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Sony vaio cannot boot from sd

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April 14, 2011 2:12:36 AM

Hello, I am trying to install Ubuntu on SD of Sony Vaio - VCPEA36FM. I dont have any luck with booting from either SD or USB Key. Any way around this issue?

More about : sony vaio boot

April 14, 2011 2:17:35 AM

It installs Ubuntu onto SD and the USB key just fine... booting to any of these gives an mbr error.
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April 14, 2011 3:09:58 AM

Frankly I didn't think it was possible to boot a standard PC (esp a laptop) from a SD card. Unless I'm missing something. Might be possible if you got an external usb card reader that fooled the bios into thinking it was a removable HD, but that's not what the internal card reader can do. I'm not aware of any hardware that could make it work.

You probably have to follow one of the many guides on the net describing a way to shrink your windows partition to be able to free up disk space for linux partitions.
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April 14, 2011 4:29:40 AM

I would think that the windows bootloader that gives you the option to either boot to Win7 or Ubuntu, has SD or usb drivers that it can access should you select ubuntu.

Should this not work?

I installed ubuntu from within Windows. No, no hard drive partitions were created. Rather the win7 boot.ini was created that simply points to ubuntu in the SD path, in addition to the win7 in hard drive.

Any clues?
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April 14, 2011 4:32:12 AM

Oh and so BIOS should not have anything to do with this. BIOS simply loads the windows boot loader. This bootloader then presents an option to either boot to Win7 or Ubuntu (it gets its information from the boot.ini file), and simply should boot to the path selected.

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April 14, 2011 6:22:42 AM

For starters, Windows 7 does not have a boot.ini file. And I think you are wrong to suggest that the Windows boot loader can boot from an external drive.
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April 14, 2011 12:01:55 PM

NTloader.sys (the windows boot loader) does not have usb or sd card drivers. It accesses the hardware through BIOS calls, hence why BIOS has everything to do with it.

perhaps a boot CD like 'ultimate boot cd' - Google it. Can do so. Perhaps grub may be able to do as well, but definitely not windows boot loader.
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April 14, 2011 3:31:19 PM

Hmm... understand... however the BIOS options do allow you to boot from an external device, it does not specify USB or SD though. So I made an assumption that it would allow booting from either of these interfaces, if the boot loader were to use BIOS calls to load OS from them.

I still would like to see if there is a way I could get my laptop to boot through an SD installation. Note: it installs fine. Do I have to format the SD in FAT32 maybe? I will give that a shot next.
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April 15, 2011 12:14:34 PM

With USB, there are various methods that the hardware can be setup to be recognised by the system, and the bios will only boot certain kinds. Its like 10 years ago, to boot from a CDrom (common by todays standards) you needed the disk formatted properly, the drive to support it, and the bios setup to boot from optical media. If you didn't have all three stars aligned, it didn't work. SD card readers aren't designed or setup to allow booting, unless specifically made to do so (I'm not aware of any). Yes, you can install onto an SD card, but that doesn't imply that you will be able to use it.

USB flash drives are a viable way to do this however, you can google and read up on that.
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