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 🙂