Distro booting only if USB installer stick plugged-in

Platform: Distro SNG7-FPBX-64bit-1707-1 with FreePBX 14 and Asterisk 14 as Standard Installation
Hardware: Lenovo IdeaCentre Q180 with 4GB RAM and 500GB HDD and Intel Atom D2700 @ 2.13 Ghz

Issue: System wont boot or display any error but simply seen cursor blinking after the BIOS lenovo logo. System boots normally without any key press or intervention if the USB memory stick used for installing the system is plugged-in.

There were no installation time errors and everything finished smoothly.

Any help to fix this will be greatly appreciated.

You must have installed the bootloader onto the stick by mistake.

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@thehammer86, thank you very much for the reply.

I am a Linux newbie, I simply selected the standard installation option from the distro installer wizard, which automatically created the partitions and used the whole disk automatically.

I do not remember having seen or used any option manually to select a specific location to install the bootloader.

Is there a way to identify if the bootloader is installed onto the usb stick?

And, if yes, how do I fix it?


I know in Ubuntu it asks you which drive to install the bootloader (Grub) to. However, I’m not sure what CentOS uses for a bootloader off the top of my head. I too did an install of FreePBX from USB but I didn’t encounter your issue.

There are more manual options to choose during the install for setting up the various disk partitions. I would start looking around there.

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Thanks again. Both of your replies above shed the light in right direction.

Issue now fixed. Here is how I got it done:

Since I am more comfortable with GUI (infact, Linux novice :slight_smile:), installed XFCE on CentOS 7 with the help of few online articles.

Then installed Grub Customizer and GParted (to know the hdd reference names sda/sdb etc.)
Install to MBR from Grub Customizer --> File --> Successful --> Reboot

My system now boots normal.


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