I have an old computer (HP D220 MT) running Ubuntu 12.04. I recently made a USB pen drive boot image (in case my hard drive crashes), but the BIOS won't let me boot from USB (booting from CD's/DVD's works fine). I can't directly create a CD or DVD as my computer can only read CD/DVD's (no write available).

My question:

If I copy the USB pen drive directories/files to a CD or DVD (on a different computer). Will my computer have a crying chance to successfully boot from this CD/DVD?


  • You could just create the live CD/DVD the old-fashioned way in the other computer (and now you wouldn't have to worry about wasting a CD/DVD). If the other computer can boot from USB, then even better would be to create the live CD/DVD from Ubuntu itself (in the live environment).
    – edwin
    Jul 2, 2013 at 1:03

1 Answer 1


There may be a way to do it but just copying the drive to the CD will not work. This is because CDs and USBs us a different mechanism to boot. Also bootable CDs load their OS into the ram because the CD has no write ability. The Ubuntu installation you have on a USB is not configured to load into the ram. What can do though is follow this tutorial to boot from a USB even when the feature isn't available in the bios.

  • It won't indeed. But would you care to explain why? Hint: bootloader.
    – gertvdijk
    Jul 2, 2013 at 8:31
  • Thanks leszakk. I was able to get Ubuntu 12.04 to boot from a USB pen drive by first creating a preliminary boot floppy as described in the tutorial link above. I did have to use the Windows XP half of my OS to actually create the floppy.
    – tharr123
    Jul 10, 2013 at 23:30

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