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Old 04-05-2007, 08:21 AM   #1
terryxela
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USB unable to boot


ref: usb 2GB
bios: usb-FDD, usb-zip, usb-CS
I do not have problems to boot dsl-n (another small distro) from usb.

I have used the universal installer with all the options above and no success. I want to do a manual install. Here the questions:

1. How do you format the usb? how many partions you create? what file system in each? do you need a swap?
2. Do you install grub?
3. Do you need any other files besides vmlinux, initrd.gz and pup_214.sfs? where those files go.
4. If there is an step by step tutorial links please post it.

All these seems to be obvious but I have spent many days playing with it and I can not boot. In dsl the key was to create 2 partition sdf1 and sdf2 format fat16 and boot as usb-zip.
BTW the puppy cd boot and works very well.
Does the universal install install grub or you have to do it as a separate step?

TIA

-=terry(Denver)=-

Last edited by terryxela; 04-05-2007 at 08:22 AM.
 
Old 04-14-2007, 05:37 PM   #2
tytower
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Use the force my friend
Puppy has a universal installer on the Live screen menu
Use this to install onto a usb drive which should be formatted with vfat and have no partitions
There are a few options to choose from as you go along but the files just get copied onto the usb root directory and should load straight from there if your usb works and you say it does.

You can just copy those three files onto the usb stick and it should work also as long as the stick is vfat , no partitions

Check out the Puppy site I am sure I saw a big How To on this somewhere

Last edited by tytower; 04-15-2007 at 05:23 PM.
 
Old 04-14-2007, 07:09 PM   #3
saikee
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I think tytower has given the solution.

My added explanation is for a USB device Puppy assumes a fat16 partition is available because it uses syslinux, which is a Dos-based program, as the boot loader. Hence it need the partition in fat16.

If you search Puppy's menu and select installing into a USB device Puppy will guide you through.

In operation Puppy expands from an archive file into a full blow Linux into ram. On exiting Puppy the ram image is compressed back into a single file. Hence Puppy can live inside a fat16 partition but does not necessary use it as a permanent home as a normal Linux. For example if you put anything in the /home while running Puppy you won't be able to see it outside Pupppy because only a compressed image is shown.
 
Old 04-16-2007, 07:22 PM   #4
tytower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saikee
My added explanation is for a USB device Puppy assumes a fat16 partition is available because it uses syslinux, which is a Dos-based program, as the boot loader. Hence it need the partition in fat16.
G'day saikee. I hoped you might tell me more as I don't understand this at all.
Syslinux is a DOS program ok , filed on a fat 16 system which all usb sticks seem to be formatted in but how does syslinux get run in linux? Thanks in advance
 
Old 04-17-2007, 08:10 AM   #5
terryxela
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tytower and saikee,

To tell you the truth I really do not understand the usb booting fully. I will spend some time looking into it. Here few facts.

1. the desktop uses the Phoenix BIOS. It has 3 options: usb FDD, usb-zip and usb-cdrom and of course the order of loading of HD's
In this one the only usbstick I have been able to boot is dsl-n installed as a usb-zip.
This is what dsl-n created in this usb 2G stick

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdf1 * 1 100 102384 6 FAT16
/dev/sdf2 101 1935 1879040 b W95 FAT32

All related to the booting is in sdf1

2. I have an ibm thinkpad (x40) that has three usb options to boot: usb-HD, usb-FFD, and usb-CDROM. It doesn have ubs-zip
The above dsl-n boot ok using the usb-HD.

Now here another small distro INSERT:

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdg1 1 64 514048+ 6 FAT16
/dev/sdg2 65 254 1526175 83 Linux

It does not boot in the desktop in any of the options. It does boot ok in the ThinkPad using the usb-HD

And here puppy

amd:/home/tdec # fdisk -l /dev/sdg

Disk /dev/sdg: 1014 MB, 1014497280 bytes
65 heads, 32 sectors/track, 952 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2080 * 512 = 1064960 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdg1 * 1 953 990704 6 FAT16
Partition 1 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(967, 64, 32) logical=(952, 39, 32)
It does not boot in the desktop but boots ok in the Thinkpad.

So few observations:

1. Not all the BIOS are the same. The usb-zip "format" seems to be more universal as shown by dsl booting as usb-zip in the desktop and as usb-HD in the laptop

2. The booting partition is formatted as fat16. BTW i tried ext2 etc with no luck

3. If zip-usb like dsl-n uses as one of their choices works in 4 of my machines how is different than usb-HD. How can set puppy as a usb-zip.

4. How the BIOS call different usb-zip and usb-HD

Well I though this was a pretty easy setup but now I start to look into the bootsectors etc and the BIOS.
Let's keep this thread alive and see if we (aka me :-)) can learn more about this process.

All the best

-=terry(Denver)=-
 
Old 04-17-2007, 08:37 AM   #6
terryxela
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Well this is a bag of surprises. I tried many times to boot puppy in the desktop. As I said before it did not work but it work ok in the thinkpad. After doing few changes there like adding bookmarks etc. I tried again in the desktop and voila is load ok.
I do not understand it but it is working.I am writing this note from puppy in the desktop.
 
Old 04-17-2007, 05:46 PM   #7
tytower
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Not much I can contribute to that except your usb device as you probably know has been set up with two partitions sdf1 and sdf2 I think . I don't think usb numbers its partitions like the hard drive which starts at hda0 hda1 hda2 etc.

So maybe someone else can eplain a little bit more . My usb stick won't boot but my machine only has usb FDD option which I hav'nt been able to get working . It loads fine on machines with more recent BIOS's.
 
Old 04-21-2007, 11:45 PM   #8
terryxela
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Few more observation about USB puppy. BTW the new puppy 2.15 is fabulous!

1. Create a single partition formatted with fat16. I was also able to boot a USB scandisk 4g which came formatted with a single partition of fat32. I have not been able to boot from ext2 ext3 jfs.

2. Be sure to go to gtparted and select the single fat16 or fat32 and turn on the -boot- flag. If not it will not boot. This is easy to miss or forget.

3. The default mbr has worked OK.

4. In all the machines only USB-zip or USB-HD were the BIOS selection that boot. They rest did not.
 
Old 04-22-2007, 12:20 PM   #9
terryxela
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Seems to be a difference among pendrives. For example the one that worked the best was the scandisk 4G. I used the defaults and it worked perfect in all the machines.
I tried 2 different cheap ones 2GB pendrive. One from microcenter works perfect in the ThinkPad but I can not make it work in the desktop I use the most. The other one does not work in any. I use all the option available and all the mbr including one I extracted from a floppy formatted with /s.
The scanddisk was expensive about 50 dollars (4gb) the other ones were not (15 dollars) 2GB.
I though that a pendrive is a pendrive but I think I am wrong. I will look into the hardware issues here. We may be spending a lot of time in a hardware that may not work. These 3 pendrivers I tried I set them up exactly the same and in the same machine and the results were completly different. Also the scandisk run faster that the other pendrive that worked only in the TP.

-=terry(Denver)=-
 
Old 04-26-2007, 10:54 AM   #10
saikee
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tytower,

Sorry I have been away on overseas trip while this thread was moving on.

The Syslinux is a Dos-based program written by Peter Anvin who also wrote IsoLinux for booting possibly 95% of the Linux CD. The Syslinux has its own code for detecting USB device. It is small, used in floppies in the past and is slower than Grub and Lilo which need to reside in a Ext2 partition, although Grub can normally be fitted into a fat partition too.

If the USB device is a hard disk then both Grub and Lilo can be used for booting if the Bios can be enabled to provide the "USB legacy support".

For smaller Linux like Puppy and DSL I think syslinux is used on pen drives which by default will have a formatted fat16 partition. Bigger pen drives than 2Gb need fat32 as fat16 does not support partitions larger than 2Gb I think. If one formats a pen drive to Ext2 both Puppy and DSL may not be able to use it for installation.

Puppy only uses Grub on hard disk partitions and the installation is an uncompressed version.

Nowadays 4Gb pen drives are getting common and so may be Grub and Lilo can be moved into pen drives soon.
 
Old 04-27-2007, 02:59 PM   #11
terryxela
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saikee,

Thxs a lot for all these valuable info.
This are my last findings:

1. The BIOS are not the same in reference to boot usb.

2. Most of the usb stick will boot IF they MBR is left intact

3. If you delete partition etc using the tools from puppy or the puppy installation to replace boot sectors it will work in some but not in others.

4. dsl-n usb-zip seem to work in all the bios I tested.

5. I installed dsl-n usb-zip and boot ok then I delete the second partition and I exapanded the partition left to take the whole drive. Then I boot the puppy cd and install puppy in this pendrive without changing the mbr everything work ok.

6. In another problem pendrive I instead copy the mbr from dsl-n to puppy. Also works.

7. Seems that the mbr that comes with the pendrives or dsl-n installed are the ones that work the most.

After I get some time I will look into the mbr and see what the problem is.

-=terry(Denver)=-
 
Old 04-28-2007, 05:33 PM   #12
tytower
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Thanks saikee.
 
  


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