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Re: livecds in the future

On Tue, 2009-11-24 at 16:17 -0500, Peter Jones wrote:
> On 11/24/2009 04:07 PM, Sir Gallantmon wrote:
> > If there are systems that cannot boot to USB, why not offer a boot disc that
> > would automatically search for USB drives, offer a list of bootable USB
> > drives, and allow the user to select one to boot from?
> Not that I actually believe in these systems that are i686 or newer and won't
> boot off of usb-storage devices, but if they were to exist, you wouldn't be
> able to do what you're saying on them.
> When the bootloader is running, it can only see devices BIOS provides to it.  If
> a system can't boot off of a usb-storage device, it's because the BIOS isn't
> enumerating it.  So it's not a case of "we can start from another device and
> then look at the device we meant to be using" - you can't see the device at all,
> regardless of your starting point.

Mandriva Flash - Mandriva's commercial system-on-a-USB-stick thingy -
does exactly what you confidently proclaim to be impossible. It comes
with a CD ISO you can burn onto a CD (or mini-CD) that allows you to
'chain-boot' the Flash on systems with crappy BIOSes that can't boot
from a USB stick (yes, they exist, but are getting progressively rarer,

I don't know the specifics of how it works - given the above, I presume
it goes rather beyond the bootloader stage, or something - but it
definitely does exactly what Gallantmon suggested.

Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Fedora Talk: adamwill AT fedoraproject DOT org

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