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Fix For “Missing Operating System” Message – Ubuntu On Flash Drive

Posted on May 17 2009 by Matthew Jakeman

As described in my previous blog post I had a problem getting USB on a flash drive to boot due to the PC simply saying “Missing Operating System” when it tried to boot from the device.

I found a fix for this that basically involved wiping the flash disk using fdisk. Creating a new partition and using usb-create again. The solution is explained step by step below :

The first step is to load fdisk. To do this you need the following simple command :

sudo fdisk /dev/sdg
Obviously you need to point it to the correct dev file where the USB flash disk is located. In my case it was /dev/sdg.

Once fdisk has loaded you need to delete the partition that is on the disk. This can be done by typing ‘d’ and then hitting enter. (If you want to check at any time what the state of the partition table is on the disk you can type ‘p’ and hit enter.)

This hasn’t actually deleted the partition yet. In order to write the changes to the drive you need to type w and hit enter. (Beware this will effectively wipe the drive so make sure you definitely have the right disk…)

So now you have a nice blank USB drive to use. Of course it now needs a partition to be able to write the Ubuntu image in when you run usb-creator. Start up gparted and right click on the unallocated partition. (Again, make sure you have the right drive selected in the top right hand corner of gparted or you could wipe off a hard disk by mistake.) Click on new and select Fat32 for the file system type. Write these changes to the USB drive and you are are set.

Now all that is left to do is fire up usb-creator, write the Ubuntu system to teh flash drive and stick it into the PC you wish to load and boot it up. Simples…

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