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Boot Ubuntu from a standard USB 32 GB flash drive?


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04-Aug-2012, 03:19 PM #1
Question Boot Ubuntu from a standard USB 32 GB flash drive?
So this is my first time I'll be attempting this, and I'd like all the help I can get from those who have done it before.

I have the .iso file for 64-bit Ubuntu stored on an SD card.

I want to buy a 32 GB USB 2.0 drive, and then transfer the .iso of Ubuntu from the SD card to the USB drive.

From there on, I set BIOS to boot from the blank and empty USB drive with nothing written on it but Ubuntu's disc image file.

After all of that, is that it? Once booted from the USB, the .iso of Ubuntu will take everything on from there, or am I missing something?

Realize that even though I'm no software/hardware expert, I'm definitely far from illiterate or terms of understanding computer operations, being a beginner software developer.

So please help me out here or give some pointers, as this is the first time I've ever done this, so all help beforehand will be 100% appreciated.

Here is the type of USB I'm talking about: http://www.google.com/products/catal...26557010445792#

PS: Please no "Google it" bit. I want someone to specifically tell me now from experience/knowledge of what to expect personally.
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04-Aug-2012, 03:28 PM #2
Go to http://www.pendrivelinux.com/univers...easy-as-1-2-3/
Download and install the program. It will give you the choice of many things to install to USB - including Ubuntu.

It really is so easy to use that there is little point duplicating instructions here.
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Triple6   (Rob) Triple6 is offline
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04-Aug-2012, 03:28 PM #3
You can't just copy any ISO to a USB disk, or even a CD/DVD, and have it boot. You must make the USB device bootable first, and then extract the files, and so forth. An ISO file is a container for the files not a directly usable thing you can boot from.

But thats all irrelevant, Ubuntu has an installer designed exactly for this, it will install and setup the USB stick so it boots and loads Ubuntu, you can find it here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/...ick-on-windows
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etaf   (Wayne) etaf is offline
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04-Aug-2012, 03:29 PM #4
i have not booted from USB but have from CD
Here is a link to how to boot form USB

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/...re-you-install

Note you do not copy the ISO onto the USB - you need to create a bootable USB using the ISO and a program that will make a bootable device
see how to here
http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/...ick-on-windows

then the PC will need to be able to boot from a USB stick - that setting should be in the bios called Boot Order and you need to make the USB 1st

hope that helps
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04-Aug-2012, 04:02 PM #5
How will the program make the device bootable?

What additional steps must be done, and why can't it boot directly from the .iso file without being "bootable?"

What makes something, let's say, bootable from being able to read and write data itself?
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04-Aug-2012, 07:41 PM #6
If you don't make the drive bootable then the computer won't know what to do with it. The BIOS looks for a boot sector on the device selected as the boot device and there must be something there that can take control and start the whole process of loading everything else.

Here's some references to look over:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boot_disk
http://oldfield.wattle.id.au/luv/boot.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_GRUB
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05-Aug-2012, 05:24 AM #7
Basically a USB drive is just like a normal disk - well most of the time.
It gets formatted and the boot flag is set.
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06-Aug-2012, 04:46 PM #8
A .iso file is just a disc image.

BIOS passing control over to a blank device with a disc image won't do a thing - you need a boot loader, a ROM set of low-level software instructions that will take care of everything your heart desires.
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