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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
are certain USB sticks not bootable?
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oliver_cfc

Joined: 18 Oct 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct 2011, 15:28    Post subject:  are certain USB sticks not bootable?  

I have a couple of sticks that I'm trying to get 5.2.8 installed on.

One works and one doesn't work and I'm wondering what the difference is.

The working one is a 512mb Kingston... the failing one is a 2gb no-brand moody stick that seems to work as a regular drive with no issues.

When I boot, I see the initial syslinux line but then it hangs before the puppy splash screen. The light is flashing furiously at this point.

Here's how they both identify themselves

moody drive
Code:

Oct 18 15:16:59 localhost kernel: usb 2-6: new high speed USB device number 4 using ehci_hcd
Oct 18 15:17:00 localhost mtp-probe: checking bus 2, device 4: "/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-6"
Oct 18 15:17:00 localhost mtp-probe: bus: 2, device: 4 was not an MTP device
Oct 18 15:17:00 localhost kernel: Initializing USB Mass Storage driver...
Oct 18 15:17:00 localhost kernel: scsi5 : usb-storage 2-6:1.0
Oct 18 15:17:00 localhost kernel: usbcore: registered new interface driver usb-storage
Oct 18 15:17:00 localhost kernel: USB Mass Storage support registered.
Oct 18 15:17:00 localhost kernel: usbcore: registered new interface driver uas
Oct 18 15:17:01 localhost kernel: scsi 5:0:0:0: Direct-Access     USB2.0   Flash Disk       2.20 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
Oct 18 15:17:01 localhost kernel: sd 5:0:0:0: [sdb] 4136960 512-byte logical blocks: (2.11 GB/1.97 GiB)
Oct 18 15:17:01 localhost kernel: sd 5:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
Oct 18 15:17:01 localhost kernel: sd 5:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
Oct 18 15:17:01 localhost kernel: sdb: unknown partition table
Oct 18 15:17:01 localhost kernel: sd 5:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk


Good drive
Code:

Oct 18 15:23:34 localhost kernel: usb 2-6: new high speed USB device number 5 using ehci_hcd
Oct 18 15:23:34 localhost kernel: scsi6 : usb-storage 2-6:1.0
Oct 18 15:23:34 localhost mtp-probe: checking bus 2, device 5: "/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-6"
Oct 18 15:23:34 localhost mtp-probe: bus: 2, device: 5 was not an MTP device
Oct 18 15:23:35 localhost kernel: scsi 6:0:0:0: Direct-Access     Kingston DataTraveler 2.0 1.00 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
Oct 18 15:23:35 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
Oct 18 15:23:35 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] 978688 512-byte logical blocks: (501 MB/477 MiB)
Oct 18 15:23:35 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
Oct 18 15:23:35 localhost kernel: sdb: sdb1
Oct 18 15:23:35 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk


I tried dd'ing /dev/zero to the device to wipe out the MBR and the partition table and then ran thru the universal installer script but it made no difference

Just to confirm, the Kingston ones boots up perfectly, so I know the PC is set up OK and can boot off USB
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smokey01


Joined: 30 Dec 2006
Posts: 1818
Location: South Australia

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct 2011, 15:43    Post subject:  

Have you tried reformatting with Gparted?

It just might be a faulty stick.

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oliver_cfc

Joined: 18 Oct 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct 2011, 15:53    Post subject:  

thanks for responding... yes, I've tried partitioning and formatting a few times using fdisk and gparted and trying both ext2 and ext3.

I've also tried wiping just the MBR (with dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=446 count=1) and both the MBR and partition table (same command but with block size of 512)

I did try some of the alternate MBRs in /usr/lib/syslinux but none got as far as the syslinux one which hangs (usually it was 'invalid disk')

I don't see any errors in /var/log/messages.log when I write to the drive but it was a very cheap no-name one. I was wondering whether some drives simply aren't bootable.

What I haven't tried is an alternate o/s (like sysresccd or something)
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MoebusNet

Joined: 04 Jun 2011
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct 2011, 16:09    Post subject:  

There is another possibility to consider...Some of the flash drives on Ebay & other sites are advertised as having a larger capacity than they actually possess; they are intentionally formatted with erroneous capacity information.

This web site describes this situation, a way to diagnose it, and a way to make the flash drive correctly display its actual capacity. If you can't return the drive to the seller, just set it up correctly:

http://oss.digirati.com.br/f3/

Something to think about, anyway.

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Semme

Joined: 07 Aug 2011
Posts: 3898
Location: World_Hub

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct 2011, 16:18    Post subject:  

Hi oliver_cfc, and welcome. As an alternative to the post by MoebusNet and if you've got a Win box handy,
I'd say give HP's utility or one of these methods a spin before throwing in the towel.
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oliver_cfc

Joined: 18 Oct 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct 2011, 20:30    Post subject:  

thanks for the advice... I think I'm making some progress. The USB stick checked out fine so no issues there and I moved on to trying sysresccd.

This too hung after the initial syslinux line but it did indicate that it reached the "Probing EDD" stage and that I should turn it off. After doing that, it booted fine.

edit - in playing around some more, I read that holding down <SHIFT> as you turn on the computer should put you to a syslinux prompt. I'm not sure exactly what it's doing, but when I do that I breeze straight thru to the puppy splash screen and my 2gb USB drive boots up perfectly.

If anyone knows what the <SHIFT> does and if it could be automated I'd love to hear it
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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 3413
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct 2011, 05:48    Post subject:  

oliver_cfc:

If you have a Windows machine try >> RMPrepUSB

I saw >> Tekno's post and it got me interested.
Goodbye many hours >> testing it.

" With RMPrepUSB you can write fake 2nd partition information to the MBR of the USB fooling 99% of BIOSes to treat the USB stick as a bootable HDD ;)

Was one of the reasons I suggested it ... it will make USB sticks bootable on systems that you never thought they would work on (even tested on an old Pentium 3 and Athlon 2500 which previously wouldn't boot USB if their lives depended on it!) ..."

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=72660

"""

I have tried 20 different Puppies on it....multibooting.
I've been at it for hours today...1 boot fail is Wary 5.2

yet it works off my 16 gig USB.

Normally I use Hiren's method....also in the above post.

Chris.
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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10557
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct 2011, 06:15    Post subject:  

reading cthisbear I realize my post only confuse. Try what Chris suggest most likely that would help
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Last edited by nooby on Wed 19 Oct 2011, 09:46; edited 1 time in total
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8-bit


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 3368
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct 2011, 06:58    Post subject:  

Also, does Puppy see the USB flash drive as a hard drive?
It would help in not having that USB install Save button on the desktop.
Or is it just for the purpose of booting?
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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 1009
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Thu 20 Oct 2011, 07:22    Post subject:  

If you have access to a Windows system or Hiren's CD, try BOOTICE and that will tell you a lot about that stick and let you partition and format it.
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