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Old 02-13-2008, 10:01 PM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2006
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Question PenDrive installation bugs

Greetings, Nathan.

brief history
I've been using Slax Linux for a while. 6.0 is released and I'm thinking maybe it's time to look into other light Linux distributions. Puppy came to mind and I've been testing it on a USB PenDrive with good results. Somehow a link led to your site (in connection with software installs) and your screen shots encouraged me to download GrafPup (it looks pretty!). So I downloaded the most recent version Grafpup 2.00 Seamonkey iso released May 2007.

the setup
I have a 4 Gb PenDrive set up thus:

/dev/sda1 - FAT16 = 800 Mb (system installed here)
/dev/sda2 - ReiserFS = 2 Gb (personal settings file here)
/dev/sda3 - Linux-Swap = 1 Gb

The same setup for Puppy and GrafPup. Each personal settings file = 1.25 Gb.

the problem
GrafPup keeps usernames and passwords correctly. This is not an issue. Booting from the PenDrive I can no longer connect to my router. The process (Network -> Network Setup) was done before I saved my settings for the first time, and afterwards.

When booted from CD-ROM the initial progress bar lasts about 1/2 second. I can then follow through as I did with Puppy and connect with no difficulties. Booting from the PenDrive the initial progress bar vanishes almost immediately after appearing. It's significantly different. The boxes that follow are the same and I'm reassured that all is well until I attempt to ping a site or use a browser.

on the minor side
I'm unsure if this is due to my changing the look/feel of the default GTK settings (Settings -> Control Panel -> Desktop Tab -> Set GTK+ Themes). When I return to a saved desktop the icons are missing from the GrafPup menu. They are replaced with small icons that are all the same: a page with a red X in each.

Oh, and the nice logo that remains during the CD start up is not there when booting from the PenDrive. Not sure if this is intentional nor not.

Any fixes for these small bugs? I installed GrafPup in pretty much the same manner as Puppy. I scanned the forum and didn't see any posts on the subject. There is nothing that I need to keep on the drive. Any requests to resize a partition or destroy a partition in favor of changing it for something else can be complied with. However, my reasons for placing the saved files on /dev/sda2 as a ReiserFS would be for the loss of the PenDrive. Formatted in this way the setttings file will probably not be tampered with by a finder if the drive is lost. Most PC users would be unable to read ReiserFS. The FAT16 partition contains a document with instructions on where to return the PenDrive.

my settings
I've got an Athlon XP system with 512 Mb RAM.
nVidia video card with 32 Mb RAM (small, but powerful)
1st hard drive has Windows XP Pro SP3 (release candidate), Ubuntu Linux 7.04 Feisty Fawn.
2nd hard drive is my /home folders.

I've been working with MS OSes since DOS 3.2 and Windows 3.0. My first experience with Linux was a 6 CD pack and no one to lend a hand (1996). I have authored a couple tutorials at So if you have any questions: don't hesitate.


Edit: I suppose I could try downloading the other ISOs and see if the problem is persistent throughout the various versions. And seeing how this query is not being answered... it appears this may be my only solution. I've no particular preference for Dillo, Opera or SeaMonkey. Perhaps I'll try there.

Hmm. And perhaps I'll look into creating my own distro.

Last edited by BobSongs; 02-14-2008 at 08:01 PM. Reason: added release date of version used.
Old 02-15-2008, 12:20 PM   #2
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Registered: Jan 2006
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Unhappy ...That's disappointing.

Well. It's always disappointing to get little support on a distribution's forum. I believe one of the reasons I have stuck with Ubuntu Linux so long is that their forum is helpful.

So, I'll put in my own answer to this thread I've created. Not for my own sake but for those who might look into it because they've come across the same problems I've encountered.

After doing some research the conclusion is this. The USB PenDrive, as it stands, can only have information written to it so many times, 100,000 roughly. After this point the memory areas become affected with over-use and cease their ability to work.

And while 100,000 may seem like more writes you, your son and your grandson will ever use, we must remember that the kernel writes frequently to the hard drive. 100,000 rewrites can happen fairly quickly... long before you grandson is born.

So, the best thing is to create or download a Puppy build that suits your needs and then burn it to CD-ROM. Then save your personal data on a PenDrive. Use the CD/PenDrive combo. Using a Puppy distribution appears the best way to go because it writes its frequent updates to live RAM and not the USB PenDrive.

Besides, the PCs where Puppy will find a home may not be able to boot to a USB drive anyways.

As far as fixing GrafPup to work the way I hoped it would, well... it's become a moot (moot here is used to mean: "Don't bother with it, it's a dumb idea anyways") point.

Well, I hope this distribution comes back out of the doldrums. I've seen a few Puppy builds and this one is, to date, the most enjoyable. It works fine enough off the CD ROM.


Last edited by BobSongs; 02-15-2008 at 12:24 PM.
Old 04-13-2008, 07:36 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2008
Location: Marikina City, Philippines
Distribution: Grafpup, Puppylinux, Slax
Posts: 2

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Wink Thanks

Hi Bob,

You've helped someone out.

I was running puppy on my pendrive and after reading your post, it just dawned on me that I would be killing my pen drive as well.

I may go for the CD/pendrive combo until I've tested this enough to make sure it could stay as a permanent OS in my HDD.

It's going well so far, except for the fact that I can't connect to my WiFi at home. I could connect to open APs when I'm outside but not when I'm home and I'm still trying to figure it out.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you're not alone.


dsl, hdd, icons, installation, pendrive, router, wifi

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