[syslinux] Booting LINUX from external USB Hard Drive

H. Peter Anvin hpa at zytor.com
Thu Oct 21 14:32:33 PDT 2004

Quinn wrote:
> Basically, it boils down to that when the USB-drive is the primary hard 
> drive, ms-dos does boot properly when booting from a physical floppy but 
> not when an image of that floppy is loaded via memdisk and booted from - 
> you get either
> "Starting PC-DOS..." or nothing and the system just hangs.
> Dag Wieers has had success in booting msdos directly from the USB drive, 
> but I have not yet had success either with the 'fdisk /mbr', 'sys c:' 
> procedure or the 'fdisk /mbr', 'syslinux /dev/sda1' procedure.
> I don't think it is a BIOS bug but I have only tested this on two 
> different IBM machines - one desktop and one laptop.  I believe Dag did 
> a bit more testing than I did.

Okay... if you can't boot DOS directly from the USB disk there is almost 
certainly not anything MEMDISK can do about it, since it probably has to do 
with the way the BIOS leaves the USB set up.  If you can boot DOS from the USB 
disk but not from MEMDISK it might be possible to do something about, but also 
keep in mind I can't exactly debug what I can't reproduce.


More information about the Syslinux mailing list