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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 08-02-2005, 08:26 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
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booting linux from a usb external drive

does the bios need to be able to allow booting from the usb to boot from an external hard drive if i want to have the windows boot loader pass control to grub? im thinking of getting an external case for a harddrive to convert my friend to linux.
Old 08-02-2005, 09:02 PM   #2
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The bios probably does need usb booting support, only because the bios will need to be able to see the USB drive so that the windows boot loader can point to it.
Old 08-17-2005, 07:27 PM   #3
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There's a difference between bios being usb aware and bios allowing booting from USB drives... Some bioses allow DIRECTLY to boot from USB, without the need for the winxp boot loader...

Old 08-17-2005, 09:22 PM   #4
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The basic answer is that if your BIOS boot sequence choices include a USB device as an option, then Yes, you can boot from your external drive. (Just select the USB choice as the first boot device) OTOH, if USB does not appear as an option in the boot sequence choices, then No, you can't boot from your pendrive.

If you're ambitious, you may be interested in this article about RUNT Linux, which apparently allows you to boot from USB even if the BIOS doesn't support it. Note that it also requires a floppy drive, and this probably would not be for newbies. I have not attempted to use this myself, so I can't offer any feedback, but it seems like an interesting project. -- J.W.
Old 08-18-2005, 06:57 AM   #5
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thanks for the replies so far. i know for a fact that this computer's bios is too old to be able to boot right from usb. when i was playing around with slax and feather on my usb thumbdrive i had to use my parent's computer. Im refering to a full fledge harddrive just in a external case. i thought that the computer would find the drive and i'd be able to boot from it but i didn't know if the bios needed to support usb booting if it was hooked up through the usb.


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