Ubuntu – How to boot from a 16 Gb pendrive with some old BIOS


I need to boot Ubuntu in a computer (computer A) with no CD. I have a 16 Gb pendrive with a live Ubuntu version. The pendrive works in at least two newer computers. Computer A boots from a 2Gb pendrive right. So it's likely a BIOS issue.

But it's quite inconvenient to always carry two pendrives, how can I made the older computer boot from the bigger drive?.


  • Repartitioning the drive doesn't seen to work.
  • I noticed than the 16 Gb pendrive is seen like a external zip drive by the BIOS, while the smaller one is seen as a Hard Disk. Likely related.

Best Answer

  • Very often you can run in to problems with high-capacity usb-sticks and old hardware, most of the time the it is only BIOS that seems to be the problem. So if the BIOS can be upgraded then try that.

    The only other solution (afaik) is to kickstart usb-booting from a floppy-disk, and that is not really an alternative to carrying two sticks.

    If you are interested in the floppy method you should look at the grub documentation, and this brief guide on how to dd the precompiled image for pendrivelinux, after writing the disk you might have to edit the grub-config file on there.

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