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Lucid Puppy 5.2.8 - Updated ISO Version 005 - APR 05 2012
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cowboy


Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 247
Location: North America; the Western Hemisphere; Yonder

PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct 2012, 00:33    Post subject: playdayz  

Playdayz,

Just now read your post. You've a difficult fight ahead of you, and know that each day, someone, somewhere, in the worldwide Puppy community will be thinking of you and your family.

The primary reason I use Linux is because my first experience consisted of downloading 5.2, burning it to a CD, and then marveling at the beauty and completeness of that initial desktop. It seemed so easy, but so powerful. So simple, yet so capable.

All the best, amigo, to you and your family.

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otropogo


Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 702
Location: Southern Rocky Mt. Trench

PostPosted: Wed 31 Oct 2012, 19:38    Post subject: fatal flaws in USB-flash installation module
Subject description: USB flash install boots, but can't create or find 2fs or sfs files
 

Today I tried to install lupupluslibre528-005-2 to USB-flash. I first tried with the installer app, and everything seemed to go fine, but the BIOS reported "no bootable system found". I checked all the BIOS settings, and they were OK to boot from "generic USB device".

I then tried using Puppy Universal Installer, leaving the MBR alone, nixing the option to wipe the disk (there was nothing on the card except the files from the LiveCD), and "yes' to pfix=copy (to RAM).

I didn't touch the BIOS, and just rebooted, and this time the loader booted, but during the loading process the first fatal flaw appeared:

As soon as it had displayed the text:

"searching disk drives for puppy files",

the loader immediately started loading the 528.sfs file.

It clearly hadn't searched the disk drives at all, since that takes several minutes on my system, and should have turned up two lupusave-x.2fs files for me to choose from.

So two problems there:

1. the 353MB sfs file has to load from the slow USB-flash drive instead of from the hard drive, and

2. lupu can't load the 2fs files saved on the hard drive

The desktop then loaded, but at a resolution that turned off one of my monitors with an 'out of range' popup. So I was only able to continue because I had a second monitor connected that allowed me to adjust the resolution, the only reconfiguration I made before rebooting.

3. on reboot, I was only offered one medium to save to, sde1, the flash card. The two connected hard drives were not offered as targets, although I was able to access them prior to this (in fact, I moved one of the 2fs files to the root directory to see if that would make it visible at bootup). And this limited my save file sizing options to 32, 64, and 124MB.

I tried saving in 2ext format with successively larger sizes, but no 2fs file was ever written to the flash card, resulting in the ultimate defect:

4. no possibility of saving one's configuration

NB2: update, problem number 4 turns out to have been caused by a loose write protect tab on the SD card. However, that this can happen without an error message is definitely something that needs fixing too.

More on problems 1 through 3 in my next post.

NB: no error message appeared anywhere in the process, and the only hint of trouble, other than the failure to search the disk drives was the failure of the puppy logo to appear with the command line boot options. The flash install always booted directly into the default desktop wallpaper at 2048x1024 resolution IIRC.


I'm hoping someone can fix this or suggest a workaround, as I currently boot from LiveCD, and would like to have an alternative in case my burner packs it in.

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Last edited by otropogo on Thu 01 Nov 2012, 01:41; edited 1 time in total
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9376
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 31 Oct 2012, 20:13    Post subject:  

@otropogo: Look on your flash drive for the file syslinux.cfg and open it in a text editor. You should see the option "pmedia=usbflash". This tells Puppy to get all its files off the flash drive.

Delete it or change it to "pmedia=atahd".
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yumatu


Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Serbia

PostPosted: Wed 31 Oct 2012, 20:49    Post subject:  

This puppy is evergreen!Thanks mr.Playdayz for everything! Smile
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otropogo


Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 702
Location: Southern Rocky Mt. Trench

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 01:37    Post subject:  

rcrsn51 wrote:
@otropogo: Look on your flash drive for the file syslinux.cfg and open it in a text editor. You should see the option "pmedia=usbflash". This tells Puppy to get all its files off the flash drive.

Delete it or change it to "pmedia=atahd".


Thanks for your suggestion. I'm afraid there's no cigar yet though.

I edited the syslinux.cfg, and it does now take some time to search the hard drives. And in fact, I've proven that it finds and loads the 528.sfs file from the hard drive by deleting it from the flash drive.

However, it ignores the existing lupusave-X.2fs files in the same directory as the sfs file, and doesn't offer any options on where to save a new 2fs file.

On reboot, it reports that the save file on the flash drive is being loaded, but there's no evidence of it as the display configuration is not implemented.

A couple of other strange things are happening too. When booting from the flash drive, one of the two ATA drives mounts unwritable, with the ntfs-3g error, which I haven't seen in lupuplus before. But this can't explain the other hdd not being offered for a save target, nor can it explain the 2fs files on the first not being offered. The writable drive also has a 2fs file on it.

Another very strange event is that when booting from flash with the 528.sfs file on the hdd, both mounted with the red dot (ie. can't be unmounted), and after I copied a bare-bones lupusave.2fs to the flash drive and booted, it appeared on the flash drive within a pupsave directory I hadn't created, and also in a pupsave directory on the 528.sfs hdd, where it didn't exist, whereas the main 2fs file in that hdd directory disappeared.

When I rebooted from LiveCD, the hdd pupsave directory was as before, no barebones 2fs, and the disappeared 2fs back where it belonged (together with several other files that disappeared with it).

The auto-created pupsaves folder on the flash drive persists, however.

Lots of scary stuff. I was glad I had a recent backup of my 2fs file.

I did figure out the problem of failed save to the flash. It was caused by a loose write protect tab.

Update, several rounds later:

I managed to establish that :

1. with the flash installation I used, the loader will find and load the sfs file from the hard drive, but not the 2fs file, even if it's created on the flash drive and copied to the hdd

2. the only save option is to the flash drive, and after that's created, no further saves are possible, you can enlarge the save file, but cannot create an alternate one

3. I was eventually able to save my configuration in the save to flash, but it took two steps. It only worked on the second boot.

4. the ntfs read only problem went away, but didn't change anything with the other problems.

After a few boots, I got a kernel panic crash, and some 440 odd MB were mysterioulsy missing from the 500MB flash card.

Since I had no quick way of formatting the card, I tried installing all over with the universal installer. I chose the last option on the menu for mbr, and I elected to wipe all the files. Everything appeared to go without a hitch, and much, much too quickly. And a reboot ended with another kernel panic crash.

When I looked at the flash card with Pmount after booting with the CD, pmount miraculously showed the card as having 513MB, and the 300_ MB 528.sfs file was reduced to only 8MB. So the card is now out of commission until and unless I can get it fixed under Gparted or Windows.

A glorious waste of time...

Damn! I forgot Gparted doesn't work in Puppy any more...

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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 5499
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 11:04    Post subject:  

otropogo,
Quote:
Damn! I forgot Gparted doesn't work in Puppy any more...

Works OK for me.
Explain?

With all the save files you seem to have.
Very important they each have a specific unique name.
If you have more than one with the same name, it could be causing some of your problems.
Even a copy of a save file should be given a specific name.
Better yet give it a name that has nothing to do with lupusave.

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otropogo


Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 702
Location: Southern Rocky Mt. Trench

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 11:31    Post subject:  

bigpup wrote:
otropogo,
Quote:
Damn! I forgot Gparted doesn't work in Puppy any more...

Works OK for me.
Explain?


When I click on the menu/system/gparted tab, I get the menu of drives on the system. When I click on one of them, the menu disappears, and nothing happens. When I look at running processes, there's no sign of gparted.


Quote:
With all the save files you seem to have.
Very important they each have a specific unique name.
If you have more than one with the same name, it could be causing some of your problems.
Even a copy of a save file should be given a specific name.
Better yet give it a name that has nothing to do with lupusave.


Never have a problem with this when booting from the LiveCD, and yes, all of my 2fs files are distinctively named.

But in any case, I reduced my 2fs files to two on hdd and one on the flash in the course of this experiment.

The problems seem to me to be in the flash installer.

It doesn't have adequate controls over the process, for one thing. It didn't detect any issues with the MBR (pmount doesn't give any amount for free space).

It went through the motions of redoing the MBR, and didn't report any problems. It then proceeded to "wipe" the disk and install lupupluslibre to the disk from the LiveCD, and again reported no problems, although it was only able to copy 11MB of data (8MB of the 353 lupu528.sfs) and 2MB for initrd.gz) to a disk pmount reported at 500MB.

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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9376
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 11:40    Post subject:  

otropogo wrote:
Thanks for your suggestion. I'm afraid there's no cigar yet though.

You now have a frugal install that starts its boot sequence on a flash drive. In this scenario, Puppy wants to find all its core files in the same location as the main sfs file. So copy vmlinuz and initrd.gz from the flash drive onto the hard drive.

Now Puppy is finding all its files in the same place, so it will also see the save files.

To improve the search process, include the boot argument "psubdir=xxx" in your syslinux.cfg file.
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 5499
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:28    Post subject:  

Quote:
When I click on the menu/system/gparted tab, I get the menu of drives on the system. When I click on one of them, the menu disappears, and nothing happens. When I look at running processes, there's no sign of gparted.

This is starting to look like a bad download of the Puppy version iso.

Try this to see if it makes a difference.
Boot with the Puppy live CD
Use boot option puppy pfix=ram
Now try to use Gparted.
What happens?

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otropogo


Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 702
Location: Southern Rocky Mt. Trench

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:32    Post subject:  

rcrsn51 wrote:
otropogo wrote:
Thanks for your suggestion. I'm afraid there's no cigar yet though.

You now have a frugal install that starts its boot sequence on a flash drive. In this scenario, Puppy wants to find all its core files in the same location as the main sfs file. So copy vmlinuz and initrd.gz from the flash drive onto the hard drive.

Now Puppy is finding all its files in the same place, so it will also see the save files.


Ah, yes. Wish I had known that yesterday. Happily, I'm still able to edit the syslinux.cfg file on the flash card, but Windows couldn't format it, and eraser said it couldn't establish cluster size,probably because Puppy's universal installer messed up the ext3 2fs save (for which it failed to ask for a size...). I'll have to try to run Gparted under Knoppix to try to get the full capacity back.

Glad I didn't use a pricey 64GB flash card for this install.


Quote:
To improve the search process, include the boot argument "psubdir=xxx" in your syslinux.cfg file.


I don't know if it will improve the search speed any, since it only takes 10 seconds now. Maybe that's because it's in a folder named "pupsave" in the root directory of disk 0.

Apparently, the 2fs files, and presumably any other sfs files, must be in the same directory where the loader finds lupu_528.sfs , vmlinuz, and initrd.gz, or it won't offer them for use.

At least it looked no further once it found the directory with the last three. To get it to offer my other 2fs file for use, I had to copy it to the same folder.

But I'm curious as to the exact format required for psubdir=xxx?

I tried

Code:
psubdir=/mnt/sda1/pupsave


which is the path to the directory containing the necessary files.

But then the boot failed with the message "lupu_528.sfs" not found, and left me at the command line.

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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 5499
Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:36    Post subject:  

This is the way I use Gparted for heavy work.
Gparted live CD

For partitioning I would suggest you use the Gparted live CD that you can get from here.
You can download a free version to make your own Gparted live CD.
It is up to date and specifically made to run Gparted.
Info:
http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php
Download:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/gparted/files/gparted-live-stable/

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When I was a kid I wanted to be older.... This is not what I expected Shocked
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otropogo


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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:39    Post subject: 2fs enlargement glich
Subject description: 2fs size increase is performed on whatever file is booted next...
 

I happened to boot with a smallish 2fs file, and decided to increase the size by 64MB.

Then rebooted with the original file I had meant to use, only to see that it was enlarged (at least, that's what the popup said) instead of the intended target.

Guess I'll have to reboot with the file I intended to enlarge, to see if it grows as well or not.

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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:42    Post subject:  

How finding save files works.
http://bkhome.org/blog/?viewDetailed=01922

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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:48    Post subject: Re: 2fs enlargement glich
Subject description: 2fs size increase is performed on whatever file is booted next...
 

otropogo wrote:
I happened to boot with a smallish 2fs file, and decided to increase the size by 64MB.

Then rebooted with the original file I had meant to use, only to see that it was enlarged (at least, that's what the popup said) instead of the intended target.

Guess I'll have to reboot with the file I intended to enlarge, to see if it grows as well or not.

Yes if you select to re-size a save file you have to reboot using that same save file. At boot is when the re-size is done.
When you select to re-size it works only on the next boot/reboot one time.
New selection to re-size has to be made each time you want to do it.

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otropogo


Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 702
Location: Southern Rocky Mt. Trench

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov 2012, 16:55    Post subject:  

bigpup wrote:
How finding save files works.
http://bkhome.org/blog/?viewDetailed=01922


Quote:
However, do note that Puppy now has a confirmation dialog if only one save-file found, enabling you to back off and not auto-update it. I announced this a couple of days ago.


Not what happened to me just now.

Until I copied a second 2fs file into the /pupsave directory, Puppy simply booted with the file it found there, without any dialogue allowing me to "back off" as Barry puts it.

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