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Having trouble booting by USB Drive? Some older computers BIOS has no boot by USB options. Here's an easy solution.

PLop Boot Screen

 

Ok so you have downloaded an ISO image of Peach OSI (or any other operating system) and afterwards you find out that your older computer has no options to enable your computer to boot by a USB drive and you would prefer to install the OS by USB drive simply because the installation is much faster. Well we've heard that problem for years and this issue seems to be resurfacing again as Peach users are installing Peach on computers that the user once thought was too old to make usable again. Ok, follow this article and we will show you how to boot by USB even if your BIOS has no options to configure your computer to boot by USB.

First things first.

This tutorial is written exclusively for Windows users and you will need the appropriate software (links provided) to make this USB or Floppy Disk boot system work. You will need to be able to boot either an old style floppy disk or you will need to be able to boot by CD or DVD. Most older computers built in the last 30 years can boot by one of these two options. You'll notice that I state one option was a CD drive or a DVD drive. Many older computers do not have a DVD drive and came instead with a CD drive. Good news! All you need is a CD drive! The other thing that you will need is a wired keyboard. This little gem of a fix will not work properly with a wireless keyboard. And last but not least, you will need a program to burn the ISO that I'll provide for you below.

Key Points - you will need to know:

1.) You will need either an old style floppy drive or a CD or DVD drive

2.) You will need a wired keyboard connected to your desktop PC - either a USB or PS/2.

3.) Most likely you will need to install a USB stick into a USB slot in the back of your computer.

4.) You will need the PLoP Boot Manager system and either RawWrite for floppy disks or Free ISO Burner for CDs or DVDs or any software that enables you to burn an ISO file to a CD or DVD.

5.) You will need a bootable working copy of Windows - any flavor...

6.) You will need an ISO image of an operating system that you want to install on your PC with a USB drive large enough to contain the installation system. You can download a free Peach OSI version here.

or

7.) You will need software to burn the operating systems installation system to a USB drive - we suggest using Yumi - Multiboot.

A piece of freeware called PLoP Boot Manager solves this inability to boot from USB problem offering an image that can burned to a CD or put on a floppy disk and enables you to boot to a variety of devices including USB drives. (Download to this zip file is available at the bottom of this article.)

Put PLoP on a CD

PLoP comes as a zip file, which includes a variety of files. To put PLoP on a CD, you will need to burn plpbtin.iso from that zip file to a CD or DVD disk. It is a very small ISO so use a CD to save cost but if all you have is a DVD then it will work equally as well.

Burn plpbtin.iso to CD or DVD and then skip to the “Booting PLoP Boot Manager” section below. (Download to this ISO file is available at the bottom of this article.) (We've also included a link to a free Windows ISO burning program at the bottom of this article.)

Put PLoP on a Floppy Disk

If your computer is old enough to still have a floppy drive, then you will need to put the contents of the plpbtin.img image file found in PLoP’s zip file on a floppy disk. (Download to this file is available at the bottom of this article.)

To do this, we’ll use a freeware utility called RawWrite for Windows. (Download to this software is available at the bottom of this article.)

Booting PLoP Boot Manager

To boot PLoP, you will need to have your CD or floppy drive boot with higher precedence than your hard drive. In many cases, especially with floppy disks, this is done by default.

If the CD or floppy drive is not set to boot first, then you will need to access your BIOS’s boot menu, or the setup menu. The exact steps to do this vary depending on your BIOS – to get a detailed description of the process, search for your motherboard’s manual (or your laptop’s manual if you’re working with a laptop).

In general, however, as the computer boots up, some important keyboard strokes are noted somewhere prominent on the screen. In most cases, these keyboard entries are at the bottom of the boot screen. Often the key to get into your computers BIOS is the Del or F2 or the Esc key.

Press whatever key gets you into BIOS or use whatever key allows you  to bring up the Boot Menu. Our older PC has a key press of F12 to access the available Boot Options so we hit F12 and select our previously burned  CD with PLoP Boot Manager on it. So as you can see we will select the CD-ROM Drive option and hit Enter. You may need to set your CD or DVD player as option number one in your computers BIOS if you do not have a key press option to go directly into Boot Options from the beginning boot screen. I.E. If your BIOS does not have a Boot Menu, then you will need to access the Setup menu and change the boot order to give the floppy disk or CD-ROM or DVD Drive higher precedence than the hard drive. Usually this setting is found in the “Boot” or “Advanced” section of the Setup menu in the BIOS settings.

If done correctly, PLoP Boot Manager will load up, giving a number of boot options. Highlight USB and press Enter. PLoP should begin loading from the USB drive. (Please note: In most cases you will need to have installed the USB drive containing your OS installation in the back of a desktop PC. This is because most USB drives that are placed on the front or side of the computer will not have been read and activated during the PLoP boot process.)

Despite our BIOS not having the option, we are now booting using the USB drive, which in our case holds a Peach OSI operating system!

Handy Downloads to make the above process work easier:

Download PLoP Boot Manager entire zip file

Download PLoP Boot Manager ISO file only for CD or DVD

Download PLoP Boot Manager IMG file only for Floppy Disks

Download RawWrite for Windows

Download free ISO burning software for Windows

Yumi Multiboot for burning ISO images to a USB drive

We've referenced some of the above material from the following URL: https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/16822/boot-from-a-usb-drive-even-if-your-bios-wont-let-you/

 

I hope this article helps you to successfully boot an older computer to a more modern operating system like Peach. If you have any questions or comments about this article feel free to leave any thing you would like to in the comment section below. You do not need to register to comment and all comments are appreciated. Comments are screened to keep out would-be phishing and spam attempts so your comment will be posted as soon as a narrator has time to review the comment.

 

 

 

 

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