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Old 08-01-2017, 06:37 PM   #1
Chonsy
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Unable to boot into any Linux distro with live USB


Hi everyone, my first post in this forum, so... pleased to meet you all! There are definitely some geniuses here, so I'm pretty hopeful you guys can help me out!

Background:
- Was trying to install 'TAILS distro 3.0.1 amd64' from Windows 7 OS environment
- Created live USB using latest 'Universal USB installer 1.9.7.8'. Drives were formatted to Fat32 with device default settings before using the USB installer.
- Mobo is legacy BIOS, no UEFI or EFI. Settings used in 'Universal USB installer 1.9.7.8': distribution: Tails, ISO: 'tails-amd64-3.0.1.iso', formatted: Fat32.
- Only TAILS live USB was inserted into the USB 2.0 interface on the direct motherboard sockets.
- System hangs on "Loading operating system...", cursor blinks no progress after 6 hrs.
- Have previously installed Backtrack and Ubuntu on this system about 6-7 years ago.

Further Tests:
- Tested the same TAILS live USB on two additional PC's and was able to get into live mode.
- Created three more TAILS live USB's using different two other USB drives and an SD card with USB converter, got the same result each time (also tested these on two other PCs and they all booted).
- Made a Windows 7 USB installed using Windows USB/DVD Download Tool, was able to boot into windows installer on the PC that wouldn't boot TAILS (find it quite strange that a Windows live USB will boot but nothing using Linux framework).
- Made live USB's of Ubuntu, Porteus, DBAN and Parted Magic. All live USB's caused system to hang on "Loading operating system..." (All of which open on my other two PC's).
- Reflashed BIOS to current version (Mobo: ga-790fxta-ud5 , version. F2), same problems and successes. Tried this twice.
- Tried using all the other USB sockets with the same result.
- Discharged static (unplugged PC, held down power button for 30s).
- Tried various other live USB creators: Rufus 2.16 portable, UNetBootin-windows-655 (still caused hang on "Loading operating system...").
- Tried unplugging SSD & HDD's and booting from live USB, no success.

Additional
- Currently running Windows 7 on problem PC in question hosted on SSD with two non-OS HDDs.
- BIOS was configured to boot from USB not the HDD, when booting from the HDD, Windows 7 boots
- Everything was the same when booting the Windows live USB i.e. same boot device selected, same USB port tried. Only difference being that the Windows Live USB tool was used to create the bootable USB.
- Two Linux distros have been installed on this PC before using the same BIOS version.
- The reason I'm posting here is because this is clearly a problem for Linux distros on my PC rather than TAILS specific.
- Superfluous information: PC posts, keyboard lights flash, no BIOS settings preventing.
- Somebody else had a similar sounding problem on this forum: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ro-4175564038/ However, they were able to boot into live USB's, just not able to install linux distro's onto their HDD's. So, I would try to diagnose using

Hardware:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 B50
Mobo: GA-790FXTA-UD5
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
RAM: 2* 4GB Corsair Vengeance
HDD: Western Digital Blue 1TB (WDC WD10JPVX-00JC3T0)
SSD: Crucial M4 128GB (M4-CT128M4SSD2)
PSU: Corsair 550W
No expansion cards or peripherals

Links for softwares:
TAILS: https://tails.boum.org/install/win/usb/index.en.html
Universal USB: http://filehippo.com/download_universal-usb-installer/
Windows USB installer: http://wudt.codeplex.com/
 
Old 08-02-2017, 07:46 AM   #2
malekmustaq
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Quote:
There are definitely some geniuses here
Not sure... the geniuses pre-occupy themselves on how to replicate our Moon so that having ten (10) of it there'd be no more need for streetlight in the evening.

Quote:
- The reason I'm posting here is because this is clearly a problem for Linux distros on my PC rather than TAILS specific.
Not yet conclusive. There are few things to consider yet:

a) Try create the USB installer from a running Gnu/Linux, and see if this solves.
b) For experimentation be content yet to run a 32bit installer... and proceed to 64bit upon success (if you like to).
c) To zero-out your doubts against the Hardware vs. Linux try install from a good CD or DVD installer. Best is to buy the Linux DVD installer from qualified suppliers.
Just try do thus and see if we can progress.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

m.m.
 
Old 08-02-2017, 09:49 AM   #3
colorpurple21859
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try using rufus to create live usb. https://rufus.akeo.ie/ Some distros don't work correctly with the Universal USB installer
 
Old 08-02-2017, 05:21 PM   #4
AwesomeMachine
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You can try using dd to make the USB drive:
Code:
$ dd if=installer.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=2048 conv=sync
where sdb is the USB drive.
 
Old 08-02-2017, 09:25 PM   #5
jefro
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"- BIOS was configured to boot from USB not the HDD, when booting from the HDD, Windows 7 boots"

Power off. Remove AC plug. Press power button a few times. Then put usb drive in and return power. Boot to bios. See if usb doesn't show up as a hard drive choice. I suspect it will.
 
Old 08-02-2017, 10:42 PM   #6
Chonsy
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Hey all,

Thanks for the replies. I figured it out and would have updated the thread sooner, but it was awaiting moderation until I've just checked it now. Awesome Machines answer would have worked, so thanks for the suggestion.

Here is a solution for anyone else experiencing this problem:
For some reason the 'GA-790FXTA-UD5' motherboard and a handful of other older Gigabyte models cannot live boot from linux bootloaders on Fat32 formatted drives. The drive must be set to NTFS or 'dd' used as the disk image creation method. Very strange, I couldn't even get the reason for that little unusual detail out of Gigabyte tech support and I can't wrap my head around it either, they were as surprised as me after originally offering a token response of 'we do no guarantee that Linux will work on this board' answer... What?

Anyway, used this solution on two older Gigabyte boards both suffering this problem when using Fat32. Hopefully this will help others as frugal as me that squeeze the life out of decade old hardware or just anyone else experiencing similar issues

Thanks again for the replies all and happy computing!
 
Old 08-03-2017, 02:44 AM   #7
AwesomeMachine
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FAT32 has grave limitations compared to NTFS and/or Linux file systems. But who would have guessed?
 
Old 08-03-2017, 03:05 AM   #8
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chonsy View Post
Very strange, I couldn't even get the reason for that little unusual detail out of Gigabyte tech support and I can't wrap my head around it either
so really you're just speculating, and what you present as hard fact here:
Quote:
For some reason the 'GA-790FXTA-UD5' motherboard and a handful of other older Gigabyte models cannot live boot from linux bootloaders on Fat32 formatted drives. The drive must be set to NTFS or 'dd' used as the disk image creation method.
...is, again, just your speculation.

but thanks for coming back and posting your personal solution, regardless!

please mark this thread solved (menu at thread top, thread tools...)
 
Old 08-03-2017, 09:30 AM   #9
Chonsy
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Yep, my personal speculation based on my experience with two Gigabyte motherboards.

Also, someone from another forum pointed me to this thread from this forum and my attempt was based on post #7: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...16-4175432257/

jim-j had the same motherboard model and claims to have several of them, I have experienced this with another 10yr+ Gigabyte board.
 
Old 08-03-2017, 03:28 PM   #10
jefro
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I too thank you for your solution and update but agree with the others. Not sure what is going on there. Maybe as simple as a squash file too large for fat32?

Most distro's do suggest that you follow their solution to making a usb drive. dd command is a common way. Some still use installers for the live to usb.

I prefer installing to usb as if it were a hard drive.
 
Old 08-04-2017, 05:25 AM   #11
ondoho
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when you "burn" an .iso file to a usb, the resulting filesystem is not fat32 or fat16, but something else .. maybe iso9960 or squashfs or what.

i should have read more closely.

my guess:
various softwares a la unetbootin and universal usb installer are not suited.
use dd instead, or a windows tool that provides identical functionality (e.g. rufus).
 
Old 08-04-2017, 08:29 AM   #12
IsaacKuo
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Yeah, a linux installer would not be FAT32. Most (all?) smaller USB thumbdrives start off formatted in FAT32, so if you don't know what you're doing you might end up with it still being FAT32. For example, you might just set it to be bootable in Windows (which installs a bootloader into the MBR but doesn't actually give it an OS for the bootloader to find), and copy the iso file onto the FAT32 filesystem. This is something you can do, but it won't actually work. It'll just try to boot up and then the bootloader will complain that it can't find the OS...

Unfortunately, there isn't some easy built-in tool in Windows like dd to directly write an image file to a USB drive.
 
Old 08-06-2017, 03:26 AM   #13
ondoho
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to clarify my previous post:
some "fancy" live usb creation programs don't just directly "burn" the .iso file to the usb stick, but instead create their own bootloader routine on the stick, which then might be formatted fat32.
this is error prone; the best way to install linux is always to follow the instructions on the website of the distro in question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
there isn't some easy built-in tool in Windows like dd to directly write an image file to a USB drive.
not builtin, but http://rufus.akeo.ie/ provides that functionality.
however, it has to be specifically requested from what i hear.
 
  


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