Problem Booting a Dell L400

  Procrastinus 09:28 31 Oct 2010

A Sunday morning teaser!
I have trouble booting an old Dell L400 laptop (P3/700/256) using a 8GB CF card as the hdd.
Because if its age and drive size I am trying to use Linux (Puppy and Lubuntu separately)
No problems loading either OS, but on reboot, both fail with Grub Error 17 that does not respond to usual attempts to resolve. Removing the CF drive and attaching it to an elderly desktop as the sole hdd, the drive boots up and runs perfectly! So I do not feel it is a drive or installation problem. Memory check shows it is 100% OK. Laptop will run for ages without overheating - fan operates from time to time as required. BIOS set to boot from hdd first. Battery and mains power unit work fine.
Question - where to look now for the fault? Hardware - Motherboard? Incompastibility with CF card? None of motherboard components eg video/cpu can be changed as they are soldered in.
Appreciate any ideas/advice Thanks.

  bremner 10:01 31 Oct 2010

I am guessing you connect the CF card to each by a usb card reader.

My thought is that the Dell BIOS cannot boot from USB

  Procrastinus 10:24 31 Oct 2010

Thanks bremner,
Correct - that Dell BIOS cannot boot from USB. I have the proper cable and CRDOM unit for OS loading.
The CF card is connected to the hdd caddy in the laptop via an adapter - they stay connected with an additional adapter when connected to the desktop.

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