View Full Version : [ubuntu] Making a bootable USB drive on a non-Linux system

May 17th, 2008, 08:46 AM
To install Ubuntu on my Eee PC, the only option has been a bootable USB drive (no internal or external CD-ROM drive). This worked great last time, when I used my friend's Linux laptop to make the drive. However he's pretty busy, so I can't ask him to help me out. I'm on my own. Plus, I really want to learn this myself.

My Ubuntu install is royally screwed; I have a feeling it is beyond repair. Certainly I can't do it. I have a user account that won't even log in anymore, Firefox does not retain settings, battery monitor has gone all screwy and a myriad of other small problems. I just want a fresh start.

So I set out to make the bootable USB again and hit a huge snap; suddenly Ubuntu can't even mount USB drives. Told you it was a mess :p Can't use the Eee to do this.

Someone suggested 'use an Ubuntu LiveCD environment'. Then I remembered we tried this the first time we installed it; I have an Intel Mac running Boot Camp and I couldn't get it to boot from the LiveCD. Besides, you have to install syslinux/mtools to create the drive. So a Live CD would be useless..

Next solution I tried was a virtual machine on my Mac. It turns out installing Ubuntu in Parallels Desktop is near impossible. I'm willing to try installing any other kind of Linux in a virtual machine if anyone knows one that is reasonably easy to get installed in Parallels. [edit again: Ubuntu runs in Parallels but does not mount USB drives. Perfect ;)]

And I don't have the money to buy an external CD drive, nor does anyone I know have one :( At a stretch I could pull out an old PC and install Ubuntu on that, then use it to make the drive, but that would be a LOT of hassle.

So what I really need is a way to make a bootable USB stick to install Ubuntu (I'm thinking this is a good opportunity to move to Hardy, but Gutsy would do, I need this laptop for school so getting it running is the priority) from either a Windows XP or OS X Leopard system. All the instructions I've found assume you have a working Linux install to do it from.

October 27th, 2008, 04:15 AM
I've done it with a few different versions of Linux when building from Vista. I use this site: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/