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textillis 05-22-2013 02:35 AM

usb-hdd with salix64 not booting
 
Hi folks,
I attempted to make my bootable flash drive using Mint's usb writer tool.

The process went without hitch and my file manager indicates that all the necessary files are on the stick, but when I go to boot it, it won't work.

I have put stick on top of priority list in Bios, enabled it, and got Bios reading it as -hdd.

A diagnostic lead, perhaps: Gparted can't "see" it, telling me that it is "unallocated" space.

This smells like a file system issue: it is currently formatted, I presume, by Mint's usb-writer.

Questions:
1. what can i do (apart from gparted which can't read it) to find out what file system the usb is actually formatted in?
2. would this be an issue for bootability?
3. if so, do I reformat?
4. or, should i skip reuse of mint tool and go for unetbootin? and finally:
5. is mounting at issue here?

Thanks kindly,
Tex

joe_2000 05-22-2013 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by textillis (Post 4956326)
Hi folks,
I attempted to make my bootable flash drive using Mint's usb writer tool.

The process went without hitch and my file manager indicates that all the necessary files are on the stick, but when I go to boot it, it won't work.

I have put stick on top of priority list in Bios, enabled it, and got Bios reading it as -hdd.

A diagnostic lead, perhaps: Gparted can't "see" it, telling me that it is "unallocated" space.

This smells like a file system issue: it is currently formatted, I presume, by Mint's usb-writer.

Questions:
1. what can i do (apart from gparted which can't read it) to find out what file system the usb is actually formatted in?
2. would this be an issue for bootability?
3. if so, do I reformat?
4. or, should i skip reuse of mint tool and go for unetbootin? and finally:
5. is mounting at issue here?

Thanks kindly,
Tex

I have made very good experiences with the dd command. In a terminal type

Code:

dd if=/path/to/isofile.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=4M;sync
where /dev/sdX is the address of your usb drive, e.g. /dev/sdb (NOT sdb1!)
Make sure to pick the right address, otherwise you could erase your hard drive. The usb drive must not be mounted while executing the dd command.
This worked flawlessly with all Mint releases I have tried so far, and many others (ubuntu, debian, aptosid, crunchbang, archbang, antix, siduction....)

textillis 05-22-2013 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joe_2000 (Post 4956828)
I have made very good experiences with the dd command. In a terminal type

Code:

dd if=/path/to/isofile.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=4M;sync
where /dev/sdX is the address of your usb drive, e.g. /dev/sdb (NOT sdb1!)
Make sure to pick the right address, otherwise you could erase your hard drive. The usb drive must not be mounted while executing the dd command.
This worked flawlessly with all Mint releases I have tried so far, and many others (ubuntu, debian, aptosid, crunchbang, archbang, antix, siduction....)

THank you kindly; I will give a go following your instructions.

edit: 1hour later:
After successfully using dd command, thanks to your clear directions, I went to boot up using usb-hdd, which is all correctly listed and prioritized in Bios, mounted, etc...
Still! no boot!
Is there some config file for boot I need to reconfigure?
Some command or line i have to place in fstab?

Thanks,
Tex
Tex

yancek 05-22-2013 11:16 PM

Post the exact command you used with dd.
What exactly does 'it won't work' and 'no boot' mean? Exactly what happens when you try to boot? Does it just give you a blank screen? blinking cursor? some other thing? You need to be more specific as the methods you used are commonly and successfully used by other and we need to know what the differences are.

textillis 05-23-2013 02:26 AM

This is what I put in:

dd if=/home/tex/salix64-fluxbox-13.37.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M;sync

This is what I got out:

Code:

tex@tickles ~ $ su
Password:
tickles tex # dd if=/home/tex/salix64-fluxbox-13.37.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M;sync

140+1 records in
140+1 records out
588574720 bytes (589 MB) copied, 50.0262 s, 11.8 MB/s
tickles tex #

What do I mean by "Still no boot!"
I mean: when I go to boot from what I hoped might be the usb-hdd bootable device to load salix into ram, instead the machine goes straight to a grub window and gives me the usual choices between partitions, with no reference to usb-hdd.

I conclude the obvious, which doesn't get me very far: to wit: Bios is failing to recognize the freshly made usb bootable ie: it is not, in fact, bootable for some reason that escapes me.

Oh and I must add: gparted still doesn't recognize the installed salix on usb stick either: telling me that there is "unallocated space" filling the entire stick.

Thanks for your interest,
Tex

joe_2000 05-23-2013 03:15 AM

The output of the dd command looks right to me.
I think (can't test right now cause I am at work) the fact that gparted is only seeing unallocated space might be normal.

Just as a means to narrow down the cause of your problem, do you have the possibility to test the usb drive on another machine? If that works you can stop thinking about how to create a bootable usb drive and start focusing on how to make your machine recognize it.

In that case it might also be helpful if you post some more details on how your bios is set up. (E.g. is it EFI based or not, do you have any secure boot stuff enabled, etc...).
Would also be interesting to know how you managed to install Mint. I take it you did not use a USB stick but some other boot device, like a CD?


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