You've always got a trusty bootable USB flash drive with you to solve computer problems, but what if a
PC’s BIOS won’t let you boot from USB? We’ll show you how to make a CD that will let you boot from your USB drive.
A piece of freeware called PLoP Boot Manager solves this problem, offering an image that can burned to a CD or put on a floppy disk, and enables you to boot to a variety of devices, including USB drives.
Put PLoP on a CD
PLoP comes as a zip file, which includes a variety of files. To put PLoP on a CD, you will need either
plpbt.iso or plpbtnoemul.iso from that zip file. Either disc image should work on most computers, though if in doubt plpbtnoemul.iso should work “everywhere,” according to the readme included with PLoP Boot Manager. Burn plpbtnoemul.iso or plpbt.iso to a CD and then skip to the “booting PLoP Boot Manager” section.
If the CD drive is not set to boot first, then you will need to access your BIOS’s boot menu, or the setup menu. The exact steps to do this vary depending on your BIOS – to get a detailed description of the process, search for your motherboard’s manual (or your laptop’s manual if you’re working with a laptop).
If all done correctly, PLoP Boot Manager will load up, giving a number of boot options.
This is a pretty geeky way to get your PC to boot from a USB...provided your computer still has a CD
drive. Of course if your BIOS won’t boot from a USB it probably has one...or you really need to update it.
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