I have a Vaio laptop (Model Number: SVF15218SGB). It had a Windows 8 on it when I'd bought it. After a few months, I decided to migrate to GNU/Linux. Thus I installed Ubuntu 14.04 on it (It was July I guess). When I was installing it I set it to "Erase everything and Install" or "Use entire disk" or something similar. I didn't know what it would do by then, but now I've realized that it's erased the Recovery Partition (Which contained recovery stuff such as windows 8 itself and some other tools such as booting from the USBs and Vaio's own recovery mode) in the process. I really have no problem with Ubuntu currently and it boots without any problems and grub seems to work properly. Before all this, If I wanted to boot from a USB, I should've gone to Vaio Care (by pressing the "ASSIST" button while the laptop is turned off which can also be accessed from grub menu now), then select “Start from media (USB device/optical discs)” and It would boot up the live sessions. Recently I decided to switch to Debian so I downloaded and tried to make a bootable USB using this:

dd if=/home/javad/Downloads/debian-live-7.7.0-amd64-gnome-desktop.iso of=/dev/sdb1 bs=4M; sync

But when I go there now, I’ll be shown an error which says: “Your VAIO failed to start using media (USB device/optical discs)”. What alternatives do I have? I mean is there any other ways to boot from the stick? Like from grub or something?

p.s: I’ve contacted the local Sony’s support center and I was told to bring them the laptop so that they replace the HDD drive with a fresh factory configured one, so that I start from the bottom! But that would be my last option.

  • can you post what is on the stick... And what you are trying to use it for, and where you are trying to boot it... Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


If I understand you you're looking for a way to boot from USB using grub. According to this post, the way to do that is to start the machine with the USB stick connected and get to the grub prompt. There you can type root (hd (without pressing enter) and press tab to list hard drives. The USB device will probably be hd1 so the line would be root (hd1). From there type

chainloader +1

If that doesn't work try it again using root (hd1,0) (the zero is a partition number.)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .