I have installed Debian 8.9 on an USB external drive. lsusb identifies the external drive as follows:

ID 0bc2:2320 Seagate RSS LLC USB 3.0 bridge [Portable Expansion Drive]

I would now like to boot an Acer Veriton M6620G PC from that drive. However, the PC's BIOS does not seem to recognize it as boot device for it appears neither under nth Boot Device (nor Hard Disk Drives Priority nor Removable Devices Priority) in the BIOS.

If I insert a USB memory stick instead, the BIOS recognizes and lists it both under nth Boot Device and Removable Devices Priority.

I've double-checked that the USB external drive (as well as the USB memory stick) is bootable. The external drive apparently uses USB 3.0, whereas the memory stick USB 2.0. After booting Debian 8.9 on the PC from another boot device, it recognizes the USB external drive normally on the OS level (with lsusb, etc.). The system BIOS version is P01-All.

Is there a known reason why this PC's BIOS does not recognize this USB external drive, and is there a way to successfully boot it from that device?

  • Does the hard drive have a UEFI boot partition on it? – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 16 '17 at 15:11
  • @IgnacioVazquez-Abrams I guess no. (My answer to "Force UEFI installation?" during Debian installation to the USB external drive was "No".) – rookie09 Nov 16 '17 at 15:13
  • Welp, you're probably going to need one now that it's 2017. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 16 '17 at 15:14
  • @IgnacioVazquez-Abrams I've rerun the Debian installation and this time answered "Yes" to "Force GRUB installation to the EFI removable media path". The BIOS now recognizes the USB external drive e.g. under EFI Devices. If you want to write up your comments as an answer, I shall accept it. Thx. – rookie09 Nov 16 '17 at 15:48

It has become increasingly popular for PCs to obscure or eliminate "legacy" booting in favor of UEFI booting. Ensuring that the appropriate UEFI boot partitions are created when installing an OS will allow it to boot on UEFI-only systems.

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