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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
[HowTo] 4 steps, 10 mins: Install Puppy on a USB Flash Drive
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Iguleder


Joined: 11 Aug 2009
Posts: 1870
Location: Israel, somewhere in the beautiful desert

PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug 2009, 06:08    Post_subject:  [HowTo] 4 steps, 10 mins: Install Puppy on a USB Flash Drive
Sub_title: From within Windows, Linux (incl. Puppy), easily
 

4 steps, 10 mins: Install Puppy Linux on a USB Flash Drive by Iguleder

This guide instructs you how to install Puppy to your flash drive, from within Windows or Linux. This guide is universal, it works with any normal Linux distro and any Windows version. The result is a Puppy that runs directly from a USB flash drive, as a live system, with the ability to save changes in the drive's extra free space.

It takes about 10 minutes to install Puppy using this method with a fast Internet connection. The only thing that takes much time is downloading Puppy. A blank CD for burning is not required, the installation does not require a reboot.

I installed Puppy on my generic, cheap, 3-years old, 256 MB S1 MP3 player. It works perfectly, I am able to save changes, personal files and music on the extra 150 MB I have and my MP3 player also plays music normally. Triple-function MP3 player. Sweet. Wink

Read the instructions carefully and don't get too nervous. Pay attention to the "before doing it" section. I did my best to simplify it as much as possible.

If you wish to install Puppy on your flash drive from within Puppy itself, you can use Puppy's installer, it's easier. (Note for people who still wish to install using this guide from within Puppy: Puppy includes syslinux and GParted by default).

Changelog:
Quote:

11/8/09, evening: tiny changes.
11/8/09: first version.


___________________________________

BEFORE DOING IT:
- Set your BIOS boot sequence to boot from USB first. If you don't know how to do this, ask a friend or search for a guide.
- This guide is written for USB flash drives, NOT USB hard drives, althought it may work with USB hard drives too.
- Some USB drives are NOT bootable. Most of the popular (SanDisk, Samsung, Kingston) USB flash drives, generic (typically Chinese, no offence) flash drives and MP3/4 players are bootable.
- If you use Linux, go to the terminal and run syslinux. If it says that this command does not exist, download SYSLINUX (below). If it shows the correct syntax of the command, you already have syslinux installed.
- If you use Linux - it's optional - a graphic partitioning tool such as GParted.
- This is easy. Don't panic.

REQUIREMENTS:
- A running Windows/Linux.
- Puppy Linux ISO - get the latest release here (click DOWNLOAD LATEST PRODUCTION RELEASE).
- SYSLINUX - get it here. Download an archive (syslinux-x.x.zip or .tar.bz2 or .tar.gz, it doesn't matter which one) and extract it (I recommend you to extract it to C:\syslinux under Windows or /home/<user>/Desktop under Linux).
- A flash drive with at least 128 MB of (free) space.

___________________________________

Step 1: formatting the flash drive.

Plug in your flash drive.

On Windows: go to My Computer. Right-click your flash drive's icon -> Properties. Check the file system type. If the file system is FAT (not FAT32, just FAT), skip to step 2, unless you still want to format your flash drive.

Make sure to backup all the important data in your flash drive. To format it to FAT, right-click your flash drive's icon -> Format. Make sure that FAT is selected and click Format.

On Linux: If you have a graphical partitioning tool, you can use it, it's pretty straight-forward.
If you don't have any graphical tool, enter the terminal and run su. Enter your root password if needed.
If you have a graphic tool, just find your flash drive and check the file system. If you don't, run fdisk -l and identify your flash drive. Usually it's /dev/sdb1, but still, make sure you find the right partition, otherwise you may lose valuable data. I will refer to your device as sdX.
If the file system is FAT 16, skip to step 2, unless you still want to format your flash drive.

Make sure to backup all the important data in your flash drive. To format it to FAT:
- Open the terminal.
- Run su and enter your root password if needed.
- Run umount /dev/sdX.
- Run fdisk /dev/sdX.
- Press d and delete all partitions this way.
- Press n, then p, then 1.
- Press enter twice to accept the defaults.
- Press w.
- Run umount /dev/sdX.
- Run mkfs.vfat -F 16 /dev/sdX.
- When it's done, unplug your flash drive and re-plug it in.

___________________________________

Step 2: SYSLINUX'ing the flash drive to make it bootable.

On Windows: Start -> Run -> type cmd and press enter. Inside the Command Prompt window:
- Run cd C:\syslinux (or where you extracted the SYSLINUX archive).
- Run cd syslinux*\win32.
- Run syslinux -ma X: (when X is your flash drive's letter, in My Computer).

On Linux:
In the terminal:
- Run su and enter your root password.

If you downloaded syslinux:
- Run cd /home/<user>/Desktop (replace <user> with your username, of course, or replace the path with the folder in which you extracted the SYSLINUX archive).
- Run cd syslinux*/linux,
- Run syslinux /dev/sdX.

If you already had syslinux:
- Run syslinux /dev/sdX.

___________________________________

Step 3: extracting the ISO to the flash drive.

Extract the Puppy ISO to your flash drive, using WinRAR or any other program (to extract using WinRAR, run it first, then File -> Open).

___________________________________

Step 4: modifying the boot configuration to make it bootable, now for real.

Go to your flash drive, and rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg and isolinux.bin to syslinux.bin.
Restart to see if it works ... and pray. Rolling Eyes

___________________________________

Enjoy, fellow mates. Wink

Edited_time_total
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Kal

Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 624
Location: California, High Desert

PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug 2009, 02:25    Post_subject: It works  

Hi Iguleder,
Just wanted to tell you, I used your method to load Puppy off my flash drive and it worked perfectly. Never had used a flash to load an OS before.

Thanks, Kal
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