Wednesday, November 19, 2008

USB & BIOS - Part I

Day 16

I'm being optimistic with the title of this post - I'm making the assumption that there will be a Part II post where all the problems listed below will be rectified. Maybe I'm setting myself up. Only tomorrow will tell.

My brother gave me Ubuntu loaded onto an 8GB flash drive for my birthday, and today I decided to see how it would perform on my laptop. I know it wouldn't be ideal since there is an Eee-specific Ubuntu, but it would at least give me a chance to go through the process of booting from a USB.

I knew I would have to change the boot order, so first step was to change some settings in the BIOS. One little problem though - the BIOS splash screen had long since disappeared during start up. After a few helpful suggestions from the folks at EeeUser, I figured out that quick boot was enabled. To fix this, all I needed to do was frantically press F2 immediately after powering on the Eee. From there I disabled the quick boot and then went to change the boot order.

I did not see an option for booting to a USB, per se. The closest option referred to it simply as an "external device." Strangely enough, it was already listed at the top of the boot sequence. Anticipating a quick solution to the task and an easy blog entry, I plugged in my flash drive, saved changes and restarted the laptop. It booted normally into Xandros. Crap.

Here's where it gets tricky. I noticed that upon loading KDE, the USB icon in the menu was curiously absent. Even though the flash drive was present, the Eee was not detecting it. I unplugged it, and then put it back in - this time it detected the USB drive no problem. I tried shutting down and restarting several more times, all with the same outcome.

For some reason the Eee is not detecting a flash drive that is loaded prior to powering on. This is a definite problem for anyone looking to boot to a USB, although I know it is possible based on countless wikis and forum conversations. My project for tomorrow is first figure out why my Eee is not playing nice with BIOS and USB devices. Stupid acronyms.

1 thoughts :

  1. John said...

    Hitting F2 will not give you a boot menu, you need to hit ESC and it will give you a choice to boot from harddrive/USB.

    Thanks