Need help booting from USB

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by ravenousllama, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. ravenousllama macrumors member

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    #1
    Hello, I have a unibody MacBook running 10.6.1, though I'm not entirely sure the second part is relevant.

    The issue is that I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to get my MacBook to start a flash drive version of Ubuntu 9.04. I know that the image I've made is bootable because it runs fine on my older Compaq notebook. The issue is that the Mac boot menu refuses to find the flash drive when I restart with it plugged in.

    Is there a button I need to be holding down besides option that I'm not doing at the moment? Or is my mac simply not compatible with USB-boot without installation of an outside bootloader?
     
  2. njl macrumors regular

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  3. ravenousllama thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    It's the standard FAT flash drive file system. The flash drive was set up for boot using Ubuntu's utility included on the 9.04 Live CD.

    I could just stick with the CD but I wanted to use the drive because the CD doesn't include NVIDIA drivers on it by default, and won't install them without a system restart. Which, of course, is pointless when you're running from RAM. The flash drive, however, can be set up to include storage space to remember settings, files, and installed packages such as those very drivers.

    The CD, by the way, does boot and will run, though the menu erroneously refers to it as just "Windows."
     
  4. njl macrumors regular

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    #4
    you're probably going to have to reformat the usb to include a GUID Partition Table...
     
  5. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

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    #5
  6. ravenousllama thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Thanks, that link has been very helpful. Though this raises more questions, as it seems to imply, at least in my situation, that I may end up having to physically install Ubuntu onto the flash drive. Would that screw with the distro in terms of portability and having to reload drivers every time or would that be fine?
     
  7. ravenousllama thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Would using a GUID partition table also destroy support for Windows-based computers?
     
  8. ravenousllama thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    I'll give it a go using GPT and FAT and let all of you know how it went.
     
  9. ravenousllama thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    No, the GPT setup didn't work. I'm hesitant to use the Apple Partition Map as this would presumably make it incompatible with PCs. Any suggestions?
     
  10. njl macrumors regular

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    #10
    keep the partition and version..

    next google and look for a way to choose your drive when you boot... it may be to hold down the option key as you hit the power button..

    i'm really intrigued here.. :)
     
  11. ravenousllama thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    Holding down option is what you normally do to choose a boot volume.

    I'm completely lost here. I might just stick with the Live CD and live with the inability to have any 3D acceleration.
     
  12. Utamaru macrumors newbie

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    Jul 3, 2009
    #12
  13. ravenousllama thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    It seems as though the unibody MacBook doesn't have support for booting from USB. But I don't know. Is anyone else having this issue?
     
  14. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

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    #14
    I don't have any problem booting OS X from a USB drive on my unibody MB.
     
  15. eman macrumors 6502a

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    In the great white north
    #15
    My unibody macbook boots fine from USB thumb drive and USB external hard drive.
     

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