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This is for a friend's Toshiba Portege laptop with Ubuntu 10.4.1 on it. They want the original Windows XP for tablet PC installed; they do have the disk, but the Portege seems unable to boot from a generic non-Toshiba USB CD drive (and the Toshiba one that came with it is broken for years now).

So I found out about plop. I followed the instructions (modified; I touched /etc/grub.d/40_custom or something) and now the executable '/boot/plpbt.bin' (I copied it there of course) is included as an option (I hope! I ran update-grub2 and update-grub and verified that the custom menu option exists in /boot/grub/grub.cfg).

I cannot bring up the grub menu at boot; Esc unfortunately jumps to the Portege BIOS, and I haven't managed to succeed in getting grub to choose the Plop boot manager.

How can I bring up the grub menu on boot?

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I'm not sure you need plop. GRUB2 can load ISO-images itself without any extra help. – mniess Oct 22 '10 at 17:47
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can bring up GRUB by pressing SHIFT during boot. If you want to permanently show grub, edit the respective options in /etc/default/grub.

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Yes, SHIFT does the trick, thank you. – ΤΖΩΤΖΙΟΥ Oct 22 '10 at 18:02
You say that grub2 can load ISO images. Great! All I've got is an external USB CD drive. Can you give me directions? – ΤΖΩΤΖΙΟΥ Oct 22 '10 at 18:04
you answered this question; I also opened that question about how to boot an ISO CD from an external USB drive. – ΤΖΩΤΖΙΟΥ Oct 22 '10 at 18:10

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