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I've searched online but can't get an answer. Must be how I'm asking the question in the search bar.

I've found that when making a bootable USB stick that some sticks will work without issue and others just fail when used on certain computers.

IE I made a bootable Linux Kernel on an older Kingston 1GB USB that boots at school on the towers but won't boot on my laptop (Lenovo N500 or ASUS A53S). However when I made the same bootable on a Kingston Data Traveler 2GB it boots just fine on all.

Other folks in class have been trying to make bootable USB sticks too but are not having any luck. The USBs are varied brands so there must be something I/we don't know about the hardware inside these things that is causing problems sometimes.

I figure it might be a BIOS issue in conjunction with the USB hardware but there isn't anything really to change in the BIOS besides allow USB Boot.

Anyone have some insight as to what could be going on here?

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I have had poor luck with PNY, But have had very good luck with Sandisk, but you are right success can vary from computer to computer, brand to brand, and even hardware to hardware... The best thing you can do is try to keep trying till you find a solution that works best for you. –  TheX Oct 17 '13 at 17:19
    
Be sure that you're not using a USB stick that installs its own software in order to function. I've had some older Kingston sticks like this, but they're not the only ones. Be sure that the stick matches the port, for USB 1.0 or USB 2.0. Check if "legacy USB" is enabled in the BIOS. Also, it may help if you add the exact steps you're taking to create the bootable stick, as there are so many ways to go about it. There's a good troubleshooter at badzilla.co.uk/Bootable-Linux-USB-Memory-Stick-Problem-Solving that may help. –  Debra Oct 17 '13 at 17:35
    
Using Ubuntu Disk Utility to Format USB as Bootable, then create a FAT partition, sudo syslinux /dev/sdx to install boot sector stuff. Then copying my bzImage file over and making the syslinux.cfg file to point to the bzImage. As I say, works 25% of the time. I'll go through the badzilla link for help too. thnx –  Chef Flambe Oct 17 '13 at 17:44

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