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Old 01-24-2011, 10:09 AM   #1
WilliamS
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USB boot stick won't


Been using 13.0 on half of the (500 GB) hard drive, now installed 13.1 on the second half.

During install I selected "make a usb boot stick" and it did it so that I can see all the right stuff in USBSLACK, but it won't boot from the usb flash drive when I select usb-hdd as first boot device in BIOS.

It will boot from floppy or hard drive.

I can do #mount /dev/sdb /mnt/zip
#vim /mnt/zip
and it shows the same as USBSLACK

How to make it boot from the flash drive? or, what did I do wrong this time?
 
Old 01-24-2011, 10:57 AM   #2
vtel57
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Try setting a boot flag on the USB partition with the bootloader.

Code:
#parted /dev/<usb_device>

(parted) set <partition #> boot on
In other words, if your USB device is say sdc, and your first partition has the bootloader on it, then the command would look like this:

Code:
#parted /dev/sdc

(parted) set 1 boot on
This will set a bootable flag on the #1 partition of the USB device. You can check it by using the fdisk command:

Code:
# fdisk -l /dev/sdc
The output will show and asterisk (*) where the bootable flag is located. Here's what my bootable SLAX USB device looks like:

Code:
   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sde1   *           1         249     2000061    e  W95 FAT16 (LBA)
Remember... you MUST determine how your system is categorizing your USB drive before you can do any of these commands. In order to see how your USB device is named, you can do:

Code:
# fdisk -l
This will show you all your storage drives. You'll see your USB drive there also (make sure it's plugged in before executing the command, of course.

Be VERY careful with these powerful disk manipulation commands as they can really screw up your system if you don't know what you're doing.

Luck with this.

~Eric
 
Old 01-24-2011, 03:58 PM   #3
WilliamS
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Partition table entries are not in disk order
root@host:/home/william# parted /dev/sdb
GNU Parted 2.2
Using /dev/sdb
Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.
(parted) set 1 boot on
Error: The flag 'boot' is not available for loop disk labels.
(parted)
--------------------------------------

so I used fdisk a

and saw that the listed partition had lost the ? that all the others still have,
but it still would not boot from usb stick, so used fdisk a again, thinking to
put things back where they started, and now /dev/sdb1 shows the desired *.

Still won't boot, but I notice that your usb stick is in FAT16, while mine is in
FAT32. I think Alien Bob writes that it must be in FAT16 to work.

Now how to change it?
 
Old 01-24-2011, 05:03 PM   #4
vtel57
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Unfortunately, you'll probably have to reformat, William.
 
Old 01-25-2011, 06:13 PM   #5
WilliamS
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Reformatted, repeated everything and tried some more stuff, including:
http://home.comcast.net/~fbui/BootableFlash.html

Nothing works.
Still looks good in USBSLACK, but I wonder if this must be done on install, as make bootdisk in pkgtool destroys the formatting I did.
 
Old 01-25-2011, 09:07 PM   #6
vtel57
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Hi William...

You're probably going to need to go back to the basics. You need to find out if your system will boot a USB flash drive with some other OS on it... say SLAX or Puppy Linux. If those won't boot either, then you need to consider that your system (BIOS/hardware) may be at fault and not your methods or software.
 
Old 01-28-2011, 07:34 PM   #7
WilliamS
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I found it.

The GA-880GMA-UD2H motherboard will not boot from a usb flash drive unless it is <4gb.

So I will try to exchange my 8gb flash for a 2gb.
 
Old 01-28-2011, 08:03 PM   #8
vtel57
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Wow! Good for you for figuring that out, William. 2G flash drives are cheap! I just bought a handful on eBay (brand new in sealed packages) for $5 each w/ free shipping. Do a search at eBay for some good deals on smaller USB flash drives.

Luck!

~Eric
 
Old 01-29-2011, 07:02 AM   #9
GazL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamS View Post
I found it.

The GA-880GMA-UD2H motherboard will not boot from a usb flash drive unless it is <4gb.

So I will try to exchange my 8gb flash for a 2gb.
That's interesting, I'd never heard of a limitation like that before. Might be a possible explanation for why I've never managed to successfully boot my machine from a USB stick.
 
Old 02-25-2011, 05:18 PM   #10
WilliamS
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I got a 2GB flash drive.
The motherboard/BIOS still ignores the flash drive on boot.
 
Old 02-25-2011, 07:41 PM   #11
vtel57
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William,

You can try to set the boot flag on the flash drive using parted from the command line. However, be VERY careful with this powerful app.

1) Boot to your regular Linux operating system

2) Plug the flash drive in to the USB port

3) Open a terminal (command line) and as root:

Code:
 # fdisk -l
This will give you a list of all the drive devices on your system (your hard drives and the flash drive).

4) Determine which device is your flash drive. It will be something like /dev/sde, possibly. You'll have to use your proper /dev/sd* identifier when you do this, of course.

5) Initiate parted from the command line:

Code:
 # parted /dev/sd*
The cursor will change to:

Code:
 parted >
BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE ABOVE COMMAND. Whichever /dev/sd* identifier you give is the drive that parted will be working on. You don't want to accidentally booger up your main hard drive or anything like that.

6) Use parted to set the boot flag on your flash drive. This flag tells your system's BIOS that this is a bootable device.

Code:
 parted > set 1 boot on
This will set the boot flag to ON on the 1st partition of your flash drive.

7) Reboot and see if your BIOS will boot the flash drive

Note: We're assuming here that you have something to boot on that flash drive... some sort of Linux OS? Puppy? SLAX? Etc?

Luck with it!

~Eric
 
Old 02-25-2011, 11:24 PM   #12
WilliamS
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Hi Eric;

#fdisk -l gives me:
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 * 2 1048 819200 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
I did this in parted. There is an unformatted 1GB partition.

tomshardware for this motherboard insists that a boot flash must be formatted in FAT32, then it should work.
pkgtool writes the bootloader in FAT16 (?), so I did the partition in FAT32 and copied a saved USBSLACK into it. This is ldlinux.sys syslinux.cfg vmlinuz.

An oddity is that while it originally showed after pkgtool use as USBSLACK, now it shows as 838M Removable Volume.

I'm trying to boot slackware-13.1 which is on logical parts of an extended partition.

I've been thinking that if I can do this so easily with a floppy, why not from a flash drive?
 
Old 02-26-2011, 09:55 AM   #13
vtel57
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Well, that little * after /dev/sdb1 tells me that the 1st partition of your flash already has the boot flag turned ON, so you don't need to worry about that.

I wish I knew a little more about USBSlack, William. I'm a total ignoramus on that subject. If I had a bit more time, I'd check it out. It actually sounds pretty cool. I currently use SLAX on a flash drive for troubleshooting/repairing systems, but SLAX development is currently napping. USBSlack would work well for my purposes.

I'll keep an eye on this thread and your progress.

~Eric

P.S. Don't know if this would help, but have you seen this stuff...

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...-drive-425887/

http://help.lockergnome.com/linux/Bu...ict513940.html

and particularly this from Alien Bob's wiki --> http://alien.slackbook.org/dokuwiki/...ckware:usbboot

Last edited by vtel57; 02-26-2011 at 10:02 AM.
 
Old 03-01-2011, 10:00 AM   #14
WilliamS
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How embarrassing. My excuse is that this is a recently built computer.

There are a few unused usb sockets. I plugged the flash drive into another one and all is well - pkgtool works, BIOS does what it is supposed to, and the boot screen lets me do: mount root=/dev/sdaX ro.
 
Old 03-01-2011, 02:59 PM   #15
vtel57
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HA! I wish I had a nickel for every one of those type silly mistakes I've made in my life.

Good for you, William!
 
  


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