USB boot on buggy bioses recipe
Hi this may not work with debian,
but I have/had a similar issue with loading Ubunutu onto a machine with
a partly broken CD (would boot but would have difficulty reading some
parts on the CD).
With my machine the BIOS was not able to boot from USB.
You can eject the CD just after the kernel and casper has started
loading and when it gets to the second splash screen/loading root
filesystem it the searches all the places it can.... including USB.
It then proceeds to load the rest of the system.
I suspect that you could use a floppy for the first part of the boot,
just to get it aware enough to understand USB, but have not proved this.
Hope this is helpful,