One USB drive boots, the other doesn't...

Peter Steele psteele at
Fri Mar 6 19:23:02 PST 2009

>from what I understand it's widely known there is not a standard for implementing USB bios boot. 
>I can take a flash drive make it bootable with grub4dos and my board will not see it. 
>Take that same drive implement normal grub or syslinux and my board will now boot that flash drive. Take that >bootable flash drive put it in another board and that board won't boot it unless you change the boot option to USB >floppy... It could just be the board doesn't like the new drive you are using now. 
>I could be wrong on all this but that is how I understand it as of now.. 
>You might be able to make a work around by booting to a dos environment and load USB drivers. 
>That is unfamiliar territory to me and probably not a work around you wish to use. 

I've certainly seen in even the Windows world that if you make a bootable disk on one system it will not necessarily boot on another system, especially if the BIOS is different. If everything is identical though--disk type and BIOS--a bootable disk should be able to be moved from system to system. I've done this many times. 

I would think the same would hold true for Unix and USB. In this case we are preparing the USB flash disks on the same systems that they will be used to boot from. So there is no issue with BIOS incompatibilities or anything like that. From a BIOS perspective in fact I doubt it would even recognize that it is booting from a USB disk per se. It would just be another disk device. So I puzzled with what's going on here. 

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