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USB Boot at Legacy Computer

02/10/2011

Very often I come up with an interesting live distribution that I want to test or look around, but I don’t want to spend another one CD/DVD for just testing this live distro. Of course, many of these live CDs come also with images for USB startups. Unfortunately, most of my computers are so old that they can’t boot properly from their USB sticks. So, I have left a lot of unseen information on my disks without bothering to burn all these images on yet another CD.

All this situation was happening until now. Now I discovered Plop Boot Manager, a tool that lets you boot from a USB disk with the help of a single CD or (even) a Floppy disk. In other words, you burn once and test many live distributions! I’ve first read about this useful tool at this article.

Actually, Plop has many more features. The more obvious (and useful) to me is that I can now have only 1 CD in my hand and boot my old computers with any of the live CDs I find around. Beware only, that old computers tend to have USB 1.1 ports that are TOO slow to run or even boot a whole CD. Of course, loading a tiny or very small distribution should not be a problem, but a real big distribution will take many minutes to load.

Now, the only that remains is that I have to find out how to create a USB image from a CD one!

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From → Linux

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