boot from "USB Device" - Storage

This is a discussion on boot from "USB Device" - Storage ; Virtually all of Dell's current PCs include "USB Device" as a bootable device type in their BIOSs' Boot Sequence of device types. Here is the setup specs for Dell's XPS 420 desktop: http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1054035 Check out the Option Settings under the ...

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Thread: boot from "USB Device"

  1. boot from "USB Device"

    Virtually all of Dell's current PCs include "USB Device"
    as a bootable device type in their BIOSs' Boot Sequence
    of device types. Here is the setup specs for Dell's XPS 420
    desktop:
    http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1054035

    Check out the Option Settings under the "Boot Sequence"
    section. It refers to "USB Device" as a "memory device",
    not a "storage device". And when I explicitly asked Dell's
    Tech Support whether that would include USB hard drives,
    the answer was "No". Would someone here tell why the
    Dell PCs can boot from USB flash drives and not from
    USB hard drives?

    *TimDaniels*



  2. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    On Thu, 31 Jan 2008 12:24:07 -0800, "Timothy Daniels"
    put finger to keyboard and composed:

    >Virtually all of Dell's current PCs include "USB Device"
    >as a bootable device type in their BIOSs' Boot Sequence
    >of device types. Here is the setup specs for Dell's XPS 420
    >desktop:
    >http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1054035
    >
    >Check out the Option Settings under the "Boot Sequence"
    >section. It refers to "USB Device" as a "memory device",
    >not a "storage device". And when I explicitly asked Dell's
    >Tech Support whether that would include USB hard drives,
    >the answer was "No". Would someone here tell why the
    >Dell PCs can boot from USB flash drives and not from
    >USB hard drives?
    >
    >*TimDaniels*


    Could it be that the drive has to be formatted as a "super floppy", ie
    no partition table, just a boot sector?

    Try Fdisk-ing and reformating your flash drive. I suspect it will fail
    to boot after you do this.

    - Franc Zabkar
    --
    Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

  3. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage Franc Zabkar wrote:
    > On Thu, 31 Jan 2008 12:24:07 -0800, "Timothy Daniels"
    > put finger to keyboard and composed:


    >>Virtually all of Dell's current PCs include "USB Device"
    >>as a bootable device type in their BIOSs' Boot Sequence
    >>of device types. Here is the setup specs for Dell's XPS 420
    >>desktop:
    >>http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1054035
    >>
    >>Check out the Option Settings under the "Boot Sequence"
    >>section. It refers to "USB Device" as a "memory device",
    >>not a "storage device". And when I explicitly asked Dell's
    >>Tech Support whether that would include USB hard drives,
    >>the answer was "No". Would someone here tell why the
    >>Dell PCs can boot from USB flash drives and not from
    >>USB hard drives?
    >>
    >>*TimDaniels*


    > Could it be that the drive has to be formatted as a "super floppy", ie
    > no partition table, just a boot sector?


    > Try Fdisk-ing and reformating your flash drive. I suspect it will fail
    > to boot after you do this.


    Probably. Apart from that, USB disk and USB flash uses the
    same command set, i.e. if one is bootable, then so is the other.

    Arno

  4. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    As I stated earlier, it all depends on the drivers one finds on the USB boot
    medium. A USB floppy boots OK because the BIOS knows how to handle it. A USB
    stick or hard drive will only boot OK if it has the right drivers for the right
    operating system on the boot medium in addition to the boot sector and and
    whatever OS files are needed... Ben Myers


    On Thu, 31 Jan 2008 12:24:07 -0800, "Timothy Daniels"
    wrote:

    >Virtually all of Dell's current PCs include "USB Device"
    >as a bootable device type in their BIOSs' Boot Sequence
    >of device types. Here is the setup specs for Dell's XPS 420
    >desktop:
    >http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1054035
    >
    >Check out the Option Settings under the "Boot Sequence"
    >section. It refers to "USB Device" as a "memory device",
    >not a "storage device". And when I explicitly asked Dell's
    >Tech Support whether that would include USB hard drives,
    >the answer was "No". Would someone here tell why the
    >Dell PCs can boot from USB flash drives and not from
    >USB hard drives?
    >
    >*TimDaniels*
    >


  5. Re: boot from "USB Device"


    "Ben Myers" wrote in message
    news:h8p4q3hlaj29u2v7b17faf9sap38qub3tm@4ax.com...
    > As I stated earlier, it all depends on the drivers one finds on the USB
    > boot
    > medium. A USB floppy boots OK because the BIOS knows how to handle it.
    > A USB
    > stick or hard drive will only boot OK if it has the right drivers for the
    > right
    > operating system on the boot medium in addition to the boot sector and and
    > whatever OS files are needed... Ben Myers
    >
    >



    The only way I manually was able to get a USB flash drive to become bootable
    w/o using a utility was to partition/format it as a FAT16 partition and then
    sys the flash drive being sure to include msdos.sys.

    Worked like a charm.

    I have not make extreme attempts to make an external HDD bootable, but would
    like to do so if I had the time.....


    Stew



  6. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    A boot floppy is assigned BIOS unit 00h, and hard disk (partitionable) is unit 80h.
    These numbers are coded into the MBR (80) and OS boot sector (00 or 80).
    To find out which, boot DOS from non-USB and check the drive is assigned A/B or C+.
    If Dell has USB floppy support, it will not work if the disk has an MBR.

    Also, there are at least three classes of USB storage device,
    and the BIOS probably only implements some of them (floppy most common).

    "Timothy Daniels" wrote in message
    news:47a22e39$0$8634$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    > Virtually all of Dell's current PCs include "USB Device"
    > as a bootable device type in their BIOSs' Boot Sequence
    > of device types. Here is the setup specs for Dell's XPS 420
    > desktop:
    > http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1054035
    >
    > Check out the Option Settings under the "Boot Sequence"
    > section. It refers to "USB Device" as a "memory device",
    > not a "storage device". And when I explicitly asked Dell's
    > Tech Support whether that would include USB hard drives,
    > the answer was "No". Would someone here tell why the
    > Dell PCs can boot from USB flash drives and not from
    > USB hard drives?
    >



  7. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    "S.Lewis" wrote:
    > The only way I manually was able to get a USB flash drive
    > to become bootable w/o using a utility was to partition/format
    > it as a FAT16 partition and then sys the flash drive being sure
    > to include msdos.sys.
    >
    > Worked like a charm.



    What does it mean to "sys the flash drive"?

    *TimDaniels*



  8. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    Timothy Daniels wrote:
    > "S.Lewis" wrote:
    >> The only way I manually was able to get a USB flash drive
    >> to become bootable w/o using a utility was to partition/format
    >> it as a FAT16 partition and then sys the flash drive being sure
    >> to include msdos.sys.
    >>
    >> Worked like a charm.

    >
    >
    > What does it mean to "sys the flash drive"?


    The sys dos command puts the basic dos boot files on the drive.



  9. Re: boot from "USB Device"


    "Rod Speed" wrote in message
    news:60g51qF1p9np1U1@mid.individual.net...
    > Timothy Daniels wrote:
    >> "S.Lewis" wrote:
    >>> The only way I manually was able to get a USB flash drive
    >>> to become bootable w/o using a utility was to partition/format
    >>> it as a FAT16 partition and then sys the flash drive being sure
    >>> to include msdos.sys.
    >>>
    >>> Worked like a charm.

    >>
    >>
    >> What does it mean to "sys the flash drive"?

    >
    > The sys dos command puts the basic dos boot files on the drive.
    >



    Yep. And the way I did it was kind of clumsy. I actually had to disable all
    other bootable drives/network in BIOS, then boot to a modified Win95 floppy.

    Under those conditions, the system recognized the flash drive volume (256mb)
    just as it would a fixed drive. FDISK, format, sys.

    Not positive, but I believe I then re-enabled all the other drives in BIOS,
    but could still choose to F12 and boot from the flash drive. (Dimension
    8300)



  10. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    It is easier to get bootpart and run it under 2K/XP to build a DOS boot sector.

    Beside the other reasons I gave for USB boot being difficult,
    the CHS geometry in the MBR and boot sector have to match those of the BIOS,
    which is not likely on most USB flash devices I've looked at.

    "Timothy Daniels" wrote in message
    news:47a2b39b$0$17340$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    >
    > What does it mean to "sys the flash drive"?
    >
    > *TimDaniels*
    >



  11. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    "Eric Gisin" wrote in message
    news:13q6lq7lva34812@corp.supernews.com...
    > It is easier to get bootpart and run it under 2K/XP to build a DOS boot
    > sector.
    >
    > Beside the other reasons I gave for USB boot being difficult,
    > the CHS geometry in the MBR and boot sector have to match those of the
    > BIOS,
    > which is not likely on most USB flash devices I've looked at.


    Could you please explain further why Canadian flash devices are unlikely to
    have a cheese geometry in their moobers which match those in their
    biospheres? And I have a nice pair of Canadian boots which aren't in the
    least bit difficult.



  12. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    Taken wrote:
    > "Eric Gisin" wrote in message
    > news:13q6lq7lva34812@corp.supernews.com...
    >> It is easier to get bootpart and run it under 2K/XP to build a DOS boot
    >> sector.
    >>
    >> Beside the other reasons I gave for USB boot being difficult,
    >> the CHS geometry in the MBR and boot sector have to match those of the
    >> BIOS,
    >> which is not likely on most USB flash devices I've looked at.

    >
    > Could you please explain further why Canadian flash devices are unlikely to
    > have a cheese geometry in their moobers which match those in their
    > biospheres? And I have a nice pair of Canadian boots which aren't in the
    > least bit difficult.


    I give up! This thread has evolved (drifted?) completely beyond my ken.

  13. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    I didn't see anything posted by Ken... Ben Myers

    On Fri, 01 Feb 2008 16:14:35 -0500, Tony Harding wrote:

    >Taken wrote:
    >> "Eric Gisin" wrote in message
    >> news:13q6lq7lva34812@corp.supernews.com...
    >>> It is easier to get bootpart and run it under 2K/XP to build a DOS boot
    >>> sector.
    >>>
    >>> Beside the other reasons I gave for USB boot being difficult,
    >>> the CHS geometry in the MBR and boot sector have to match those of the
    >>> BIOS,
    >>> which is not likely on most USB flash devices I've looked at.

    >>
    >> Could you please explain further why Canadian flash devices are unlikely to
    >> have a cheese geometry in their moobers which match those in their
    >> biospheres? And I have a nice pair of Canadian boots which aren't in the
    >> least bit difficult.

    >
    >I give up! This thread has evolved (drifted?) completely beyond my ken.


  14. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    "Ben Myers" wrote in message
    news:ed57q31rrd9kkfe1iv8lta8isofljcqkni@4ax.com...
    >
    > On Fri, 01 Feb 2008 16:14:35 -0500, Tony Harding
    > wrote:
    >
    >>Taken wrote:
    >>> "Eric Gisin" wrote in message
    >>> news:13q6lq7lva34812@corp.supernews.com...
    >>>> It is easier to get bootpart and run it under 2K/XP to build a DOS boot
    >>>> sector.
    >>>>
    >>>> Beside the other reasons I gave for USB boot being difficult,
    >>>> the CHS geometry in the MBR and boot sector have to match those of the
    >>>> BIOS,
    >>>> which is not likely on most USB flash devices I've looked at.
    >>>
    >>> Could you please explain further why Canadian flash devices are unlikely
    >>> to
    >>> have a cheese geometry in their moobers which match those in their
    >>> biospheres? And I have a nice pair of Canadian boots which aren't in the
    >>> least bit difficult.

    >>
    >>I give up! This thread has evolved (drifted?) completely beyond my ken.

    >
    >I didn't see anything posted by Ken... Ben Myers


    A shame, I hear Ken knows a thing or two about cheese geometries.



  15. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    Eric Gisin wrote in news:13q6lq7lva34812@corp.supernews.com
    > It is easier to get bootpart and run it under 2K/XP to build a DOS boot
    > sector.
    >
    > Beside the other reasons I gave for USB boot being difficult,
    > the CHS geometry in the MBR and boot sector have to match those of the BIOS,
    > which is not likely on most USB flash devices I've looked at.


    How much easier can it get when the SYS command takes care of all that.

    >
    > "Timothy Daniels" wrote in message news:47a2b39b$0$17340$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    > >
    > > What does it mean to "sys the flash drive"?
    > >
    > > *TimDaniels*


  16. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    "Folkert Rienstra" wrote in message
    news:47a3a576$0$47124$892e7fe2@authen.yellow.readf reenews.net...
    > Eric Gisin wrote in news:13q6lq7lva34812@corp.supernews.com
    >> It is easier to get bootpart and run it under 2K/XP to build a DOS boot
    >> sector.
    >>
    >> Beside the other reasons I gave for USB boot being difficult,
    >> the CHS geometry in the MBR and boot sector have to match those of the BIOS,
    >> which is not likely on most USB flash devices I've looked at.

    >
    > How much easier can it get when the SYS command takes care of all that.
    >

    Assuming there is no MBR, or the MBR was created with fdisk.


  17. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    And posting as "Taken", maybe you are Ken? As in Ta Ken?

    On Fri, 1 Feb 2008 22:17:51 -0000, "Taken" wrote:

    >"Ben Myers" wrote in message
    >news:ed57q31rrd9kkfe1iv8lta8isofljcqkni@4ax.com...
    >>
    >> On Fri, 01 Feb 2008 16:14:35 -0500, Tony Harding
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Taken wrote:
    >>>> "Eric Gisin" wrote in message
    >>>> news:13q6lq7lva34812@corp.supernews.com...
    >>>>> It is easier to get bootpart and run it under 2K/XP to build a DOS boot
    >>>>> sector.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Beside the other reasons I gave for USB boot being difficult,
    >>>>> the CHS geometry in the MBR and boot sector have to match those of the
    >>>>> BIOS,
    >>>>> which is not likely on most USB flash devices I've looked at.
    >>>>
    >>>> Could you please explain further why Canadian flash devices are unlikely
    >>>> to
    >>>> have a cheese geometry in their moobers which match those in their
    >>>> biospheres? And I have a nice pair of Canadian boots which aren't in the
    >>>> least bit difficult.
    >>>
    >>>I give up! This thread has evolved (drifted?) completely beyond my ken.

    >>
    >>I didn't see anything posted by Ken... Ben Myers

    >
    >A shame, I hear Ken knows a thing or two about cheese geometries.
    >


  18. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    Eric Gisin wrote in news:13q7n15dgmon5ad@corp.supernews.com
    > "Folkert Rienstra" wrote in message news:47a3a576$0$47124$892e7fe2@authen.yellow.readf reenews.net...
    > > Eric Gisin wrote in news:13q6lq7lva34812@corp.supernews.com
    > > > It is easier to get bootpart and run it under 2K/XP to build a DOS boot
    > > > sector.
    > > >
    > > > Beside the other reasons I gave for USB boot being difficult,
    > > > the CHS geometry in the MBR and boot sector have to match those of the
    > > > BIOS, which is not likely on most USB flash devices I've looked at.

    > >
    > > How much easier can it get when the SYS command takes care of all that.


    > Assuming there is no MBR,


    In which case you create one using Fdisk, (which you already
    happen to have if you have access to the SYS command).

    > or the MBR was created with fdisk.


    In which case you just Format and SYS.

  19. Re: boot from "USB Device"

    Ben Myers wrote:
    > And posting as "Taken", maybe you are Ken? As in Ta Ken?


    Ouch!

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