[Lubuntu-comms] the USB chainloader that helps other USB drives boot

Israel israeldahl at gmail.com
Wed Jan 1 16:19:59 UTC 2014

I was asking because I had received a laptop a while back where I had 
the problem of a broken Optical drive.  I couldn't install a fresh 
operating system without first using an optical drive, as the BIOS 
didn't support USB booting.  I did end up taking apart the laptop and 
using a different laptop's optical drive to boot and install Lubuntu.  I 
was wondering if this provided some awesome (and seemingly impossible) 
solution to something I had encountered that I couldn't find a 
workaround for.  I suppose this is something that would be hard to do, 
unless you had 1 specific BIOS you were targeting and knew the internals 
well enough to hack around and get a hack to boot from a USB.... :(
Though I am sure this will be a handy tool to have.  It seems like there 
are quite a number of us here that get old 'broken' WinXP computers and 
have to do some clever things to get them to boot, and function (reminds 
me of Ali's current battle with his Laptop).
Fortunately hardware vendors are beginning to work to make things easier 
for us now, rather than difficult (except the silly M$ UEFI debacle... 
though EFI to boot straight into Lubuntu would make boot times 
phenomenal rather than using GRUB... like a Mac does with its EFI)

On 01/01/2014 09:22 AM, Nio Wiklund wrote:
> Hi again,
> Or do you mean the general question, how to install without CD/DVD/USB?
> Yes I can. I would take advantage of the portability of the Ubuntu
> family systems, connect the internal drive to another computer and
> install the operating system. It will work after you reconnect the
> internal drive into it's original computer except when UEFI causes problems.
> Best regards
> Nio
> 2014-01-01 16:10, Nio Wiklund skrev:
>> Hi Israel,
>> The USB bootloader is meant to work like your second alternative, to
>> help booting from a USB device, that will not boot from the computer's
>> own boot menu.
>> But of course, if it is installed into an internal or eSATA drive, it
>> will help booting, but that is better catered for with the '40_custom'
>> method described in the following link
>> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/FromUSBStick#Chainloading
>> The USB chainloader will not do the same thing as Plop, so it will be a
>> complement, not a replacement.
>> Best regards
>> Nio
>> 2014-01-01 15:42, Israel skrev:
>>> Can you boot computers that have no capability to boot from usb, and
>>> have a broken optical drive?
>>> Or is this mainly just to boot a USB stick that is not supported by the
>>> computer to boot from?
>>> On 01/01/2014 05:41 AM, Nio Wiklund wrote:
>>>> Good question Jörn,
>>>> The USB chainloader works from USB.
>>>> I know Plop and have used it to boot USB via CD in old computers. I
>>>> tried to use Plop from USB. I could make it boot and run its menu, but I
>>>> was not able to boot another USB device from it, at least not with the
>>>> fairly modern hardware that I tested (for example professional class HP
>>>> laptops, the newest one with Intel i5).
>>>> Under the hood the USB chainloader is a stripped system based on Ubuntu
>>>> 13.04. The grub bootloader and the boot directory is what is kept, and
>>>> the file grub.cfg is modified.
>>>> So I would say that the USB chainloader is a complement to Plop. I'd be
>>>> happy if you can help me boot from USB with Plop and chainload into
>>>> other USB devices, because it would make it easier to have only one tool
>>>> for these similar purposes.
>>>> Best regards
>>>> Nio
>>>> 2014-01-01 11:33, Joern skrev:
>>>>> What is the difference to Plop boot loader?
>>>>> Am 01.01.2014 um 05:36 schrieb Nio Wiklund <nio.wiklund at gmail.com>:
>>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>> I just finished a little tool that helps boot some computers from
>>>>>> [other] USB boot drives - the Chainloader
>>>>>> The chainloader is useful for middle-aged computers, for example
>>>>>> computers without a CD/DVD drive, where it can be hard to boot from a
>>>>>> USB drive, or when you want to run from a fast USB 3 drive that is
>>>>>> unwilling to boot.
>>>>>> -o-
>>>>>> What is new, why a new tool? Isn't it enough to be able to use mkusb or
>>>>>> the other tools?
>>>>>> The answer is in this tutorial 'Howto help USB boot drives'
>>>>>> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2196858
>>>>>> -o-
>>>>>> Phill, can the compressed image file be uploaded to your server? Maybe
>>>>>> it is too small to have an own link or page. Maybe it can share a page
>>>>>> with mkusb. What do you think?
>>>>>> Best regards
>>>>>> Nio
>>>>>> -- 
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