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I am using unetbootin to load my Ubuntu ISO image onto my usb stick. I have formatted it as fat32 various times but I am still unable to boot from it.

Is there any option on the usb stick which makes it non bootable, like in the partition table? If so, is there any way I can change it?

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Have you enabled USB boot in your BIOS? Can you boot from ANY USB stick? Have you tried any other images? –  techie007 May 28 '12 at 1:57
    
Yes. I have enabled it in my bios. Yes. Its only this particular stick that i am having a problem with and i would like to know why). –  Sab May 28 '12 at 2:16
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Some usb sticks don't ever seem to be bootable. In most cases though, the hp drive format tool, which there's a mirror of here seems to do the trick. HP created it for formatting their own drives, but it nearly always seems to work. If that tool dosen't work, chances are the drive's not bootable, even if the bootable flag is flipped for some reason.

After running this tool, you can format, or install an OS on it and the drive will remain bootable.

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Using the HP utility that Journeyman Geek (+1) mentioned or using SysLinux manually should do it> syslinux syslinux.org/wiki/index.php/HowTos I have used both to get older hp thin clients to boot up on usb thumb drives which would not work using unetbootin or similiar apps. –  Logman May 28 '12 at 3:21
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How to make a USB-key bootable with BartPE

Or

Boot Multiple ISO from USB (MultiBoot USB) | USB Pen Drive Linux

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I have tried universal usb installer from pendrive linux and that doesnt work either. I think there must be something in my drive which disables booting from it. Because even if i plug this usb into by drive and enable boot from usb it simply discards the usb drive but(It does not even show scanning.) –  Sab May 28 '12 at 2:14
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Then check your boot options in your BIOS settings. Which drives are bootable is a BIOS setting. –  Tom May 28 '12 at 2:20
    
Oops, I missed your "enable boot from usb" comment. Try booting from the USB stick on another computer. That will confirm if the problem is with the stick or with your computer. –  Tom May 28 '12 at 16:00
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