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Old 11-23-2012, 01:14 PM   #1
mintyninja41
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Question Methods to boot from pendrive without support from BIOS?


What methods are available to boot into a flash drive with a distro on it, if the BIOS does not support booting from USB? I really don't want to flash the BIOS to gain support, since an error during the procedure could render my PC unusable. I have attempted using the USB boot option in SuperGrub2Disk, which did not work; it simply returned me to the main menu. So, essentially, what are the different ways of doing this, if there are more than one?

Thanks!
 
Old 11-23-2012, 02:02 PM   #2
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I'm not sure, but it should be possible, that you install the bootloader for Linux on the MBR of /dev/sda/

We have discussed this subject here recently.

Markus
 
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
penguinator
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Plop boot loader as many options to boot to a USB
http://www.plop.at/en/ploplinux/index.html
 
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
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It also depends on the system you have. Older ones will never boot to usb. I have used plop with some success.

I have also installed modern distro's like OpenSuse with a network boot cd that goes to a usb for files.
 
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:21 AM   #5
mintyninja41
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Thanks! I only ask because I was looking for a more "portable" approach to GNU/Linux; that is, one that doesn't entail carrying a laptop around with you all the time. I've just tried the Plop Linux LiveCD, which was successful in booting CrunchBang Linux from a flash drive.
Further, I did view the previous threads about this query. I started this thread to see if there were any other ways of achieving this. I sincerely apologize for not making that clear.
Thanks again for your input!
 
Old 11-24-2012, 11:10 AM   #6
Fred Caro
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booklover,
I have heard there is a methord of changing your bootloader on your system to look for a USB stick to boot but this would, presumably, not help when using someone elses, say at a hotel.I assume this would be useful at home when you want to use the machine as just that.

Fred.
 
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:16 AM   #7
floppy_stuttgart
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If you have a floppy disk (it is smaller than CD), then you can install plop on it.
Then you have the "most achievable and small" portable solution for your pc to boot into linux.
 
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:46 PM   #8
mintyninja41
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Quote:
If you have a floppy disk (it is smaller than CD), then you can install plop on it.
Then you have the "most achievable and small" portable solution for your pc to boot into linux.
The downside of plop on a floppy disk, I think, is that there aren't many computers nowadays that still have floppy drives. (At least, not that I've seen). Otherwise, it is a very good solution. With a floppy, the issue definitely is not size; the real problem is whether the computer in question is floppy-compatible.

Quote:
booklover,
I have heard there is a methord of changing your bootloader on your system to look for a USB stick to boot but this would, presumably, not help when using someone elses, say at a hotel.I assume this would be useful at home when you want to use the machine as just that.
A viable alteration of the bootloader, to detect and boot from bootable USBs? I agree, I think there is a way of altering GRUB2 to do that, but my PC's bootloader is the NTLDR, and I don't think Microsoft would be too keen on a user fiddling with company property. I know that GRUB2 is rather flexible, not to mention fiddle-friendly. That definitely merits further research, probably by poring over the documentation for a few hours.
Thanks for replying!

Last edited by mintyninja41; 11-24-2012 at 06:48 PM.
 
Old 11-25-2012, 12:16 AM   #9
Wim Sturkenboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booklover View Post
The downside of plop on a floppy disk, I think, is that there aren't many computers nowadays that still have floppy drives. (At least, not that I've seen). Otherwise, it is a very good solution. With a floppy, the issue definitely is not size; the real problem is whether the computer in question is floppy-compatible.
If you encounter machines that don't have a floppy drive, chances are close to 100% that they can boot from USB
 
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:30 AM   #10
mintyninja41
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Quote:
If you encounter machines that don't have a floppy drive, chances are close to 100% that they can boot from USB
Hmmm...I did not know that. I suppose there's always the 0.1% of computers that haven't got a floppy drive and also can't boot from USB, but having Plop on a LiveCD fixes that nicely. Thanks All!
 
Old 11-25-2012, 11:23 AM   #11
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All computers need some bootable media. Either hard drive/usb/cd/floppy/pcmcia or network. The issue is changing hardware over the last 20 years.

While you are at it, look at www.netboot.me for a gpxe/ipxe solution.
 
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