I'm trying to get Ubuntu 12.10 Desktop onto a flash drive (formatted to FAT), to repair a Windows laptop I have. Per the Ubuntu site:

  • I've installed the Pendrive Universal USB Installer.
  • I had it download the ISO file ubuntu-12.10-desktop-i386.iso.

But when it completes and I try to boot it up on the laptop, I'm getting the error:

No DEFAULT or UI configuration directive found!

I've read the info about renaming the isolinux files to syslinux but, that has not been helpful. The syslinux folder already exists. However, it appears that it's not being extracted correctly. All the file names (within the syslinux folder) seem to be random bits of words. See below:

enter image description here

If I use 7-zip to manually extract the ISO file, the isolinux folder is there but, not the syslinux folder. The correct files appear to be in this folder. I tried creating the flash drive with UNetBootin, using the same ISO file and when I went to boot the laptop, all I got was a generic "boot error".

What am I missing here?

This is my first go-around with Ubuntu so, any assistance is appreciated.

  • Try UNetbootin or YUMI to create your USB.
    – Mitch
    Apr 23, 2013 at 18:26
  • @Mitch - As I mentioned, I've tried UNetBootin. Will test out YUMI later.
    – Batfan
    Apr 23, 2013 at 18:31
  • Is your USB drive formatted as FAT32? If not try it.
    – Misery
    Apr 23, 2013 at 18:36
  • @Misery Everything I've read suggests that flash drives formatted as FAT32 will not work. Is that not correct? I don't even think thats the cause of the issue. The syslinux folder is just getting messed up while being unpacked.
    – Batfan
    Apr 23, 2013 at 18:46
  • 1
    I have just created one with Unetbootin on a FAT32 flash drive and it works pretty well. You can use cfdisk to easily remove the existing partition from the drive, and create a new one with the type 0B (FAT32). Just be sure, that you are handling the correct device.
    – grimpitch
    Apr 23, 2013 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


The solution is very simple in Ubuntu. If you can burn the iso to a CD/DVD then you will be able to install that way immediately. Or you have the option to "Try Ubuntu without installing" from the CD/DVD and easily create a Ubuntu Live bootable USB flash drive to install from.

To install the CD/DVD you can follow these instructions:

To install the USB drive:
or something a little fancier:
Live USB on a 2-partition usb-drive

As for your issues installing, the tutorial is very clear. I would recommend clearing the USB flash drive by deleting all files from or reformatting first, to give it a fresh do-over. To better assist with that particular problem, a more descriptive description would help. For instance: how did you boot up to the laptop before the error was displayed?

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