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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
Bootable USB stick - How do YOU do it?
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greengeek


Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 5624
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Sun 22 May 2016, 16:33    Post subject:  

Sylvander wrote:
Here's my favourite method:
How to Make a Bootable Flash Drive using ISObooter
Ok - I just gave this method a try (first time I have used it) and was happily able to create a bootable usb stick with two isos on it. It works nicely in my main Toshiba laptop.

However - it still won't boot my Acer Aspire 5720Z so I need to carry on and try other methods.

The Acer says the stick is not bootable - (even though I have set the first boot device to USB-HDD) and it asks me to insert a bootable floppy and press any key.

Maybe it stupidly thinks that a USB-HDD means USB-FDD.

Or maybe it's one of those devices that only boots from a USB stick prepared with a FAT16 partition.

Or maybe it needs the original (corrupted) HDD to be physically removed from the machine (even though I have moved it to the bottom of the bootable device list)

Anyway - on with testing the other methods.
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isobooter_gparted.jpg
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Acer boot fail
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isobooter_gparted.jpg


Last edited by greengeek on Sun 22 May 2016, 18:36; edited 2 times in total
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greengeek


Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 5624
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Sun 22 May 2016, 17:56    Post subject:  

Although I didn't really want to make this thread "model specific" I will note that I just succeeded in booting the Acer from a "Studio 13.37" usb stick. At least that proves the bios can do it. Now I just need to work out what format it needs to see on the stick.

I have attached some relevant info about that stick for my future reference. I am surprised that gparted shows sda1 and sda4 back to front but I guess that is something to do with order of creation as a result of other partitions being deleted or something.

I am also a little confused that there is an isolinux.cfg as well as a syslinux.cfg file. (I should understand these things by now.... Embarassed )
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 4422
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Sun 22 May 2016, 20:29    Post subject:  

greengeek wrote:
The Acer says the stick is not bootable...

You should report your results/problem in the ISObooter thread.
rcrsn51 may know what is going wrong.
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rockedge


Joined: 11 Apr 2012
Posts: 1349
Location: Connecticut, United States

PostPosted: Tue 24 May 2016, 18:12    Post subject:  

I get good results making bootable USB flash drives with many different Puppy Linux flavors, by doing these steps:

mount the usb stick and use GParted to create a new partition and format to ext2 then set the BOOT FLAG

create a new directory named for example tahr605

download tahr 6.0.5 ISO and mount and open the iso .and copy the entire contents to the directory tahr605 on the usb flash drive.

run GRUB4DOS and select only the usb drive,then follow the steps and install the MBR

ready to boot. Also allows for multiple puppies on 1 stick.
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 5642
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Thu 26 May 2016, 12:30    Post subject:  

I tried rockedge's method just the other day (first time I've tried booting from sub-directories).....and it works a treat. I wasn't aware till then that you could mount an .iso image, simply by clicking on it. I always thought you had to burn it to disc to be able to do so.

And, like Billtoo, I also find that USB 3.0 'sticks' do seem to run faster in a USB 2.0 port.....certainly the data transfer times are far superior to standard USB 2.0 'sticks'. I use a pair of 64GB SanDisk Cruzer 'Fit' USB 3.0 'nano' drives in my elderly Dell Inspiron 1100 lappie for 'external' storage, and the data transfer rates through the 2.0 standard ports to the internal solid state drive is nothing short of astonishing for an old P4-based system. The SanDisks, and the KingSpec SSD have, between them, given the old girl a new outlook on life.....and made her more useful than ever! Very Happy

As for my own long-used method; normally a single ext3 partition, plus a small swap partition. Ext2 seems to go wrong all too easily..... Rolling Eyes


Mike. Wink

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tlchost

Joined: 05 Aug 2007
Posts: 2111
Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA

PostPosted: Thu 26 May 2016, 21:14    Post subject: Re: solutions traduites pour les francophones ici
Subject description: feed-back to usagers francophones (translation to french)
 

Pelo wrote:
. Last week i tried different boot systems for Xenialdog, for coming back to Lili usb creator, Fat 32.


Lili works great....i use it all the time
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 12982
Location: S.C. USA

PostPosted: Thu 26 May 2016, 22:26    Post subject:  

Quote:
Ok - I just gave this method a try (first time I have used it) and was happily able to create a bootable usb stick with two isos on it. It works nicely in my main Toshiba laptop.

However - it still won't boot my Acer Aspire 5720Z so I need to carry on and try other methods.

The Acer says the stick is not bootable - (even though I have set the first boot device to USB-HDD) and it asks me to insert a bootable floppy and press any key.

Try having only the boot flag on the first partition sdb1.
Do not have it flagged as boot, lba.

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greengeek


Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 5624
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2016, 03:39    Post subject:  

bigpup wrote:
Try having only the boot flag on the first partition sdb1.
Do not have it flagged as boot, lba.
Thanks Bigpup - just tried switching off the lba flag but still no boot. Maybe I need to try reformatting and reloading the isos again in case the lba flag upset the contiguity right at the start. Will add that to the weekend list.
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puppyluvr


Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 3504
Location: Chickasha Oklahoma

PostPosted: Fri 27 May 2016, 19:24    Post subject:  

Very Happy Hello,
So I'm the only one..
IDK, but syslinux works great for me.
Only thing, cant edit boot code live at boot. Sad

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greengeek


Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 5624
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Sat 28 May 2016, 14:08    Post subject:  

puppyluvr wrote:
So I'm the only one..
IDK, but syslinux works great for me.
Hi puppyluvr - I don't think you are the only one - I suspect that syslinux is going to be the choice that gives me the greatest overall compatibility with my range of hardware.

However - there are many different ways to use syslinux and I find that some methods simply don't work on some hardware and I really want to pin down exactly what methods have the highest compatibility.

For example - one of my netbooks simply WILL NOT boot from any stick prepared with syslinux 4.74 even though it will boot fine using syslinux 3.73

Some machines won't boot from syslinux on a stick that uses multiple partitions.

Some multiboot configurations wont boot some machines.

Bigpup suggested that the presence of the lba flag can also upset booting in some cases.

I believe that the critical factors when using syslinux are:

1) Choice of partition type
2) Number and possibly layout of partitions. (Possibly also maximum size of boot partition).
3) Choice of which partition contains ldlinux.sys
4) Location of Puppy files (lying "loose" in the partition or in a subdirectory similar to frugal)
5) Version of syslinux used to create the stick.
6) Handling of MBR:
- Retain original MBR as shipped from factory? (I don't like doing this because I cannot guarantee reproducibility)
- Rewrite MBR with mbr.bin?
- Rewrite MBR with some other method?
7) Size of USB stick (upper size limitation probably applies especially on older hardware).

I am very interested to hear the detail of how you go about setting up your multiboot sticks as that is ultimately what I want to do once I have perfected the most compatible method of setting up the stick

I have toyed with the idea of using syslinux to boot only ONE puppy - but making sure that the one puppy chosen is Multipup itself (containing my top 3 or so puppies). I don't know if such a method would be compatible with my preferred version of Syslinux - which is syslinux 3.73

Last edited by greengeek on Sat 28 May 2016, 14:51; edited 1 time in total
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greengeek


Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 5624
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Sat 28 May 2016, 14:27    Post subject:  

rockedge wrote:
run GRUB4DOS and select only the usb drive,then follow the steps and install the MBR
Most of my more recent puppy installs were made using Grub4dos - however I seem to run into a problem where Grub4dos tells me it cannot see any frugally installed puppy in my chosen partition, only a fully installed one - and it then creates a menu list which is wrong. I have to manually rewrite the menu.list to get it to boot the puppy.

It is possible that this may be caused by the fact that the puppy I use most is unusual in its structure - having two main sfs files and no savefile - maybe Grub4dos does not recognise my layout as a valid frugal. I just haven't figured out yet what I am doing wrong with Grub4dos but I might make that specific problem the subject of a different thread.

Do you have a preferred tutorial for Grub4dos that you work from or do you just follow the onscreen prompts? (if so what exact choices do you make please? - maybe i am choosing the wrong ones - particularly around use of legacy grub etc)
.
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greengeek


Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 5624
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Sat 28 May 2016, 14:41    Post subject: Re: solutions traduites pour les francophones ici
Subject description: feed-back to usagers francophones (translation to french)
 

tlchost wrote:
Pelo wrote:
. Last week i tried different boot systems for Xenialdog, for coming back to Lili usb creator, Fat 32.
Lili works great....i use it all the time
I had not heard of Lili before - I just had a look and if I am viewing the same product that you are referring to it seems very powerful - even allowing booting on Windows 8 - 10 hardware (if I understand it correctly...).

The one thing I don't like the look of is it seems a bit "automatic" for my liking and has it's own methods of setting up "persistence" - probably great for certain other Linux distros but I don't think I am going to be comfortable with it.

Worth highlighting as a way to set up a live Linux usb stick though.

Webpage here
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tlchost

Joined: 05 Aug 2007
Posts: 2111
Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA

PostPosted: Sat 28 May 2016, 22:56    Post subject: Re: solutions traduites pour les francophones ici
Subject description: feed-back to usagers francophones (translation to french)
 

greengeek wrote:


The one thing I don't like the look of is it seems a bit "automatic" for my liking and has it's own methods of setting up "persistence" - probably great for certain other Linux distros but I don't think I am going to be comfortable with it.

oh yes...it is very automatic...perhaps why it has worked for for puppy and other OS.

Try it
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greengeek


Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 5624
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Tue 31 May 2016, 02:49    Post subject:  

I had another trial of isobooter but this time only creating a single FAT32 partition and keeping it's size below 4GB but it still could not boot the Acer. Will keep trying various options.
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Pelo

Joined: 10 Sep 2011
Posts: 12591
Location: Mer méditerrannée (1 kms°)

PostPosted: Tue 31 May 2016, 03:01    Post subject: about Lili Live USB creator,
Subject description: For newbies, unable to speak only one word of english,
 

greengeek , and other usb sticks users, about Lili Live USB creator, i'ts to install an iso either from the cloud or from your computer.
It was my prefereed tool when I was a newbie, because easy to use 'automatic, as you say.
For newbies, unable to speak only one word of english, furthermore Linux terms, It is largely better than unetbootin.
Of course, having hardly studying your boot process, i generally use Grub4dos, must faster, and customizable.

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Last edited by Pelo on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 18:29; edited 4 times in total
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