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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
How can I boot from USB flash, when no option in BIOS
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ackptui

Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct 2012, 12:43    Post subject:  How can I boot from USB flash, when no option in BIOS  

Just had the entrails exposed (IBM Aptiva 2170-800 AMD K2-6) and put in a multiple USB PCI card and a used 80GB PATA HDD. The old HDD was so loud that the disk seeks made it sound like a popcorn popper, so great improvement there towards "silent running." The USB PCI card had an internal port on it, so I hung an old mp3 player that went thru the wash and no longer functions, but on which the flash still works. The BIOS only has options to boot from CD, FDD, and HDD, so no way to boot the flash. Is there a way to put a bootloader on the HDD that would immediately look to the flash to continue the boot, to get around the BIOS limitations?
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amigo

Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 2279

PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct 2012, 13:03    Post subject:  

Yes, you must put a bootloader on the HDD -or on FDD or CD. Then you place the linux kernel and initrd on the same drive. So, from the machiens point of view, it 'boots' the bootloader, which loads and boots the kernel and initrd. In Puppy terminology this would be like a frugal install. But any distro can be made to boot this way -even ones which normally use no initrd. In this case, though, a minimal initrd would be required as it must look for the linux installation and munt that as the 'root' filesystem. So, your machine cannot be made USB-bootable, but by putting the kernel and initrd on a drive which your machine does recognize, the kernel can be loaded along with this minimal initrd.
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Les Kerf

Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 230

PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct 2012, 13:47    Post subject:  

Try the PloP Boolmanager. It can be used on a floppy, cd, or installed to your HDD and will allow booting from USB.
Les
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darkcity


Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2479
Location: near here

PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct 2012, 17:51    Post subject:  

http://puppylinux.org/wikka/USBBootwithoutBIOSSupport
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9263
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct 2012, 19:03    Post subject: Re: How can I boot from USB flash, when no option in BIOS  

ackptui wrote:
Is there a way to put a bootloader on the HDD that would immediately look to the flash to continue the boot, to get around the BIOS limitations?

Yes. Put Grub4Dos on the hard drive. Set up a menu entry that uses "pmedia=usbflash".

But what's the point? What OS will be on the flash drive? If you have a working hard drive, it's going to be far faster than the flash drive.

What happened with your wifi project?
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ackptui

Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct 2012, 23:45    Post subject: Re: How can I boot from USB flash, when no option in BIOS  

rcrsn51 wrote:
But what's the point? What OS will be on the flash drive? If you have a working hard drive, it's going to be far faster than the flash drive.

What happened with your wifi project?


I did wind up putting a full wary5.3 installatlon on the hdd, I guess the flash drive was just for educational purposes. So far have not figured all the nuances of MBR, boot loader, partitioning and format, and the boot flag enough to get anything loaded on the flash usb. I keep getting errors from the installer that I don't have any partitions on the flash drive, it kicks me out into the partition editor where it shows me the partitions I just did.

Since I was so monumentally unsuccessful today with the flash drive, maybe I will go back to working on the Wifi again tomorrow, someone mentioned Frisbee in the other thread, and I haven't looked at that yet. The rt5370 mini-dongle was the only thing I had that would fit into the cramped real estate around the usb ports, and I was not able to raise the wlan with it after getting the driver working. Today I put in a 4x usb card in a pci slot, and with the additional space I was able to connect a bigger wifi dongle with an antenna. It had a different chip, and was recognized by the rt2870 driver, but also did not find the wlan over several scans. So that's where I am, and tomorrow is another day, albeit one with football games.
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