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Re: Faulty BIOS or GRUB issue (USB Stick won't boot)

From: James Courtier-Dutton
Subject: Re: Faulty BIOS or GRUB issue (USB Stick won't boot)
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009 09:26:44 +0100

2009/9/30 Daniel Mierswa <address@hidden>:
> Hey list,
> in January this year I got my hands dirty with a laptop and tried booting it
> via USB stick. The thing is that, when installed to the MBR of the stick,
> the BIOS just won't detect it and print "Operating system not found" and
> skips to reading the MBR from HDD. If I install it into the active boot
> partition of the stick, it will show me the "GRUB " notification_string
> (boot/i386/pc/boot.S). I'm currently booting this stick via syslinux which
> then loads a GRUB image I created with lnxboot.img. However I find this very
> impractical, as I need to find the UUID of the stick (which GRUB then sees
> as fd0) and load a configuration which itself loads the real GRUB
> configuration. I received quite a few help during that time of year by
> Robert and daChaac via IRC, and I also posted this on help-grub@ but got no
> answer there. I bring this up again, because someone else faced the same
> issue with another USB stick (until that point I seemed to be the only one
> facing it). I "debug"ed as good as I could by putting the output of the
> notification string in the boot.S file to several places and reboot. It
> comes to the point where it executes `jmp *(kernel_address)`.
> If anyone has any idea how to go on with this issue, I'd welcome it.
> Thanks in advance.

Can you do a
fdisk -u -l /dev/sdb

or whatever device the usb stick is when plugged in.
If the first partition of the usb stick starts at sector less than 63,
grub has probably not been installed due to lack of embedded area.
Quite a few usb sticks start at sector 32 instead of sector 64.
A simple modification to get the first partition to start at sector 64
might help you.

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