Help with bootable USB Key Drive

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by NexTechSupport, May 15, 2007.

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  1. NexTechSupport

    NexTechSupport Registered Member

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    I am trying to create a bootable USB Key drive to use instead of a CD. I can go through the wizard and it says it copies all the files correctly but I can't seem to get any machines to boot off of it.

    The bios' support USB booting and I've tried several machines.

    Is there anything else I should be looking for when creating these. I have tried two different keys.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Ashley Heaton
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    I believe one of the requirements is that the flash drive has to be formatted as FAT, not fat32.
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    It will support either FAT32 or FAT16. I've done it both ways. The difference is in the way the computer's BIOS detects the device. On my computer, for example, FAT16 is detected as a hard drive (which is what I want) and it shows up in the list of hard drives. I've had the best results with FAT16 so that's when I'm currently using.

    Try both formats and see what works best. Some computers will detect it as a hard drive and put it in the hard drive list. If this happens, depending on your BIOS, you will have to set it to boot in the hard drive list in order to have it available in the boot items list. Also, check if it shows as a USB-ZIP, USB-HD, USB-CD, etc. Make sure this is the first item to boot. Also make sure the flash drive is plugged in when you turn on (or reboot) the computer as the detection can happen quite quickly on some systems.

    Also, I have always used a regular flash drive not one with any software, security, etc. installed (or hardcoded) on it. Those can cause problems.
     
  4. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    Persevere. I had to buy a second flash disk of a different brand in the end to get things to work. There are comaptability issues from both the USB stick and the Mobo/BIOS. You also need to use FAT, and the partition size can be important (i.e. in one case a 4GB one would not work until it was partitioned to 2*2GB). Finally when you choose your BIOS boot device, set all options to the USB ones. If one fails it will try the next. Once you have it booting it is an easy process of elimination to find the right one for your setup.

    Also have a look at this great post from Menorcaman, but note that you shouldn't need steps 6 and 7.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=659006&postcount=22

    Good luck,

    F.
     
  5. dougeeebear

    dougeeebear Registered Member

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    I just tried it, and it works great on my A-Data PD9 1GB USB Flash Drive formatted as FAT.
    My laptop recognizes it as an external hard drive.
    The bios boot order also had to be configured to include an external hard drive as a boot item.
    Neat idea.
     
  6. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    What brand/model laptop are you using? Have you tried booting Windows from an external drive?
     
  7. dougeeebear

    dougeeebear Registered Member

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    It's a HP nx6110 PM730 Laptop with Win-XP SP2
    I haven't tried to boot up from an external hard drive, but I'm still experimenting.
    I also have an older Gateway laptop with Win-XP SP1, but that recognizes the USB Flash Drive as removable storage, not as a hard drive.
    I don't know whether it's the way SP1 v/s SP2 recognizes the drive or if it's the bios, or both.
     
  8. MTX

    MTX Registered Member

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    Last edited: May 16, 2007
  9. NexTechSupport

    NexTechSupport Registered Member

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    Interesting, the two keys I tried happen to be a SanDisk and a Kingston.

    I'll hunt for something else.

    Thanks for all the replies everyone, I apprecitate it.
     
  10. silver0066

    silver0066 Registered Member

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    Take a look at Portable Flash Boot v1.4.0.157 at http://flmsdown.net/2007/05/01/portable_flashboot_140157.html .
     
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I've had no problems booting with my PNY Attache flash drives (the older ones without the security software) and also my new Crucial (1GB & 2GB) Gizmo! Overdrive flash drives. I also have an old 256MB Lexar JumpDrive and boots fine. As stated previously, it works best on my computer formatted as FAT.
     
  12. dougeeebear

    dougeeebear Registered Member

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    I have a Kingston TravelLite SD/MMC Card Reader that plugs into a USB port.
    Just for the heck of it, I stuck a 512MB SimpleTech SD card I have in it and created the Bootable Rescue Media on it, and guess what...

    IT WORKS!!!

    So I guess there are more options available than we realize for creating a bootable USB drive.

    Also, as a side note, the Portable Flash Boot program does work on the USB Flash Drives, and also with this SD Card Reader (thanks silver0066 for the link).

    Doug
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
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