 
Old 11-05-2012, 03:59 PM   #2
jefro
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At some point you get to some old hardware that will never boot to a usb. Some very basic hardware issues come into play.

Slitaz has a way to boot up that I believe is taken from plop. There was one older usb boot deal that is inactive.

DSL had some support for older hardware in the isolinux/syslinux versions.

A cd drive may be best otherwise you need to move on to networked pxe/gpxe or such. Some older pxe 1.x won't work anymore for most things.

If you want to get real old you can still run some very ancient linux from dos with loadlin.
 
Old 11-06-2012, 04:31 PM   #3
floppy_stuttgart
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I had 2 different behavior between two plop versions: one booted, the other did not boot (netbook approx 5 years old). So, perhaps this is the case again. Do you have the newest version? some USBs (Sticks) boot from the bios.. others not. So, is it a USB-HDD or a plop version issue? I would say the correct mix must be found..
 
Old 11-06-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
maskiepop
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booting from usb without bios support

Thanks people.

I forgot to add in the original post: the situation I said I found myself in does not normally have access to the internet. Rural, developing country, I would not be allowed to make any changes to the computer, and so on. So booting from the network would not be an option. Nor is reconfiguring/updating the bios, even if I know how.

I am also looking at Slitaz, one of the option suggested by jefro. However, I am somewhat skeptical. After a lot of googling, I learned that there are a number of unix distros out there that will bypass the limitations of the bios and boot an unix os from a usb hd. Unfortunately they will only boot the same distro, ie slax on cd will only boot slax on usb. puppylinux or dsl, on cd, will boot only their respective distros on usb. Plop seems to be the only one that will do this with whatever distro. On the other hand that might also explain why plop tends to be a hit or miss affair. There are a lot of posts out there saying that plop did not work for them.

I am using the latest version of plop, by the way. I have also used plopkexec. Neither worked for me. My suspicion is that it might be because of my particular ext usb hd. The plopkexec booted successfully a knoppix installed on an 8 Gig flash drive, but not the xubuntu on the 60 gig usb 2.0 ext hd. But I am just speculating -- I am not much of a tech head, and this is all a bit above my head.

I think I would like to go with this solution: the "limited Linux on cd" from the Ubuntu Community Documentation. But I'd appreciate very much any help in modifying this solution to use GRUB2 rather than GRUB.

Thanks again everyone.

m

Last edited by maskiepop; 11-06-2012 at 10:45 PM.
 
Old 11-07-2012, 02:04 PM   #5
floppy_stuttgart
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I had an issue with the lastest plop. An older was better on a laptop of a colleague. When I will have the opportunity, I will search again what UBCD it was (I used the plop of a UBCD).
 
  


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