How To Boot From USB On A Machine That Doesn't Support Booting From USB

14 Apr 2012

How do you boot from a USB stick on a machine that doesn’t support booting from USB sticks? The answer, of course, is that you cheat. You install grub on a hard disk on the machine and then you chainload the bootloader on the USB stick. Here’s how you do it in grub 0.97:

grub> root (hd1,1)
grub> makeactive
grub> chainloader +1

and in grub 1.99:

grub> set root=(hd1)
grub> chainloader +1
grub> boot

TIP: make liberal use of your TAB key when trying to figure out where the boot disk/partition are located during the root command.

See this section in the grub manual for more information on chain-loading in grub 0.97.

You can also just boot the kernel directly from the USB stick rather than chain-loading to the bootloader on the USB stick, as long as you know what kernel, initrd, etc you want to load.

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