Netbook (No CD Drive) Not Booting from USB



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I'm in the process of sanitizing several donated laptops. One of the laptops I've received (Toshiba NB255 netbook) doesn't have a CD drive. Last time this occurred, I was able to boot Lubuntu from a USB drive which I still have. I've reorganized the boot menu for the computer to boot from the USB first, but I'm getting the message "Exiting PXE ROM" and then it starts Windows normally.

What next?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Brandon (Durham, NC Hub)


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Gespeichert von Rhein-Ruhr-Hub am Di, 12/27/2016 - 16:19

Please check in BIOS (pressing F1/F2?), if booting from an USB drive is enabled. Often to have to active the USB stick in the boot order sequence AND to enable as well booting from external / USB devices. Each laptop works different. As you describe it the laptops tries to boot from LAN / server / PXE.

Please activate F12(?) in BIOS to show the boot order and devices. Sometimes F12 activates booting via PXE. HP needs often F9 to be pressed, Toshiba often needs to press Esc first to see the boot messages or to press arrow left / right etc. Watch the boot message shown on screen. If no message shown active in BIOS a 5 or 10 seconds period to show boot messages etc.

There are so many options. I cannot tell from the distance which is the best setting in your case :) Hope you will find out.

Ralf (Hub Rhein-Ruhr, Germany)

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Gespeichert von jordi am Sa, 12/31/2016 - 17:06

Brandon did this help?

From your message, it seems that you are able to get into the bios and change the order to boot first from the USB. But then when you insert the USB, the laptop still does not detect it. One possibility here is that the USB image itself is for some reason damaged. One way to verify the USB drive works, is to try to boot it from another laptop (for instance, from your own laptop). If it also fails, then it's possible that you may need to reinstall Lubuntu on the USB or try with a different USB.

Happy New Year!

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Gespeichert von Durham-Hub am So, 01/01/2017 - 20:50


Thanks for the comments. Jordi is right - I was able to reach the boot menu and change the order so that the USB drive was first, but when I try to boot, I get a black screen with a lot of text:
"Intel UNDI, PXE-2.1 (build 083)

This product is covered by one or more of the following patents...

Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller Series v1.21 (03/05/10)
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable

PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM."

You're also right - I tried the USB on a different computer and got the same message, so it seems my file has been corrupted somehow?

Any ideas on what to do next? Should I clear the USB stick and try again?


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Gespeichert von Rhein-Ruhr-Hub am Mo, 01/02/2017 - 07:13

Hi Brandon,

you get this PXE message (which means laptop starts booting using LAN/server after he tried first with no result to boot from USB) as your USB disc is either not a bootable USB-drive or in BIOS legacy support / booting from external devices is disabled. Some older laptops are not able to boot from USB devices anyway. I am not sure what wents wrong in your configuration. How did you prepare the USB boot drive? Did you use a tool to burn the .iso-file to an USB drive?

If you are still not able to boot from USB there are 2 other solutions, but both need additional hardware.

Either you can use an external USB-based CD/DVD drive.

Or you can use an external USB adapter for IDE/SATA drives Then you have to remove the internal disc, connect it via the above mentioned adapter to another computer, which is able to boot from any media. After you installed or cloned everything to the external drive you can put the disc back into the previous computer. This works with any computer, e.g. installing using HP and put it back into an IBM. You only to keep the 32 Bit / 64 Bit CPU in mind, not being able to install 64 Bit and put it back to a 32 Bit laptop.

Hope you will find a solution.
Ralf (Hub Rhein-Ruhr, Germany)

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Gespeichert von Gail Anderson am Sa, 03/11/2017 - 02:43

I have a similar problem on a Dell Latitude 2100 Netbook; I got the BIOS to use USB, and I put the USB first into my desktop and used the provided link and "save as" to save the image file; but when I try booting with that USB in the netbook, I keep getting "Error loading operating system". ... ? Is there something more complex I'm missing about how to put the image file onto my USB?

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Gespeichert von Rhein-Ruhr-Hub am Sa, 03/11/2017 - 07:24

Hi Gail,

I am not sure, if I understood correctly.You want to clone a laptop using Parted Magic and an image for cloning?. And you booted Parted Magic first from USB. Then you removed the Parted Magic-USB (not using the Live-mode of PM, as this needs the USB-drive to stay connected to laptop)? Ok, then you are able to continue, connect the drive with the image, when PM asks you to do so etc.

In very seldom cases laptops refuse to install an image that way. Then I remove the internal disc and connect it to another laptops, using the external disc-connector (see my last post above). Sorry, from the distance it is difficult to find out what's going wrong in your situation.

The image itself is not bootable, first boot parted magic. And the image should be stored in the top-level directory. And there is a 5 second break after connecting the USB-drive with the image. That should work...

Good luck,

Labdoo Hub Rhein-Ruhr (Germany)

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Gespeichert von Gail Anderson am Sa, 03/11/2017 - 20:27

Thank you for your response... that is not quite what happened, I was not able to boot Parted Magic from USB. Here is what I did:
1. went to and the file downloaded to my desktop
2. Copied that file from my desktop downloads folder to my USB
3. Set netbook BIOS to boot from USB
4. Turned off netbook
5. Inserted USB
6. Turned on netbook, which tried too boot from USB but gave me error message very quickly. (like it didn't see anything at all)
It seems this is that case when USB won't work. Unfortunately, the netbook has no CD drive and I have no external drive, so it seems I must wait until I meet up with someone who has an external drive.

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Gespeichert von Rhein-Ruhr-Hub am Sa, 03/11/2017 - 21:15

Did you just copy the iso-file? That is wrong and will never work. You must use the iso-file with special tools to get a bootable CD or USB drive. Did you do that? In case not - Please google "burn iso usb" and learn which step you seem to have missed (at least, I guess). Producing an iso-based media needs special tools. Check out e,g,
It seems your USB media is just a copied iso-file?

PS: Plan B might be an external USB-CD/DVD drive? Maybe you can lend one?

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Gespeichert von Gail Anderson am Sa, 03/11/2017 - 22:20

:) yes, I did not know about "bootable" .... thank you for the link I will try that! (When I come back from my trip, so I'll let you know in a couple months if it works)

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Gespeichert von Rhein-Ruhr-Hub am So, 03/12/2017 - 07:24

No problem, you are welcome. There might be other "stones" in your way to a proper boot. If there are further problems please check:

In the BIOS (it is often different depending on the manufacturer) there are switches e.g.

  • to en-/disable external boot devices (often under "security")
  • to define priority and certain boot devices (often "boot sequence / devices" or similar)
  • switching the laptop on you are able to reach the boot device list by pressing F12 (Dell, IBM/Lenovo, F9 (HP), sometimes F11 or press ESC first; there are many settings. But this boot-"button" can be switched on/off as well. Often similar to "Enable F12" or how many seconds the selection menu is shown.

This is only a very short extract of what can happen. Refer to web, if you are facing other situations :) Good luck.