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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
BOOT-ability & USB (outline)
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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kethd

Joined: 20 Oct 2005
Posts: 451
Location: Boston MA USA

PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov 2005, 16:29    Post subject:  BOOT-ability & USB (outline)  

If you are lucky, your computer is set to try to boot from various devices, in the order that you prefer.
Otherwise, you will have to access the BIOS CMOS settings, and change the boot order.
But, you may still have a problem -- there may be no way to set the BIOS to boot the way you want! For example, older computers have no setting for booting from USB.

What can you do then?
There may be indirect ways to boot. For example, Puppy can be installed in ways that use a "software boot" approach -- the target device just contains ordinary files, and you start a program somewhere else that transfers control to your target device. Some of the Puppy install scripts allow you to make a boot floppy, for example, that can start up a set of Puppy files on a hard drive.

There are also a number of special floppy disks that have been developed to boot up Puppy, especially on USB: Boot2Pup, WakePup, and WakeUSB.

In theory, there could also be a generic program on a Floppy disk, that allowed you to try to boot from a USB device, regardless of what was on that device, just as though you had a BIOS that could boot USB. (Can you tell us more about this?)
There are at least three kinds of bootable USB storage devices: floppy disk, zip drive, hard drive. Bootable USB flash drives seem to emulate one of these. There are special programs for setting up USB flash drives to be "bootable" -- some are special from the maker of a particular flash drive, and some are more generic. (Can you tell us about good resources for learning about this?)

Also, there may be an update to your BIOS that can be installed, to give your BIOS additional features. Or there may be BIOS updates for your mainboard available from third parties, or even from various hacker forums. Unfortunately, your BIOS firmware must be intimately matched to your mainboard chipset implementation, so it cannot be generic, but must be very custom.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BIOS_Boot_Sequence

Another intriguing possibility is the ongoing development of LinuxBIOS -- learn more at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinuxBIOS

quotes:
LinuxBIOS is a Free Software project aimed at replacing the normal BIOS with a little bit of hardware initialization and a compressed Linux kernel that can be booted from a cold start.

Chips and Motherboards that support a Free BIOS - LinuxBIOS
You can help our campaign by buying AMD CPU chips and not buying Intel. AMD have been helpful but Intel needs to be persuaded. Likewise, buy motherboards that support free BIOS. Tyan Computer Corporation are very helpful to the LinuxBIOS project and employ a full-time LinuxBIOS developer.

(I hope to turn this into a Wiki page -- it would be good to gather some comments, tips and resources to improve it.)
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kethd

Joined: 20 Oct 2005
Posts: 451
Location: Boston MA USA

PostPosted: Sat 26 Nov 2005, 11:09    Post subject: Use Smart Boot Manager on floppy to boot CD  

See also:
http://www.murga.org/%7Epuppy/viewtopic.php?t=4038
Use Smart Boot Manager on floppy to boot CD

if you download the smart boot manager linux binary, sbminst, from http://btmgr.webframe.org/3.6/sbminst
then "sbminst -t us -d /dev/fd0" to create a bootable floppy,

(alternatively you can download sbootmgr.dsk from http://slackware.at/data/slackware-current/rootdisks/sbootmgr.dsk
then use "dd if=sbootmgr.dsk of=/dev/fd0" under linux, or "c:\rawrite sbootmgr.dsk a:" for dos/windows)

then when you reboot the floppy it gives you the option of cdrom boot.
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edoc


Joined: 07 Aug 2005
Posts: 4384
Location: Southeast Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Wed 21 Dec 2005, 17:36    Post subject: Re: BOOT-ability & USB (outline)  

kethd wrote:

Another intriguing possibility is the ongoing development of LinuxBIOS -- learn more at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinuxBIOS


This sounds exciting thought this text worries me some "LinuxBIOS initializes the serial port ...". Given that fewer and fewer laptops include a serial port they may be choosing a dinosaur communications port.

If one is faced with a computer with no FDD and no Zip drive and wants to boot from the USB stick but the BIOS is either inaccessible or unable to call USB what is the suggested alternative?

I am thinking specifically about many models of the unbiquitous IBM ThinkPad. They are reliable and available inexpensively. Perfect for Puppy.

Is it possible to boot to HDD, load a small boot app from the USB stick, reboot and have that small boot app cause the PC to then boot from the USB stick?

Anyone done this successfully on a ThinkPad?

doc

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Thanks! David
Home page: http://nevils-station.com
Don't google Search! http://duckduckgo.com
Puppy upup Raring 3992 & Lighthouse64-b602
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kethd

Joined: 20 Oct 2005
Posts: 451
Location: Boston MA USA

PostPosted: Sat 14 Jan 2006, 12:30    Post subject: Linux USB Frequently Asked Questions  

http://www.linux-usb.org/FAQ.html
Linux USB Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started
1. How do I use my XXX USB device with Linux?
2. How do I make sure the correct modules are loaded?
3. Why doesn't /proc/bus/usb exist?
4. What's the fastest way to get USB HotPlugging set up?
5. Is my device supported?
6. Does Linux talk to USB 2.0 devices?
7. What "Host Controller Driver" should I use?

Information
1. What is a good book on USB?
2. What APIs are available to USB Device Drivers?
3. Got any testing tips for Linux USB Device Drivers?
4. Is it possible to boot off a USB Device?
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kethd

Joined: 20 Oct 2005
Posts: 451
Location: Boston MA USA

PostPosted: Sun 15 Jan 2006, 13:05    Post subject:  

http://advancemame.sourceforge.net/doc-makebootfat.html
This utility creates a bootable FAT filesystem and populates it with files and boot tools. It is mainly designed to create bootable USB and Fixed disk for the AdvanceCD project.

7) Multi Standard USB Booting
The BIOS USB boot support is generally differentiated in three categories: USB-HDD, USB-FDD and USB-ZIP.

The USB-HDD (Hard Disk Drive) standard is the preferred choice and it requires the presence of a partition table in the first sector of the disk.

The USB-FDD (Floppy Disk Drive) standard requires the presence of a filesystem starting from the first sector of the disk without a partition table.

The USB-ZIP (ZIP Drive) standard requires the presence of a device with a very specific geometry. Specifically, it requires a geometry with 32 sectors and 64 heads. It also requires the presence of a partition table with only a bootable partition in the fourth entry.
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edoc


Joined: 07 Aug 2005
Posts: 4384
Location: Southeast Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Mon 16 Jan 2006, 20:52    Post subject:  

kethd wrote:
http://advancemame.sourceforge.net/doc-makebootfat.html
This utility creates a bootable FAT filesystem and populates it with files and boot tools. It is mainly designed to create bootable USB and Fixed disk for the AdvanceCD project.


From their Web page:
Quote:
makebootfat is a command line utility able to create bootable USB
disks for Linux and Windows using the FAT filesystem and syslinux.

makebootfat is the most advanced tool available able to make bootable USB
disks. It's able to autodetect/partition/format/populate the USB disk
in a single step without any user interaction.
It's also able to create
disk images which are compatibles with all the three standards USB-FDD,
USB-HDD and USB-ZIP at the same time.

To use makebootfat you probably need also syslinux or FreeDOS.


Wow, cool! doc

_________________
Thanks! David
Home page: http://nevils-station.com
Don't google Search! http://duckduckgo.com
Puppy upup Raring 3992 & Lighthouse64-b602

Last edited by edoc on Mon 16 Jan 2006, 22:52; edited 1 time in total
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edoc


Joined: 07 Aug 2005
Posts: 4384
Location: Southeast Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Mon 16 Jan 2006, 20:59    Post subject:  

edoc wrote:
makebootfat is a command line utility able to create bootable USB disks for Linux and Windows using the FAT filesystem and syslinux.


Here are the two pieces, I think:

http://advancemame.sourceforge.net/boot-download.html
http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/

doc

_________________
Thanks! David
Home page: http://nevils-station.com
Don't google Search! http://duckduckgo.com
Puppy upup Raring 3992 & Lighthouse64-b602
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kethd

Joined: 20 Oct 2005
Posts: 451
Location: Boston MA USA

PostPosted: Mon 16 Jan 2006, 21:20    Post subject:  

Umm... How is it possible to have a partition table in the first sector, and also not have a partition table -- at the same time?
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kethd

Joined: 20 Oct 2005
Posts: 451
Location: Boston MA USA

PostPosted: Sat 21 Jan 2006, 20:47    Post subject:  

http://www.murga.org/%7Epuppy/viewtopic.php?t=5531

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:09 pm
Post subject: (Puppy in) PC World magazine on booting from USB

Febraury 2006 PC World magazine has an article, 23 things to do with a thumb drive (page 113). In a sidebar, it talks (page 114) about Linux systems that fit on USB devices. It lists Puppy. The article mentions about utilities that can be used to make a USB device bootable. The utilities are Windows based. The locations did not provide much about process of making a USB device bootable. One utility (MKBT or Make Bootable) is interesting. The MKBT web page (
www.nu2.nu/mkbt/index.php?p=1
) has technical information about the MSDOS boot sector. Hopefully, this information can help someone.

============

A direct link online to the sidebar item is found at:
http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,123793,pg,3,00.asp

The main article is found at:
http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,124382,00.asp
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woodeye18

Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Posts: 16
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb 2006, 16:52    Post subject: "USB DISK 2.0" once booted, now it doesn't..tried  

I picked up a few 128mb usb thumbdrives at a trade show, all identical. I loaded puppy 2.0 alpha and it booted fine many times. I put in another one of these thumbdrives and booted it not realizing that this particular one still had the old "non bootable" data from the trade show (i.e catalogs, news releases, photos of new products, etc.) and it tried to boot off of it and sat there at the bios screen while the thumdrive blinked. I pulled it out and put the bootable one in its place and it no longer booted.

I reformated it and it still would not boot. It bypasses it and goes to windows. I removed all other devices from boot order and changed "boot from other device" to disable, it says no boot device. So I took my old thumbdrive (different maker-memorhigh) and loaded puppy on it, boots every time. I loaded puppy on my other 2 "USB DISK 2.0" thumdrives, and none of them boot.

Still, if I put one of these unformatted Thumbdrives in, the bios tries to boot and sits at the bios screen while the drive blinks. Only after being loaded with puppy does it get bypassed.

What is causing these once bootable USB drives to be quickly bypassed by my system?
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oui

Joined: 20 May 2005
Posts: 2139
Location: near Woof (Germany) :-) Acer Laptop emachines 2 GB RAM AMD64. franco-/germanophone, +/- anglophone

PostPosted: Tue 05 Dec 2006, 18:53    Post subject: easy to get information  

bonjour

i find this subject as important that i did spend a lot of time this week-end to prepare a place in the wiki where more about the thematic of easy booting with different ways and memory mediums can be explain in different languages (multi-lingual wiki for puppy) because easy and problem free booting is the a and b of the computer pleasure!

the reason was an other discussion about the booting with old PC's from DOS but it is the same problem: booting in all circonstances!

you will find this part of the wiki here:

http://puppylinux.org/wikka/BootPuppyWith

please transfer the infos that you can find in the forum to this part of the wiki and extend the systematical content of the wiki about the booting problems!

a wiki is really better as discussions in a forum being difficult to find again and to actualize!

salut
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d4p


Joined: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 407

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2007, 17:47    Post subject:  

You can find some info here:
http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?s=05a3b00d4a3620bfb49d7416b161b3b1&showtopic=20450&st=20
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rockaway

Joined: 21 Nov 2007
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 06 Dec 2007, 03:28    Post subject:  

Thanks for all the advice,data and details that you people have put in regarding the hardware configuration of a PC.They are extremely informative and definitely a newcomer like me will benefit to a great deal.Thanks for the posts and keep posting.
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www.rtginc.net
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rosetaylor01

Joined: 22 Jul 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 22 Jul 2009, 05:42    Post subject:  

your computer is not set to try to boot from various devices, in the order that you prefer.
you will have to access the BIOS CMOS settings, and change the boot order. You can find some info here:
http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?s=05a3b00d4a3620bfb49d7416b161b3b1&showtopic=20450&st=20

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" Change is the only constant. It is where growth lies and new miracles begin. Don't fear change; embrace it."
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Kenny-M


Joined: 15 May 2009
Posts: 147
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug 2009, 15:39    Post subject:  

In an interesting twist I can boot USB boot Thumb Drives.

If I set up an external drive with Gparted and Grub
(Puppy 4.2.1) the USB drive comes up with a short menu of
options however my keyboard and mouse are dead!

I have seen this with DOS applications that try and load USB
drivers. Apparently they reset the USB controllers, load
what is needed then the USB mouse and Keyboard are dead.

A work around was to use "plpbt" and create a small boot CD.
plpbt comes up with options then after USB is selected the
Linux splash screen comes up but the keyboard and mouse
are dead. I have to wait for the Puppy GIU to strat then the
keyboard and mouse work.

See: http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagerdl.html

However I found out the hard way to get everything straightened
out I had to replace the external USB hard drive boot sector with
a default one otherwise the Puppy startup screen would come
up with no way to type. Fortunately for me I had another USB
drive setup with Puppy to use the default MBR so all I had to do
was overwrite the boot sector using 'dd'. As in:
dd if=/dev/(good drive) of=/dev/(bad boot sector) bs=512 count=1
Read 512 bytes from the good drive and write it to the drive
having boot issues. In "my" case if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sdc

My fear is some day I will NEED to type in a command at the
Puppy startup splash screen before it loads and won't be
able to...

I thought I would pass this info along in case anyone else
has similar issues.

So... Is there a fix? Or, continue to use plpbt?

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Puppy 4.2.1 SeaMonkey on 160GB Ext USB Disk on Dell 745 SFF.
Puppy 4.3.0-SCSI on Dell Precision 610 workstation.
Puppy 4.2.1 running on Windows XP under Qemu.
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