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I've installed the latest Ubuntu onto a USB drive with plenty of storage. When I boot my laptop with no OS on it, it does not detect my USB drive with Ubuntu. I don't know if it's my BIOS, or if its just that Ubuntu needs an operating system to run and install. And I cannot reinstall Windows 8 because of it not being able to locate a partition.

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Try to boot from Ubuntu live CD, if it boots, your BIOS has no problem –  Serj Aug 31 at 4:32
If you do not have Windows, then there is no way you can run WUBI, as it runs from windows. You need the standalone version, and you need to be able to recognize the USB drive to boot from the USB drive - nothing to do with whatever OS you have on it, as it is not yet even running. –  Marty Fried Aug 31 at 4:40

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