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Old 09-29-2004, 04:00 PM   #1
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Question howto boot Suse 9.1 from external usb drive through bios-accessable boot partition


I'm having trouble to boot my Suse9.1 installation on my external USB/Firewire disk.

Since my BIOS doesn't support booting from USB devices i choose to use a /boot partition (/dev/hda4) on my internal disk and install the rest on my a partition of my external disk (/dev/sdc1). The installer recognized my USB/FW drive and put everything - execpt the files in /boot - on it. During installation grub got installed in the MBR of the internal disk with /dev/hda4 as it's root partition.
Now when booting the machine i get the grub boot menu, but when i choose linux booting stops after having waited " for /dev/sdc1 to show up". It obviously doesn't show up - at least not in time.
I already tried mounting the ramdisk and putting USB, Firewire and SCSI drivers into it and also calling insmod for all of these from linuxrc, but i can't get it booting the root partition.
I also tried copying and renaming the root ramdisk from the Suse installation CD to my /boot partition. But that also fails.

I'm afraid, that i will have to build my own ramdisk to achieve my goal, but i have no idea how to do this and how to determine what files I'd need. I also have a slight hope that there is an easier?!?

Any ideas? Please help,

Henner Mattheus
Old 09-30-2004, 02:26 AM   #2
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This link did the trick for me

Last edited by ErikJanVens; 09-30-2004 at 06:57 AM.
Old 09-30-2004, 08:27 AM   #3
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Since it took some time to me to acheive the same thing, I will tell you what to do :

Yes you'll have to create your own ram disk in order to let the kernel load before the usb support in order then to be able to mount your root filesystem on the usb drive. Else it will try to access your usb drive to find the modules (instead of in the ramdisk you will do) so as to mount your filesystem, and here you see the problem.

The good thing is that you can create the appropriate ramdisk image by following step by step the instructions given there, no matter if you understand or not what you're doing :

Instead of using the rescue CD you can load a live cd as Knoppix for instance.

It worked for me, with FC2, so good luck !



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