Booting linux from usb flash drive

  electroplater 11:09 31 Dec 2010

I have unpluged my hard drives and loaded ubuntu 10.10 on to a usb flash drive. My desk-top pc will not boot this while my win7 laptop boots and runs with no problem. The desk top is about 7 years old running XP-pro. If I plug a usb hdd or flash drive in empty or with a set of files on, and boot with F11 held down the drive shows as an option to boot from but if the usb drive has a bootable system then the computer hangs before getting to the options screen. The motherboard manual MSI MS-6590 sugests booting from a usb drive is possible.Where am I going wrong?

  LastChip 11:33 31 Dec 2010

You don't say which version of the MSI MS-6590 you're using (there are three), but taking a quick look at one of the manuals, I don't think you can boot from a USB stick.

The best thing to do is go into the BIOS and check if booting from USB is an option.

Having said that, you're suggesting your manual says it can, which is a puzzle.

I will say this however. If you're using a seven year old motherboard, at best, it would be flaky as to whether USB would boot. That was about the time the option was first introduced and was notoriously unreliable.

The situation has improved more recently.

  LastChip 11:46 31 Dec 2010

The manual says it can boot from USB HDD amongst other things, but specifically excludes a USB stick.

You have to understand, each device is a different entity and you cannot just substitute one for another.

It seems to me, it will probably boot from a USB hard drive, USB CD ROM or USB floppy drive, but nowhere as far as I can see, does it mention USB stick.

  electroplater 11:51 31 Dec 2010

Thanks LastChip,
As the drive works fine on the lap-top I will leave well alone and use it there. The manual gives various usb boot options hdd cd-rom, floppy drive, zip drive but does not mention flash drive specifically. Linux on an old hdd in a caddy hangs on boot as well!

  LastChip 11:56 31 Dec 2010

If you grow to like it, other options you could consider, are a dual boot system, or running within Windows as a host (install as Wubi). In either case, you would need sufficient available hard drive space.

Or, simply run from a live CD, but that option is relatively slow.

  dms_05 13:44 31 Dec 2010

Did you run one of the programs specifically designed to install Linux on a USB? I ask because I have an MSI Wind U100 and can run any/all Linux distro's from a USB stick. For Ubuntu 10.10 I used click here and specifically click here

  electroplater 15:42 31 Dec 2010

I have Ubuntu10.10 as a dual boot on the desk-top but was looking at the usb flash drive out of idle curiosity. No i did not use a specific install program but forced the install by unpluging my hard drives. This has worked by producing a bootable drive which works on the lap-top (2010 model) but not on the older desk-top.

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