USB drive prepared for installation of Kubuntu 9.10, but laptop does not boot from it.

Goh Lip g.lip at
Wed Dec 23 02:10:26 UTC 2009

On 23/12/09 07:13, Bas Roufs wrote:
> Hello everybody
> Today, I transferred a Kubuntu 9.10 i386 image file to a USB stick via
> usb-creator-kde.  - From this stick, I am trying to install Kubuntu 9.10
> at a laptop, whose CD/ DVD combo drive does not work very well. Earlier,
> several attempts to install Kubuntu from CD failed. Also the Knoppix CD
> does not work any more in this CD/ DVD combo drive. That's why, i am
> trying now to this USB stick. When checking the files at the USB stick
> via Dolphin, I see exactly the same files as those at the CD I used
> before. For the preparation of the USB drive, I have followed the
> instructions at this page:
> The laptop is a Medion MD5400, produced in 1992. In it's BIOS, I have
> selected 'removable drives'  as the first drives to boot from. However,
> the laptop simply does not boot from it. The laptop boots from the HD,
> where I installed Kubuntu 9.04. But already in the beginning, the
> following message appears:
> /GRUB loading, please wait....
> Error 15./
> I do not manage to avoid 'Error 15' by booting the USB stick. After
> 'Error 15' , everything simply stagnates, until I try to reboot via
> Does anybody have a clue on how to get the laptop booting from the USB
> stick?
> Thanks for replying. Respectfully yours,
> Bas.

Bas, do not know if you have a Karmic partition in your hard drive with 
grub2. If you do, please boot from the hard drive Karmic, with the usb 
drive inserted, check the following.....

When grub2 boots (from the hard drive), go to grub2 shell, and type

note the notation of that usb, eg., (hd2,1)

boot that karmic (again from hard drive), mount that usb drive and check 
if (usb)/boot/grub/grub.cfg is there. (may not be there from the error 
message you get). Also note UUID of usb from blkid command.

Amend or add a grub.cfg to that (usb)/boot/grub/grub.cfg.
Copy from your (harddrive)/boot/grub/grub.cfg

Amend the (usb)/boot/grub/grub.cfg as follows.....

just after the d/00 entry and BEFORE the d/10 entries,
amend the lines to the usb (hd2,1) and UUID number,
example below...

> set default=0
> set timeout=7
> insmod ext2
> set root=(hd2,1)
> search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 121658db-a541-4f6a-b5b2-2e626754c197

Also, just after the d/10 entry, again amend to the usb (hd2,1) and UUID no.


> 	insmod ext2
> 	set root=(hd2,1)
> 	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set f3412cbb-51f9-428e-9ef9-1cfd34c59a60
> 	linux	/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31-16-generic root=UUID=f3412cbb-51f9-428e-9ef9-1cfd34c59a60 ro   quiet splash
> 	initrd	/boot/initrd.img-2.6.31-16-generic

Save, done.

If it still does not boot, at grub2 (this time it should be from your 
usb) you do a 'ls' again and note that (hd,x,y), it may become for 
example, (hd3,1) - usb are known for doing that.

Bas, in case you don't have Karmic at hard drive, I suggest you 
reinstall (not copy image) direct to your usb drive and set grub2 to 
that usb. Boot using esc, F12, F8 or F10, whatever the case for your 

One note from my experience running kubuntu from usb....
it is extremely slow..., it is not worth the effort. Running dsl linux 
or puppy linux from usb is fast and good; very different from running 
kubuntu or kubuntu netbook remix from usb. (may be good for internal 
flash drives)

Goh Lip

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