Black Screen with flashing underscore when booting from USB

I’m new to Manjaro(and linux overall) and currently have a live USB of it and use it as an alternative to macintosh on non-apple products. I have a computer and a laptop that I am trying to boot the usb on.

The laptop being a Dell Inspiron 1545
and the computer being a Dell OptiPlex 5050
(With no added hardware than factory)

When on the laptop if I boot from USB, it will show a black screen with flashing underscore, sometimes going to another line. This is before ANYTHING ELSE. Tutorials for this problem I have found are always after a log in setup or something. If I boot from CD-ROM on my laptop though Manjaro boots up normally.

When on my computer, booting from USB does the same as it does for my laptop. Only allowing my computer to boot up CD-ROM (Since it doesn’t give the option without a CD in the computer) and then starting will say there is nothing to boot with.

If you need more info please ask me to provide it. I also want to mention I don’t want to touch anything involving the internal drive and I want to be able to keep the data on my live USB.

Thank you in advance :slight_smile:

Hi and welcome!

If the USB doesn’t work on any computer, than i would say you have a corrupt image or your usb drive is corrupt.

How did you write Manjaro to the usb stick? Have you installed it or have you written an ISO image to it?

Just a side note… if you do anything on a Manjaro boot disk and reboot, nothing will be saved. It is running only in your RAM and readonly from the disk.

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What @megavolt said and if you want to keep things on the USB, there now is a (XFCE only) persistent USB image that you can download:

(As you need to re-download anyway, you might as well take this one)


It works fine on the laptop, but boots as a CD-ROM instead of a USB

I installed it from another USB that had an ISO image to it. (So burned an ISO image to one usb, then installed it onto my other USB using the first drive)

and also it does save everything after rebooting. I thought that was why it was called ‘live usb’ instead of just being called a ‘bootable usb’

If I wasn’t clear, sorry, but I am mainly worried about why it wont boot as a USB. It does boot up properly though on the laptop by booting as a CD-ROM, but goes to the black screen when booting up as a USB on both computers.

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Ok if I understand you correct, then

  1. you flashed a Manjaro ISO to a USB drive
  2. then booted from it
  3. then installed Manjaro to another USB drive
  4. booting works when you boot from CDROM
  5. booting from the usb drive doesn’t work

Since you want to use Manjaro like “persistent USB Drive”, I would suggest to use ALMA (which similar to casper ):

Yup, that’s the correct way of doing things if you don’t like the standard XFCE persistent USB!

Therefore, I’ve marked the below answer as the solution to your question as it is by far the best answer you’ll get.

However, if you disagree with my choice, please feel free to take any other answer as the solution to your question or even remove the solution altogether: You are in control! (I just want to avoid even more subjective opinions being posted and confusing you even more)

P.S. In the future, please mark a solution like this:
so that the next person that has the exact same problem you just had will benefit from your post as well as your question will now be in the “solved” status.