Extreme 3.0 32GB, seen as local disk not removable, cannot boot from it

Hi there.

I have searched the forums for an up to date solution to my problem, and have become very confused as to how to proceed. Many partial solutions are mentioned, mostly from some time ago. Help would be greatly appreciated.

Problem

I have just purchased a brand new USB Extreme 3.0 32GB. My aim is to install Ubuntu (Mate 15.10) on a laptop (ASUS UL30A, working USB2 port), using Tuxboot (Ubuntu) to write the ISO to this USB drive. All seems to be going well until I try to boot up from the USB. I am no expert, but the issue seems to be that the drive is being recognised as a local disk (I can see it in BIOS), rather than a removable drive, so when I start up the laptop it just boots from the HDD.

I have used other USB drives to do this kind of thing in the past without any problems. Am I being stupid?

As I understand it this was a problem for people a couple of years ago. Various fixes were suggested, among them being that I should just return it and buy another USB drive - if possible, I’d rather get this one working for me. This is a popular product, so I’m sure there is a good solution … I just can’t seem to find it!

I have functioning versions of Win7 and Ubuntu 14.04, and am happy to use the command line to solve the problem. If I haven’t provided enough information, I’d be happy to fill in the blanks.

Thanks in advance,

Al

Not sure what Tuxboot does but I use Easy2Boot to create bootable USB drives.

In that SanDisk hasn’t created a flash drive as Local in about 8 yrs I don’t know what you bought but I don’t see why it would impact your booting if you have the BIOS set to boot USB drives first. 

You are out-of-luck because SanDisk fixed the firmware so the drive appears as a hard drive, not a removable drive as one would expect. Other applications which are affected include LiveUSB Creator. It would be smart of SanDisk to release a firmware update because not only would it be a trivial coding exercise, it might persuade the affected people to buy a SanDisk drive in the future instead of buying one from a competitor.

Also, SanDisk lied regarding its shift to making its USB flash drives appear as removable. I just bought an Extreme from Micro Center and it appears as a local drive. http://forums.sandisk.com/t5/All-SanDisk-USB-Flash-Drives/Models-configured-for-Fixed-Disk/m-p/306011#M6244

Ed_P opined “SanDisk hasn’t created a flash drive as Local in about 8 yrs”

I have two Extremes, both bought in the last six months, which appear as local drives. Don’t assume.

You may be out-of-luck because SanDisk fixed the firmware so the drive appears as a local drive, not a removable one as expected. Other applications which are affected include LiveUSB Creator. It would be smart of SanDisk to release a firmware update because not only would it be a trivial coding exercise, it might persuade the affected people to buy a SanDisk drive in the future instead of buying one from a competitor.

It may not work for you, but read the following webpage. It includes a way to force LiveUSB Creator to use local drives (liveusb-creator --force F). Sorry, I don’t use Ubuntu, but LiveUSB Creator works with Fedora. https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator/wiki/FAQ

I have two Extremes, both bought in the last six months, which appear as local drives. Don’t assume.

Not assuming, statement of fact.  Can’t speak for the counterfeit drives though.  Regardless, should not effect booting.  I have 2-3 hard drives that I boot via USB.

Hi folks. Thanks for the replies.

So … I finally managed to boot up from the drive, not quite how I wanted, but I got it working. This is what I did:

1   I went in to BIOS at start up, found the USB drive under HDD, and put the HDD: Sandisk Extreme entry to the top of the list. This didn’t work - it just hung there. I put the list back as it was.

2   I used Gparted in Ubuntu to delete the partition on the drive, and then creasted a new FAT32 partition. I don’t know if this helped.

3   I installed mkusb on Ubuntu, and used that to write the Ubuntu Mate ISO to the USB. On inspection, this looked exactly the same as I had before, but who knows.

4   I restarted the laptop with the USB drive in place. Once again, it was ignored.

5   I restarted again, and went in to BIOS. Once again I put the HDD: Sandisk to the top of the boot list.

… and BINGO! It worked.

I’m not quite sure which bit of what I did made it possible for me to boot, and I’m still not happy that the drive gets recognised as a local disk rather than removable, but for now I’m just going to suck it up and get on with it.

By the way, I believe it’s a genuine drive - I bought it direct from the massive online book store. Is there any way to be 100% certain?

Cheers,

Al

“Not assuming, statement of fact”

Only in your mind, given that I gave a specific counter-example. There are many other recent posts in this forum on the same subject, including ones from “gurus” opining that SanDisk stopped making local drives in 2013 or 2014. Not to mention that you previously acknowledged the problem and suggested that users buy a different brand.

“Regardless, should not effect booting”

Most of the utilities to create LiveUSB sticks assume that the drive will be removable. That makes perfect sense because those utilities do not need to confuse users with choices of system and/or data drives.If it is impossible to create a LiveUSB stick, booting is irrelevant.

All the BIOSes I have seen, never display ‘Removable’ for a removable drive.

Booting as ‘USB HDD’ is normal, even for a USB Removable flash drive.

If possible, never configure your BIOS to boot from the USB drive as the first hard disk. This can cause issues with some OS’s that you are installing and they may install boot code onto the USB drive instead of the internal hard disk. Always use the BIOS Selection pop-up menu to select your USB boot drive  (usually you press ESC or F8 or F12).

I suspect in your case, the USB drive was not correctly prepared by Tuxboot (often these programs don’t install bootcode into the MBR and assume it already has MBR boot code, or they don’t set the partition as active - they just format the partition and install PBR boot code into the partition). So your BIOS was trying to boot from the USB drive, found that it had no valid boot code or bootable partition and then defaulted to booting from the internal HDD.

I have an Intel DZ68 system. I inserted both a Crucial USB 2.0 and a SanDisk USB 3.0 into USB slots and rebooted. BIOS displayed them both as Removable Devices.

It sounds like you have never used an Intel motherboard because of your comment: “usually you press ESC or F8 or F12.” On Intel boards, the correct key is F10. For my HP laptop, the correct sequence is ESC, then F9.

The original poster was correct: there is a difference between SanDisk and other USB flash drives.