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Booting to Linux on a USB-drive via CD

My Google fu has failed me, so I turn to you dear reader.

What I wish to do is to boot a Linux distribution that is installed on a USB-harddrive, just like on any other harddrive. The only issue is that I have encountered many BIOS's that either does not detect or as in one case, an Acer laptop, where the BIOS freezes completely once the drive is plugged in.

Tough every BIOS has been able to boot a LiveCD. So I shoved the ArchLive CD into a couple of computers, trying to use GRUB to boot to the USB-drive. But failed miserably, the only drives detected were the CD and the local harddrive.

So I'm asking you for a foolproof way to boot to a USB from a CD. I want a CD which only purpose in life is to push on to the USB.


  • woboyle
    woboyle Posts: 501
    Some systems don't boot from USB devices, or need to change boot settings in the BIOS, or in some cases (like my Intel workstation motherboard) you have to select to boot the usb device/drive from the BIOS. So, take a look at the BIOS to see how it is configured. If that doesn't have much success, see if there is a bios update from the system manufacturer that might resolve the problem.
  • I have not heard of any CD that boots into a usb. Look into your Bios settings to see if it allows you set the boot order to a removable drive. If you can't and there is not bois update from the manufacture, then it would be best to connect the drive via sata or IDE.
  • The issue is that the BIOSes support and are turned to boot USB-devices first hand. Other USB-devices boot but not mine.

    Maybe the question is: How do I make my USB-drive detectable for the BIOS. Other USB-drives, even tough they do not contain any OS, are detected by the BIOS and attempted to boot to if choosen.


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