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freepawnspeedy 09-23-2009 11:14 AM

Installing Debian5.0.2a in a 16G flashdrive from DVD set on AMD64 laptop
I am wanting to install Debian 5.0.2a (5DVD set)on a 16G flash drive. I have a compaq Presario CQ60 with AMD Athlon x2 QL-62 processor. I downloaded a program - UNetbootin - which doesn't seem to load flash drives from DVDs ( I could be wrong ). Any help is appreciated. fps

btncix 09-23-2009 12:55 PM

Can you boot from CD/DVD?

If your bios supports boot from usb, then you could install from CD/DVD and use your flash drive for your target partitions. Just be careful to place grub to the MBR of your flash drive instead of the MBR of your hard drive. Also change your boot order accordingly.

Also, I assume you're working with 5 CDs instead of DVD because there's no way to fit all of 5 DVDs onto a 16 GB flash drive, unless you're selecting specific packages.

freepawnspeedy 09-24-2009 11:30 AM

Thanks BTNCIX for the reply. I don't know what the GRUB or MBR is or how to place it in my flash drive.

btncix 09-24-2009 02:42 PM

1.a. When you go to configure your bios, do you see an option to allow you to boot off a CD/DVD?
1.b. What about off an usb flash drive?

2. It seems you are new to Linux, so I suggest you download and burn a livecd such as System Rescue CD before you install any Linux distribution. This is assuming that your computer can boot off a CD/DVD. The purpose of a rescue cd is to help you fix your computer if things do not go as planned.

Grub is a bootloading software that is used to boot the Linux kernel which in turn brings up the rest of the Linux operating system. Usually, a bootloader resides in the MBR (Master Boot Record) of a hard drive.

I recommend you first try to install Debian to an internal hard drive before you attempt an install to your external flash. The Debian installation guide provides excellent details and information on how to install the distribution. Look through it and give it a go. Post your questions to LQ if you get stuck somewhere. Good luck.

Shadow_7 09-24-2009 05:35 PM

I generally do a base install and then copy all of the .debs to the /var/cache/apt/archives/ path and then use dselect to finish the installation. It requires a fair space allocation for your linux install, but saves a ton of time swapping discs, downloading and other inconveniences. And you can remove the .debs when you're done. Or not. Although this requires basic knowledge of linux and distro tools. Not know what an MBR is, means you probably haven't done much installing of anything for any OS, which presents a sharp learning curve for the uninitiated. Save your sanity and run from a LiveCD or hire out, until you know a bit more about what it's going to take. Hook up with your local LUG, perhaps an installfest is just days away.

freepawnspeedy 09-25-2009 09:41 AM

Thanks btncix and shadow7,
I think I will be checking into the live CD. Yes, I am very much a newbie. I downloaded Ubuntu and am trying to burn that to CD.

linus72 09-25-2009 10:06 AM

A question freepawnspeedy...

1) You are doing a hd install to usb, yes?

If thats the case a few Pros and Cons of that setup

1) the system may actually run slower than you want, will also sometimes "freeze"
while writing info back to usb

2) the usb will have a shorter life, do to this constant writing

3) you may have issues when trying to boot from a foreign computer.


You could either run Debian-Live from usb; with persistence too
or you could also run one of the many debain-based live distros the same way.

with Debian Live you can also make it personalized by editing the initrd.gz

I can explain all this if you want?

freepawnspeedy 09-26-2009 11:59 AM

Thanks linus72,
I'm definitely getting soured on the USB flashdrive idea. I've downloaded Nero 9 and Express Burn and niether of these free versions will burn an ISO image. I just registered with MULTIDISTRO.COM and have just about resigned to buying a live CD spin.
I have a 5 DVD set of Debian 5.0.2a for AMD64 I was hoping to put on a flashdrive, I downloaded a UNetbootin program for burning to flashdrive but it doesn't seem to work with disks. I have Vista home premium which already has the hard drive partitioned and I really don't want to repartition it.
I downloaded a Ubuntu 9.04 hoping to make a live CD with it but I can't find a free ISO image burning program, and the ones I've seen that cost are a bit pricey. Now I'm just looking to buy a live CD. Thanks again............fps

linus72 09-26-2009 03:52 PM

Try Imgburn
I have used it and it works pretty good
the download link is the one that says

"Download Now"
the other download thing above it is for registry booster

alwasy "burn" a iso image to cd/dvd
always use slowest speed and session-at-once SAO
unless your booting a puppy linux as you can save sessions if enough space on cd/dvd
so do multisession if using puppy

the dvd's you downloaded are Install disks
not Livecd's

if you want a livecd/usb of debian
you can run debian-live in kde, gnome, or xfce desktops
you can also make custom iso's too
with remastersys and live-magic

Now, I'm assuming you wanna run liveusb so you play with Debian??
I can walk you thru it
so when you post again tell me if you wanna run liveusb?

linus72 09-26-2009 04:10 PM

Let me append this a little too;

I'm gonna Assume that with a usb that big, you wanna run many distro's from it, so you can experience the full power of the Dark Side?

OK, if'n it was me, here's what my 16GB usb layout may look like
assuming usb is sdb1

1) what distro's?
A- Debian hard drive install to usb, via your dvd set
B- Debian-Live-Gnome, or KDE, or XFCE Persistent
C- Sidux-xfce-2009 Persistent (debian sid based)
D- Slax 6.1.2
E- Ubuntu-9.04 (any, there are many)
F- DSL-4.4.10 (just for the hell of it!)
G- My remaster of PartedMagic-4.5 aka DarkMagic
H- My grml/hag/debian/sidux remaster soon-to-be-released "PocketWriter"

alot there huh?
ok, heres how I would layout the partitions:
partition layout

sdb1 Debian dvd set (not all pkgs) size=8GB ext3

sdb2 Frugal partition containing Debian-Live, Sidux, Slax, DSL, DarkMagic, Ubuntu, and PocketWriter

sdb3 persistent partition for Ubuntu, labeled "casper-rw" size=1GB ext3

sdb4 extended partition (82)

sdb5 size=4GB ext2 contains persistent read-writes for pocketwriter, sidux, debian-live, and DSL MyDSL folder

Note: that darkmagic and slax keep their persistent stuff on the same partition as their booting from
i.e. sdb2

you couls also run like Fedora 11 or whatever
get a 32GB stick and we're really cookin

anyway, I can help you setup whatever you want
so, tell me what your into?
your in school?
so, what kinda apps you want?

freepawnspeedy 09-27-2009 11:46 AM

Thanks again Linus 72,
I just downloaded and installed IMGBURN. I downloaded ubuntu 9.04 and will try to burn a live CD with it. I'm taking linux 101 from HP learning center(free classes). This is my first linux class and I was warned it would be more difficult than ones I had previously taken on windows vista.
Yesterday I ordered a live/install DVD and it's coming in the mail if I'm still having problems. It's ubuntu 9.04. I do hope to try different distros and load up that flash drive. Thanks...........fps

freepawnspeedy 09-27-2009 10:35 PM

hello again,
I burned 2 live CDs - ubuntu 9.04 and Debian 502 (32bit, i386) from the Debian site downloads. I browsed around the ubuntu and even got on the net, having to enter a security code for wifi. the Debian wouldn't access the wifi but I snooped around it and tried a couple of games. I think I'll be using these discs and getting more familiar with linux before I persue the flash drive install. Thanks so much for the help...........fps

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