Howto: boot from USB sticks on Gigabyte motherboards

There are quite a few posts on the internet talking about problems with booting from an USB stick with some Gigabyte motherboard models. No matter whether you select USB HDD as primary boot drive, the BIOS would just state “Boot error”. Linnea ran into this problem, and after a little bit of searching the web, I read that a working solution was to use some Windows-only HP software that could format the USB stick the right way.

It turns out, however, that you don’t need that HP software. The problem is that the BIOS Gigabyte uses simply¬†doesn’t like partitions on USB sticks. A simple guide:

  • Erase any existing partitions on the stick with gparted (although your partitioner of choice would likely work as well)
  • Create vfat filesystem directly on USB stick
  • Set up a Live image. I used unetbootin, livecd-creator would likely work as well.
You should then be able to boot from USB sticks.

5 Replies to “Howto: boot from USB sticks on Gigabyte motherboards”

  1. I downloaded gparted and format usb flash drive with fat16 file system.and then used unetbootin to create boot drive from iso file.My iso file is “Hiren’s.BootCD.14.0.iso” but this way did not work.I have problem with choice usb zip or usb hdd or usb fdd in bios .Although unfortunately, none of the methods did not work.What’s the difference between these item.USB ZIP and USB FDD

  2. I believe that the USB ZIP is a usb-attached iomega zip drive, while USB FDD is a floppy drive connected with USB. USB hdd is the right one to use for regular usb mass storage devices.

  3. Hi,
    Thank you for your post! I am having the same issue and found your instructions working. Can you explain what actually happens here in the whole process e.g. what is different when using unetbootin in comparison to the Ubuntu start image creator?

    Thanks again!


  4. Thanks for the heads up. Any hint on how to create a vfat filesystem “directly”, without creating a partition ? Gparted doesn’t offer such an option…

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