Booting an Acer Aspire easyStore H340 from External USB

440x330-easystoreA couple of years ago I bought a Acer Aspire easyStore H340 to use as a home NAS device.  While the H340 came with Windows Server, I decided to replace it with Debian Linux running on an external USB stick.  Besides using it for basic file storage, I use Nginx to stream MP4s to Roku devices throughout my home using Roksbox; I use forked-daapd to stream FLACs to iTunes (albeit with limited success – foobar2000 pointing to the CIFS file share works better); and I use CrashPlan to back up my important data (e.g. pictures) to the Internet.

Two days ago, S.M.A.R.T. indicated that hard drive which originally came with the machine was failing, so I replaced it with a spare I had on-hand.  I replaced the hard drive, rebuilt the RAID5 array, and everything seemed fine.  However, after upgrading Debian to the latest kernel, the machine failed to boot.

I attached my VGA debugging cable and determined that the machine appeared to be having issues with the boot order.  Using the H340 service manual as a reference, I attached a spare jumper to JP3 and changed the boot order in the BIOS.  I heard that if you removed this jumper the machine would restore to its default boot order, so I left the jumper in and put everything back.

Mission accomplished.

About Steven Engelhardt, CFA, AIF
Adjunct Professor of Software Engineering at DePaul University • Software Engineering, Data & Analytics in FinTech • Lives in Chicago, IL

3 Responses to Booting an Acer Aspire easyStore H340 from External USB

  1. derfboy says:

    Hi. How did you get it to boot from USB? When I connect any bootable USB device to mine it will not list it in the BIOS and fails to boot to it.

    Like

  2. sengelha says:

    derfboy: I bought a cable to connect to the system and changed the BIOS options to allow me to boot from USB.

    Like

  3. Dave says:

    any chance you still have that cable? im trying to boot mine now 🙂

    Like

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