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I failed to upgrade from 12.04 to 12.10, so I decide to make a fresh install of 12.10. My old computer doesn't support boot from usb, and its cd-rom is broken.
I know Plop Boot Manager can make my computer boot from usb. I know how to use it in Windows, and I did use it when I tranfer from Win-XP to Ubuntu 12.04. But now, I don't know how to use it under Linux.

As far as I know, despite of the lengthy documentation, using Plop to boot from usb under Windows is as simple as double clicking a bat file. But doc for linux is not that straitfoward and contains daunting terminologies such as LILO for a Linux newbie. What makes it worse is that I'm not a native English speaker.

So could someone show me a brief and concise instruction how to boot from usb?

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Why not fix the cd rom? It would solve all your problems since you could then install from CD. – Rinzwind Mar 24 '13 at 11:06
@Rinzwind I only use this old slow laptop for study popose. I have a new one as my main computer running Windows. So it's not worth repairing the old one. – duleshi Mar 24 '13 at 13:06
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This should work if you have GRUB2. Follow the source link to see other methods using LILO and other options.

Quote from the PLOP Boot manager site.

Download the current boot manager Extract it to get the boot manager install program. You find the install program in the install directory.

Copy to /boot.

Example file /etc/grub.d/40_custom

exec tail -n +3 $0

menuentry "Install Plop Boot Manager" {
    set root='(hd0,1)'
    linux16 /boot/

Then run update-grub2 or update-grub.

When you reboot, you should be able to choose the install program from your grub menu.

Info: You have to choose the correct root settings in your configuration or you get a "Error: file not found". See also this Forum entry.

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I do exactly what you said. 1)Copy to /boot. 2)modify /etc/grub.d/40_custom to be exactly the same as the example above. 3)run update-grub2 But no grub menu showed,just reboot normally as before. I guess the problem lies in the 40-custom file. My hard disk's name is /dev/sda1. Should the clause set root='(hd0,1)' be modified? Please give me more specific detail, since I'm a rookie in Linux. Thank you very much!@japzone – duleshi Mar 24 '13 at 15:16
@duleshi After you run update-grub you need to reboot your PC and access the GRUB menu. Are you saying that the GRUB menu doesn't appear during boot? – japzone Mar 24 '13 at 18:42
Yes,there isn't any GRUB menu appear. After I'v done those 3 steps, nothing has happened yet and everything is the same as before. – duleshi Mar 25 '13 at 0:36
@duleshi Hold your SHIFT key while your computer is booting to make GRUB appear. More details here: – japzone Mar 25 '13 at 1:50
Bravo! Your instructions succeed to make PLOP installed! But unfortunatly, the installation stuck in the whether or not connect to wireless network. Whilst the same usb can work on another computer. I 'm always doing Ubuntu the hard way. Sigh! Finally I give up. I want to use my 12.04 now. But I can't find a way to boot into my original OS. So could you please tell me how I can go into the OS or how can I uninstall PLOP? Pressing shift doesn't work any more, it seemed that PLOP has priviledge over GRUB. – duleshi Mar 25 '13 at 6:54

Rather late, but see following:_

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Basharat Sialvi May 4 '13 at 9:48

Alternative: If the PC has a floppy drive, you'll have to prepare a Plop floppy to boot from (if you still can access Plop at boot, if not, you'll have to prepare it from another PC that has a floppy drive). From there, you can chose to boot from USB (you can prepare the USB with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS in your newer PC).

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As I remember, using plop boot to boot Ubuntu is as simple as

  1. creating a bootable USB drive with Ubuntu on it. If you are using Windows, go to pendrive Linux and there is a utility to put it on your USB for you.

  2. Be sure your BIOS is set up to boot from CD/DVD.

  3. Boot with plop boot CD in the drive and the USB stick in and select "boot usb".

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Similar to nerof61, you also missed one key restriction, the cd-rom is broken. My fault. I should make the keywords bold and italic to make them more striking. – duleshi Mar 24 '13 at 14:36

First, you need to get Plop Boot Manager.

As far as I know, despite of the lengthy documentation, using Plop to boot from usb under Windows is as simple as double clicking a bat file. But the doc for Linux is not that straight forward and contains daunting terminologies such as LILO for a Linux newbie.

Well, straight forward, LILO is a boot manager. Basically, it's saying it will boot into LILO. It's a bit like GRUB. Plop Boot Manager comes with LILO, so it will install it with Plop Boot Manager. That will go into the USB. Then, when you boot, LILO will come up.

So could someone show me a brief and concise instruction how to boot from usb?

Well, to boot off the USB, you need to go into the BIOS.

At the screen, go into the Boot section.

Put the USB in the Boot order. Remember to put the USB before your SSD/HHD.

Then save changes and re-boot.

Hope this helps!

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Put the USB in the Boot order. he can not... he stated his BIOS does not support booting from USB and his CD is broken. PLOP is used to simulate or by-pass or something like that the not-booting-from-usb to boot from usb – Rinzwind Mar 24 '13 at 11:01
As Rinzwind pointed out, you missed the key fact that my computor doesn't support booting from usb. That't why I need PLOP. But thanks anyway. I'm considering to repost my question into stackoverflow, if that's appropriate. – duleshi Mar 24 '13 at 13:13

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