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Old 06-21-2008, 12:09 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 841

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Slackware 12.1 won't write USB boot stick

I'm doing a clean install of 12.1 on a new SATA drive, and when I get to the step to create a USB boot stick, the Slackware installer finds the USB key drive and says that it created the boot drive. But it actually doesn't write to the drive. When examined on another system, the USB sticks still have whatever was on them previously.

I've tried this with three different key drives, all previously formatted as FAT16 and usable under Slackware 12.0 on this same hardware, so I know the USB key drives are good and that my BIOS supports them.

What could be wrong? Is there a way I can boot off the CD to the command prompt and try to create the USB boot stick? Alternatively, can I boot my 12.0 system and create it there?
Old 06-21-2008, 12:20 PM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2006
Location: Kolkata, India
Distribution: Debian 64-bit GNU/Linux, Kubuntu64, Fedora QA, Slackware,
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You must check the install logs. Your system may not be providing enough power to the usb drive, in which case you may need to wait a bit longer before writing. The boot disk is not really required by experienced users.

It works in bluewhite64.


A. Mani
Old 06-21-2008, 02:13 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 841

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 165Reputation: 165
amani, I use these same USB key drives all the time on this system and have no power problem. I don't think there would be a power difference during installation of a new operating system versus normal operation of a previous *nix or MS operating system.

dmesg shows no errors related to the USB key drives. All messages appear normal, device is /dev/sdc1, 62719 512-byte hardware sectors (32MB), write protect off, write through drive cache, etc. Where else can I look?

If I chroot to /mnt then mount the /dev/sdc1 device and list it with ls -al, it shows what was on it before. Nothing was written to it during install.

I do not consider myself to be experienced, so that may be why I need the USB sticks to boot from. I'm having difficulty getting LILO or GRUB to boot this 12.1 system that I installed to a pair of LVM and LUKS formatted SATA /dev/sda drives. I can partially boot a 12.1 initrd from my old GRUB partition on IDE drive /dev/hda1, but I get LUKS errors. That is why I would like to try booting from the USB key drive instead. If I can successfully boot 12.1, I may be able to fix LILO or install a new GRUB on the new SATA drive.

I have another thread on my LUKS and LVM woes, so I prefer to leave all of that out of this one. I just want to know how to create my USB boot stick for now.


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