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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
How I run Puppy 431 from CD with save file on USB stick
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Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Thu 12 Nov 2009, 00:01    Post subject:  How I run Puppy 431 from CD with save file on USB stick
Subject description: ...and no HDD or USB boot BIOS

Below is a different way (at least to me) of operating. I am hoping this might help someone.




Step by Step

For Beginer Newbies

I have written this tutorial for myself and others who are just starting out and are not command line savvy. Kudos to Barry et al for 431. It is a much more GUI friendly than previous Puppies I have known. I will try to write this tutorial in a mostly step by step fasion. A lot of this tutorial will be the work of others which I reference.

I will not be using a multisession CD/DVD. I will be using a CD/DVD which saves the session to a USB stick. This is actually a disk of the 431 iso burned to disk in Windows. No burniso2cd as used by others. I am using an old computer which will not by its BIOS boot from a USB stick. We can save to and operate from the USB stick by having the correct CD/DVD for operating from a USB stick , and a properly loaded USB stick. The article that showed me how to make this type of operation possible is Barry's:


From the reference above is this:

"Can I boot both "normal" live-CD and multisession live-DVD on the same PC?
Yes. The multisession CD/DVD first looks at itself to see if there are any saved folders -- if yes, then it loads those. The normal live-CD will not have any saved folders, so will then look for the personal storage file "pup_save.2fs" on the hard drive, failing that any USB drives."

The interesting thing is that the CD/DVD goes looking for "pup_save.2fs" files throughout the system. If it can not find them on the HDD it looks in the USB's, and if it finds one it will open it. If one makes the proper USB stick , and puts it in a USB port in the system the live CD/DVD will find the "pup_save.2fs" file on the USB stick and open it. This means that there have to be no "pup_save.2fs" files anywhere else in the system for the CD/DVD to find. Particularly on the HDD. The system wants to save to the HDD, but if it is not there it can be forced to save to a USB. Once a properly loaded USB is in the system the disk will find the "pup_save.2fs" files and load them.
So there are two things we need to make the system work. First a CD/DVD, and secondly a properly loaded USB stick. The CD/DVD will find and load any properly loaded USB stick. This allows multiple users. It also allows us to avoid HDD partitioning, and the use of the HDD altogether. This will also allow full access to the HDD which we are not using. In my case I have full access to my Windows files which are on the HDD which Puppy is not using.

The first thing is we need the Puppy 431 iso. Quoting Barry from the above reference:
"What type of CD or DVD media should I use?
If your PC does not have a DVD burner drive, only a CD burner drive then you will have to use a CD-R.
I do not recommend a CD-RW simply because it isn't necessary. A CD-R is "write-once", but in multisession mode, tracks can be written one after the other, up to 99 tracks or the CD-R becomes full.
I recently purchased a bulk pack of 100 CD-Rs for $22 Australian (about US$15), so they are pretty cheap.
Multisession-Puppy works better with a DVD-R, and if your PC does not have a DVD-burner, consider buying one. I purchased a double-layer DVD burner for A$60 (October 2005), and it was reported on the Puppy Forum that they can be purchased in the USA for US$40.
I recently purchased a pack of 50 single-layer DVD-Rs for A$17.50.
I strongly recommend that you use a single-layer DVD-R. Do not use a DVD+R, DVD-RW or DVD+RW, as each of these seems to have particular problems. But then, if you find that a DVD+R works for you, fine."

In my case I have only a CD burner so I used CD-R. To download the Puppy 431 iso, in Windows go to: ftp://ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/puppylinux/ and find the 431 download, it is a folder. Click on it. Find pup-431.iso. Click on it. Choose save to file and download it to desktop. Once it is saved to desktop burn it to disk. Mark this disk PP431 iso Win 1st burn. The burn process on my Windows CD burner did not ask for any options in burning. It did not ask about multisession or normal disk configuration.
Now I took the "Win 1st burn" disk to my old testbed computer (600 Meg. Compaq, 512 RAM) which I run with no HDD. I put the disk in the CD burner and a 4 G USB stick in the USB port. I would believe that one could run any computer with the power pulled on the HDD and it would do the same thing. I booted the system, and it came up on disk. While the system was coming up the USB flashed so the system knows it is there. When the system got up to the choices (like keyboard etc.) I made all of the necessary choices. The system came up to the full 431 desktop. I then shut the system down and chose the save to file option and the rest of the saving options. The system started saving to the USB stick. It had no other options. It was slow because my old computer is USB1. In time however it got done. I have since loaded three sticks and three disks the same way and they all work with each other.
I took the above stick and disk to my primary (Windows) computer. I booted the system and it found the USB stick and came up. It asked for the video choices as it is a different monitor, and went to full desktop. I have since added Open office 3 and FF 3.5.5. and they work.
I am fairly new to Puppy but in a lot of searching I have not run across this method of operation. Could someone see if they can recreate the process and come to the same results. I know this is not the Guru way of doing things, but it seems to work.

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Joined: 15 Jan 2009
Posts: 713

PostPosted: Thu 12 Nov 2009, 08:10    Post subject:  

Thanks for the tutorial, I've found it useful and will try your suggestions.


It works perfectly for me Smile

Just to let you know I tried this on a 350mhz 384 ram pc with only a CDRW attached. In my case what happened was that as I had a small amount of memory the OS copied over the Pup SYS file also on to my USB flash drive in order that I could use my CDRW to mount media if needed.

Here's a pdf link of my specs to demonstrate it works


I think I'll add a PCI USB2 controller to speed up the access to the flash drive.
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Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 283
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan 2010, 17:43    Post subject:  

That's basically what I do. It wasn't on purpose though. The first time I installed Puppy to the USB and it booted by itself (no disk). After that USB died I haven't been able to get the same result so I just do the save thing.
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