Make a USB Boot CD for Ubuntu 9.04

The following tutorial explains how to create a USB Boot CD that can be used to boot a Ubuntu 9.04 USB flash drive on computers with a BIOS that does not natively support booting from USB. The boot CD contains a grub bootloader that loads the initrd and vmlinuz kernel from the CD and then proceeds to locate the filesystem on the USB drive. Because the USB driver modules are preloaded from the initrd on the CD, the compressed filesystem can then be detected and loaded from the USB device.

USB Boot CD for Ubuntu 9.04 creation essentials

  • Test PC with a BIOS that does not support boot from USB
  • Live CD or a PC that does Boot from USB
  • Working CD Burner
  • Ubuntu 9.04 Live CD
  • USB flash drive with Ubuntu 9.04 preinstalled

How to Create a Boot CD to Boot a Ubuntu 9.04 Live USB

Note: We prefer to perform the following steps by booting from a prebuilt Ubuntu 9.04 Live USB on a machine that does support booting from USB. This allows us to free up the CD Burner and use it to burn the final ISO.

  1. Insert the Ubuntu 9.04 Live USB or Live CD and restart your computer, booting from the device
  2. Open a Terminal and Type mkdir -p ubcd/boot/grub
  3. Type cp /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc/stage2_eltorito ubcd/boot/grub
  4. Type gedit ubcd/boot/grub/menu.lst
    Add the following information to your menu.lst file and click save:

    title Run Ubuntu 9.04 from USB DISK
    root (cd)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true persistent
    initrd /boot/initrd.gz
    boot

  5. Type cp /cdrom/casper/vmlinuz ~/ubcd/boot
  6. Type sudo gedit /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
    Add the following lines to the modules file and click save:

    usbcore
    usb-storage
    uhci_hcd
    ohci_hcd
    ehci_hcd
    sd_mod
    scsi_mod

  7. Type sudo gedit /etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf
    Add the following line to the bottom of the file and click save:

    WAIT=8

  8. Type sudo mkinitramfs -o ubcd/boot/initrd.gz
  9. Type mkisofs -R -b boot/grub/stage2_eltorito -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o usbcd.iso ubcd
  10. Burn the usbcd.iso to a CD
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