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O/S Deployment Thread, Booting from USB with Dell in Technical; We're CC3 here, and use the standard method of building workstations - with a floppy disk. Well, actually that's a ...
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    Hightower's Avatar
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    Booting from USB with Dell

    We're CC3 here, and use the standard method of building workstations - with a floppy disk. Well, actually that's a lie. We use the HP tool to take a USB pen and turn it into a bootable thingy of sorts.

    It's always worked well on our workstations (mostly RM) but when trying to get some new Dell OptiPlex 380's to run from the device it gets an I/O error of some sort. It will, however, run fine from a USB floppy drive, and the pens (tried a few) that fail in the Dells all work fine in other machines when booting.

    I've taken a look through the BIOS but it's one of those new fangled ones and I can't find anything of relevance that might resolve this.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    Could this been at a stage where it loads a network driver? If it is booting into something then reading the usb that doesn't seem to be the issue.

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    Normally, the CC3 build disk will load and the first thing is says is something like "starting windows 98" or something similar. It doesn't even get this far though. It just goes straight to some IO error!

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    Hi - I've got a load of new Optiplex 380s - I quite like the new BIOS that can be driven with a mouse..

    I am PXE booting mine - but it should be a similar procedure. I set the PXE boot as active - then change the boot order so PXE is top of the list.

    You will probably need to put the USB key in the machine or you won't get the boot order options (use one of the rear facing USB sockets) - then F2 to boot to the BIOS change the boot order and it should work fine on a reboot.. Alternatively you could try hitting F12 at boot time and select the USB key as the boot device..

    There was a BIOS update (A01) in April this year that changed a few bits - if yours are on A00 it may be worth updating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carvjo View Post
    Hi - I've got a load of new Optiplex 380s - I quite like the new BIOS that can be driven with a mouse..

    I am PXE booting mine - but it should be a similar procedure. I set the PXE boot as active - then change the boot order so PXE is top of the list.

    You will probably need to put the USB key in the machine or you won't get the boot order options (use one of the rear facing USB sockets) - then F2 to boot to the BIOS change the boot order and it should work fine on a reboot.. Alternatively you could try hitting F12 at boot time and select the USB key as the boot device..

    There was a BIOS update (A01) in April this year that changed a few bits - if yours are on A00 it may be worth updating.
    Thanks for telling me how to boot to a different device. Much appreciated!

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    Whilst this is not absolutely relevant in this case, someone might find it of use in some circumstances. I came across PLoP which is a bootmanager that can run from CD or be installed to the HD. The thing which caught my eye is the possibility of using it to boot from a USB memory stick, even if BIOS is so old that it doesn't allow boot from USB.

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