What to do about machines that don't support USB booting?

CloudReady has a lot of added baggage to make it work as well as possible on all hardware, as well as to accommodate the partition scheme of Chromium OS. The result is that the image we provide for installing CloudReady is over 5 GB - much larger than most Linux distributions.

 

This size is too large for CDs, which can make it difficult to find a way to install CloudReady on a machine which does not support USB booting. Here are some tips if you find yourself in that situation:

 

  • Try creating a bootable Plop CD, and see if Plop will help you boot from USB.
  • Always update your BIOS to manufacturers latest version, if you haven't already - many machines in the 2005-2008 era did not get this feature until a revision after launch.
  • If you're willing to get your hands dirty, try removing the HDD in the destination-machine, installing to that HDD via some other machine that *can* USB boot, and then re-insert it.

 

If all of these steps fail (or you don't have a second machine to use)  you may be out of luck, as we don't currently support any other methods of installation.

Keep in mind - Often, a machine doesn't support USB boot because it was made before this was a common practice. While there are some machines in the 2006-2008 range which have this problem despite otherwise supported hardware, many times a machine that is too old to USB boot also has a processor or graphics which are too old to work well with CloudReady anyway. 

 

Hope this helps! 

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4 Comments

  • Avatar
    jrdaparker

    I tried the Plop Boot Manager on 2 computers that did not have an option to boot from USB in the BIOS. The Boot manager came up and I was able to select the USB drive, and it seemed to start booting Cloudready, it either just hung, or rebooted the computer, so.

    When I get a computer that I can boot from USB, I will try swapping the drives and try these computers again, but I suspect that you might be right that if they can't boot from USB, they are probably too old to work with Cloudready.

    I was able to get 2 other computers up and running with Cloudready and it works fine.

  • Avatar
    Peter Li

    I have a Toshiba Satellite that can boot from a Fedora Live USB, but won't boot from the CloudReady USB. I've used the same CloudReady USB to successfully install on a Vaio. Thoughts?

    Given that I have Grub2 on the Toshiba, I tried a workaround by running grub2-mkconfig and it is able to create a menuitem to boot from the CloudReady USB, and this does boot. I then tried manual install, but postinst was missing cros_legacy / cros_efi, so I tried adding these to the boot menuitem. Now manual install completes, but the Toshiba still can't boot from the HDD. Thoughts?

  • Avatar
    Forrest Smith

    Hi Peter,

    Have you re-tried the USB on your Vaio, just to be certain it still works?

    Once you've done that - you should check your HDD settings for any kind of UEFI mode, and even consider seeing if HDD mode (AHCI/IDE) has an effect.

    If you have further questions I'd request that you open a new thread to discuss this further.

    Edited by Forrest Smith
  • Avatar
    Peter Li

    It seems it boils down to the Toshiba bios not recognizing GPT partitions. I don't have Windows on the machine, so I guess I have to make a DOS boot disk to try upgrading the bios.

    In the meantime, I tried manually creating a dual boot setup by installing Fedora on MBR partitions and then manually duplicating the partitions on the CloudReady install stick, but it detected something amiss and went into a repair loop. For now I'm punting and just using Fedora, but I'll post back if I try again.

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