[USB keydrive] Why can't it boot?

gganault

Distinguished
Aug 5, 2007
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Hello

I just bought a brand new Emtec C400 4GB USB keydrive on eBay.

After making it Linux bootable with either Unetbootin or PendriveLinux, I notice the test laptop I use (Acer Aspire 3810T with the most recent BIOS - 1.28) can't boot: It can't even enter the boot menu to select the device through F12, and is stuck at "". FWIW, I can access the keydrive just fine after booting with Windows, so it looks like the keydrive is OK, just not bootable.

Here's what Linux's lshw says:
*-scsi:1
physical id: 2
bus info: usb@2:1
logical name: scsi3
capabilities: emulated scsi-host
configuration: driver=usb-storage
*-disk
description: SCSI Disk
physical id: 0.0.0
bus info: scsi@3:0.0.0
logical name: /dev/sdc
size: 3814MiB (3999MB)
capabilities: partitioned partitioned : dos
configuration: signature=c3072e18
*-volume
description: Windows FAT volume
vendor: SYSLINUX
physical id: 1
bus info: scsi@3:0.0.0,1
logical name: /dev/sdc1
logical name: /mnt/usb
version: FAT32
serial: 13ff-322e
size: 3806MiB
capacity: 3810MiB
capabilities: primary bootable fat initialized
configuration: FATs=2 filesystem=fat mount.fstype=vfat mount.options=rw,relatime,fmask=0022,dmask=0022,codepage=cp437,iocharset=iso8859-1,shortname=mixed,errors=remount-ro state=mounted

I have a couple of questions:
1. Are there USB keydrives that can only be used to hold data, but not be used to boot an OS?
2. Is there a way to check whether a brand/model can boot before purchase?

Thank you.