I am wondering if someone could teach me a bit more about the MBR and boot loaders.
The fact that it is so easy to put the installation files on a thumb drive confuses me. Essentially, all that needs to be done is marking the partition as active, and copying all the files to it.
Let's start from the beginning. When the BIOS instructs the computer to boot from the USB drive, it looks at the MBR of the drive, right? How is there an MBR on the thumb drive? I did not install anything.
I know that this is showing my complete misunderstanding.
Next, after the machine is told to boot from the drive, what file does it look for? What is the critical file on the drive that starts the whole deal?