Cannot use a Kingston 16GB USB stick as ‘live bootable USB’

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Problem :

I use USB sticks to install different operating systems, mainly Linux distros, which can fit on a 2GB USB stick.

I have one 16 GB Kingston USB stick ( in fact: 16 GB Kingston Datatraveler G3) that I am not able to use as live USB at all, although I tried all the methods that work fine with the 2GB ones for creating live usb sticks for different Linux distributions.

It is this one:

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What happens is that it is not at all displayed in the boot devices list, as if it was not there at all. All procedures of creating a live USB seem to work fine with it, but then it is not detected at all.

I have noticed that other USB sticks that I have, even completely formatted and empty, once connected appear as a third entry in the device boot list (although not bootable). The 16 GB Kingston is not seen: just two entries (the HDD and the CDROM) are then in the list.

What could be the cause of this?

The 16GB stick seems fine in all other respects, I have formatted it multiple times, also created new partition table to try to fix this. All systems see it as a normal fat32 usb, except that I cannot make it visible at all when trying to boot from it, while the computer is able to boot from many different other sticks.

How could I check that it is bootable and how to ensure that it is?


Edit after comment saying to use this solution:

  • Check Flash in Windows reported no errors on write, read and verify.

  • H2testw reported no errors and displayed 14861 MB

enter image here


Edit after comment saying to add boot flag:

The boot flag was easy to set in Linux with Gparted.

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But still the usb stick is absent in the boot list. Odd.

Before that I had deleted the partition and created a msdos partition table:

enter image description here

Should I try another type of partition table? I do not think so, because I tested with a 2GB USB with a new msdospartition table and no boot flag, and that appeared in the boot list.

Solution :

It appears that your computer’s BIOS does not have support for 16GB USB memory sticks. There might be a BIOS update which enables support. You should consult the motherboard’s documentation to confirm any limitation.

One solution is to create a smaller 8GB partition if the BIOS doesn’t support booting from a larger 16GB USB. You will sacrifice space, but should be able to use it to boot. This method won’t work if the entire 16GB is needed, but the post indicates everything fits on 2GB.

NOTE: This will remove all data from the USB and create an 8GB partition.

From an administrator command line type the following:

diskpart
list disk
select disk X  (where X is the actual disk# of your USB).
clean
create partition primary size=8192
format fs=fat32 quick
active
exit

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