View Full Version : F9 Live USB flash drive booting

18th May 2008, 04:34 AM
I created an F9 live USB flash drive and tested it on a computer whose BIOS permitted me to elevate "USB Storage" above the hard drive in the boot order. All worked satisfactorily.

However, I have another computer on which I can't change the BIOS to permit booting from USB Storage, though I can elevate the floppy drive above the hard drive.

I feel sure that I've read about creating a floppy disk from which you can boot that will hand off to a USB flash drive to continue.

Will that technique work with the F9 live USB flash drive? If so, is it a GRUB floppy disk that I want to create or is there some other special type of floppy disk that I want instead?

Thanks for reading this,


18th May 2008, 04:40 AM
Not sure this will help you or not, but it may be worth a read ?
Appendix B. Installing Without Media (http://docs.fedoraproject.org/install-guide/f9/en_US/ap-medialess-install.html)


18th May 2008, 05:04 AM
Thanks for your reply seve.

I don't think that's what I want. I'm not looking to install F9 on the computer I mentioned. I only want to run it on that computer from the USB drive on which it's already installed. All I need is a way to boot the USB drive when the computer won't allow it directly.

Thanks again,


PS: I've found the following post: "Use a Floppy to Boot USB Pendrive Linux"; it's at: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/11/21/use-a-floppy-to-boot-usb-pendrive-linux/#more-294
I'm looking for the equivalent for the F9 live USB.


18th May 2008, 05:18 AM
Hello Leslie:
Have you searched through the Guides & How-To Articles section of the Forum ?

I vaguely recall something similar [not F9], but I'm unable to find it .... sorry :)


18th May 2008, 05:26 AM
Hi again seve.

Yes I did look at those and searched within what seemed the likely ones for "floppy", but I didn't find quite what I was looking for (which isn't to say that it isn't there!).

Thanks for trying to help.


18th May 2008, 06:54 AM
i dont have any pc that can boot into usb drive


18th May 2008, 01:00 PM
if grub can see your usb drive then you just need an entry like this:

title Fedora 9 LiveCD i686
root (hd1,1)
kernel /syslinux/vmlinuz0 ro rootfstype=vfat root=/dev/sdb1 quiet liveimg rhgb
initrd /syslinux/initrd0.img

This assumes your usb drive is recognized as sdb (hd1 in grub)

You can make a grub boot disk using these instructions (http://www.fedoraforum.org/forum/showthread.php?t=150913) (you will need access to another fedora installation)

18th May 2008, 11:04 PM
Thanks very much for your reply sideways.

About the grub boot disk, does the other fedora installation have to be version 9 or will an earlier version do?

Thanks again,


18th May 2008, 11:42 PM
Thanks very much for your reply sideways.

About the grub boot disk, does the other fedora installation have to be version 9 or will an earlier version do?

Thanks again,


Making the grub boot disk should work any linux distro as long as they support grub, you just need to create a generic grub boot disk and add the appropriate lines to boot the livecd image from the usb drive (Note, I put root hd(1,1) above but I think that should be hd(1,0). You can test by creating a test grub boot floppy and going to the grub command prompt. It will auto-complete lines for you if you press tab after typing "root hd(" for example and give you all possible drives, then you can do the same with "root hd(1,", and it will list possible partitions etc

The usual problem is that your usb drive is not recognized at the grub boot stage, especially if the Bios doesn't enable usb booting. In that case you would have to use something other than grub to boot it. I haven't done this before so can't help. But an alternative is to create a small ext2 partition (1-2GB) on the harddisk and copy the files on the usb drive to that - grub should be able to see that partition and boot the livecd image using something similar to the grub entry posted above

19th May 2008, 05:41 AM
Thanks for that further information, sideways.

I'll see how I go.

Thanks again,


20th May 2008, 10:54 AM
sideways, I hope you may come across this further post of mine.

I haven't been successful so far, but I feel that I should have been.

I used the grub command with my flash drive plugged in and grub identified my flash drive as (hd3,0).

I used the fdisk command with my flash drive plugged in and fdisk identified my flash drive as /dev/sdd1.

I then added to the end of my existing menu.lst file the entry you suggested, just changing (hd1,0) to (hd3,0) and changing /dev/sdb1 to /dev/sdd1.

I then rebooted with my flash drive plugged in and chose Fedora 9 LiveCD i686 when given the choice.

What I got was "Error 21: Selected disk does not exist".

What annoys me about that is that when I used the grub prompt, grub identified my flash drive exactly as I mentioned above.

Do you have any other suggestions about what I might try, sticking with grub, that might get me there?



21st May 2008, 10:27 PM
Just in case anyone should come across this thread afterwards, I want to mention that I've solved my problem.

In my last post, I mentioned how grub and fdisk had listed my flash drive. They had only listed them that way because I had plugged my flash drive in AFTER having booted up in FC7.

When I rebooted with the flash drive already plugged in and tested again, it was recognised as hd2, not hd3, and as sdc1, not sdd1.

I next rebooted with both my flash drive and my Grub boot floppy plugged in and got the grub prompt.

I then typed "root (hd2,0)", pressed Enter and got the grub prompt back.

I next typed "kernel /syslinux/vmlinuz0 ro rootfstype=vfat root=/dev/sdc1 quiet liveimg rhgb", pressed Enter and got the Grub prompt back.

I next typed "initrd /syslinux/initrd0.img", pressed Enter and got the Grub prompt back.

Finally, I typed "boot", pressed Enter and F9 booted up from the flash drive.

I'll now try to edit the menu.lst file on my floppy to automate the above.