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I have notebook with XP in which the CD drive does not work. I want to try out Ubuntu before installing it, so I created a bootable USB stick using the USB installer provided at pendrivelinux.com. I have tried using F12 to go to the boot menu, but the menu refuses to display so that I can continue.

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  • There may be other ways than F12 to convince your BIOS to boot from USB. This entirely depends on your BIOS, hard to tell from here. Also try with Live USB Creator to make a bootable 12.04 from an iso downloaded from ubuntu.com. – Takkat May 7 '12 at 13:10
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It has nothing to do with Windows XP.
Check if you have enabled boot menu option in your bios, then restart your computer and press F12 (or other combination - it's manufacturer dependent) to get the boot menu, where you can select booting from Live USB stick.

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    If you are not sure how to get into the bios settings, get your manufacturer's manual. Apart from F12 - DEL, F2 and ESC are fairly common ones. You only get about one second to press the right key just as soon as the boot splash screen comes up. Some splash screens have the key name at the botton of the splash. – barrydrake May 7 '12 at 14:39

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