VirtualBox: Boot from USB


Virtualbox allows to boot from USB. But this feature isn’t exposed to the GUI.

Lets start. First of all determine the physical disk. Open Powershell and query the disks by WMI

PS D:\> Get-WmiObject -Query "Select * from Win32_DiskDrive"

Partitions : 3
Model      : Samsung SSD 850 PRO 512G
Size       : 512105932800
Caption    : Samsung SSD 850 PRO 512G

Partitions : 1
Model      : Generic USB CF Reader USB Device
Size       : 4030387200
Caption    : Generic USB CF Reader USB Device

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Windows: Boot from USB or external device in UEFI or BIOS mode


when Windows runs in UEFI mode (and also BIOS mode) and you want to boot from an alternate boot device or want boot into safe mode you have to start Windows into the Advanced Startup Options menu.

The graphical way is to open the Charms Menu and Settings
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VMware Workstation: Boot a virtual machine from a USB drive/stick

The BIOS of the VMware Workstation does not support to boot from a USB drive or stick which is connected to a virtual machine.

But there is a workaround:-) Use the Plop Boot Manager. Download the latest ZIP File and extract the plpbt.iso file. This contains a CD image which starts plop boot manager. Connect the iso file as  a virtual CDROM to your virtual machine.
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Windows: Windows did not start. Howto write a new MBR and recover Windows OS Bootsector


if you migrate a Windows Installation to another Computer or virtual environment such as VMWare ESXi or VMWare Workstation it could happen that the system won’t start.

A typical error when the master boot record or the boot sector of the boot partition needs to be updated or must be rewritten is when

  • After Postscreen of the BIOS the console shows “Operating system not found” this means there is no boot code in MBR
  • or it shows only a blinking cursor in the upper left edge. 2 possible reasons are thinkable
  1. MBR boot code is loaded but could not load the operation system => The boot sector of the Windows Boot partition needs to be updated
  2. The boot(active) flag of Windows boot partition  is missing

For all cases you can use the command line program “testdisk” which is part of the most linux live CDs/DVDs to correct this.
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