I downloaded Ubuntu 12.04, then using the tool Startup Disk Creator i made the live usb. I checked that it's bootable

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/sdb1 * 62 15635593 7817766 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

Now on my lap top it boots nicely, but on two other machines that don't have any installation of ubuntu(no Grub) it doesn't boot.

I changed the booting order so that USB is before HDD.

So i think i did everything i know, but no luck. How can i use this USB drive on other devices that don't have any previous ubuntu installation.

4 Answers 4


Some older machines will not boot USB flash drives that have a partition table, only hard drives.

To format a USB flash drive as a "floppy" you can do this:

sudo mkfs -t vfat /dev/sdb

Note that you're putting the vfat file system on the whole device, no partitions. Then run the Startup Disk Creator to copy files over and make the stick bootable. (But don't tell it to erase the disk!)

If your other machines refuse to boot from the stick because they expect a USB floppy, then this should do it.

If not, then I'm out of help. :(

  • Tried, doesn't work. I tried over network wit fog, but doesn't work. The PC is from 2004, its not THAT old, had installed ubuntu on the same PC years ago, but since i removed the CD reader, now i have no option to install it on it. I still have old Win XP installation on it, left from years ago, so is it possible to install Ubuntu through windows(but not like virtual machine, but native).
    – spiroski
    Apr 30, 2012 at 21:58
  • 2004 is old enough for the BIOS to demand that a flash drive be floppy-formatted... Don't know if the startup disk creator will work on a floppy-formatted drive or if it'll insist on writing a partition table, though.
    – ikmac
    May 1, 2012 at 22:35

It is possible to install from inside Windows. Follow the instructions for the Windows installer.

This adds a Ubuntu option to the Windows boot loader. When you select it, it natively boots Ubuntu. There are some slight performance impediments, as the linux partitions are inside a file inside the ntfs file system, but beyond that, I found it quite usable years ago when I did it.

Hope this helps, or at least gets you started. :)


Try "Plop Boot Manager", description here . I've used this on a 2003 PC that wouldn't boot from a USB. In essence one burns the PBM to a CD then puts both the CD and USB in the PC and Boot up to CD. The PBM then gives a simple list of where you wish to boot from - choose USB and you should be on your way.


I solved by problems by following Created USB drive in window 7 PC using Live Linux USB creator, formatted USB drive using FAT

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