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Old 06-25-2005, 09:16 PM   #1
kd5jnx
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Question SUSE installed and booted from USB drive


Hello all, Although I have been fiddling with several linux distro's for years..I am a newb...big time. I know nothing of compiling kernels and all that, but I can get around ok. I put this out first so that any responses can be written for a 5th grader..LOL.

Here is my dilema. Started a new job and was given a laptop:

Dell Latitude D610 P4M 1.8GHz
1Gb Ram
Intel 915 GM Video
Intel 2915abg wireless

The other is just canon fodder, The problem is, I am not allowed to install any programs or partition the drive or any of that. I am not complaining, its not like I paid for it--it is a tool provided to me. I will be travelling overseas ALOT and will be doing so sortly. I have an IOGear ION 40gb usb 2.0 external drive. I have set it all up and installed SUSE to it with grub on the MBR of the ext drive. Of course grub will come up and I can select to boot to suse, however while the kernel is loading it cannot connect to the usb and errors out because it cant find the drive that has all of the files it is looking for. I have read many threads and found alot of good info, I just dont understand how to do most of it. I think I need to recompile the kernel with usb support...i just dont know how I also saw a thread(which I cant find now) about having the kernel boot on a ram drive and have all the modules and such on the hard drive. That would be a good option also since I can easily give up some ram and still run just fine...again..i dont know how to do it

i have an old desktop in the basement running DSL and can use it for anything i need to do.

I appreciate all input and if I just dont have what it takes to get it done. I will either find an old cheap laptop to take with me or keep using live cd's...UGHH to both..especially since DSL wont boot...stops with an EIP problem.

Thanks in advance

 
Old 06-26-2005, 03:32 AM   #2
DaneM
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Which kernel are you using? (type "uname -r" at the command prompt)

Usually Linux will detect USB drives as SCSI. If you can boot into Linux, try typing "df -ah" and pont the results. Can you access the drive? Do you have a Knoppix CD? If you can't boot to the drive at all, you can use a Knoppix CD to boot into Linux and then mount the drive by typing something like:

cd /mnt
mkdir sd
mount /dev/sda1 sd

Then do "ls sd/*" to see if the mount worked. If not, type "umount sd" and then try the mount command with sda2, sdb1, sdb2, hda1, hdb1, etc. Did any of those work?

Hope that helps.

--Dane
 
Old 06-26-2005, 07:41 AM   #3
kd5jnx
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Not sure of the kernel, but I installed..I believe suse 9.2. The drive is recognized as scsi sda, with partitions sda1--Fat32, sda2---suse, sda6---swap. Problem comes in that the bios recognizes USB at boot and gets the process going with grub....then there is a point that the bios hands control to the os...then the kernel hasn't done USB yet and is looking for info from /dev/sda2/boot... which isn't availiable yet.

basicly if I could change the boot/load order and get the kernel to load/probe usb before anything else, i think it would do just fine.


Thanks Again, and hey..i have many DSL versions which are based off knoppix..how can I use the live cd then tell it to boot from the ext usb drive????

Thanks again
 
Old 06-26-2005, 07:52 AM   #4
abisko00
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You may need to include all required drivers into initrd. I am not sure about the complete list, but it is probably the scsi subsystem, usbcore, ehci-hcd and maybe some more. Use the command 'mkinitrd -m <modules>' to include these drivers. Since I don't know the complete list, have a try with 'mkinitrd -m ehci-hcd' first. The problem is to get into your system first. You could try to boot from the installation CD and select 'manual installation', then load the usb drivers and select 'boot installed system'.
 
Old 06-26-2005, 08:19 AM   #5
kd5jnx
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AHHHHH..now that is making sense...if i can get into the system...LOL

So that is basically loading the modules(drivers) into the kernel from the start? pardon me if i am using terminology that makes it sound stupid.

I think if that is the case then that will probably fix my problem. I will experiment with that later this afternoon. Especially the getting into the system, because I haven't been able to boot into suse since the initial install, so of course i dont even have users or root access even set up yet.

I will post back after I try some of that and make some progress...or pull more hair out.

Thanks
 
Old 06-26-2005, 09:05 AM   #6
kd5jnx
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I had a little time before church and tried the manual install stuff.

I had to load the ehci-hcd the ide-scsi and usb-storage and was able to boot the installed system.

I didnt put in any parameters for usbcore or hid when prompted to but it still booted up and got me in.

When i tried the mkinitrd -m ehci-hcd by itself it would not boot.

I then tried mkinitrd -m ehci-hcd ide-scsi usb-storage but was given errors...prolly syntax I am sure, but I beleive this is on the right path to success.

Thanks again..I think we are almost there!
 
Old 06-26-2005, 10:52 AM   #7
abisko00
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I am not sure about this, but try to load 'sd-mod' as well. I think this is the general scsi disk driver.
 
Old 06-26-2005, 10:55 AM   #8
kd5jnx
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I guess my biggest question is wether or not that initrd is getting saved or if it needs to be told to be saved and then pointed to by grub?

And still not sure of the syntax for including all the modules i need.

Thanks
 
Old 06-26-2005, 11:06 AM   #9
abisko00
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As soon as you run mkinitrd as root, a new ramdisk will be created and saved. You can create several different initrd file with the switch -i: 'mkinitrd -i <name>'
In the default way, (without specifying a name), the initrd will be called after the kernel. In /boot/grub/menu.lst is defined which initrd will be loaded. Normally this is /boot/initrd, which is a link to /boot/initrd-<version>. But you can change this entry to load other filenames. You can also add several different menu options by copying the default entry and point it to a different initrd. So you can test more than one initrd in a single reboot.

I found this article:
http://forums.devarticles.com/archiv...rnal-USB-drive
Hope it helps!
 
Old 06-26-2005, 11:41 PM   #10
DaneM
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I think abisco is on the right track. Once you get GRUB to boot the initrd you'll be in bussiness. Sorry I can't help more; I'm none too experienced with GRUB and initrds.

--Dane
 
Old 06-27-2005, 11:42 AM   #11
kd5jnx
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abisko and dane,

Thank you both for all your ideas, I did follow the steps listed in the other thread and it is working just fine..except for getting my network cards up

I started out using the live DVD which is 9.3 and it picked up my nic and centrino wireless right at the start. I loaded 9.1 and it doesn't have the tg3 and ipw2200 modules. But, that is all part of the fun. I know I could go buy 9.2 and it would work also, but hey...more fun to learn how to install modules and such..dont want to get bored with the OS too soon....LOL

Thanks again guys

If there is anyone searching the threads for help on this the link posted above works well..I was only slowed slightly on learning to use VI, but that was quick also. It also looks as though those instructions would work with any Distro since all the commands seem to be *nix native.


I now feel as though I have graduated from SUPER NEWB to MODERATE NEWB...


 
Old 06-28-2005, 08:13 PM   #12
DaneM
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Congratulations!

I'm glad you found the answer. Where did you find the solution? Can you post a link for others that have the same problems?

Cheers!

--Dane
 
Old 06-28-2005, 10:46 PM   #13
kd5jnx
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The link that abisko posted was what I used.

Unfortunatly suse 9.1 doesnt have support for my centrino 2915abg so i tried fedora core 4. needed differant drivers for it too for the video...not real happy with the effort it takes to install drivers. will prolly just buy another hard drive and install XP for my company laptop and swap when i need to do personal stuff. i just dont have enough time before i head overseas(
 
  


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