Linuxtipstricks – Just another /linux/blog

April 18, 2009

How to boot from USB even if you don’t have BIOS support

Filed under: user tipstricks — Antonio Portuesi @ 11:48 am
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If you like to try a new Linux distro (or any other OS with similar features) you can prepare a bootable USB device (stick, pen, thumb, disk and so on) and boot your system standing by for loading process completion.

Actually that is not ever easy because older PCs don’t have the proper updated BIOS support.

It doesn’t matter what kind of USB you have (1.0 or 2.0) Plop could be your ultimate solution.

That said, you can download and burn the .iso image so you won’t be in trouble if you get wrong in MBR hard drive setup.

Once the burning process has finished, just insert the cd and restart your PC then scroll down the green entry list menu and go on with USB booting process.

Now you can test any rescue USB system or live linux distro too.

Piece of cake!

October 19, 2008

How to restore GRUB in your MBR if Windows changed it

Filed under: user tipstricks — Antonio Portuesi @ 7:29 pm
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Once upon a time it was a GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) menu showing up itself after a normal Bios POST…

Then you said: Why should I do not another Windows release test?

It is over, during the last setup step Windows installer overwrite the MBR (Master Boot Record) and you cannot make a OS choice at boot time anymore.

And now?

Before you start please note that if you are not confident in what you are doing or in repairing or recovering from the above listed process, then do not step to the outlined instructions. Working with MBR is easy in almost all situations, this process does not carry out data loss, but there still exists a (however minimal) risk about that, so you should back up your data before attempting to modify your hard disk settings.

I cannot help you troubleshoot problems you could have following this tutorial.

Follow these steps, get back the control and come back a dual boot user.

First of all clear your mind and do not forget that this method puts GRUB back on the MBR of the hard drive instead of in the root partition. This is good for most of you, but not if you already have an alternative boot manager as Boot Magic or System Commander or Acronis OS Selector.

If you have installed GRUB into the root partition instead of the MBR, the commands are a little different. Here there is the procedure:

Boot from a Live CD, (Ubuntu, OpenSuSE, Mandriva, Gentoo, Fedora and so on)

Open a terminal. Go on as SuperUser (or use sudo command) and enter root password as requested.

user@domain:~$ sudo grub
user@domain:~$ password for user:

Then type:

grub> find /boot/grub/stage1

You will get a system response like “(hd0)” or in my case “(hd0,6)”

grub> find /boot/grub/stage1

Go on typing:

grub> root (hd0,6)


grub> setup (hd0,6)

Pay attention here and stay focused: other troubleshoot instructions suggest you to type “(hd0)”, and that is good if you want to write GRUB to the MBR and not on the root partition. So this is up to you.

The final command let you exit the grub shell:

grub> quit

Now reboot the system and remove the bootable live media.

user@domain:~$ sudo reboot

I hope this guide will help you to gain control of you boot procedure.

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