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Thread: Boot from USB Thumb Drive when no BIOS support

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  1. #1
    Just burned his ISO
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    Question Boot from USB Thumb Drive when no BIOS support

    Objective: Run BackTrack 4 off my USB Thumb Drive.

    Problem: No BIOS support to boot from USB.

    Specs:
    - Dell Dimension 4500 Series, with BIOS version A04
    - using an 8GB USB drive, installed with BackTrack 4 configured with disk encryption

    Steps taken so far:
    - carefully followed the beautifully written HowTo "Install BackTrack Persistent to USB with full disk encryption": confirmed successful operation of the install by running on another machine with proper BIOS support
    - cofirmed BIOS boot order (floppy, CD/DVD, HD), all enabled
    - checked for BIOS update: confirmed running the latest available
    - googled the issue until my fingers bled: no luck

    More details on particul tries:
    1) Tried the tutorial "How to Create a Boot CD to Boot a Ubuntu 9.04 Live USB", available at the pendrivelinux site Make a USB Boot CD for Ubuntu 9.04 | USB Pen Drive Linux.
    - didn't work, which in hindsight is obvious since the file structure is different in the BackTrack blend of Ubuntu. This might work with a few tweaks but I don't know which particular files to grab/reference from a BackTrack 4 install DVD (?)

    2) added things like "nocd" and "cdrom-detect/try-usb=true " to the boot settings when loading from a confirmed-working BackTrack 4 install DVD. These didn't work but maybe there are magic params that will (?)

    3) per steps outlined in previously referenced HowTo "Install BackTrack Persistent to USB with full disk encryption", tried booting from DVD then making the USB install active (mkdir /mnt/backtrack4, mount /dev/mapper/vg-root /mnt/backtrack4, etc). This didn't work either but maybe there are magic commands that would make it work (?)

    Comments appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Just burned his ISO
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    Default Re: Boot from USB Thumb Drive when no BIOS support

    Sometimes Google is the best man, I typed in how to boot from usb without bios support came up with many hits. Don't be lazy.

  3. #3
    Just burned his ISO
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    Default Re: Boot from USB Thumb Drive when no BIOS support

    Well not wanting to be lazy, thought I'd give google one last try, even trying the exact search as suggested. Funny enough the first link points to a utility called PLoP, which ironically I did come across early on in my solution search, but for some unknown reason decided to pass it up. Then, many hours later, I just got lost in the details...

    Anyway, PLoP worked!

    Solution:
    - followed section "Run from the Windows boot menu (2K, XP and VISTA)" from PLoP - Bootmanager - Free Boot Manager, builtin usb driver, native usb, boot different operating systems, cdrom, usb, freeware, option rom bios
    - note that Kaspersky gave me a false positive on plpgenbtldr-0.7.zip

    OK, I'm going to give my head a shake, then get on to the far more interesting stuff.

    Thanks for the help.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Boot from USB Thumb Drive when no BIOS support

    Quote Originally Posted by Simbachips View Post
    Sometimes Google is the best man, I typed in how to boot from usb without bios support came up with many hits. Don't be lazy.
    Agreed.

    Search for something like "boot cd load usb". You'll get results like USB Boot CD for Ubuntu 8.10 - Boot without BIOS support | USB Pen Drive Linux. Please search before posting from now on.
    thou shalt treat all computers as thou wouldst treat thyself, for thou art the creator of thine own problems.

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