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USB bootable?

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#1 S3cS3arch3r


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Posted 10 July 2012 - 07:06 AM

Hi all,
Thanks for reading, and even more thanks for answering to my problem in advance!
I am currently revising an "old" desktop for a good friend of mine, in order to get him a stable and secure gaming-platform for all of the "old" WinXP games he so much likes. The guy is disabled due to a bike accident, and doesn't have much financial resources.
I already cleaned everything, swapped some noisy fans for new ones, upgraded the CPU-cooler, put in a spare 650W PSU and re-wired the whole thing, as it was running very hot. All hardware is operating flawlessly again now.

GigaByte GA-965P-DS3 Rev 1.0 Mobo, Intel E6400 C2D CPU, Intel ICH8/P965 Chipset, 3x Seagate HDD (Mobo is Sata 2 only), 2x Kingston SSD, 2x DVD-RW, 2x2 = 4GB Dual Channel RAM @ 800 MHz and a nVidea GeForce GT520 in short.

Install a dual-boot OS, both Win XP, using custom options by using nLite (I need NO info on that!). Primary XP for browsing, networking, remote help (from me f.e.) and all kinds of other general things.
The second OS is slimmed down drastically (clean SP3 installation under 300 MB) in order to let him game as smooth as possible.

In order to incorporate all newest drivers, software and so on, I need to "test-install" the pre-made OS's without losing too much time and money on burning DVD's / CD's...
So I usually install the OS-installation files on a USB, and run setup from there, until I'm confident the installation is 100%, after witch I burn it to an (almost) fully automated OS-install disc. (Only partitions have to be selected...)

Now the issue, GigaByte is widely known to not boot from USB.
I got the Mobo to recognise it as an regular HDD by hot-plugging it at the end of the POST, after IDE detection, before boot-sequence...
Not very friendly to the machine, I know, but it's the only way that works...

Now my issue, no matter what kind of file-system or contents I seem to use, Start-up disc, .Iso, extracted .Iso, you name it, the sytem will NOT boot from the USB.
It's not that I have no experience on the matter, I also tried my bootable Tails 0.12.1 USB (Debian anon-browse LiveCD), witch works on every other i386 / x64 system I came across so far, but to no avail here as well.... :[

Main question:
Is there a way to boot a regular HDD as an installation source for an OS? Especially considering we're talking about a GigaByte Mobo?
I googled a ton, but I never found a real solution, also, customer's service does not respond coherently to the issue I am having...
("You could always burn a regular optical disc" is not the answer I was looking for!)

Thanks a million!


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#2 S3cS3arch3r

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 04:25 AM

OK, seemed to be fixed through a BIOS flash, version F6 to F14.

Hot-plugging the USB remains necessary though :(
Also, all bootable USB-HDD and -DVD formats are listed under the HDD section in stead of USB in the boot menu (F12).

Weird weird weird :P

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