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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
No Go with USB pen drive
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4776
Location: GB

PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep 2007, 11:12    Post subject:  No Go with USB pen drive  

Baptism of fire! Hadn't tried this before - no need. Bought a clone device, dirt cheap. Tried all the options offered including SuperFloppy, FAT16, FAT32, ext2, ext3, all the mbr methods and dozens of undocumented experiments. Zippo - won't boot, despite correct BIOS setup. Now GPartEd won't even recognise it, although all the files seem to be present and correct. Fat12 was mentioned once?

Any more suggestions? Gather this situation is not uncommon? The original files provided said something curious about not deleting something, but it was written in sino-english so ignored it!
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8901
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep 2007, 15:21    Post subject:  

Like you, I've had very inconsistent results with bootable flash drives. I've seen BIOS's that claimed to have USB boot support, but didn't work. I even saw a recent one that would boot to GRUB's Stage 2, but then wouldn't let GRUB find its own menu.lst file. I've decided that the only reliable method is a combination of GRUB boot CD and Puppy on the flash drive. Since many machines are already set with the CD as first boot device, you don't need to change the BIOS to launch Puppy off the USB drive.
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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 3385
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep 2007, 20:53    Post subject:  

Sage:

Maybe something here.

" There have been plenty of discussions on the CD Forums..
to do with booting Ultimate Boot CD for Windows from a USB drive.
I have mentioned this somewhere before.
Some success has been achieved by setting the hard drives to LBA. "


http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=17166

I find that many on the 911 CD forums are a pretty smart bunch.

I assume that you tried other USB ports.

If you PM me I will send you my favourite HP USB formatter,
V2.0.6.........which is hard to get...but small...just an exe file.
Gparted always shows after formatting that it is LBA and can boot.

Interesting page here:

http://home.graffiti.net/jaclaz:graffiti.net/Projects/USB/USBstick.html

from this similar post.

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=20956

Hope that you find a cure somewhere...have always enjoyed your
comments....you're a shocker.

Chris
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4776
Location: GB

PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep 2007, 03:09    Post subject:  

Thanks for your comments, guys - most appreciated. I shall PM ctb and try these additional suggestions. I propose we transfer further discussion to orbis' thread:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=138643#138643
as this is already running well and likely to assist most?

And thanks for your kind words, chris. Most folk aim to please - I aim to shock. As any academic will tell, it's the only way to drag folks out of torpor and get the grey matter functioning. One of my colleagues used to slip in a holiday slide of his late-teen daughter sunbathing during his lecture. Attendance, attention and discussion was always so much better than the rest of the morass...
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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 3385
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep 2007, 06:10    Post subject:  

Sage:

It's in your inbox I hope..now 8.10PM Sydney time.

Chris
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11080
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep 2007, 22:47    Post subject:  

Sage,

I guess, if other attempts have failed, the thing to try is formatting it as it was from the factory. Then make it bootable per that format.

For example; if it was FAT16 or FAT32, which it probably was, you'd want to format it accordingly, make the boot partition active and have your MS-DOS boot tiles on it.

-----------------------

The Theory

The idea here is find out what (if anything) does work, then proceed tweaking and pushing the envelope 'til you find out what doesn't work, knowing you can revert to what does work.

----------------------

Also, I think I played with my USB stick to the point that disk utilities wouldn't cooperate. Resolved this by:

Code:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M count=100


----------------------

My 2GB stick seems to want to be FAT16, its purpose is carrying files from one computer to the other. FAT is not a good filesystem for Linux files, so I package them before the copy, to keep the attributes intact.

Bruce
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4776
Location: GB

PostPosted: Mon 03 Sep 2007, 01:33    Post subject:  

Tried the native format, first Bruce. Otherwise, my philosophy is much the same as your - envelope pushing. Now I can't get FAT formatting back (it crashes 'doze machines when plugged in and the HP utility doesn't work out of DOS). PUI just fills up the memory till it overflows unless I select Superfloppy. I've seen more error messages with this project than in the last thirty years. Will try the dd command. You'd be amazed at what I've tried, but we are only a whisker away from the lump hammer....
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11080
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Mon 03 Sep 2007, 02:01    Post subject:  

the dd command
then the REAL cfdisk, not the one what comes with 2.17, if you have it, then cdfisk -z /dev/sda
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4776
Location: GB

PostPosted: Mon 03 Sep 2007, 03:26    Post subject:  

Yes, indeed! The 2.17 "cfdisk" was a BBIIIGGG mistake. Not entirely BK's fault, esp. as I don't believe he's a regular user? The alternative is mis-promoted; their blurb clearly indicates that their fdisk includes cfdisk - it doesn't. Only rarely does the real cfdisk fail me - it is a 'best friend' for processing the humongous throughput of old kit passing these portals.
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11080
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Mon 03 Sep 2007, 03:58    Post subject:  

Well, we're sitting on the edge of our chairs, waiting to see if you get the pen drive working. And if so, how you did it!
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4776
Location: GB

PostPosted: Mon 03 Sep 2007, 09:56    Post subject:  

Here's what got me back to where I started! Formatted as SuperFloppy with 2.17. Then this was visible with a friend's XP and enabled me to format to Fat16, which turned out to have the boot flag set (GPartEd now sees it, too!), even though I didn't ask for it!
Then I used 2.20alpha to copy the four 'frugal' files and create the /boot/grub stuff.
Of course, it still doesn't boot on anything......

2.20 looks interesting so far and saves wearing out my fingers typing en_GB. The VESA option refused to reset to 800x600 from 640x480, although the XOrg works.
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11080
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Mon 03 Sep 2007, 20:44    Post subject:  

As far as what you did on the XP machine.

* did you fdisk it then format it?

If not please explain.

-----------------------

Also, if you can make it MS-DOS bootable, booting Linux would be easy with GRUB for DOS or your preferred bootmanager.
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4776
Location: GB

PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep 2007, 01:52    Post subject:  

Just format. The XP version is inferior to W3.x/W9y, though. Hardly surprising since the DWIntel cartel wants to phase out the FDD. I only used XP because W9y crashed when the stick was inserted and DOS can't see USB devices.
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Bruce B


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11080
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep 2007, 02:44    Post subject:  

It's all Gospel as you say. Where do we put this stuff, after Revelations or before Genesis?

-----------------

A flash stick inserted in my W98SE experience will cause boot failures, lockups and general failure!

MS-DOS won't see it and that's too bad, because it would be a good way to use DOS based tools to work with it.

I wonder if PQMagic (DOS version 8) would be able to see a USB?

There are supposedly USB storage device drivers for DOS. Worth looking at.

------------

As for your stick...

I don't however think formatting it changes it from superfloppy to a partitioned storage device. How could it?

Presuming it's a superfloppy, you would want to install GRUB on the superblock. The duplicative use a 'super' here is just coincidence.

Also like to look into DOS drivers.

Here's one link, but doesn't say it supports Flash, (not our beloved moderator), USB Flash. The link is important, because its reminiscent of the color themes used in the days of warez sites.

http://www.bootdisk.com/usb.htm

nuther link here

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=10215

-----------------

I'm off to test pqmagic. And as MY California Governor (AKA The Governator) says, "I'll be back."
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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4776
Location: GB

PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep 2007, 03:07    Post subject:  

Nary a whisker between us on this one, Bruce!
Get the distinct impression that I can do better things with my time!
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