I have a unique problem with an older Toshiba satellite laptop that happens to be a LegacyFree laptop meaning you can't access the bios via the normal F2, Del, Esc, etc.

I can only select a boot option in the beginning such as HDD, Removeable, CD, Floppy, etc.

The problem I ran into is the bootable USB I created is appearing as a bootable HDD not as a removable device and thus it is booting from the HDD in the computer because I can't change the HDD device priority.

Is there anyway when making the bootable USB to make it appear as a USB instead of HDD?

I've been using unetbootin and LinuxLive to create these bootable USBs.

NOTE: I am aware you can access LegacyFree Bios is through a program called Tsetup or HwSetup through windowsXP problem is that The laptop doesn't have any OS currently installed.

1 Answer 1


Many BIOSes treat USB drives as “HDD” if they have a partition table and “Removable” if they don't. This isn't something you can change short of flashing a different BIOS altogether (rarely an option).

Most BIOSes let you choose the order of available “HDD” devices in a separate screen. Some let you press a key at boot time to select the HDD. If these options are not available to you, make a non-partitioned USB stick.

Create a filesystem directly on the USB stick, not on a partition:

mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb

(Replace /dev/sdb by the right drive. Be sure to get this right since it'll destroy the data on that drive.) Then follow the instructions to make that live/installation USB stick. If you already have a stick image with a partition table, copy all but the first sector of it onto the stick:

tail -c +513 <whole-disk-image-file >/dev/sdb

then re-run the bootloader installation on the stick (e.g. syslinux /dev/sdb if the bootloader is Syslinux).

  • Ahh that would definitely explain it. I had used windows diskpart utility and made a partition and set it to active. Before doing that it appeared as removable device. Thanks again!
    – Grant
    Jul 7, 2011 at 0:59

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