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Bootable USB drive


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#1 rigel

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 12:00 PM

Fellow BleepingComputer fans... Lend me your ears :thumbsup:

I am trying to boot to a usb drive - DiskGo 2.0 USB drive. System board is an ASUS P4P800-VM.

I have followed these instructions:

To create a bootable USB flash drive, you'll need the following:

a 3.5" floppy disk
a computer with Windows XP, a 3.5" floppy drive and at least one USB port
Bart's MKBT utility, a free program for copying boot sectors.
The thumb drive will boot like a floppy and run a DOS command line, so keep in mind that any utilities or files you copy to it will need to work as DOS command-line applications.

Follow these steps to create your bootable USB flash drive:

Get a blank 3.5" floppy (you'll only need to do this part once). Insert it into the floppy drive of a Windows XP computer, right-click on the "3 1/2 Floppy" icon in My Computer, and select Format. Be sure to select the "Create an MS-DOS startup disk" option when you format the disk.
Unpack MKBT into a folder.
Open a command-line window and go to the folder with MKBT. From there, type

mkbt c a: bootsect.bin
This will extract the boot information from the floppy in A: and copy it to a file named bootsect.bin (which will be written into the folder you're running MKBT from). If you want to create more bootable devices, save this file for future use.

Plug in the USB flash drive and make a note of what drive letter is assigned to it.
Format the USB drive as a FAT16 device. The format of the drive must match the format of the floppy; FAT16 will work on any thumb drive that is smaller than 4 GB (and to my knowledge, they aren't any bigger than that -- yet).
Copy the bootsector information to the USB drive. To do this, type the following command from the command line you used before:

mkbt x bootsect.bin f:
This assumes that f: is the drive letter for the USB drive; if it isn't, substitute the appropriate drive letter. Double check to make sure you're writing to the correct drive or you might overwrite something important.

Copy all of the files on the floppy disk over to the USB thumb drive. You can also now copy in any additional files you want to have present on the thumb drive when you boot it.
When you boot the USB drive, bear in mind that not all PCs are set to boot from a USB device by default. You will probably have to make changes in BIOS to allow this, and the exact steps for this will vary widely from machine to machine. Some machines require that "Legacy USB keyboard support" is enabled to do this.

In almost every case, I've found that you must plug the USB drive directly into the computer -- not through a hub -- to allow it to boot, since devices plugged into hubs are not generally enumerated by BIOS at boot time.


and

Q: How do I create a bootable USB Flash Drive?

A: The USB Flash Drive must be configured with an active primary MS-DOS partition. It must also contain the boot files. Follow the steps below to create a bootable USB Flash Drive.
Requirements


Motherboard with BIOS that supports USB boot.
USB Flash Drive that may be erased.
Bootable floppy disk or CD with Fdisk and Format commands.
Directions


Plug in the USB Flash Drive.

Make the USB drive the only bootable hard drive.

Method 1
If available, change the BIOS settings for the hard drive sequence, making sure the USB device is at the top of the list above all other hard drives. Not all BIOS Setup Utilities have this option.
Method 2
Disable all hard drives in the BIOS. In some BIOS Setup Utilities you can disable the individual hard drives, while in others you will need to disable the controller.

Method 3
Unplug all hard drive cables inside the case. If the cables are unplugged the computer cannot detect and boot to the hard drive.


Insert the bootable floppy disk or CD into the appropriate drive.

Restart the computer to the bootable floppy disk or CD.

At the command prompt, type: FDisk.

Delete and create a new active primary DOS partition.

Use FDisk to delete all partitions from the USB Flash Drive.

In FDisk, press the 3 key to Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive.
If there is just one partition on the drive, choose 1 to delete the primary DOS partition. If there are several partitions, the extended and logical partitions must be deleted before the primary partition.
After choosing option 1, the screen appears with partition information and a prompt for the partition to delete. Choose which primary DOS partition to delete, and then press ENTER.
A prompt appears to enter the volume label of the hard drive. Enter the label exactly as it appears on the top of the screen in the partition information. If the volume label contains gibberish or lowercase letters, the partition will have to be deleted as a non-DOS partition. Try using the option to delete a non-DOS partition in FDISK. After entering the volume label, press ENTER.
You are prompted if it should delete the partition. Press Y for Yes, and then press ENTER.
The screen changes to show only the total disk space and a line near the bottom that prompts that the primary DOS partition has been deleted. Press the ESC key to return to the main menu.

Use FDisk to create a primary partition on the USB Flash Drive. The drive letter will be C:, since all other hard drives were disabled in step 2.

In FDisk, press 1 to Create DOS partition or Logical DOS drive.
Press 1 to Create a Primary DOS Partition.
The next screen prompts if the maximum hard disk size should be made into one partition. Press the Y key, and then press ENTER.
The next screen prompts that the computer will now reboot. Press ENTER to continue.

Exit FDisk and restart the computer.

Start the computer from the bootable floppy disk or CD with the USB Flash Drive still connected.

At the command prompt, run Format by typing the following command: Format /s c:. Press ENTER.

At the command prompt, run FDisk by typing following command: Fdisk /mbr. Press ENTER.

Restart the computer without the bootable floppy disk or CD, and attempt to boot to the USB Flash Drive. If it works, it should go to a C:\> command prompt.

Change the settings made in step 2 back so that the computer operates normally again.


The first method didn't transfer the boot sector - The second didn't see the USB drive if a hard drive wasn't present. And finally, the BIOS doesn't give me an option to make a USB device bootable. I am not sure if this is due to it not seeing it in CMOS setup.

Suggestions????

Thanks

Rigel

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


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#2 Leurgy

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 02:09 PM

I am not sure if this is due to it not seeing it in CMOS setup.


You probably won't be able to boot from a drive that is not recognized in the Bios as the Bios (after Post) hands of the boot sequence to the first bootable drive it encounters.

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#3 rigel

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 02:31 PM

Well Poop!

Thanks Leurgy... I am going to try flashing the BIOS and see if it gives a new option. I kinda figured that would be what it is, but didn't know if I left something out.

My new computers come standard without a floppy.

Thanks,

Rigel

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#4 TEB

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 05:18 PM

Hey, before you flash your bios...make sure you read the change log so you can really see if theres an option added to boot from usb or w/e your trying to do.

Flashing the bios in most cases is only reccomended if theres a problem.

#5 Leurgy

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 05:31 PM

Bios (after Post) hands of the boot sequence to the first bootable drive it encounters.

I'll add a caveat. It hands it off to the first bootable drive it encounters as specified in the boot order in the Bios.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#6 rigel

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 07:06 PM

I'll check on that TEB.

Leurgy, It never gave an option for USB booting. The board must have been produced before usb flash drives became popular.

Thanks Guys,

Rigel

"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself." ~ unknown

"Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart. Not someone who plays with it. Will Smith


#7 Snapper

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 09:24 PM

just a thought, call up the boot sequence during post by hitting f-8, (after post gives you a different menu of course), try forcing it to boot to usb. just a thought
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