LinuxQuestions.org
Go Job Hunting at the LQ Job Marketplace
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Password
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 04-19-2009, 01:14 PM   #1
alaios
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Aachen
Distribution: Opensuse 11.2 (nice and steady)
Posts: 2,133

Rep: Reputation: 45
What makes my usb device bootable?


Hi i have used this afternoon the http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ unetbootin to make my usb bootable. I have chosen the Damn Small Linux distribution. The unetbootin have downloaded the appropriate image and copied the appropriate files to the usb device.

The process has been completed succesfully.

After that i changed bios entries so the system will use the flash disk to boot my operation system. The problem is that i never made it to boot from flash disk. The system completely ignored it.... Even after i deleted all the alternative boot entries (hard disk and dvd rom) and the flash disk was the only option the system keep promtping me to insert an appropriate usb flash disk for booting..

So iw as wondering if there is something with my usb device (perhaps not all usb devices can be bootable especially the cheapest ones) or i have to manually convert my usb device to bootable..
So here comes the question. What makes my usb device bootable?
Thx in advance!
 
Old 04-19-2009, 01:36 PM   #2
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,071

Rep: Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331
Syslinux or Grub/Lilo can all do it I believe.

Syslinux works solely with FAT16/32 formatted USB's.

I would be careful with Unetbootin if I were you-that's how I screwed up my HD mbr.

My DSL below for USB is ready to go...and comes with Qemu VM persistent save!!

To install syslinux to USB "syslinux -s -f /dev/sdxx"
Where "xx" is your USB (sdf1/sde1/sdb1, etc) (-s for older systems)
( -f =force)

You also must set the "boot" flag on the USB-use Gparted
Right-click on your USB in Gparted and select "manage flags" and check the boot box.

What distro are you installing from??

Also-most helpful to put a forward-slash (/) in these places on syslinux.cfg-
kernel /linux24 initrd=/minirt24.gz display /boot.msg F1 /boot.msg ETC

Last edited by linus72; 04-19-2009 at 01:37 PM.
 
Old 04-19-2009, 02:04 PM   #3
alaios
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Aachen
Distribution: Opensuse 11.2 (nice and steady)
Posts: 2,133

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 45
Thx for your reply. I am using opensuse 11.1 and i want using unetbootin to install damn small linux on my usb drive or xubuntu( i am trying to make just one distro to launch)

-Using gparted i just checked that the boot flag was already checked
-And using syslinux i got the following
syslinux -s -f /dev/sdc
syslinux: this doesn't look like a valid FAT filesystem
syslinux -s -f /dev/sdc1 (this one returned nothing)

After these two steps nothing have happened at boot time
Plz keep posting
 
Old 04-19-2009, 02:16 PM   #4
michaelk
Moderator
 
Registered: Aug 2002
Posts: 11,968

Rep: Reputation: 752Reputation: 752Reputation: 752Reputation: 752Reputation: 752Reputation: 752Reputation: 752
In general what makes a USB drive bootable is the same as any other disk i.e. a boot sector, master boot record and the boot/system files. Obviously your computer's BIOS must be capable of booting from a USB device. Some BIOS's have a legacy mode where a USB drive is recognized as a regular drive.

There are several methods for creating creating a bootable drive i.e. unetbootin, mkbt, HP's flash boot utility, syslinux, grub etc or even the old fashion DOS sys command.

Difficult to tell if it is a hardware problem or something that went awry with the method you used to create the bootable disk.

Here is another method:
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/all-in-one-usb-dsl/
 
Old 04-19-2009, 03:04 PM   #5
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,071

Rep: Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331
Also-if you cannot boot off USB-there is a DSL bootfloppy-
( http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/...small/current/ )

Also-We really need more info about your BIOS and your PC?
 
Old 04-20-2009, 03:34 AM   #6
tredegar
LQ 5k Club
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: London, UK
Distribution: Debian "Jessie"
Posts: 6,017

Rep: Reputation: 369Reputation: 369Reputation: 369Reputation: 369
Yesterday I made a bootable USB stick so I could install eeebuntu on my eee701.

I learnt a few things:
[*] The ubuntu 8.10 live CD has a menu option to create a bootable USB device, which is so easy to use it's a joke: You can point it at any .ISO that you'd like to boot, it doesn't have to be one of the 'buntus. Then it just does its magic and writes all that is needed to your USB stick.
[*] BUT I found the USB stick would not boot if it was formatted as FAT32, but only if it was formatted as FAT16.

So the steps are:
Boot from an ubuntu 8.10 live CD
Prepare your memory stick:

Plug in your stick. Wait for it to be recognised.
Open a terminal, and become root and see how things are set up:
Code:
sudo  -i
fdisk -l
Note which drive is your USB stick)
Unmount your stick
Code:
umount /dev/sdx1
(replacing x with your flash drive letter)
Partition it:
Code:
fdisk /dev/sdx
(replacing x with your flash drive letter)

1. Type p to show the existing partition and d to delete it
2. Type p again to show any remaining partitions (if partitions exist, repeat the previous step to delete them)
3. Type n to make a new partition
4. Type p for primary partition
5. type 1 to make this partition one
6. hit enter to use the default first cylinder
7. hit enter again to use the default last cylinder
8. type a to make this partition active (bootable)
9. type 1 to select partition 1
10. type t to change it's file system
11. type 6 to select the fat16 file system
12. type w to write the new partition table

Format it as FAT16:
Code:
mkfs.vfat -F 16 -n BootLinux /dev/sdx1
Unplug it. Plug it back in. Wait for it to be recognised.

Now fire up the ubuntu "Create Bootable USB stick." (It's in the System -Admin menu I think). Select the ISO file you wish to have booted. Select the USB stick (be careful here, do not select your HDD!). It does its magic.

Unmount the stick.

Set your BIOS so it will boot from USB.

Boot from it
 
Old 04-23-2009, 04:38 AM   #7
alaios
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Aachen
Distribution: Opensuse 11.2 (nice and steady)
Posts: 2,133

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by tredegar View Post
Yesterday I made a bootable USB stick so I could install eeebuntu on my eee701.

I learnt a few things:
[*] The ubuntu 8.10 live CD has a menu option to create a bootable USB device, which is so easy to use it's a joke: You can point it at any .ISO that you'd like to boot, it doesn't have to be one of the 'buntus. Then it just does its magic and writes all that is needed to your USB stick.
[*] BUT I found the USB stick would not boot if it was formatted as FAT32, but only if it was formatted as FAT16.

So the steps are:
Boot from an ubuntu 8.10 live CD
Prepare your memory stick:

Plug in your stick. Wait for it to be recognised.
Open a terminal, and become root and see how things are set up:
Code:
sudo  -i
fdisk -l
Note which drive is your USB stick)
Unmount your stick
Code:
umount /dev/sdx1
(replacing x with your flash drive letter)
Partition it:
Code:
fdisk /dev/sdx
(replacing x with your flash drive letter)

1. Type p to show the existing partition and d to delete it
2. Type p again to show any remaining partitions (if partitions exist, repeat the previous step to delete them)
3. Type n to make a new partition
4. Type p for primary partition
5. type 1 to make this partition one
6. hit enter to use the default first cylinder
7. hit enter again to use the default last cylinder
8. type a to make this partition active (bootable)
9. type 1 to select partition 1
10. type t to change it's file system
11. type 6 to select the fat16 file system
12. type w to write the new partition table

Format it as FAT16:
Code:
mkfs.vfat -F 16 -n BootLinux /dev/sdx1
Unplug it. Plug it back in. Wait for it to be recognised.

Now fire up the ubuntu "Create Bootable USB stick." (It's in the System -Admin menu I think). Select the ISO file you wish to have booted. Select the USB stick (be careful here, do not select your HDD!). It does its magic.

Unmount the stick.

Set your BIOS so it will boot from USB.

Boot from it
Well my partition is formatted vfat cause i wanted to save my files there. I dont know how to find my motherboard's info (Basically the only pc that can boot from cd is the pc we bought 1 month ago and runs windows).
 
Old 04-23-2009, 04:31 PM   #8
tredegar
LQ 5k Club
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: London, UK
Distribution: Debian "Jessie"
Posts: 6,017

Rep: Reputation: 369Reputation: 369Reputation: 369Reputation: 369
Quote:
Well my partition is formatted vfat cause i wanted to save my files there.
Well, if you format it as FAT16 you can still store your files there, but you'll also be able to boot an ISO from it.

Quote:
the only pc that can boot from cd is the pc we bought 1 month ago and runs windows
Download, and burn, as an ISO, a copy of ubuntu 8.10.

Boot your windows PC from it.

Choose "Try this distro live from CD" (or similar) from the initial menu. Do not click on "Install"

The ubuntu desktop will (eventually) appear. It will be slow because it is running from a CD, not your HDD.

Follow the instructions I gave you for preparing your USB stick to boot the ISO of your choice.

Then shutdown the live ubuntu, and remove both the stick and the CD ROM you booted ubuntu from.

Take the formatted (FAT16) and "prepared to boot an ISO image" to your other PC and boot from it.
 
Old 04-24-2009, 04:13 AM   #9
alaios
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Aachen
Distribution: Opensuse 11.2 (nice and steady)
Posts: 2,133

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 45
Ok guys one more try again again.
I have found that my motherboard is an asus P5QL SE (just a link of specs i found http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspeci...?ItemID=376760)

I have used unetbootin to install DSL in a fat 16 partition (not fat 32 this time). The process was completed succesfully but unfortunately one more time it didnt boot! So i am really dispaired now
 
Old 04-24-2009, 04:36 AM   #10
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,071

Rep: Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331
can u please attach or display the "syslinux.cfg" for DSL unetbootin did??
after that I can tell u surefire way....
my syslinux.cfg-

Code:
PROMPT 1
DISPLAY /boot.msg
F1 /boot.msg
F2 /f2
F3 /f3

LABEL dsl
KERNEL /linux24
APPEND ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init 
lang=us apm=power-off vga=791 initrd=/minirt24.gz 
nomce noapic quiet knoppix_dir=DSL 
KNOPPIX_DIR=DSL BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix
Note the forward-slashes (/). I always give the absolute path to stuff.

Last edited by linus72; 04-24-2009 at 04:50 AM.
 
Old 04-24-2009, 05:13 AM   #11
alaios
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Aachen
Distribution: Opensuse 11.2 (nice and steady)
Posts: 2,133

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 45
It seems pretty big for me!!!
Code:
default vesamenu.c32
prompt 0
menu title UNetbootin
timeout 100

label unetbootindefault
menu label Default
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=791 nomce noapic quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix

label ubnentry0
menu label dsl
kernel /boot/isolinux/linux24
append initrd=/boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=791  nomce noapic quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix

label ubnentry1
menu label memtest
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubnkern 

label ubnentry2
menu label dsl-txt
kernel /boot/isolinux/linux24
append initrd=/boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=normal  nomce noapic quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix

label ubnentry3
menu label expert
kernel /boot/isolinux/linux24
append initrd=/boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=791  nomce BOOT_IMAGE=expert

label ubnentry4
menu label fb1280x1024
kernel /boot/isolinux/linux24
append initrd=/boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=794 xmodule=fbdev  nomce noapic quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix

label ubnentry5
menu label fb1024x768
kernel /boot/isolinux/linux24
append initrd=/boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=791 xmodule=fbdev  nomce noapic quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix

label ubnentry6
menu label fb800x600
kernel /boot/isolinux/linux24
append initrd=/boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=788 xmodule=fbdev  nomce noapic quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix

label ubnentry7
menu label lowram
kernel /boot/isolinux/linux24
append initrd=/boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=normal  noscsi noideraid nosound nousb nofirewire noicons minimal nomce noapic noapm quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix

label ubnentry8
menu label install
kernel /boot/isolinux/linux24
append initrd=/boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=normal  noscsi noideraid nosound nofirewire legacy base norestore _install_ nomce noapic noapm quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix

label ubnentry9
menu label failsafe
kernel /boot/isolinux/linux24
append initrd=/boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us vga=normal atapicd nosound noscsi nousb nopcmcia nofirewire noagp nomce nodhcp xmodule=vesa  BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix

label ubnentry10
menu label userdef
kernel /boot/isolinux/linux24
append initrd=/ubninit
 
Old 04-24-2009, 05:28 AM   #12
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,071

Rep: Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331
OK-I'm gonna show you how I do it....
Original syslinux.cfg from DSL-embedded-

Code:
PROMPT 1
DISPLAY boot.msg
F1 boot.msg
F2 f2
F3 f3
LABEL dsl
KERNEL linux24
APPEND ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=791 initrd=minirt24.gz nomce noapic qemu quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix frugal
and my syslinux.cfg as above-

Code:
PROMPT 1
DISPLAY /boot.msg
F1 /boot.msg
F2 /f2
F3 /f3
LABEL dsl
KERNEL /linux24
APPEND ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=791 initrd=/minirt24.gz nomce noapic quiet knoppix_dir=DSL KNOPPIX_DIR=DSL BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix
OK-rename the KNOPPIX folder to DSL, and add the append above "knoppix_dir=DSL KNOPPIX_DIR=DSL"

Now-to utilize the mydsl extensions and backup.tar.gz you should make 2 partitions on the usb.

DSL recognizes USB's as sda1/sda2, etc.

Make the first partition 55MB, and the second whatever you want...

Put the DSL-embedded on sda1, leaving sda2 empty...

Also-I use FAT32 exclusively as I have had problems with FAT16...

Also-to install syslinux you need to know the device name-yours is sdc1??
If so try "sudo syslinux -s -f /dev/sdc1"

To find out if syslinux was installed to usb-
open the usb and a file named "ldlinux.sys" should be there-that's syslinux.

OK-if all is well, try to reboot into dsl via usb

NOTE-at the boot line enter "dsl mydsl=sda2"
It will designate that and create a folder there named mydsl.

DO NOT ADD ANY APPS YET!

Now, update the mydsl database, then make sure the backup box is checked at the shutdown menu-and reboot.

At boot time enter "dsl mydsl=sda2 restore=sda2"
though nothing to restore it will know where to go.

Now-at the desktop-open a root shell and type
"mount"
sda2 should be mounted
type "mkdir /mnt/sda2/mydsl/modules"

and "mkdir /mnt/sda2/mydsl/optional"

and then "cp /KNOPPIX/lib/modules/2.4.31/kernel/drivers/block/cloop.o mnt/sda2/mydsl/modules"

Now backup and reboot...


run it again-it should now restore everything, At desktop-start installing themes/apps, etc

do a backup and reboot, making sure it all works...

Hope that helps a little-please post again if any issues....
 
Old 04-24-2009, 05:49 AM   #13
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,071

Rep: Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331
Here's my USB 4GB Kingston $10-15

Code:
Disk /dev/sdf: 4045 MB, 4045930496 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 491 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0005318e

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdf1   *           1          66      530113+   b  W95 FAT32
/dev/sdf2              67         491     3413812+   b  W95 FAT32
 
Old 04-24-2009, 01:07 PM   #14
alaios
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Aachen
Distribution: Opensuse 11.2 (nice and steady)
Posts: 2,133

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
OK-I'm gonna show you how I do it....
Original syslinux.cfg from DSL-embedded-


OK-rename the KNOPPIX folder to DSL, and add the append above "knoppix_dir=DSL KNOPPIX_DIR=DSL"

Now-to utilize the mydsl extensions and backup.tar.gz you should make 2 partitions on the usb.

DSL recognizes USB's as sda1/sda2, etc.

Make the first partition 55MB, and the second whatever you want...

Put the DSL-embedded on sda1, leaving sda2 empty...

Also-I use FAT32 exclusively as I have had problems with FAT16...

Also-to install syslinux you need to know the device name-yours is sdc1??
If so try "sudo syslinux -s -f /dev/sdc1"

To find out if syslinux was installed to usb-
open the usb and a file named "ldlinux.sys" should be there-that's syslinux.

OK-if all is well, try to reboot into dsl via usb

NOTE-at the boot line enter "dsl mydsl=sda2"
It will designate that and create a folder there named mydsl.

DO NOT ADD ANY APPS YET!

Now, update the mydsl database, then make sure the backup box is checked at the shutdown menu-and reboot.

At boot time enter "dsl mydsl=sda2 restore=sda2"
though nothing to restore it will know where to go.

Now-at the desktop-open a root shell and type
"mount"
sda2 should be mounted
type "mkdir /mnt/sda2/mydsl/modules"

and "mkdir /mnt/sda2/mydsl/optional"

and then "cp /KNOPPIX/lib/modules/2.4.31/kernel/drivers/block/cloop.o mnt/sda2/mydsl/modules"

Now backup and reboot...


run it again-it should now restore everything, At desktop-start installing themes/apps, etc

do a backup and reboot, making sure it all works...

Hope that helps a little-please post again if any issues....
There is no KNOPPIX folder in my usb flash! I have created the bootable usb using unetbootin. Here is the tree structure of my flash
-boot
--isolinux
---files
 
Old 04-24-2009, 01:30 PM   #15
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,071

Rep: Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331
Yea-I caution against unetbootin/fusbi as that's how I lost Windows XP....sometimes it doesn't work right...

It's easier my way anyway...

Download DSL-embedded-4.4.10 from their site(DSL) and go with that.

Embedded is made for USB..

Please post again...

Last edited by linus72; 04-24-2009 at 01:32 PM.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
USB drive not working properly, read only device? (USB key storage device) Arodef Linux - Hardware 14 01-01-2010 07:32 AM
plugging USB device makes RH4 to reboot bobbera Linux - Hardware 1 11-13-2008 09:30 AM
How to force kernel to use a USB 2.0-compatible device (ehci_hcd) as a USB 1.1 device eze Linux - Hardware 0 05-16-2006 05:24 AM
boot pc from a bootable-iso without a cd or usb-device psytroll Linux - General 1 02-23-2006 01:27 PM
X makes my touch panel device driver API weired... okeyla Linux - Newbie 0 10-03-2005 10:44 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:36 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration