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I have a pendrive with 3 partitions, and it works well but there's one thing that causes troubles. I'm using this pendrive for booting live debian system, but to do this I have to set a boot flag to fist partition, but when I do so, only my laptop can boot the system. My older pc (6-7y) just doesn't see the device, at least in its bios.

Does anyone know why my older pc doesn't see it? Is there a fix for that, or just the bios is so old that can't deal with bootable multipartition usb drive? I just add that the pc has the ability to boot system from usb-hdd. Moreover after doing the following:

# printf '\x1' | cat /usr/lib/syslinux/altmbr.bin - | dd bs=440 count=1 iflag=fullblock conv=notrunc of=/dev/sdb

It boots without a boot flag. I know what that line does, but is there a way to make it work with the boot flag?

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Be sure to scour your BIOS settings for something to enable booting from USB, etc. There may be an obscure setting somewhere. – Daniel R Hicks Dec 2 '13 at 21:16

It appears your old PC does not have the capability to do so in its integrated BIOS.

HOWEVER, you can use a custom boot manager to try and boot the USB, such as Plop Boot Manager

Hope I helped ;)

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I actually can set in MBR which partition to boot from manually. That's the line does, I don't really need an external programs to do the same, more or less. – Mikhail Morfikov Dec 3 '13 at 9:03

After nearly 15 years of the first pendrives, the bios/motherboard manufacturers finally could make them working even from bios. I am sorry, but your older machine isn't enough lucky. Maybe a bios upgrade can help, but don't have big hope.

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