"Error loading operating system" when trying to load Fedora to blank HD - boot order correct

Hi Experts,

I'm trying to load a fresh install of Fedora 9 (yes, it has to be that version) onto a freshly FAT32-formatted harddrive. I formatted my flash drive to FAT32 and made it bootable (using these instructions), and then burned the Fedora 9 Live iso with the Universal USB Installer program recommended. I changed the boot order in BIOS to USB then SATA, at which point I try to boot and get the "Error loading operating system" message.

I've tried disabling the secondary boot so that it will only look for operating system from the USB, but then it just tells me to insert boot media and press a key, which means it's not reading the USB for some reason, even though the USB light is on.

My question: What am I doing wrong? Is there something else I should check for that could be interfering with the boot sequence?
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Michael MachieIT SupervisorCommented:
What type of hardware are you doing this on?

Some Lenovos, specifically ThinkPads, have blocked the ability to boot off of and load an O/S from a USB drive. This is generally only on Win8 machines but it can be on some with Win 7. It is the same with a Microsoft Surface.
chelshawAuthor Commented:
It's a raw set-up with just the SATA harddrive, processor board (Radisys), and a monitor. The hard drive had Windows XP before I wiped it, and the hard drive has allowed for booting from USB before, just not anymore.
Bill WoodCommented:
Don't make the USB drive bootable. Just burn the image onto it. That will be enough. I've had various success with different image writers, so if one doesn't work, try another.
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Michael MachieIT SupervisorCommented:
The HDD has nothing to do with it. The PC BIOS may block booting to a USB device, hence the reason I asked which manufacturer and model your PC is, or the bootable USB was created improperly. .
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
Yeah, some machines don't necessarily boot from or recognize USB devices correctly.  But those should be very very old machines.

You could try remaking the USB stick.  Look at Rufus https://rufus.akeo.ie/ as an alternative to the system you are using.
chelshawAuthor Commented:
I've tried multiple ways of making the USB, and still no luck. Not sure what else to try at this point...thanks everyone for your suggestions.
Michael MachieIT SupervisorCommented:
I personally think your BIOS doesn't allow it. Although someone else commented this only occurs on older hardware this is not the case. Some new Lenovos and Surface Pros (Surface Pro 2 definitely) will not allow booting to a USB - period. They consider this a security feature.

That is the reason I asked what mfr and model your machine is, to check that for you.
chelshawAuthor Commented:
The thing is, it allowed booting from a USB last week! I didn't finish the boot at the time because I wasn't ready, I was just making sure the USB worked.
Michael MachieIT SupervisorCommented:
Ahh, gotcha. so then yea, it supports USB boot.

Have you looked into Sardu yet? It is a bit more advanced than a standard ISO burner and takes a little effort to learn, but it is a fantastic program. www.sarducd.it .

I have used this for a few years now and is my #1 tool for bootable media to install operating systems and perform other diagnostics and checks. Basically, you use Sardu to create a bootable USB, or CD, that drops you at a menu selection. Menus include many programs that you can use to perform diagnostics and other things but it also includes the ability to have O/S ISOs on it to install from. I use a 32GB USB and loaded ISOs for Fedora, Mint, Ubuntu, Win XP/Vista/7/8 (32-bit and 64-bit), and a few other goodies. If you get ambitious you can even add custom ISOs, and corresponding menu options, if you take the time to really learn how to use it.  
Sardu Multi-boot USB/ CD creator

The link below is to an Article on Sardu created by an EE Member to help you get started:
Link to EE Article on using Sardu  

The developer apparently has added some links and redirects to his PAID version but this link can get you to the free version.  Select 'Download' from the left column and choose your flavor. I currently use 2.06 but I should probably update.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
Have you tried a different USB stick?
chelshawAuthor Commented:
dbrunton: yes, I've tried multiple USB sticks. Although they've all been the same type/manufacturer...

machienet: Thanks for that info! I'll try Sardu and report back what happens
Michael MachieIT SupervisorCommented:
Oh, by the way, your USB stick will need to be formatted in FAT32 for Sardu to work on it.
Fedora 9 does not support SATA. No need to search push try hharder. Install it on usb stick in a virtual machine and use it as system disk.

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CentOS 6 should be pretty close to what you need (fedora 12 security patched to today)
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