Using Plop to Boot to USB: Useful for OpenELEC Installs

A ton of old hardware nowadays doesn’t have the functionality some of us hardcore HTPC enthusiasts need, like booting to a USB Drive. Imagine this scenario, you want to install OpenELEC. So you follow our setup guide and create an OpenELEC USB boot disc. Now you plug that stick into your HTPC, but notice the motherboard bios can’t boot to USB.  The only option on hand is either floppy, optical, or hard drive. What do you do now?

This can be a pretty frustrating situation. You can try to update the motherboards bios, but this feature might not be available in the latest release.  Maybe you can buy some new hardware, but that opens up another can of worms. Or, you can just use a program that is a perfect solution to this problem: Plop Boot Manager. The application is completely free, useful in tons of situations, and simple to install. We will show you how to use it to create a bootable floppy, CD, or DVD.

What’s required?

  1. Floppy, CD, or DVD drive and burnable media
  2. Plop Boot Manager 5.0.14 Download Here

So I will assume that no one uses floppy disks anymore and base the guide off a PC running Windows 7 installed with a DVD burner.

Step 1: Download Plop Boot Manager 5.0.14 and extract  the .zip to your desktop.

Step 2: Once extracted, navigate to the plptbt-5.0.14 folder then plpbt-5.0.15 again and locate “plpbt.iso”. (If extracted to desktop your file path will be C:\Users\UserName\Desktop\plpbt-5.0.14\plpbt-5.0.14\plpbt.iso)

Basic Tip: If you can’t see file extensions in the file name, you can turn that view on by clicking Organize > Folder and search options > View Tab > and then Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types

Step 3: Now pop in a blank CD or DVD into your burner and right click on “plpbt.iso” > “Open with” > “Windows Disc Image Burner” and hit “Burn”.

Step 4: You now have a Plop boot disc. Take it to whatever PC or HTPC that requires a boot to USB and adjust your boot order in the bios so that the computer boots to the optical drive (the drive where your Plop boot disc is in). If you need help changing the order, check out this guide.

Step 5: Once set, you restart your computer and  Plop will load. You’ll be taken to a screen as seen below and have the option to select “USB”. If you want to install OpenELEC, you will need the USB boot stick plugged in before hitting “USB”.

How will you use Plop Boot Manager? Let us know in the comments below.

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