[syslinux] syslinux.exe, on XP, fails to run on a USB stick

Ady ady-sf at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 18 00:32:48 PDT 2013

> On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 07:37:39PM +0200, Ady wrote:
> > > 
> > >   e:\syslinux\syslinux.exe --active \
> > >                            --directory /syslinux/ --force \
> > >                            --install --mbr e:
> > > 
> > > caused the machine not to boot.  What is wrong with it?
> > 
> > Have you tried not running syslinux.exe from the same volume?
> > 
>   I think that only before I formated it myself, with my XP native
> tools.  At that time, syslinux failed to terminate succssefuly.
> > Also, try:
> >  syslinux.exe --mbr --active --directory syslinux --install e:
> > 
> > Note: sort order of the options; only one space character between 
> > arguments; the "e:\syslinux\" directory should already exist; the 
> > "--install e:" argument is last; volume "e:" is the only partition in 
> > the USB drive; "e:" is FAT32;
>   This command, run from e:, terminated with no noticable problems.
> When I boot, the machine seem to pass on to the other devices, as if
> the USB stick is not a possible boot device.  It is just like the DVD
> device, which seem to be skipped when it does not contain a bootable
> media.  Only that with the DVD device, I can see its led flash,
> probably when a bootable media is searched for.  As far as I can tell,
> the light in the stick is steadily on.  The machine then runs the HD 
> installation of syslinux, and boots from the HD.
>   Can it be an issue that the USB stick is USB spec 2, and the
> hardware is spec 1.1, or vice versa?
> > is "e:" smaller than 4GB?
> > 
>   It is 1.9G.
> > If that doesn't work, I would suggest using RUFUS at least for a 
> > test.
>   I tried it.  I got the same behaviour as above.  That is, as if
> the USB stick is not considered as a possible boot device.  Is
> there much point to try the other boot programs that were
> mentioned?
It seems that either your USB device is _currently_ not-bootable, or 
that the specific computer is not recognizing this specific device as 
bootable. The following "questions" might give you some clue for 

Are you using the latest BIOS version for that system? Are there any 
BIOS settings you could change? Is the device "seen" within the BIOS?

Could you try this USB drive to boot other computer(s)? If the device 
is detected and can boot in other systems (seeing at least a "boot:" 
prompt), then the conflict might not be in the device itself.

If nothing works, try RMPrepUSB (but I would first suggest the 
aforementioned tests before).

Unless there is some kind of error message, or a description of a 
changing behavior between Syslinux versions, or some more-specific 
information, there isn't much help to provide in the Syslinux mailing 


More information about the Syslinux mailing list