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I was just about to install Ubuntu on my notebook (Acer Aspire one) and I had to boot from USB because I've got no CD-ROM on my PC. It seems pretty simple, but it keeps booting from the HDD as if the USB wasn't there...

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Have you tried to change the boot sequence in the BIOS? Make sure you set the system to boot to USB first instead of the HDD. – Peachy Aug 21 '12 at 1:10
Does your BIOS support USB booting? – hexafraction Sep 17 '12 at 22:33

Have you set correct boot order in BIOS? USB boot must be higher priority than booting from HDD. If so try another brand of USB key, I've had weird issues before now. Also how are you prepping USB key?

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Another issue with booting from USB is the format of the USB. Quite often I have seen USB formats not be recognized form one OS to another. Always format in fat16 or better yet fat32. Never format a USB in a Linux only format as you will not then be able to transfer between other vendor products.

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