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Topic Title: How To boot from your USB Storage Device
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Created On: 04/15/2006 03:17 PM
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 04/15/2006 03:17 PM
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Posts: 1731
Joined: 01/23/2005

Hi guys, after i got my Removable USB-Hard Disk i wanted to boot from it.

Finally got it working. Here's how. I will try to keep it as short as possible.
and yes... this in written considering that newbies might want to boot from USB.

You are reading this tutorial here

These are the things I used. It should work for pendrives also and should work for any other linux also.

My 40Gb USB Hard Disk

Slax 5.1.0

Syslinux Utility

First I made a 256Mb FAT16 partition on my HDD. Let us say this partition is X:\
Then Set it as active.
Right click My Computer > Manage > Disk management.
(you can make the partition here and set it active)

Now i extract the SLAX iso image in the newly created X:\ using Winrar
then copy the files "vmlinuz" and "initrd.gz" which are in the X:\boot directory to X:\
which means copy them one level up

Then I open the file isolinux.cfg in wordpad and remove wherever there in boot/ ahead of vmlinuz and initrd
so wherever there is "boot/vmlinuz" it becomes "vmlinuz"
and wherever there is "boot/initrd" it becomes "initrd"
(u can use the replace all in wordpad to do this instead of looking for.... in case u miss anything)
Save the file as syslinux.cfg

Extract the syslinux zip file somewhere
then open the command prompt
cd to the syslinux directory
cd once again to "win32" dorectory
then run
...win32:\> syslinux.exe X: -f

Reboot and Enter the BIOS...
(usually pressing [del] or [F1] at the time of boot)
Set USB device as primary boot device.
Reebot and if everything was done properly it should boot from USB
This is assuming that ur BIOS supports booting from USB devices.


Edited: 11/21/2008 at 10:01 PM by kniwor
 08/28/2008 05:50 AM
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Posts: 14
Joined: 08/26/2008

or you can make your flash drive bootable using Bart's mkbt util:

for this message you will need a dump of the boot sector from a floppy boot disk. No worries. Just use windows to create a boot floppy disk: the so called Windows StartUp Disk. Next download the file and unpack to a new temporary folder.
Go to that temporary folder.

In that folder execute the following command while the bootable floppy is in the drive A:

mkbt -c a: bootsect.bin

This command will create the file bootsect.bin in the current folder. The bin file is a dump of the bootsector from the diskette. To restore this dump on any USB storage device that supports it just run the following command (replacing W with the letter of its corresponding drive):

mkbt -x bootsect.bin W:

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