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Old 07-26-2009, 11:33 AM   #1
BcopanelPuppy
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Can't Get Linux to Boot from USB Hard Disk


I have sucessfully created and booted from the BIOS (USB device) to a USB thumb drive both Puppy Linux 4.2.1 and MooLux Linux 5.4.

The problem is I can create Linux on an external USB 160GB hard disk formatted as FAT 32 but can not get it to boot.

At P.C. boot with the BIOS looking for a USB drive it gets as far as lighting the USB Hard Drive activity led and blinks a few times but never boots Linux.

I have investigated syslinux but have not come up with an answer.

Again, a USB thumb drive boots OK but a USB Hard Drive does not.

The machine is a Dell Optiplex 745 Small Form Factor that is a year or two old. It says it does support booting from a USB device.

Any help would be appreciated.
 
Old 07-26-2009, 11:51 AM   #2
linus72
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Welcome to LQ!

Mmmm...have you tried a bootmanager?

What about making the usbhd fat32/ext3/ext3
and installing grub?

if you install grub to usbhd and ext2 or ext3 format
it will boot as 1st hd, no matter the bios

Do you have grub installed to mbr
on the Dell?

Or windows?
 
Old 07-26-2009, 02:57 PM   #3
BcopanelPuppy
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Thanks for the reply.

I really would rather not add a bootloader to my primary drive that runs Windows XP and I want to keep it clean.

No I have not tried the various disk formats. I let Puppy and MooLux create the USB Hard Drive. Although I think Puppy Linux did change the external USB drive format. For MooLux I had to reformat the USB external drive back to FAT32.

I did however tinker with syslinux by changing:

syslinux -ma -d \boot\syslinux E:
to
syslinux -ma -s -f \boot\syslinux E:

I also tried modifying the 'cfg' file and removing references to \boot\vmlinuz to vmlinuz, etc. But to no avail.

If this is not doable would it be possible to set up a USB thunb drive to start at boot time (which they do), but instead of running Linux have "it" fire up the USB Hard Drive? I had no luck with a FreeDOS boot floppy as it resets the USB controllers which kills my USB keyboard.

My real reason for this exercise is that USB thumb drives have a finate read/write life unlike hard drives that have a far longer life.

As an aside I notice that MooLux appears to access the thumb drive far more often then Puppy Linux.

Sorry for the long reply.

Thanks.
 
Old 07-26-2009, 03:20 PM   #4
arochester
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I used the method given at http://www.pendrivelinux.com/install...sb-hard-drive/

I installed Crunchbang Linux this way.

It involves disconnecting hard drives in the computer, temporarily.
 
Old 07-26-2009, 03:43 PM   #5
BcopanelPuppy
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Arochester,

Thanks for the reply however my P.C. is still under warrenty and has "void" stickers on the case.

I would rather not break the seals and open the case.

Thanks again.
 
Old 07-26-2009, 04:26 PM   #6
linus72
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Very sorry BcopanelPuppy

Plop bootmanager, specifically "plpbt.img"
does NOT install to anything

it runs from usb or cd
and simply trys to bypass the bios and boot the cd/usb/hd, etc

I use it everyday to boot usb's on my two PC's that will not boot from usb

it has a menu, that is configurable
and quite alot of documentation

as I said
It will not install
if you use plpbt.img

you can get it on iso too

http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html
 
Old 07-27-2009, 10:34 AM   #7
BcopanelPuppy
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Linus72,

Thank you. That worked. I build PLPBT on a CD.

I first loaded the Puppy 4.2.1 boot CD.

After everything was up I gparted the external USB disk as ext2 8GB (originally a 320GB drive) and flagged as bootable.

I used Puppy 'Universal Installer' selecting USB Disk, the appropriate target drive,
no change to MBR and default for the rest.

After creation was completed I did a shutdown and removed the Puppy CD.

I inserted the PLPBT CD and started the system. After PLPBT loaded it dsplayed a strange display with lines through all the menus. Using the cursor I moved down to USB and pressed enter.

Puppy started from the USB drive. Great!!!

Now that it works I think I'll keep Puppy around for a while. MooLux and SLAX will have to wait for testing on a USB Disk. SLAX 6.1.1 does seem to have a "tool" to build itself on a USB Hard Drive. MooLux does not appear to have any real support forums yet. I kinda liked SLAX with the KDE Desktop. Easy to use and the same Desktop on my HP Unix box.

All I have to do now it figure out how to have Puppy do automatic saves to disk and not wait until I do a shutdown then ask me what I want to do.

Again, thanks.
 
Old 07-27-2009, 10:38 AM   #8
linus72
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actually, a icon saying "save"
should appear on your desktop
after the 1st time you saved to hd

as big as that usbhd is
you could put alot of puppies, and or other frugal
linux distro's on there too

Lots of distro's also have kde

seriously,
just post what distro's you want on there
and we'll hook it up
 
Old 07-27-2009, 01:04 PM   #9
BcopanelPuppy
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Actually after I got Puppy to work from the USB Hard Disk I no longer see the "Save" ICON on the Desktop.

The first time I shutdown Puppy it asked me where I wanted to save it and I responded with sdb1 (Puppy said when doing this no other operating system should be on sdb1) which is the USB Hard Drive. Now on the Desktop where the Puppy space usage bar appears it now reflects the partition size where it used to display like 500MB.

As far as loading multiple distro's go can I assume that means creating more partitions? Then the Puppy partition would become the primary boot partition and PLPBT would see this?

Since I have gotten this far I think I should give my brain a rest and load and test the other packages (pets) I want.

The only other small problem I have is that for example posting this reply the text box is hard to read and needs a different font or color.

My next important task is to setup a second USB Hard Drive to backup the primary drive. I think to do this with no active mounts I would have to boot off the Puppy CD and use "pudd" to copy the drive.

Thanks.
 
Old 07-27-2009, 01:14 PM   #10
linus72
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Quote:
As far as loading multiple distro's go can I assume that means creating more partitions? Then the Puppy partition would become the primary boot partition and PLPBT would see this?
Actually, I was saying you could do it with just 1 partition
the Linux distro's will run much faster and better from a ext2 or ext3 partition
and some like to save back to a fat32 partition
while some can save to both ext and fat

for instance; right now I have the whole cd/usb I'm making
"Thor'sHammer" on my fat32 usb right now 2gb
http://multidistro.com/tinycore-shots/tc-scrnshots.html

here's my syslinux.cfg for thor's hammer

Code:
DEFAULT /boot/syslinux/vesamenu.c32
PROMPT 0
TIMEOUT 200
F1 /boot/syslinux/boot.msg
F2 /boot/syslinux/f2
F3 /boot/syslinux/f3
F4 /boot.msg
F5 /boot/syslinux/message.txt
F6 /boot/syslinux/message2.txt
F7 /boot/syslinux/message3.txt
MENU BACKGROUND /boot/syslinux/mdistro.jpg
MENU TITLE Thor's Hammer Menu (F1-F7 for more options)
MENU color title	1;36;44    #ffffffff #00000000 std
MENU color sel		7;37;40    #FF000000 #FFC0C0C0 all
MENU color hotsel	1;7;37;40  #FF000000 #FFC0C0C0 all
MENU ROWS 15

label local
menu label Boot from ^hard drive
kernel /boot/syslinux/chain.c32
append hd0

label utils
menu label Utilities - Menu
kernel /boot/syslinux/vesamenu.c32
append /boot/syslinux/utils.cfg

label plop-boot
menu label ^PLOP Bootmanager
TEXT HELP
* Can boot cd, usb, hd
ENDTEXT
kernel /boot/plpbt

label tinycores
menu label ^Tiny Core 2.2rc3 - Menu
TEXT HELP
* version: 2.2rc3
ENDTEXT
kernel /boot/syslinux/vesamenu.c32
append /boot/syslinux/tcusb.cfg

label puppy
menu label ^RescuePuppy49 - Menu
TEXT HELP
* version: 4.12 remaster of 
* browserpuppy49
ENDTEXT
kernel /boot/syslinux/vesamenu.c32
append /boot/syslinux/rpupusb.cfg

label clamavmenu
menu label ClamAV LiveCD 2.0 (9.04) - Menu
TEXT HELP
* Ubuntu 9.04 based
* Must update first!
ENDTEXT
kernel /boot/syslinux/vesamenu.c32
append /boot/syslinux/clam.cfg

label gparted
menu label Gparted Live 0.3.9-13
TEXT HELP
* Partition and Format your drives
ENDTEXT
kernel /isolinux/vesamenu.c32
append /isolinux/gparted.cfg

label minipm
menu label Mini-PartedMagic
TEXT HELP
* version: 4.4, (C) 2009, Patrick Verner
* No X-window, lower RAM
ENDTEXT
kernel /images/bzImage
append initrd=/images/initrd root = /dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ramdisk_size=100000 vga=791

label pmagicmenu
menu label PartedMagic - Menu
TEXT HELP
* version: 4.4, (C) 2009, Patrick Verner
* http://www.partedmagic.com
* Disclaimer: Author excluded from any liability.
ENDTEXT
kernel /boot/syslinux/vesamenu.c32
append /boot/syslinux/pmagic.cfg

LABEL netbootcd
MENU LABEL ^NetbootCD
TEXT HELP
* Can net-install all
* Major Distro's
ENDTEXT
KERNEL /boot/nbcd/kexec.bzI
APPEND quiet initrd=/boot/nbcd/nbinit3.gz base norestore nolocal quiet vga=788

label clonezilla
menu label ^Clonezilla Jaunty
TEXT HELP
* version: 20090720 9.04 based
ENDTEXT
kernel /boot/isolinux/vesamenu.c32
append /boot/isolinux/clonezil.cfg

LABEL dinstall
menu label ^Install Debian
	kernel /boot/debian/linux
	append vga=normal initrd=/boot/debian/initrd.gz -- quiet 
LABEL dexpert
menu label Install Debian - expert mode
	kernel /boot/debian/linux
	append priority=low vga=normal initrd=/boot/debian/initrd.gz -- 

LABEL uinstall
menu label Install ^Ubuntu
	kernel /boot/ubuntu/linux
	append vga=normal initrd=/boot/ubuntu/initrd.gz -- 
LABEL ucli
menu label Install Ubuntu (CLI)
	kernel /boot/ubuntu/linux
	append tasks=standard pkgsel/language-pack-patterns= pkgsel/install-language-support=false vga=normal initrd=/boot/ubuntu/initrd.gz -- 

LABEL uexpert
menu label Install Ubuntu - expert mode
	kernel /boot/ubuntu/linux
	append priority=low vga=normal initrd=/boot/ubuntu/initrd.gz -- 
LABEL ucli-expert
menu label Install Ubuntu (CLI) - expert mode
	kernel /boot/ubuntu/linux
	append tasks=standard pkgsel/language-pack-patterns= pkgsel/install-language-support=false priority=low vga=normal initrd=/boot/ubuntu/initrd.gz -- 

label frescue
  menu label Rescue installed Fedora system
TEXT HELP
* Rescue your installed system
ENDTEXT
  kernel /boot/fedora/vmlinuz
  append initrd=/boot/fedora/initrd.img rescue

label zoros
menu label ZorOS-3.6 - Menu
TEXT HELP
* Rescue your installed system
* Can install Slack 32/64
* ZorOS Boot Manager
ENDTEXT
kernel /boot/syslinux/vesamenu.c32
append /boot/syslinux/zoros.cfg

LABEL supergrubdisk
MENU LABEL ^Super Grub Disk
TEXT HELP
* Restore your grub setup
ENDTEXT
KERNEL /boot/syslinux/memdisk
APPEND initrd=/boot/sgd/sgd.gz

label grub4dos
menu label ^GRUB4DOS
kernel /boot/grub4dos/grub.exe

label grub-menu
menu label GRUB - Menu
kernel /boot/syslinux/menu.c32
append /boot/syslinux/grub.cfg
see how it branches off to sub-menu's too

so, you can put almost any on there
you just gotta know the procedures and boot cheatcodes
 
Old 07-27-2009, 01:51 PM   #11
BcopanelPuppy
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You have quit the setup there!

My machine has a USB keyboard & mouse. After PLPBT does its thing when Puppy first starts my keyboard is dead. No F2 nothing until Puppy fully starts then it works.

I've had this problem with other programs that boot from a DOS Floppy and try to use a USB device. Apparently the USB controller chips are reset then it loads what it wanted but the keyboard is dead. No Ctrl-Alt-Del, no nothing.

You been working with Linux for some time? I started with Bell Labs Unix running on a DEC PDP-11/45 and DEC PDP-11/70's back in the early 1970's. Back then we used Teletypes and uppercase only black&white CRT terminals, punch paper tape and 9 track mag tape. Very old school. As I get older I seem to forget more then I remember.

See: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/...ine/1975-2.htm

And: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9479603...7614479572582/
 
Old 07-27-2009, 02:25 PM   #12
linus72
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LOL
I been in Linux since only January
when Unetbootin ate my windows
and no recovery cd!

it worked out good I'd say

I know very little about most things linux
I can barely type
let alone do bash scripting
I will say that 90% of Linux
is editing a config file somewhere so something works

Lol
those links you left are ancient!
damn that was long ago huh?

If you install grub to it
it may boot as 1st hd
bypasiing plop bootmanager

I setup my 4gb kingston usb as (hd0,0)
and so it boots as 1st hd
 
Old 07-27-2009, 03:12 PM   #13
BcopanelPuppy
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Linus72

"those links you left are ancient! damn that was long ago huh?"

Can I take it that the older stuff I worked on was before your time?

Long ago? That's all relative.

Bash (The Bourne Shell) is worth learning seeing its been around
since the mid 1970's.

What line of work are you in?

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourne_shell

And: http://www.computerworld.com.au/arti...ourne_shell_sh

And: http://steve-parker.org/sh/bourne.shtml

The examples Parker shows will probably still work today.
 
Old 07-27-2009, 03:22 PM   #14
linus72
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Unfortunately I am a unemployed cabinet-maker/installer
about 14 yrs now, that includes fine furniture, the real stuff
Walnut, Purpleheart, Rosewood
that kinda stuff
I've been on unemployment since late January

It sucks
Really

I was going to try and get a job in Linux, but how?


I am a "enthusuastic" writer
and am writing a book
a layman's guide to tricking out Linux

most Linux stuff, like Man pages
are kinda cryptic

I just started using a computer like 3 yrs ago
with XP.
 
Old 07-27-2009, 05:35 PM   #15
BcopanelPuppy
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Linus72,

I never heard of Purpleheart. Real cabinet making is an art form. My father when he was alive and working was a tool and die maker. Another art form who's days are numbered.

Personally I worked for the Telephone company as a switching tech then moved on to tinkering around with Unix at Bell eventually leaving Bell for a long distance competetor where I had the chance to utilize my switching and Unix knowledge later working for Northern Telecom as an engineer eventually getting back into Unix on HP 9000 servers and eventuallty getting layed off several years ago. I decided on early retirement.

From what I can see that is a big problem with all the different flavors of Linux. Docmentation! Things change soo fast that any documents fall behind. Man pages or whatever. There is one thing worse then no documents and that is old outdated documents. I think that is one of the reasons the "Windows" folks shy away from Linux. Take the boot from USB hard disk problem I had. I had never heard of plpbt until you helped me.

Good luck with your writing.

Thanks.
 
  


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