Many problems booting linux from usb

smith_

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Hello, i am new to this forum and very new to linux and a newbie to using a usb as a bootable device.

My OS is currently windows xp sp3 32bit.
I have been using universal usb installer, linux live usb creator, and unetbootin. My flash drive is an 8gb PNY (i think usb 2.0).

I have been trying to download a working linux distro with persistance on my usb, so that i can do my code assignments and compile them with linux.

My first attempt was cent os live cd; i was able to get it to boot, but with no persistance.
I decided to try another linux and i tried to do a manual format of the drive by erasing all the files....and i think i may have removed some important hidden folders from the usb itself. I ran the error checking tool for the usb volume, but there was no error so i proceeded.

Next i tried to boot mint linux and puppy linux after Cent OS but i got an error message ("boot error") when trying to boot the usb in bios. Just recently i tried ubuntu 12.4 desktop i386 and was able to get to the purple ubuntu menu with options: (install, try without installing and etc). I tried all the options but was given the error message "unable to find a medium containing a live file system."



Why (depending on the linux distro and the usb creator i use) does my usb shows up in different sections of my bios boot options -> (when i press F12).


Also, i have been testing the usb on my sisters windows 7 laptop alongside my desktop; and found that some of the linux distros would boot up further than on my desktop.

Any help with this problem or ideas on a lightweight linux to use would be appreciated!
-Aaron
 

smith_

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The usb is formated to fat 32 and i have set the persistance; still getting boot errors.

I was able to boot linux 9.10 dekstop i386 to the menu screen last night...but then i got this repeating error message after some time of loading.
"end_request: I/O error, dev fd0, sector 0
Buffer I/O error on device fd0, Logical block 0"

 

stillblue

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A live CD won't have a persistence file because it's not rewritable. What is on your or your sisters hard drive is unimportant as the hard drive is not being used to start the computer. It sounds to me that flash has a problem and you should try with another. Fyi you didn't erase important files ,the installer puts everything it needs onto the flash .
 

smith_

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1)Ubuntu 9.10-desktop-i386.iso is a live cd?
2)During the boot it mentions casper.rw, isn't that the persistance file?

And i have a different usb (sandisk cruzer) that i could try also, I'm just confused to what this error message means because i want to stay with this linux distribution.
 

stillblue

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It probably is a live version. If you boot to it and the first choice is try Ubuntu then it is a live version. If the first option is install then it is not. It is 4 years old, it won't have many of the drivers that you may need that a newer version will have, is there a reason you want it?
 

smith_

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The first option is to install and i want to use this linux because it is the only one that is working atm :( . Puppy linux wont even boot to menu.
 

stillblue

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Puppy linux doesn't have a menu, it just starts running, are you sure you're burning the cd's/dvd's and not just copying to them? A very common mistake if you are.

You can't convert the disk you have to a live one but you can still download a live version of 9.10 at

http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/9.10/

You want the desktop version, what you have is the alternate. I still think you'll find the problem is with the installation on the USB. Make double sure you've tried a different USB and a different installer.
 

smith_

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I just tried my usb on my friends laptop and it worked 100% with persistance, which was frustrating. The problem is not with the usb. I think the problem might be my bios or something.
 

stillblue

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Let's do this then. Tell us what the computer is, we don't know what your hardware is yet. ;)

While we look that over, reset your bios to it's default settings and give it a shot.

If I don't get right back it's because it's about time to shut down the generator and will be switching to phone, joys of the third world. I do however get to pick my own coffee and bananas.


 

8350rocks

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Did you use something like pendrive installer to install the .iso onto the USB, or did you just copy/paste the files? That could be an issue...

Additionally...for lightweight, there are things out there like ArchLinux that basically require you to configure your install. There is also a guy here running alphaOS...which is really lightweight too.
 

smith_

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smith_

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@8350rocks i have used many installers (see first post), and i did not copy and paste.



@stillblue i reset bios to default and still got boot errors . I also heard something about setting bios to AHCI mode, but there is no option that i can find..only RAID and IDE.

Boot errors after selecting run ubuntu from usb:

"end_request: I/O error, dev fd0, sector 0
Buffer I/O error on device fd0, Logical block 0"
 

stillblue

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Sorry, didn't catch this, fd0 means it's trying to load your floppy drive for some reason and you probably haven't got one. Disable floppy in the bios if it is there and if problem still persists edit syslinux.cfg on your flash.
Change where it says initrd=/casper/initrd.gz quiet splash
to
initrd=/casper/initrd.gz floppy.allowed_drive_mask=0 quiet splash
 

smith_

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Is there an option to disable floppy drive in bios? Because i cant find it.Could the problem be that my usb is showing up as a hard disk?
Also, i'm having trouble finding "initrd=/casper/initrd.gz quiet splash." Is there a specific file i should look for?
 

smith_

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The syslinux.cfg file only contains these lines..

"include menu.cfg default vesamenu.c32 prompt 0 timeout 300 gfxboot bootlogo"


Although the "text.cfg" file contains:

"default live label live menu label ^Run Ubuntu from this USB kernel /casper/vmlinuz append noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true persistent file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper initrd=/casper/initrd.lz splash --
label live-installmenu label ^Install Ubuntu on a Hard Disk kernel /casper/vmlinuz append cdrom-detect/try-usb=true file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper only-ubiquity initrd=/casper/initrd.lz splash --label memtest menu label Test ^memory kernel /install/mt86plus label hd menu label ^Boot from first hard disk localboot 0x80"
 

smith_

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Well, now we have the old good news bad news scenario...

Good news: Progress has been made. It looks like it boots up similar to when i tried it on my friends laptop. Every appears to be loading up fine.

Bad news: Boots up fine, but instead of going into the desktop it goes to a ubuntu loading screen with little bar going back and forth. Then it goes to a black loading screen with little spinning wheel of death (it might have crashed, i dont know i have been waiting for 30 + minutes)

To add insult to injury...when i press cntrl+alt+delete to restart... it starts doing a a normal shutdown (with files being loaded and saved into memory and everything) :??:

I can try looking at the splash screens after the boot menu and seeing what is up and post it here. But first I have to finish my project, so it might be a bit.
 

smith_

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Alright, we are 90% of the way there. I am able to get to desktop with ubuntu 13.10 and have persistance! :)

I have 1 minor issue and 2 Questions..

i1) When i boot my usb, it goes to the ubuntu menu, then i select run from usb, then i get a loading screen, i press up to get out of it, a black screen pops up with alot of code that does like a checklist and error messages going through my pc's many usb ports and drive slots (floppy disk, cd, sd card, SM card, CF MD, Sd mini, MS duo) saying stuff like i/o error and such, until it reaches the usb (i presume) then it starts loading everything up fine and then everything is gold.

Q1) Is there some code that i can add to our initrd=/casper/initrd.lz code in syslinux to skip these checks?

Q2)Is there a way to make ubuntu run faster, (stalls a bit here and there and long boot, which is probably the usb's faulth)
 

stillblue

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As a live version it has to go through those checks because you may put it in a different computer. Once installed on a hard drive it boots much faster. It also runs much much faster as well because the system isn't using so much ram. You could also install the lxde desktop which is much lighter and would be faster.
 

stillblue

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I should point out that USB keys aren't really meant for this heavy a use, the constant back and forth. You really shouldn't keep anything you can't afford to lose there. Ie use one for the system and one for storage. Just until you decide that you must have your Linux and install it on a hard drive.
 

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