I am teaching a C++ class for high schoolers. The students bring their own computers, and to standardize things I'm making everyone boot from a LiveUSB of Ubuntu with persistence storage. I had every student bring in a USB, and I formatted them over the weekend to work with UEFI.
I used the Mac Linux USB Loader since I use Mac, and some of the students use Mac, and since it's supposed to be compatible with PCs as well.
The students came to class, I handed them out, and all of the students with Macs had theirs boot perfectly, no problems, went right to Ubuntu.
The students with Windows, the USBs would not boot, no matter what anyone did. We loaded the boot menus and disabled secure boot and all of that, and it still wouldn't work.
Once student got very, very close: he got dropped to a GRUB shell. I think this is the only student in class who actually has UEFI hardware. The rest, I presume, have BIOS.
I have since tried to make a Live USB of Ubuntu that will boot on BIOS. The only test of a BIOS machine I have is an old HP desktop. It is capable of booting from USBs, and I can select the USBs from the boot menu. I also have a Surface 3, which boots from UEFI. The original live USBs boot just fine from my Surface 3 and from any Mac.
I have tried making a live USB and booting it from the Mac, the Surface 3, and the HP Desktop. So far I have tried:
- UNetbootin from both Mac and from Windows
- PendriveLinux's Universal USB Installer (run from Windows on the same machine)
- Making a startup disk in Ubuntu, using the Startup Disk Creator app
- I tried installing Porteus, following all instructions from within Ubuntu
Each time I have reformatted the USB sticks to erase old files.
Nothing works. None of these methods produced a USB that would boot on my HP desktop OR on my Surface 3 OR on any of my macbooks.
The original sticks were definitely functional for UEFI machines.
What do I need to do here?