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I am trying to boot from an USB stick. Have carefully followed the instructions at the following link and successfully downloaded and installed version Ubuntu 12.04 desktop:

I used the Universal-USB-Installer- as instructed and choose the Ubuntu 12.04 desktop option, after downloading the respective iso/zip file onto my Dell laptop from the Ubuntu site.

Also modified my BIOS to select the USB first as boot drive instead of hard drive. Also, turned off bit blocker on my laptop and USB stick. USB stick has the setting of Automatically unlock this drive on this computer.

When I reboot my laptop, it first boots into a black screen (I assume is the BIOS), but prompts saying Remove disks or other media. Press any key to start. I press any key and regardless the laptop boots up to Windows. Hence, it appears that the boot process is checking the USB first before going to the hard drive to look for it's boot disk and starting Windows 7.

Is it that the USB stick is not correctly configured with Ubuntu as a boot disk? Is there anything else that I need to do besides the instructions at the following link?

How can I ensure that USB boot stick is configured correctly? After running the Universal-USB-Installer- to "install" Ubuntu, is there additional configuration/installation steps?

What is the first file that the BIOS would look for on this USB drive? Is this configured somewhere in the BIOS, or would it just look for a grub file or /boot dir?

The only message I get when booting is

Remove disks or other media. Press any key to start.

Any and all help would be much appreciated.

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I am not sure if your laptop supports this feature, but many laptops and desktops these days will go into a "boot menu" when you press F12 at the boot screen. Does your laptop support that feature? If it does, it usually displays this on the boot screen

I would recommend to plug a USB drive, boot and activate boot menu by pressing F12 or whatever you have there. If USB is recognized by BIOS and is bootable, the BIOS would display it in the list of boot options. If you don't see it in the list, there you go, your problem is BIOS can not read the flash, so maybe you should use a different one.

If a drive is in fact shown in the list of options, see if you can boot it. I imagine if it's working, it should at least attempt booting

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This is late but since I just went through this maybe this might help someone else.Go to unebootin follow their inst. Make sure you have a live and 32 or 64 as needed and the latest Ubuntu which was 13.04 when I did it follow the uefi/bios inst.and make sure to turn off safe boot and you should be good to go....

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