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I am trying to boot Ubuntu from a flash drive, but whenever I try and boot it an error comes up and the boot fails.

Kernel image not found: vesamenu.c32
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which versoin of ubuntu you are trying to install ? Is it 10.10/11.04? –  Web-E Jul 3 '12 at 7:59
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Yeah look first of make sure you are using the correct Version of Ubuntu to make your bootable pendrive. For eg. If you have a 64 bit laptop, it is better you go with 64 bit one.

If you don't know how to check this. Go to your windows computer, type msconfig in start and click on msconfig. It will clearly mention if you have a 64 bit or 32 bit system.

Next you can use unetbootin to create the bootable usb.

Next important thing is that you check you have a correct boot sequence, i.e your usb is at top then followed by Hard disk. This is important.

Also make sure, you have not connected any other flash drive when u are installing, as it can cause confusion. I think this should suffice your problem. If not don't hesitate to follow up.

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