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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Creating bootable USB flash drive
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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Larry Cotton

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed 14 Apr 2010, 10:11    Post subject:  Creating bootable USB flash drive
Subject description: Is possible to create a bootable USB drive from puppy with my system (USB-FDD)
 

Hi

I'm trying to create bootable USB falsh drive - am having a few problems and was wondering if anyone can point me in the direaction of some information that can help.
I have a 4Gb USB flash drive with a single partition formatted with ext2.

The USB pen I have is:
ByteStor 4GB USB High Speed "Dataferry" Flash Drive

The machine I am currently testing this on is as follows:
AMD Duron(tm)
757.38 MHz
128Mb RAM
i686 (32bit)
As well as the 4Gb USB stick I have a 500G external drive connected - this has the puppy start up file on it

What I have done so far:
I went into setup->universal installer and followed the step
This tool seems to be the tool that I need - certianly it seemed to copy the linux files onto the drive and set the boot flag.
This is what eneded up on my USB stick:
extlinux.conf
extlinux.sys
initrd.gz
pup-431.sfs
vmlinuz

fdisk lists the following information for the drive:
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 * 1 1018 3913161 83 Linux
(as mentioned file system is ext2)

Currently when I try use this to boot puppy from it does not work.
Doing some googling I see that there are several types of bootable files which determine how the device appears to the BIOS.
Since the machine I'm using isn't particularly new (ok it's old) I'm guessing I need to create type which isn't the defalt (there is no USB-HDD option).

The Boot media options I am given in the BIOS are:
Disabled
IDE 0 - 3
Floppy
LS/ZIP c:
CD ROM
SCSI
NETWORK
USB FDD

I also noticed in the setup options there is a BootFlash install Puppy to USB tool.
I had a look at this, buit shied away from using it because I wan't clear how I could select the drive I wanted (I also couldn't see a USB-FDD option)

Does anyone know (or know where find out):
if it it possible to create a bootable USB using the flash drive I have and the machine I am using ?
Can I use one of the puppy linux tools to create a bootable usb disk for this system ?
If I can which tool should I use - universal installer, BootFlash install - what is the difference between the two?
By using the universal installer what did I created on my USB stick - would it work as a bootable device if I had a machine with an HDD Boot media option?
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9126
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 14 Apr 2010, 12:26    Post subject:  

Many older machines won't boot a USB flash drive. But you can do this instead.

Boot off the Live CD with the flash drive plugged in.
At the short initial pause, type
Code:
puppy pmedia=usbflash

This will launch Puppy off the flash drive.
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looseSCREWorTWO

Joined: 04 Feb 2010
Posts: 812
Location: Australia, 1999 Toshiba laptop, 512mb RAM, no HDD, 431 Retro & 421 Retro

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr 2010, 03:48    Post subject:  

Or boot up from the CD first, then plug the USB stick in and when you exit Puppy, create a save file on the USB Stick.

Thereafter you just boot from CD with that USB stick plugged-in and don't type in anything during Bootup. Puppy should detect the save file on the USB stick, use those settings for your Puppy sessions and save to the USB stick at the end of each session.
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abushcrafter


Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 1447
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr 2010, 04:17    Post subject:  

rcrsn51 wrote:
Many older machines won't boot a USB flash drive. But you can do this instead.

Boot off the Live CD with the flash drive plugged in.
At the short initial pause, type
Code:
puppy pmedia=usbflash

This will launch Puppy off the flash drive.
Thanks.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9126
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr 2010, 09:30    Post subject:  

Or you can make your own Puppy boot CD that will automatically launch the flash drive install. If you are interested, I can provide instructions.
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abushcrafter


Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 1447
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr 2010, 10:40    Post subject:  

rcrsn51 wrote:
Or you can make your own Puppy boot CD that will automatically launch the flash drive install. If you are interested, I can provide instructions.
Tempting that would be useful but I currently don't badly need it but if you don't minded then yes please Very Happy!
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9126
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr 2010, 11:20    Post subject:  

Download and unpack the attached "bootcd.tar.gz" to your home directory. It will create a folder named "bootcd" containing three files.

Copy the two core Puppy files "vmlinuz" and "initrd.gz" into the "bootcd" folder. It should now contain five files.

While inside the bootcd folder, open a terminal and type
Code:
sh makeiso

This will create a "puppy.iso" file one level up. If done correctly, the ISO file should be about 3 MB in size. Burn it.

Put the three core Puppy files on the flash drive (it doesn't actually need all three to launch).

Boot your machine off the CD with the flash drive inserted.
bootcd.tar.gz
Description 
gz

 Download 
Filename  bootcd.tar.gz 
Filesize  9.9 KB 
Downloaded  447 Time(s) 

Last edited by rcrsn51 on Sat 17 Apr 2010, 09:17; edited 4 times in total
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Larry Cotton

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr 2010, 16:00    Post subject:  

Hi

Thanks for the responses to this.

Could I just clarify that what I'd like to do is to create a USB stick that I can boot puppy from directly with the use of a CD.
Ive not done this before, but from what I can gather it means first installing a boot loader and the OS on the stick.

I was wondering if it is possible to do this using one of the puppy linux tools (universal installer, BootFlash install looked like they might do this)
I have done some googling and I'm pretty sure this can be done by other means (using fdisk, installing syslinux or grub), but I think it would be quite painful.

(My immediate use for this is because I have just got a machine which was advertised as having linux installed on it, but it doesn't.
It does not have a CD drive, so I need to be able to boot from usb to do anything with it.)
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Larry Cotton

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr 2010, 16:04    Post subject:  

In the previous post:
> that I can boot puppy from directly with the use of a CD.
I did of course mean:
> that I can boot puppy from directly without the use of a CD.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9126
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr 2010, 16:08    Post subject:  

The Puppy Universal Installer will do exactly what you want, provided that the target computer supports USB bootability.
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looseSCREWorTWO

Joined: 04 Feb 2010
Posts: 812
Location: Australia, 1999 Toshiba laptop, 512mb RAM, no HDD, 431 Retro & 421 Retro

PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr 2010, 19:11    Post subject:  

@LarryCotton
I have seen computer hardware that was capable of booting from a USB Flash Drive, but due to a quirk in the BIOS you needed to have the Flash Drive plugged-in at bootup for it appear as a boot option.

If your PC has a Floppy drive you could download the WakePup2.pet, install it and then create a WakePup2 Floppy which will boot your computer and scan all Hard Drives and USB Drives for Puppy files, then use them to run your Puppy session.

One of your boot options is USB FDD, so if you don't have a inbuilt Floppy you could use a USB Floppy instead. I've seen USB Floppy drives on eBay for $8. I use a inbuilt Floppy to boot my ancient laptop into Puppy, then save to a Flash Drive. It's reliable and I need to use it because the laptop doesn't have a HDD.

Last edited by looseSCREWorTWO on Sat 17 Apr 2010, 02:14; edited 2 times in total
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looseSCREWorTWO

Joined: 04 Feb 2010
Posts: 812
Location: Australia, 1999 Toshiba laptop, 512mb RAM, no HDD, 431 Retro & 421 Retro

PostPosted: Sat 17 Apr 2010, 00:47    Post subject:  

G'day Larry Cotton,
You did the right thing in your first Post, by listing the contents of your USB Flash Drive after Puppy 431 was supposed to have installed itself there.

I had to go out earlier and I walking around thinking "something wasn't right about that list Larry cotton posted". When I got back I had a go at installing Puppy 421 Retro (the Puppy i use) to an old USB Stick i have lying around. I reformatted it to ext2 and then installed Puppy. This is a list of the files Puppy 421 Retro put on the USB Stick:
boot.msg
extlinux.conf
extlinux.sys
help.msg
initrd.gz
logo.16
pup_421.sfs
vmlinuz
zdrv_421.sfs

This looks completely different to what 431 put on your USB Stick, so I'm going to make a guess that this is another one of the (many) 431 bugs. Puppy 421 and 421 Retro have very few bugs, so I suggest you download both of these ISOs from here and see how you go:
http://ftp.nluug.nl/ftp/pub/os/Linux/distr/puppylinux/

If you still have probs, try booting a different computer with your USB Stick and the Puppy CDs. If this shows the problem to be in your computer, then try the External Floppy idea I said in my last Post.

Good luck and let us know how you go with it,
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3444
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Sat 17 Apr 2010, 06:01    Post subject:  

@rcrsn51
1. I used your instructions to make the puppy.iso file, and used burniso2cd to burn the file to a CD-RW.

2. Then rebooted with the CD in place and my 1GB USB Flash Drive [holding an installation of Puppy-421] also connected.

3. The CD wouldn't boot; it was ignored [the BIOS is configured to boot floppy/optical/HDD in that order], and HDD booted instead.

4. The puppy.iso file is only 34kB! Confused

5. Tried to mount sr0 [within BoxPup using Pmount with disk in place and drawer closed], but got the error = "unable to mount sr0".

6. Any idea what's going wrong? Confused Sad
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9126
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Sat 17 Apr 2010, 08:17    Post subject:  

The puppy.iso file should be about 3200KB, so something went wrong. Instead of just clicking on the icon, open a terminal and type
Code:
sh makeiso

That should show you some error messages.
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3444
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Sat 17 Apr 2010, 08:56    Post subject:  

That worked! Very Happy
The new puppy.iso is 3.1MB, and the CD made using it boots and loads the Puppy on the Flash Drive. Cool

Any idea why using Xfe to right-click on the makeiso file and choosing "Open" didn't make a proper ISO file?
[I'm no Puppy expert!]
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