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Old 04-29-2010, 02:36 AM   #1
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Booting from USB errors

Ok I know I posted this at the end of my other thread, but I thought it was a bit off topic for that thread and might get lost.

I have a 3 year old laptop that I'm trying to install some form of Linux onto and the CD drive doesn't work, so I have to do it by USB.

I've tried to boot Ubuntu 9.10 from a USB using two different programs that I found - "unetbootin" and also "LiLi USB Creator".

Both of which, after changing the BIOS to boot from "USB FDD", result in the error "Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter".

Do you think this is a hardware issue or software issue?
Old 04-29-2010, 03:33 PM   #2
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Test usb on other systems. Does it work anywhere.

I find a lot of bios that have real odd issues. Power down system and might even unplug and press power button a few times. Insert usb flash and power up to bios. Look at hard drives. I tend to see usb devices shown as a hard drive. I have never seen a usb flash boot from usb-fdd. I have seen it work with usb-zip or usb-hd but never a usb fdd.

Now if you actually have a usb-fd it might be used to install linux.
Old 05-03-2010, 10:50 PM   #3
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unetbootin works great for me - I think the suggestion to try on a newer machine is a good one.

The old bios might not support it, but I have seen some real weirdness with USB - sometimes just trying it for a while (rebooting) helps. It seems to me it took a while for a laptop I installed linux onto to recognize the bootable USB key.

Any other possible options in the bios?
Old 05-04-2010, 08:37 AM   #4
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Older computers might not be able to boot from USB.

They may or may not have a "flash ROM" update that would allow them to do so ... and you may or may not be able to install it anymore.
Old 05-04-2010, 09:46 AM   #5
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changing the BIOS to boot from "USB FDD",
It seems your BIOS will let you boot from a USB Floppy Disk Drive, but not a "USB Stick".

You could buy / borrow a 1.44MB USB floppy disk drive.

Then follow the instructions here for how to make a floppy go on to boot a USB stick containing a linux distro.

The only other thing you could do is remove the HDD from your laptop, plug it into a USB HDD enclosure, install linux on it using a fully-functioning PC, then put it back in your laptop, and boot.

But maybe it is time you got yourself a new laptop?
Old 05-04-2010, 10:18 AM   #6
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I would also suggest along with trying on other machines to see if you can just see the contents when in Windows? The transfer may also have been corrupt.


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