[syslinux] USB boot

David Mattes David.Mattes at boeing.com
Wed Nov 26 10:28:50 PST 2003

H. Peter Anvin wrote:

> David Mattes wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I have a M-Systems DiskOnKey USB Storage Device that I would like to 
>> use to boot a computer into Linux.  I think this is possible but I'm 
>> having problems and have some questions:
>> 1.  What should be on the MBR of the USB device?  I have tried using 
>> the mbr.bin in the syslinux-2.07 distro.
>> 2.  How does this device appear to the BIOS, i.e. what should the 
>> boot device be?  USB-FDD, USB-ZIP, or USB-HDD?
> It depends on your device and on your BIOS.  If the answer is anything 
> but USB-HDD, then you shouldn't have an MBR on the disk at all. 

Does it matter which USB port the device is plugged into?  USB0-4?

> I suspect the answer is USB-HDD (that seems to be the case for most 
> the USB keys I've seen), but I don't know for sure. 

So if it is a USB-HDD, what should be on the MBR?

>     -hpa
So, I think I've really screwed up my device, putting MBR's on it, 
formatting it ext3, etc. etc.  I want to start with a blank slate (and 
of course I didn't dd the original image off of it).  Should I 
reinitialize the device with a Win2k format command (FAT16) in order to 
work with syslinux?  What about the MBR, should it be zeroed out?


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