Booting off a usb drive on a pc that does not support it

In summary,Someone has recommended using a Linux distribution known as "Knoppix" to boot a USB key on a PC that does not support this feature. Knoppix is a small, easy-to-use Linux distribution that can be run from a CD or USB drive. Additionally, it is possible to boot Windows from a Knoppix USB key. However, if the PC bios does not support booting from USB, there is nothing that can be done.
  • #1
Ulysees
516
0
I would like to boot off a usb drive on a pc that does not support it.

Has anyone thought of booting off a cd and transferring the start-up to the usb drive?
 
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  • #2
Dual boot setup perhaps.
You could also check for a BIOS update.
 
  • #3
Ulysees said:
I would like to boot off a usb drive on a pc that does not support it.

Has anyone thought of booting off a cd and transferring the start-up to the usb drive?

There are lots of ways of making a USB key bootable depending on what OS you want to run from it, but f the PC bios doesn't support booting of a USB drive then there is nothing you can do about it.
 
  • #4
mgb_phys said:
There are lots of ways of making a USB key bootable depending on what OS you want to run from it, but f the PC bios doesn't support booting of a USB drive then there is nothing you can do about it.

In the old days of linux you could boot off a floppy and optionally chain the boot to the hard disk boot sector to run windows. Someone must have thought the same for a cd-rom boot as the first step. Also linux liveCD's can see most usb drives.

I forgot to say, the pc does not have a hard disk.
 
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  • #5
Linux is generally easy to boot from a usb key, see puppy linux or DSL for examples.
Booting windows is tricky but can be done - see bartpe.

But if your bios doesn't support booting from usb then you are SOL, it doesn't matter what is on the key if the machine isn't looking at it!
Sometimes it takes a few different techniques to boot a pariculalr older PC you can make the USB key look like either a floppy, hard disc or CDROM.
Any modern BIOS will boot quite happily from a USB.
 
  • #6
mgb_phys said:
Linux is generally easy to boot from a usb key, see puppy linux or DSL for examples.

Thanks but I know this, it's a DSL flash disk I have made and want to use on a pc that does not support usb boot, as I say in the title.

But if your bios doesn't support booting from usb then you are SOL, it doesn't matter what is on the key if the machine isn't looking at it!

There's an area in every partition called the boot record, that contains software like lilo or grub among with other information. It can be programmed to do what is required, except the space available is too small to load a usb driver from it. So I was thinking of loading the usb drivers afterwards, like a liveCD does, and then going back to 16-bit mode to execute the master boot record of the usb drive. Someone must have thought that.
 
  • #7
mgb_phys said:
if the PC bios doesn't support booting of a USB drive then there is nothing you can do about it.

Correct 100%
 
  • #8
joeseppe said:
Correct 100%

I've explained how it is possible (it's just software), but since the description must have been above you, let's go straight to the final result, that I eventually found:

http://linuxgazette.net/116/okopnik1.html"
 
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  • #9
I highly recommend knoppix, its great and so easy to setup. You can run it of a cd or a usb.
 
  • #10
I like it too, the DSL that I am using is a remaster of knoppix.

In fact DSL probably makes the ideal host for vmware, because it is so small in memory and disk space requirements and can be made even smaller.
 

Related to Booting off a usb drive on a pc that does not support it

1. Can I boot off a USB drive on a PC that does not have a USB boot option in the BIOS?

Yes, it is possible to boot off a USB drive on a PC that does not have a USB boot option in the BIOS. This can be done by creating a bootable CD or DVD that will then allow the computer to recognize and boot from the USB drive.

2. How do I create a bootable CD or DVD to boot off a USB drive on a PC?

To create a bootable CD or DVD, you will need to use a program such as Rufus or UNetbootin. These programs allow you to create a bootable CD or DVD from an ISO image of the operating system you wish to boot from the USB drive.

3. What is an ISO image and how do I obtain one?

An ISO image is a file that contains an exact copy of the data on an optical disc, such as a CD or DVD. You can obtain an ISO image of an operating system or other software from the official website of the manufacturer or from a trusted third-party source.

4. Can I boot off a USB drive on a PC that does not have a CD or DVD drive?

Yes, it is possible to boot off a USB drive on a PC that does not have a CD or DVD drive. This can be done by creating a bootable USB drive using a different computer and then using that USB drive to boot the other PC.

5. What are the potential benefits of booting off a USB drive on a PC?

Booting off a USB drive on a PC can be beneficial in several ways. It allows you to easily install a new operating system, recover a corrupted operating system, or access files on a different computer without altering the existing operating system. It also eliminates the need for a CD or DVD drive, which may save space and reduce hardware costs.

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