I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop with a dead internal hard drive controller. It boots perfectly from CD or USB. I therefore removed the internal hard drive and installed Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick onto an external USB hard drive.

It boots and runs perfectly when doing a "cold start" of the PC. However, when I choose restart/reboot in the Ubuntu menu (e.g. after an update), I get this error message from the BIOS: "No bootable devices, strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility, press F5 to run onboard diagnostics". I can make the system boot again by pressing F2 or F5 and exiting the utility without having done anything. Or, I can simply power off the system and do a new "cold start".

Does anyone know the likely reason for this problem and how to fix it. It is not a big issue but an annoyance that I would like to fix if possible.

  • This is most likely a BIOS/HW issue, probably the USB device is powered off during the shutdown and the power is not restored during the hot restart. – João Pinto Jan 3 '11 at 14:47
  • I have a similar issue... but instead, it doesnt reboot even from a "cold start". I must unplug and replug the USB stick so it boots again. Any hints? askubuntu.com/questions/47459 – MestreLion Jun 7 '11 at 13:46

Use an additional power supply for your USB hard drive. Most hard disks need more then 500mW at spin up time. This may lead to a problem if Linux suspend the USB device at shutdown.

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