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Thread: Howto help USB boot drives

  1. #1
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    Howto help USB boot drives

    A tool that helps boot some computers from [other] USB boot drives - Chainloader

    What is new, why this tutorial, when I have already written Howto make USB boot drives? Isn't it enough to be able to use mkusb or the other tools?

    It can be hard to boot some computers with some USB pendrives. New and fast USB 3 pendrives are nice when booted, but can be unwilling to boot from the built in menu of some computers. This is described at the following links

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...#Prerequisites
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...puter_from_USB

    I have found, that

    - the same USB pendrive can boot with one operating system, but not another one, in some computers, while it boots happily in other computers with almost any operating system,

    - the Ubuntu 13.04 based grub2 bootloader is 'a good booter' in many computers (it is used in the original One Button Installer),

    - many USB pendrives boot when selected from the grub menu, even if they will not boot from the built in menu of some computers.

    So I made a small chainloader, that

    - is willing to boot and

    - is able to chainload to other pendrives or other mass storage devices.

    When this chainloader is installed into a pendrive, that is good for booting (but maybe slow), we have a tool to help [other] USB boot drives.

    Comparison with Plop


    Maybe you have used or heard of Plop, a tool to boot from one device (typically a CD or floppy drive) and help booting another drive, typically a USB drive. That tool is useful for old computers. The chainloader is useful for middle-aged computers, for example computers without a CD/DVD drive, where it can be hard to boot from a USB drive, and when you want to run from a fast USB 3 drive that is unwilling to boot.

    UEFI

    New computers are often delivered with another operating system that is locked into UEFI, which makes things complicated. This chainloader is not running in UEFI mode. Use other tools and methods, for example according to the following links

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFIBooting
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair


    Pendrives that are good for booting


    The following pendrives were tested by Pendrivelinux a few years ago. At least some of them are still available in the market (and I do not mean the second hand market)

    SanDisk – Cruzer Micro 128M-2G
    RIDATA – Ritek Mini Spin 128M-2G
    OCZ – Rally2 (Old Style) 128M-2G
    OCZ – Mini Kart 128M-1-2G
    PQI – PQI i810 1-2G
    PNY – Attache 1-2G

    I have SanDisk – Cruzer Micro 4 GB and 16 GB, and they are also good booters.

    I have SanDisk – Cruzer Blade 4 GB (I bought a 10-pack). They are good booters and quite cheap (at least in Sweden) and I can recommend them for the chainloader.

    USB 3 pendrives

    The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate G2 16GB USB 3 pendrive is tested and recommended as a good booter by http://usb.userbenchmark.com/ but it can be hard to find in the market today.

    I have Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0 16GB and 32GB and they are very fast and give good value for the money. I have also a Transcend JetFlash 700 USB 3.0 32GB. It is not very fast compared to Sandisk Extreme but definitely faster than standard USB 2 pendrives and a good booter, that I have tested for a long time. I use it for the One Button Installer; there is space enough for many tarballs. Sandisk Cruzer Blade 4 GB is cheap and slow, and a reliable booter, that has only failed once for me during years.

    Tests of speed and ability to boot are described in posts #6 and #7 (in this thread).

    The Chainloader software

    A compressed image file of the chainloader software is available at the following links

    http://phillw.net/isos/linux-tools/
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?...jA&usp=sharing

    Code:
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 24426712 dec 31 23:41 chainloader-101MB_13.04.img.xz
    The corresponding md5sum is

    Code:
    8d41e2873511e08c05a1ddc3c061d230  chainloader-101MB_13.04.img.xz
    and it can be installed with the following command (if mkusb is in the same directory)

    Code:
    sudo bash mkusb chainloader-101MB_13.04.img.xz
    mkusb helps you write to the correct target device (your pendrive). The chainloader expands from 24MB to 101MB. You can use a small pendrive (if it is a good booter).

    The file grub.cfg looks like this (and you can modify it if you wish)

    Code:
    set timeout=20
    set default=1
    
    #echo listing available drives (hdX) and partitions (hdX,msdosY) 
    #ls
    #echo -n "Press ESC to continue to the menu "
    #sleep -v -i ${timeout}
    
    menuentry "Boot (chainload) first drive (on hd0) usually internal, maybe not now" {
            insmod part_msdos
            insmod fat
            set root='(hd0)'
            chainloader +1
    }
    menuentry "Boot (chainload) drive (on hd1)" {
            insmod part_msdos
            insmod fat
            set root='(hd1)'
            drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
            chainloader +1
    }
    menuentry "Boot (chainload) drive (on hd2)" {
            insmod part_msdos
            insmod fat
            set root='(hd2)'
            drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
            chainloader +1
    }
    menuentry "Boot (chainload) drive (on hd3)" {
            insmod part_msdos
            insmod fat
            set root='(hd3)'
            drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
            chainloader +1
    }
    menuentry "Boot (chainload) drive (on hd4), edit if necessary: set root='(hd5)' ..." {
            insmod part_msdos
            insmod fat
            set root='(hd4)'
            drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
            chainloader +1
    }
    menuentry "List available drives (hdX) and partitions (hdX,Y)" {
        ls
        echo -n "Press ESC to continue to the menu "
        sleep -v -i 20
    }
    menuentry "Long list drives (hdX) and partitions (hdX,Y)" {
        ls -l
        echo -n "Press ESC to continue to the menu "
        sleep -v -i 20
    }
    menuentry "Long list drive 1 (hd1) and partition 1 (hd1,1), edit if necessary" {
        ls -l (hd1,1)
        echo -n "Press ESC to continue to the menu "
        sleep -v -i 20
    }
    Chainloading with the 40_custom method when you have linux and grub installed

    In the particular case, that you have linux and grub installed there is also the 40_custom method, and it is better than using a USB chainloader. As already described, some pendrives boot from grub even if they won't boot from the computer's own (bios/uefi) USB boot menu entry. See the a detailed description in post #3.
    Last edited by sudodus; January 22nd, 2014 at 04:52 PM. Reason: the first post will be updated when necessary

  2. #2
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    Re: Howto help USB boot drives

    Check download and clone image in Windows

    First download the chainloader and md5sums.txt from this link(1) or link(2).

    Then download the following help programs

    http://www.md5summer.org
    http://www.7-zip.org
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager

    Check that the download was successful with md5summer according to the file md5sums.txt.

    Next extract the image file with 7-zip

    from chainloader-101MB_13.04.img.xz to chainloader-101MB_13.04.img

    Then prepare to write the extracted image file (without the ending xz) with win32diskimager according to the picture. Win32diskimager looks for img files. Don't mind that the picture is borrowed from another project and contains another file name.

    WARNING: Double-check that the target device is the correct one (in the window of win32diskimager) before you start writing! Otherwise you might overwrite and destroy important data.

    Last edited by sudodus; January 1st, 2014 at 03:05 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Howto help USB boot drives

    Chainloading with the 40_custom method when you have linux and grub installed

    In the particular case, that you have linux and grub installed there is also the 40_custom method, and it is better than using a USB chainloader. As already described, some pendrives boot from grub even if they won't boot from the computer's own (bios/uefi) USB boot menu entry. See the following link for a background about grub Scripts: /etc/grub.d/

    Edit the file

    Code:
    sudo nano /etc/grub.d/40_custom
    Add the following text to the file 40_custom (notice that it is important to keep the first lines, that come with the file)

    Code:
    menuentry "External drive (on hd1) if no eSATA drive connected. edit if necessary" {
            insmod part_msdos
            insmod fat
            set root='(hd1)'
            drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
            chainloader +1
    }
    and run the command

    Code:
    sudo update-grub
    Then you will get a grub menu option to boot from a second drive (hd1), which could be a USB pendrive. If another drive is hd1, you can edit the line to (hd2) etc.
    If there is no grub menu, press the left shift key during boot, and it should appear.[/QUOTE]
    Last edited by sudodus; January 6th, 2014 at 12:21 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Howto help USB boot drives

    The truly lazy should be able to add a pendrive to grub, without going to 40_custom, simply by inserting the pendrive and doing:
    Code:
    sudo update-grub

  5. #5
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    Re: Howto help USB boot drives

    Yes, I agree that it is a very convenient method, and should be enough in many cases, but I think it will be specific for that particular pendrive and its current operating system.

  6. #6
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    Re: Howto help USB boot drives

    Pendrive speed test

    I made this speed test because I make installers that use cloning with dd and expansion of compressed tarballs. So the test measures the speed of those particular operations. See also the general speed tests at this link to USB 3.0 Flash Drive Speed Tests

    The focus of this test was on 8 GB drives, because I make 8 GB images for the One Button Installer, but there are also some 4, 16, 32 GB pendrives, that I know after years of usage.

    When using USB pendrives, you often notice that they are slow compared to internal disks. There are big differences between fast and slow pendrives, and it makes a big difference, when you use them as general mass storage devices, but the difference seems to be even bigger, when you boot an operating system, that is installed in the pendrive.

    USB 3 is much faster than USB 2. The flash hardware is often limiting the read and write speed below the limits of the USB system. USB 3 pendrives are often but not always made with faster hardware than standard USB 2 pendrives. This makes it worthwhile to use USB 3 pendrives in USB 2 ports, so USB drives can be useful also with old computers without USB 3.

    Reading and writing single or few big files can be fairly fast with USB pendrives, but the time to start and stop writing is often much longer in pendrives compared to hard disk drives and SSDs. It makes many pendrives very slow when writing many small files, like when you install an operating system or backup a file system or directory tree. This is why I included a test expanding a tarball with many small files. It is actually installing the text version of the One Button Installer, writing 68417 files with the total data amount 1.2 GB. The average file size is 17.7 kB (10-base). The complete result of the test is shown in attached files, and includes reading and writing single big files with dd.

    Write small files MB/s
    in USB 2 port
    Code:
    18.989    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / new 32 GB
    17.855    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / new 16 GB - undersized
     5.224    Kanguru SS3 (scsi) / 16 GB - undersized
     4.673    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / old 32 GB - damaged
     3.797    Kanguru FlashBlu (scsi) / 8GB USB 2, write-protect switch
     3.313    JetFlash Transcend 32GB (scsi) / 'new 700' good booter - undersized
     2.953    JetFlash Transcend 16GB (scsi) / 'old 700' USB 3 – undersized
     2.769    JetFlash Transcend 4GB (scsi) / old with green rim
     2.731    Kingston DT Ultimate G3 (scsi) / 32GB USB 3 - undersized
     2.629    SanDisk Ultra (scsi) / 8 GB USB 2
     2.561    Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 (scsi) / 100 G3 8GB - undersized
     2.446    SanDisk Cruzer Blade (scsi) / 4 GB, USB 2, good booter
     2.257    JetFlash Transcend 8GB (scsi) / 760 USB 3 - undersized
     2.091    JetFlash Transcend 8GB (scsi) - 500 USB 2
     1.923    UFD 2.0 Silicon-Power8G (scsi) / Ultima U01
     1.680    Verbatim STORE N GO (scsi) / 8GB - undersized
     1.427    Corsair Voyager (scsi) / 8GB USB 2 'Flash Voyager'
     1.294    Kingston DataTraveler 2.0 (scsi) / 101 G2 8GB - undersized
    in USB 3 port
    Code:
    32.333    TOSHIBA External USB 3.0 (scsi) / HDD 320 GB
    23.926    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / 16 GB - undersized 15693664256 bytes
    23.006    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / 32 GB
     8.365    Kanguru SS3 (scsi) / 16 GB - undersized
     4.747    JetFlash Transcend 32GB (scsi) / 'new 700' good booter - undersized 31608274944 bytes
     4.069    Kanguru FlashBlu (scsi) / 8GB USB 2, write protect switch
     3.987    Kingston DT Ultimate G3 (scsi) / 32GB USB3 - undersized 31440502784 bytes
     2.795    JetFlash Transcend 16GB (scsi) / 'old 700' USB 3 - undersized 15812526080 bytes
     2.658    Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 (scsi) / 100 G3 8GB undersized 7803174912 bytes
     2.583    JetFlash Transcend 8GB (scsi) / 760 USB 3 -undersized 7902068736 bytes
     2.187    SanDisk Cruzer Blade (scsi) / 4GB, USB 2, good booter
    Read 2 GB file with random content (cloning with dd) MB/s
    in USB 2 port
    Code:
    36.1    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / old 32 GB, damaged works only in USB 2
    36.1    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / new 32 GB
    36      JetFlash Transcend 16GB (scsi) / 'old 700' USB 3 – undersized
    36      SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / new 16 GB - undersized
    35.9    Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 (scsi) / 100 G3 8GB - undersized
    35.9    JetFlash Transcend 32GB (scsi) / 'new 700' good booter - undersized
    35.3    Kanguru SS3 (scsi) / 16 GB - undersized
    32.8    Kingston DT Ultimate G3 (scsi) / 32GB USB 3 - undersized
    30.4    JetFlash Transcend 8GB (scsi) / 760 USB 3 - undersized
    29.2    Kanguru FlashBlu (scsi) / 8GB USB 2, write-protect switch
    22.2    SanDisk Cruzer Blade (scsi) / 4 GB, USB 2, good booter
    21.9    SanDisk Ultra (scsi) / 8 GB USB 2
    21.3    JetFlash Transcend 8GB (scsi) - 500 USB 2
    20.5    Kingston DataTraveler 2.0 (scsi) / 101 G2 8GB - undersized
    20.2    Corsair Voyager (scsi) / 8GB USB 2 'Flash Voyager'
    17.9    Verbatim STORE N GO (scsi) / 8GB - undersized
    15.1    UFD 2.0 Silicon-Power8G (scsi) / Ultima U01
    14.9    JetFlash Transcend 4GB (scsi) / old with green rim
    in USB 3 port
    Code:
    104      SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / 16 GB - undersized 15693664256 bytes
     74.6    Kanguru SS3 (scsi) / 16 GB - undersized
     64.1    TOSHIBA External USB 3.0 (scsi) / HDD 320 GB
     60.1    JetFlash Transcend 32GB (scsi) / 'new 700' good booter - undersized 31608274944 bytes
     59      Kingston DT Ultimate G3 (scsi) / 32GB USB3 - undersized 31440502784 bytes
     51.6    JetFlash Transcend 16GB (scsi) / 'old 700' USB 3 - undersized 15812526080 bytes
     49.3    JetFlash Transcend 8GB (scsi) / 760 USB 3 -undersized 7902068736 bytes
     38.9    Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 (scsi) / 100 G3 8GB undersized 7803174912 bytes
     37.8    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / 32 GB
     28.7    Kanguru FlashBlu (scsi) / 8GB USB 2, write protect switch
     20.3    SanDisk Cruzer Blade (scsi) / 4GB, USB 2, good booter
    Write 2 GB file with random content (cloning with dd) MB/s
    in USB 2 port
    Code:
    29.5    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / new 32 GB
    27.5    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / new 16 GB - undersized
    26.9    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / old 32 GB default (finished with tar)
    20.9    JetFlash Transcend 16GB (scsi) / 'old 700' USB 3 – undersized
    17.4    Kingston DT Ultimate G3 (scsi) / 32GB USB 3 - undersized
    16.9    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / old 32 GB full test finished with dd
    16.3    Kanguru SS3 (scsi) / 16 GB - undersized
    13.9    JetFlash Transcend 32GB (scsi) / 'new 700' good booter - undersized
    10.9    Kanguru FlashBlu (scsi) / 8GB USB 2, write-protect switch
     7.8    SanDisk Ultra (scsi) / 8 GB USB 2
     7.2    JetFlash Transcend 4GB (scsi) / old with green rim
     7.1    UFD 2.0 Silicon-Power8G (scsi) / Ultima U01
     5.9    JetFlash Transcend 8GB (scsi) / 760 USB 3 - undersized
     5.9    JetFlash Transcend 8GB (scsi) - 500 USB 2
     5.1    Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 (scsi) / 100 G3 8GB - undersized
     4.9    Corsair Voyager (scsi) / 8GB USB 2 'Flash Voyager'
     4.7    SanDisk Cruzer Blade (scsi) / 4 GB, USB 2, good booter
     4.1    Verbatim STORE N GO (scsi) / 8GB - undersized
     3.2    Kingston DataTraveler 2.0 (scsi) / 101 G2 8GB - undersized
    in USB 3 port
    Code:
    88      TOSHIBA External USB 3.0 (scsi) / HDD 320 GB
    44.1    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / 16 GB - undersized 15693664256 bytes
    43.6    SanDisk Extreme (scsi) / 32 GB
    30.0    Kanguru SS3 (scsi) / 16 GB - undersized
    25.9    Kingston DT Ultimate G3 (scsi) / 32GB USB3 - undersized 31440502784 bytes
    20.8    JetFlash Transcend 16GB (scsi) / 'old 700' USB 3 - undersized 15812526080 bytes
    20.5    JetFlash Transcend 32GB (scsi) / 'new 700' good booter - undersized 31608274944 bytes
    10.5    Kanguru FlashBlu (scsi) / 8GB USB 2, write protect switch
     5.7    JetFlash Transcend 8GB (scsi) / 760 USB 3 -undersized 7902068736 bytes
     5.4    Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 (scsi) / 100 G3 8GB undersized 7803174912 bytes
     4.7    SanDisk Cruzer Blade (scsi) / 4GB, USB 2, good booter
    Comments

    Sandisk Extreme is much faster (approximately 3 times faster than the second best, Kanguru SS3, and 5 times faster than the third best, Jetflash Transcend 700) writing 'many small files' compared to the other tested pendrives, but not as fast as a USB 3 HDD. Kanguru FlashBlu was fastest writing 'many small files' among the 8 GB pendrives, even though it is a USB 2 device and competed with some USB 3 devices.

    There are several pendrives that read single big files with high speed, so if that is what you need, there are many good candidates. Writing speed of single big files differs more than reading, but the results are more even than writing 'many small files', and the ranking is somewhat different. See also the attached files.

    Disclaimer

    This is a fairly simple speed test without statistical validation. The pendrives were bought as a regular consumer from a web store, and in most cases a single specimen of each model was tested. Make your own test, if you need reliable results for your particular application.

    -o-

    Edit: There was a request from the Lubuntu mailing lists to upload the scripts and input files to perform this test (or a similar one), so they are uploaded now. See this link

    http://phillw.net/isos/linux-tools/usb-speed-test/
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by sudodus; February 12th, 2014 at 02:50 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Howto help USB boot drives

    Pendrive ability to boot

    If you want to use a USB pendrive to boot computers, it is important that it is a good booter. Most pendrives (that are not damaged) can boot most computers, but some of them have problems. The USB hardware and firmware on the motherboard might have problems with the pendrive. You can say that some pendrives do not cooperate with some computers.

    I made this bootability test because I make installers and help programs and script for installers. The focus of this test was on 8 GB drives, because I make 8 GB images for the One ButtonInstaller, but there are also some 4, 16, 32 GB pendrives, that I know after years of usage.

    Booting from a computer's built in boot menu

    This is a survey of the ability to boot from a computer's built in boot menu. Several pendrives were tested in some different computers. It is far from a complete or statistically validated test, but I hope it can help to select a pendrive when it is important to boot from it. At least it will show some aspects that you should consider before deciding what to buy.

    It may be possible to boot via the Chainloader, even if the computer cannot boot the pendrive and it's system from the built in boot menu.

    0. The pendrives are listed in alphabetical order.


    The focus was on 8 GB drives, because I make 8 GB images for the One ButtonInstaller, but there are also some 4, 16, 32 GB pendrives, that I know after years of usage.

    Corsair Flash Voyager 8 GB, USB 2
    Kanguru Flashblu2 8GB, USB 2
    Kingston DT 100 G3 USB 3, 8 GB
    Kingston DT 101 G2 USB 2, 8 GB
    Kingston DT Ultimate G3 USB 3, 32 GB
    Sandisk Cruzer Blade USB 2, 4 GB
    Sandisk Cruzer Ultra USB 2, 8 GB
    Sandisk Extreme (USB 3), 16, 32 GB
    Transcend Jetflash 500 USB 2, 8 GB
    Transcend Jetflash 700 USB 3, 16, 32 GB
    Transcend Jetflash 760 USB 3, 8 GB
    Verbatim Micro 8 GB, USB 2

    1. All tested pendrives can boot the following computers

    Toshiba Satellite Pro C850, Toshiba Satellite Pro A300, Asus (motherboard) M2N-VM DVI, Dell Dimension 4600, IBM Thinkpad T42

    2. HP Elitebook 8560p boot problems - typical of 'middle-aged to newer' HP professional class laptops

    With an exception for an 'old 32 GB' Sandisk Extreme (USB3), all pendrives booted in a similar way (but at very different speed). Booting from cloned iso files and Unetbootin systems works. Booting from grub2 works with the version (of grub2) that comes with Ubuntu Raring, while it does not work with grub2 from Precise and Saucy.

    The following comment might explain why I have considered Sandisk Extreme a poor booter:

    - A Sandisk Extreme 'old 32 GB' (USB3) can boot the chainloader but not the built in OBI. This pendrive works well in most situations in USB 2 ports, but after an (electronic?) damage, it is extremely slow in USB 3 ports. This pendrive has 'always' been a poor booter, even before the damage. Maybe it was a bad specimen from the beginning. Newer Sandisk Extreme pendrives show as good booting ability as Transcend 700.

    3. IBM Thinkpad T42 boot problems

    Corsair Flash Voyager 8GB USB 2 seemed to work (the LED was flashing) but it never finished the booting (after 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'). After 'hard reset' and cold boot (power off and waiting a minute) it booted correctly.

    Transcend Jetflash 500 8GB USB 2 was not recognized by the BIOS, so it could not be selected. It failed several times. It was recognized by the BIOS when connected via a USB hub, and then it could boot.

    The other pendrives work properly (but of course, this IBM has a Pentium M CPU, so it cannot boot iso files with PAE kernels). See this link

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Lubuntu-fake-PAE

    4. Compaq Presario 5640 boot problems

    This computer is very old, has a Pentium II CPU with 400 MHz and 192 MB RAM. It can boot from USB via Plop, but there are problems with some USB pendrives and systems on them.

    The following pendrives can boot
    the 'OBI version 2.2 text' based on Ubuntu mini-iso 13.10. I used nomodeset to get it running. There are some error outputs, but nevertheless booting continues and succeeds with most of the tested pendrives.

    Corsair Flash Voyager 8 GB, USB 2
    Kanguru Flashblu2 8GB, USB 2
    Kingston DT 100 G3 USB 3, 8 GB
    Kingston DT Ultimate G3 USB 3, 32 GB
    Sandisk Extreme 'new 32 GB' (USB 3)
    Transcend Jetflash 500 USB 2, 8 GB
    Transcend Jetflash 700 USB 3, 16 GB
    Transcend Jetflash 760 USB 3, 8 GB
    Verbatim Micro 8 GB, USB 2

    The following pendrives do not work because they are not found after the Plop bootloader transfers control to the USB system.

    Kingston DT 101 G2 USB 2, 8 GB
    Sandisk Cruzer Blade USB 2, 4 GB (which has worked 'everywhere' before)
    Sandisk Cruzer Ultra USB 2, 8 GB

    The OBI version 2.2 booted via the USB chainloader did not work. Probably chainloading twice {Plop - USB chainloader - final system} will lose track of some important data.

    Test of extra pendrives (for this very old computer)

    A Transcend Jetflash 520S 32 GB, USB 2 'very small pendrive with metal casing' boots with Xubuntu Precise installed. An old Sandisk Cruzer Micro 4GB with Ubuntu Boot Repair could boot too. An old Sandisk Cruzer Micro 16 GB with OBI version 2.1 based on Lubuntu 13.10 booted, but the system did not want to run properly. The pendrive itself worked.

    Comments

    Most pendrives in this test are good booters. Some of them fail to boot some computer. The computers are very different in age and type, but it is hard to draw any definite conclusions about computers not tested as well as pendrives not tested. You should also notice, that in some cases the operating system (at least the bootloader) makes a difference. This was the case with the HP laptop.

    So get a fast pendrive unless the price is too high! You can also choose between one fast USB 3 pendrive and use it as a temporary device (flash the iso file, image file or data set when you need it), or several standard USB 2 pendrives, which you dedicate to different systems or data sets. I can buy ten Sandisk Cruzer Blades (4GB) for about the same price as two Sandisk Extreme 16 GB or one Sandisk Extreme 32 GB. Jetflash Transcend 700 and Kingston DT Ultimate G3 USB 3, 32 GB, are also good choices, somewhat cheaper and slower than Sandisk Extreme.

    Disclaimer

    This is a fairly simple boot test without statistical validation. The pendrives were bought as a regular consumer from a web store, and in most cases a single specimen of each model was tested. Make your own test, if you need reliable results for your particular application. You should also notice that this test does not evaluate the lifetime or sensitivity to damage of the pendrives.

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