I built a boot USB stick with 32 bit Ubuntu 12.10 using the utility from pendrivelinux.com because I wanted to do my online financial things in a more secure environment than Windows.
It works perfectly on the desktop 32 bit XP SP 3 machine I built it on -- I can boot into Ubuntu, do the internet things I need to do, shut down the computer, pull out the boot USB, and then start again and be in my Windows installation with no problem.
I have a laptop HP DV7-1133 with 64 bit Vista Home Premium, an AMD Turion dual core processor Mobile RM-70 2 GHz and ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics. It was given to me so I'm not sure of its exact age --I think approx. 5 yrs.
When I try to boot the laptop from the 32 bit USB stick I get a black screen with one line of text that reads
" SYSLINUX 4.06 EDD 2012-10-23 copyright 1994-2012 H. Peter Anvin et al "
Under that there is a flashing - ( cursor )which after 10 minutes is still flashing and nothing else has happened.
Do note that I built a 64 bit Ubuntu 12.10 boot USB on the Vista rig thinking that there might be a compatibility issue with my 32 bit stick. Sadly, it also gives the identical aforementioned black screen with text and cursor.
Given all of the preceding, I deduce that the problem most likely is with the laptop rather than the boot USB's I built.
What, if anything, can be done to enable my booting the laptop into Ubuntu from my USB drive ? -- in case of a failure on my XP system I want to have an alternative Linux environment in which to do financially sensitive online things.
Please note that I am totally new to Linux and if it weren't for the article in Maximum PC magazine a couple of months ago I wouldn't have had the least clue as to how to accomplish what little I've managed so far.
Thanks to all in advance for your help!