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-   -   Making USB bootable (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-newbie-8/making-usb-bootable-4175412040/)

Steve W 06-18-2012 07:15 AM

Making USB bootable
 
I downloaded the Damn Small Linux ISO from their website, and want to make it bootable from a USB flash drive.

I following the instructions here, using "Method II": http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/i...m_within_Linux

However, the flash drive won't boot. I know my PC is set up in the BIOS to boot from bootable USB drives when present, as I have done this before.

The files from the ISO have unpacked onto the memory stick, and using GParted I can see that the single partition on the memory stick has the Boot flag set.

I fail to see why it won't boot! Is there any information I can give to any members of this forum that will enable them to tell why? I am thinking that any bootable USB drive must meet certain criteria, regardless of the distro intended to be booted from that drive.

headrift 06-18-2012 07:59 AM

Did you run syslinux on the stick?

honeybadger 06-18-2012 09:22 AM

Try using unetbootin. It is a small software that can make isos install on a flash drive. If there is anything you want on your flash drive why does it need to be damn small linux. I mean I have installed vector 7 live on the flash drive and that has a real of utilities I cannot really lie without.

rknichols 06-18-2012 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve W (Post 4706027)
I downloaded the Damn Small Linux ISO from their website, and want to make it bootable from a USB flash drive.

I following the instructions here, using "Method II": http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/i...m_within_Linux

That procedure installs syslinux on partition 1, but there is probably no boot code in the MBR. You can confirm that by running
Code:

hexdump -C -n 512 /dev/sdx
(replacing "x" with the appropriate letter). If you see all zeros except for the last 66 bytes (the partition table and signature), then you just need to copy a generic boot loader, such as the one in /usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin, to the MBR like this
Code:

dd if=/usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sdx count=1
again replacing "x" with the appropriate letter. The "count=1" is just for safety. The file is just 440 bytes long and will not overwrite the partition table portion of the MBR.

Teufel 06-18-2012 09:48 AM

Unetbootin is a great tool for making bootable usb.

Also you can use dd (as root):
# dd if=/path_to _your_iso/image_name.iso of=/dev/sdX
usb stick must be unmounted. Run dd and wait a couple of minutes.
Note if you using dd you can't open stick content in file browser, but you can boot from this usb.

Any way no need to unpack iso and install bootloader manually

TobiSGD 06-18-2012 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teufel (Post 4706122)
Also you can use dd (as root):
# dd if=/path_to _your_iso/image_name.iso of=/dev/sdX
usb stick must be unmounted. Run dd and wait a couple of minutes.
Note if you using dd you can't open stick content in file browser, but you can boot from this usb.

Any way no need to unpack iso and install bootloader manually

Keep in mind that this only works for distributions that offer a hybrid-ISO image. For example, this approach will work with Debian or Arch, but not with Slackware or Ubuntu.

Steve W 06-18-2012 01:08 PM

Well, this is a bit embarrassing. The next time I powered up my PC, I double-checked the BIOS settings to be double-sure it was set to boot from USB first... only to find it isn't. It's reverted back to hard drive, DVD drive and floppy drive (which I don't have!)

Not sure why, unless the motherboard battery is failing and it's losing settings. But if that was the case, shouldn't the time get reset as well?

Once I had set the options to boot from USB first, the stick did indeed boot. However, even though I am using a wired internet connection straight to the router, DSL won't go on the internet. Bit crap, that. Never had a distro that could not find a wired internet connection before!

To answer the question why I am using DSL on the USB stick, I'm just curious to see what this 50MB distro looks like. I also have Ubuntu on a USB stick as well. I will take a look at Vector Linux, thanks for the heads-up. I did used to have Knoppix 5.1.1 on a DVD, back in the KDE 3.5 days. Tried Knoppix 6 and hated it!

Sorry for the schoolboy error! Thank you for your assistance.

TobiSGD 06-18-2012 01:46 PM

DSL is pretty old, may be it simply lacks drivers for your network device.

Steve W 06-18-2012 02:32 PM

Hmm... that would explain it then. When I first bought my current PC in 2008, I had the same problem with my (older) version of Ubuntu and had to install a new driver for the Realtek chipset on my new PC. It was fixed in a newer version of Ubuntu.

Thanks for the advice.


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