Ubuntu – Ubuntu Live USB won’t boot, “Failed to load COM32 file menu.c32”


I'm hoping to revive an old netbook I have laying around by installing Linux on it. I did what I gather most of us are supposed to do: I created a Xubuntu 14.10 Live USB with Unetbootin, plugged the stick into my computer, tried to fire it up…

and was faced with a black screen and this error:

Failed to load COM32 file menu.c32

boot: _

The darn thing won't respond to any key presses and I can't do anything except turn it off and cry. I've tried reformatting my USB drive, redownloading the Xubuntu .iso, and remaking the Live USB. Same error.

What can I do to fix this?

This problem also occurs with usb-creator, otherwise known as "Startup Disk Creator". It's also a problem with all ubuntu variants, including those based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 14.10, and Ubuntu 15.04.

Best Answer

After doing some digging, it seems like this is a fairly common problem for some folks who try to create a Ubuntu Live USB with Unetbootin. The bug hasn't been fixed yet, but luckily there is a workaround.

You'll need:

  • A working computer with Ubuntu already installed
  • 1 minute of your time

The workaround:

  1. Plug your created Live USB into a computer with Ubuntu already installed.
  2. Navigate to /usr/lib/syslinux/bios/ in your file manager (in some installations the path you need is /usr/lib/syslinux/modules/bios/).
  3. Select the following three files: libcom32.c32, menu.c32, and libutil.c32.
  4. Copy (not cut) the above files over to the root directory of your Live USB drive.
  5. Unmount the USB drive, and you're good to go!

This solution was based off a blog post found on AjoPaul.com

Alternative Workaround From the command line:

After you install Ubuntu 14.10 to your USB drive, run the following commands:

cd /usr/lib/syslinux/modules/bios/
cp libcom32.c32 /media/path/to/usb/drive/
cp libutil.c32 /media/path/to/usb/drive/
cp menu.c32 /media/path/to/usb/drive/