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First, I have looked through the suggested questions that may have an answer, but nothing seems on point.

I have a dual boot Ubuntu 14.04/Windows 7 system. I have decided to play around with some other distros and loaded one onto a USB stick with unetbootin. It won't boot. When the GRUB selection menu comes up, there is no "new" option to boot from the USB, unlike the previous GRUB when I was running 12.04.

The USB is selected as first priority boot, the cd drive second, and the hard drive 3d in bios.

Any suggestions?

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Being able to boot to a USB from the GRUB menu strikes me as unusual. This would only happen if you ran sudo update-grub while the USB was mounted. In my experience most users only add operating systems to GRUB that are on internal hard drives, although I'm not sure if there are any actual advantages or disadvantages in doing so. Normally I just boot a USB from the BIOS manual boot menu.

If that's what you really want, though, booting up Ubuntu and running sudo update-grub with your Live USB plugged in should add it to your GRUB menu if the USB contains a valid OS.

If you have USB first in your BIOS boot order it should definitely be working. I think eiter your Live USB is corrupt, or your BIOS doesn't like unetbootin. I have had problems with unetbootin in the past with certain distros. Make the Live USB using Ubuntu's built-in "Startup Disk Creator", by following this answer, or using the dd command as described in this answer (NOTE: Be very careful when using dd) might solve the problem.

  • Thank you for the response. I've tried different usb sticks as well as pendrive linux and windows and dd to create the bootable usb stick and nothing seems to work. As far as it being unusual for the usb to show up in the grub menu, all I can tell you is that it used to do so when I was running 12.04. Anyway, I'll try your suggestions. – user136484 Aug 26 '14 at 15:08
  • I'll doubt the image is corrupt. – Ron May 31 '15 at 7:57
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Burn Plop Boot Manager to CD. Boot your computer to the CD, and Plop Boot Manager will give you an option to boot up your USB.

Here is the link for Plop Boot Manager: http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagers.html

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