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otropogo
PostPosted: Thu 08 Nov 2012, 20:56    Post subject: Inconsistent syslinux.cfg behaviour
Subject description: pmedia=atahd works on 500MB SD flash, not on 256MB CF

After considerable fiddling, I managed to compose a 256CF flash card that reliably boots lupuplus from the hard drive.

But unlike the 500MB SD card I've been using up to now, simply changing pmedia=usbflash to pmedia=atahd in syslinux.cfg didn't do the trick. It would only load from the card itself, ignoring the change.

But if I booted with the command puppy pdev1=sda1, then the hard drive was searched, the 2fs files on it were presented, and the lupuplus sfs (which is too large to fit on the CF card) was loaded into RAM.

I then found that adding the line
Code:
pdev1=sda1
after
Code:
pmedia=atahd
in syslinux.cfg achieved the same result.

However, either way, the loader then displays :

Quote:
searching deeper in sub-sub-folders in partitions


which has never appeared with the atahd argument on the SD card.

And the message makes no sense, since the lupu_528.sfs file is in a folder in the root directory of sda1. And this message still displays if I add the argument

Quote:
/pupsave


(the folder where the sfs and 2fs files reside), nor does the search (the longest part of the loading process) seem any faster than when booting with the SD card with only
Code:
atahd
specified.
otropogo
PostPosted: Thu 08 Nov 2012, 02:05    Post subject:

bigpup wrote:
Quote:
When I click on the menu/system/gparted tab, I get the menu of drives on the system. When I click on one of them, the menu disappears, and nothing happens. When I look at running processes, there's no sign of gparted.

This is starting to look like a bad download of the Puppy version iso.

Try this to see if it makes a difference.
Boot with the Puppy live CD
Use boot option puppy pfix=ram
Now try to use Gparted.
What happens?


Sorry I've taken so long to reply to your suggestion above. The answer is yes, gparted works when I use the option pfix=ram. However, I booted from the usbflash install. Apparently the issue has something to do with the 2fs file.

But now I'm trying to figure out why I can't install puppy to flash on a 2GB SD card although I can do it on a 500MB SD or a 256MB CF card.

Every time I do, Universal install declares success, but the card merely becomes unreadable, and I have to go to Gparted, or to a camera, to reformat it. Even Windows 7 can't fix it.
otropogo
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 17:12    Post subject:

bigpup wrote:
This is the way I use Gparted for heavy work.
Gparted live CD

For partitioning I would suggest you use the Gparted live CD that you can get from here.
You can download a free version to make your own Gparted live CD.
It is up to date and specifically made to run Gparted.
Info:
http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php
Download:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/gparted/files/gparted-live-stable/


Thanks. I knew that, probably have an older copy around, but it always irks me that I can't get it to work in Puppy anymore.

BTW - I did try to download the latest version just now, but for some reason sourceforge and its mirrors are downloading like molasses today, at least at this end.

Will try again later.

Update, after downloading Gparted from Taiwan at top speed, the download failed with a series of nonsensical error messages, starting with "no room, try another directory" or words to that effect, and ending with "unable to read source file", after supposedly tranferring 126/127MB.

So I booted Knoppix 7.0.4, went to Preferences/Gparted (v 070), and viewed the corrupted SD card with it. Apparently, the only thing I could do was to reformat the card (I used FAT16). I then copied the files from the LiveCD, edited syslinux.cfg, set the boot flag, and tried to boot with it. But the system reported the disk was unbootable.

So I took it back to the Universal Installer, used the USB Flash drive function, left the MBR alone, re-edited the syslinux.cfg, renamed the sfs file to .bak, and tried booting again. Finally, success...

What have I learned?

...

UPDATE: several hours of further experience with both flash installers have changed my mind. Bootflash is more versatile and faster, it just takes a bit more attention.

...

It also turns out to be unnecessary to rename or delete the sfs file from the flash media when changing pmedia=usbflash to =atahd in syslinux.cfg to with sfs and 2fs files on the hard drive.

Nor is it even necessary to place all the 2fs files in the same folder with the sfs file. But it may be necessary to keep lupu_528.sfs in the root directory or in a folder in the root directory. I haven't tested this.





PS. thanks again, rcrsn51 and bigpup
otropogo
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 17:01    Post subject: Re: 2fs enlargement glich
Subject description: 2fs size increase is performed on whatever file is booted next...

bigpup wrote:
otropogo wrote:
I happened to boot with a smallish 2fs file, and decided to increase the size by 64MB.

Then rebooted with the original file I had meant to use, only to see that it was enlarged (at least, that's what the popup said) instead of the intended target.

Guess I'll have to reboot with the file I intended to enlarge, to see if it grows as well or not.

Yes if you select to re-size a save file you have to reboot using that same save file. At boot is when the re-size is done.
When you select to re-size it works only on the next boot/reboot one time.
New selection to re-size has to be made each time you want to do it.


Curious. Where is the information to resize the file kept while you're rebooting? Surely, wherever it is, it should also contain the information regarding the name of the file to be enlarged?

Missing the enlargement by failing to reboot the same 2fs file is just a minor annoyance. But enlarging a file you didn't mean to enlarge could be a serious problem, since it can't be undone.
otropogo
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:55    Post subject:

bigpup wrote:
How finding save files works.
http://bkhome.org/blog/?viewDetailed=01922


Quote:
However, do note that Puppy now has a confirmation dialog if only one save-file found, enabling you to back off and not auto-update it. I announced this a couple of days ago.


Not what happened to me just now.

Until I copied a second 2fs file into the /pupsave directory, Puppy simply booted with the file it found there, without any dialogue allowing me to "back off" as Barry puts it.
bigpup
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:48    Post subject: Re: 2fs enlargement glich
Subject description: 2fs size increase is performed on whatever file is booted next...

otropogo wrote:
I happened to boot with a smallish 2fs file, and decided to increase the size by 64MB.

Then rebooted with the original file I had meant to use, only to see that it was enlarged (at least, that's what the popup said) instead of the intended target.

Guess I'll have to reboot with the file I intended to enlarge, to see if it grows as well or not.

Yes if you select to re-size a save file you have to reboot using that same save file. At boot is when the re-size is done.
When you select to re-size it works only on the next boot/reboot one time.
New selection to re-size has to be made each time you want to do it.
bigpup
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:42    Post subject:

How finding save files works.
http://bkhome.org/blog/?viewDetailed=01922
otropogo
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:39    Post subject: 2fs enlargement glich
Subject description: 2fs size increase is performed on whatever file is booted next...

I happened to boot with a smallish 2fs file, and decided to increase the size by 64MB.

Then rebooted with the original file I had meant to use, only to see that it was enlarged (at least, that's what the popup said) instead of the intended target.

Guess I'll have to reboot with the file I intended to enlarge, to see if it grows as well or not.
bigpup
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:36    Post subject:

This is the way I use Gparted for heavy work.
Gparted live CD

For partitioning I would suggest you use the Gparted live CD that you can get from here.
You can download a free version to make your own Gparted live CD.
It is up to date and specifically made to run Gparted.
Info:
http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php
Download:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/gparted/files/gparted-live-stable/
otropogo
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:32    Post subject:

rcrsn51 wrote:
otropogo wrote:
Thanks for your suggestion. I'm afraid there's no cigar yet though.

You now have a frugal install that starts its boot sequence on a flash drive. In this scenario, Puppy wants to find all its core files in the same location as the main sfs file. So copy vmlinuz and initrd.gz from the flash drive onto the hard drive.

Now Puppy is finding all its files in the same place, so it will also see the save files.


Ah, yes. Wish I had known that yesterday. Happily, I'm still able to edit the syslinux.cfg file on the flash card, but Windows couldn't format it, and eraser said it couldn't establish cluster size,probably because Puppy's universal installer messed up the ext3 2fs save (for which it failed to ask for a size...). I'll have to try to run Gparted under Knoppix to try to get the full capacity back.

Glad I didn't use a pricey 64GB flash card for this install.


Quote:
To improve the search process, include the boot argument "psubdir=xxx" in your syslinux.cfg file.


I don't know if it will improve the search speed any, since it only takes 10 seconds now. Maybe that's because it's in a folder named "pupsave" in the root directory of disk 0.

Apparently, the 2fs files, and presumably any other sfs files, must be in the same directory where the loader finds lupu_528.sfs , vmlinuz, and initrd.gz, or it won't offer them for use.

At least it looked no further once it found the directory with the last three. To get it to offer my other 2fs file for use, I had to copy it to the same folder.

But I'm curious as to the exact format required for psubdir=xxx?

I tried

Code:
psubdir=/mnt/sda1/pupsave


which is the path to the directory containing the necessary files.

But then the boot failed with the message "lupu_528.sfs" not found, and left me at the command line.
bigpup
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:28    Post subject:

Quote:
When I click on the menu/system/gparted tab, I get the menu of drives on the system. When I click on one of them, the menu disappears, and nothing happens. When I look at running processes, there's no sign of gparted.

This is starting to look like a bad download of the Puppy version iso.

Try this to see if it makes a difference.
Boot with the Puppy live CD
Use boot option puppy pfix=ram
Now try to use Gparted.
What happens?
rcrsn51
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 11:40    Post subject:

otropogo wrote:
Thanks for your suggestion. I'm afraid there's no cigar yet though.

You now have a frugal install that starts its boot sequence on a flash drive. In this scenario, Puppy wants to find all its core files in the same location as the main sfs file. So copy vmlinuz and initrd.gz from the flash drive onto the hard drive.

Now Puppy is finding all its files in the same place, so it will also see the save files.

To improve the search process, include the boot argument "psubdir=xxx" in your syslinux.cfg file.
otropogo
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 11:31    Post subject:

bigpup wrote:
otropogo,
Quote:
Damn! I forgot Gparted doesn't work in Puppy any more...

Works OK for me.
Explain?


When I click on the menu/system/gparted tab, I get the menu of drives on the system. When I click on one of them, the menu disappears, and nothing happens. When I look at running processes, there's no sign of gparted.


Quote:
With all the save files you seem to have.
Very important they each have a specific unique name.
If you have more than one with the same name, it could be causing some of your problems.
Even a copy of a save file should be given a specific name.
Better yet give it a name that has nothing to do with lupusave.


Never have a problem with this when booting from the LiveCD, and yes, all of my 2fs files are distinctively named.

But in any case, I reduced my 2fs files to two on hdd and one on the flash in the course of this experiment.

The problems seem to me to be in the flash installer.

It doesn't have adequate controls over the process, for one thing. It didn't detect any issues with the MBR (pmount doesn't give any amount for free space).

It went through the motions of redoing the MBR, and didn't report any problems. It then proceeded to "wipe" the disk and install lupupluslibre to the disk from the LiveCD, and again reported no problems, although it was only able to copy 11MB of data (8MB of the 353 lupu528.sfs) and 2MB for initrd.gz) to a disk pmount reported at 500MB.
bigpup
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 11:04    Post subject:

otropogo,
Quote:
Damn! I forgot Gparted doesn't work in Puppy any more...

Works OK for me.
Explain?

With all the save files you seem to have.
Very important they each have a specific unique name.
If you have more than one with the same name, it could be causing some of your problems.
Even a copy of a save file should be given a specific name.
Better yet give it a name that has nothing to do with lupusave.
otropogo
PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 01:37    Post subject:

rcrsn51 wrote:
@otropogo: Look on your flash drive for the file syslinux.cfg and open it in a text editor. You should see the option "pmedia=usbflash". This tells Puppy to get all its files off the flash drive.

Delete it or change it to "pmedia=atahd".


Thanks for your suggestion. I'm afraid there's no cigar yet though.

I edited the syslinux.cfg, and it does now take some time to search the hard drives. And in fact, I've proven that it finds and loads the 528.sfs file from the hard drive by deleting it from the flash drive.

However, it ignores the existing lupusave-X.2fs files in the same directory as the sfs file, and doesn't offer any options on where to save a new 2fs file.

On reboot, it reports that the save file on the flash drive is being loaded, but there's no evidence of it as the display configuration is not implemented.

A couple of other strange things are happening too. When booting from the flash drive, one of the two ATA drives mounts unwritable, with the ntfs-3g error, which I haven't seen in lupuplus before. But this can't explain the other hdd not being offered for a save target, nor can it explain the 2fs files on the first not being offered. The writable drive also has a 2fs file on it.

Another very strange event is that when booting from flash with the 528.sfs file on the hdd, both mounted with the red dot (ie. can't be unmounted), and after I copied a bare-bones lupusave.2fs to the flash drive and booted, it appeared on the flash drive within a pupsave directory I hadn't created, and also in a pupsave directory on the 528.sfs hdd, where it didn't exist, whereas the main 2fs file in that hdd directory disappeared.

When I rebooted from LiveCD, the hdd pupsave directory was as before, no barebones 2fs, and the disappeared 2fs back where it belonged (together with several other files that disappeared with it).

The auto-created pupsaves folder on the flash drive persists, however.

Lots of scary stuff. I was glad I had a recent backup of my 2fs file.

I did figure out the problem of failed save to the flash. It was caused by a loose write protect tab.

Update, several rounds later:

I managed to establish that :

1. with the flash installation I used, the loader will find and load the sfs file from the hard drive, but not the 2fs file, even if it's created on the flash drive and copied to the hdd

2. the only save option is to the flash drive, and after that's created, no further saves are possible, you can enlarge the save file, but cannot create an alternate one

3. I was eventually able to save my configuration in the save to flash, but it took two steps. It only worked on the second boot.

4. the ntfs read only problem went away, but didn't change anything with the other problems.

After a few boots, I got a kernel panic crash, and some 440 odd MB were mysterioulsy missing from the 500MB flash card.

Since I had no quick way of formatting the card, I tried installing all over with the universal installer. I chose the last option on the menu for mbr, and I elected to wipe all the files. Everything appeared to go without a hitch, and much, much too quickly. And a reboot ended with another kernel panic crash.

When I looked at the flash card with Pmount after booting with the CD, pmount miraculously showed the card as having 513MB, and the 300_ MB 528.sfs file was reduced to only 8MB. So the card is now out of commission until and unless I can get it fixed under Gparted or Windows.

A glorious waste of time...

Damn! I forgot Gparted doesn't work in Puppy any more...
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