General Question

Nullo's avatar

Is it possible to update the BIOS to let me boot from a USB drive?

Asked by Nullo (21826 points ) July 16th, 2012

The project: make a bootable USB drive running PuppyLinux.

The problem: the target computer – an old HP Pavilion laptop – has and recognizes its two USB ports, but the BIOS doesn’t put them on the list of devices that you can boot from. It does, however, let you boot from a floppy.
The computer’s owner would like to switch over to Linux entirely at some point, but not right now and he really likes the idea of the OS-on-a-stick.

It is my hope to update the BIOS to resolve the issue, but if we could get it to think of the flash drive as the now-useless floppy drive, I think we could call that a win as well.

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3 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

Have you seen this?

Update the BIOS on HP’s website?

There’s another link there that will let you search for updates and it runs you through the process.

I don’t know if that will get you an update that includes the option to boot from a USB drive, but if not you can make a bootable disk with something like Plop on it to get around that.

There may be other solutions, but those are the two that came to mind.

jrpowell's avatar

My guess would be that if it can’t boot from USB in the BIOS the computer probably has USB1 ports. These are slow as hell and the thought of using USB1 as a boot device seems insane. Even using USB2 to boot is significantly slower then using a internal SATA drive.

My concern is that they will think Linux is shit since it is going to take ten minutes to boot and open Firefox.

Nullo's avatar

@johnpowell This particular machine was purchased circa 2003, so USB1 is not unlikely. No fear of Linux-hate; we had the Live CD in there earlier, worked beautifully.
Maybe he’ll be amenable to partitioning the HD.

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