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Downloaded Ubuntu and transferred it to a usb using Unetbootin for mac. My dell mini 9, when I plug the usb in, comes up with 'missing operating system'. Not sure if I missed a step but it appears I have everything on the USB that is needed. Unless I've added something unnecessary like the actual ubuntu 12.10 iso file?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The problem could be one of a couple of things.

If there is no operating system on your mini's main drive, the bios might not be booting from the USB stick at all, and instead is trying to boot from the main drive. This is only the case if you can boot the system normally without the USB stick. If you have a new empty drive, this is certainly a possibility. Reading the docs suggests that you can enter the boot menu by pressing 0 repeatedly during the POST screen.

The other possibility is that the USB stick is being booted, but there is no MBR on it. The MBR is invisible to the user for the most part, so its lack of inclusion would not be obvious. Your best option here is to try making the USB stick again, while reading the instructions again... it is easy to miss that one little detail sometimes. Also, some USB sticks are strange, so it might be worth trying a different one if you have one handy.

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It did have an SSD but it burnt out, so I took that out and I'm trying to use a pen drive to replace it, but I'm inexperienced with computers so it confuses me. The USB is a 32GB Sandisk Cruzer blade by the way. – Louis Oct 30 '12 at 20:45
The USB already had stuff on it, and I'm not sure if just getting rid of everything would work, there was stuff on the USB before I started trying to install Ubuntu 12.10 on it. If you think that I should just get rid of everything on the USB please say. – Louis Oct 30 '12 at 20:50
This probably means that the USB stick does not have the operating system installed correctly, and more specifically it does not have an MBR. Unfortunately, I have positively no clue how to use OSX... so I can not really walk you through live USB creation. – Bailey S Oct 30 '12 at 20:56
Thanks for telling me what the problem was, I'm going to delete everything on the USB and try and install it again. – Louis Oct 30 '12 at 20:57
Could you tell me how I could check if I have an MBR? Or what step I missed in not getting it? – Louis Nov 1 '12 at 10:10

Needs to be adjusted for exact BIOS behavior of Dell Mini 9.

You may need to change boot order, to select the USB device first (ahead of internal (?) SSD).

A better method is to force manual boot, and select the USB device. This is usually more reliable.

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How do I force manual boot on a dell mini then? I took the internal SSD out because it was burnt out. – Louis Oct 30 '12 at 20:34
You could try this: – david6 Oct 30 '12 at 20:51
Those cost a lot, trying not to pay much, but thanks anyway. – Louis Oct 30 '12 at 20:56

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