Fix Syslinux No Default or UI Configuration Error While Booting from USB

Quite recently my laptop’s backlight stopped working and I had to start using an older laptop whose HDD no longer works. I created a Live CD USB drive using Pendrive Linux’s utility for Linux Mint.

However, while booting with the pendrive I got an error saying:

SYSLINUX 3.85 2010-02-20 CBIOS Copyright (c) 1994-2010 H. Peter Anvin et al
No DEFAULT or UI configuration directive found!

This error kept happening no matter what I did. I tried to use another USB drive to create a new bootable drive, used different flavors of Linux but had the same problem. I searched around several forums but the solution for it wasn’t easy.

However, I did find the solution and wanted to post it here so that other users who face this problem can find it easily. In order to fix this problem, you will have to plugin the USB drive into another computer and then rename the “isolinux” folder to “syslinux”. In addition to that also rename the “isolinux.bin” and “isolinux.cfg” files in the same folder to “syslinux.bin” and “syslinux.cfg” respectively and try booting with the USB drive again.

If the above solution does not fix your problem, you can try formatting your drive as FAT instead of FAT32. And by the way, I would be getting a Dell XPS Studio 1645 soon, so you can expect a review of the monster laptop soon :-)

SYSLINUX 3.85 2010-02-20 CBIOS Copyright (c) 1994-2010 H. Peter Anvin et al

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Keith Dsouza

I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website.I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

  • Noel

    Wow Its Really work tnx :)

  • iluomo


  • adnan ghous

    hi mate it didnt work for me. any other suggestions??

  • Tronik

    You sir are a miracle worker. Just got my live ububtu USB finally working w my Mac

  • Hi

    SARDU creates a multiboot USB drive, a multiboot DVD or CD

    with Sardu no problems (No DEFAULT or UI configuration directive found!)

  • Steve Robinett

    Thank you! Fixed my problem installing Bodhi on my netbook. I’m greatful

  • Sajad Yusefpur Seifi

    i have a new problem now

    when setup loads it says : Bootloader:/casper/vmlinuz NOT FOUND

    but it is in the casper folder , what should i fo ?
    email : [email protected]

  • Ian Simmons

    tried this with a gparted live created with Universal USB Installer and it doesn’t work because folder syslinux alread exists and so does isolinux.

  • Rock Micheal

    same problem but with no child node, aborting… neither windows nor ubuntu is booting.. wht to do? very confused pls mail me [email protected]

  • xExekut3x

    Doesn’t work.

  • amina

    i have this problem when i put the usb in my laptop
    no default or ui configuration directive found

  • Harshal Parmar

    how to format a 32gb usb drive to fat 16. Default options are ntfs and exFAT(Default)

  • ThatsMe

    For the ones who’re still searching, some keywords: My AMIBIOS 08/11/2003 S on the K7S5A with SiS735 stonewalled stubbornly with “Code: 5″ from the DVD when I tried to install its original Windows-7 ISO. To boot it from a 4-GB USB flash-drive instead, I had to go a loooooooong way before I stumbled upon UUI: . Unfortunately, this tool insists on formatting the USB drive as FAT32, so I still needed landing right here to learn that this UUI can’t find its configuration file before I had formatted the flash drive to FAT16. Kudos for helping me out after all!