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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
ComboFormat and sfs files
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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antoine_p

Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed 14 May 2008, 11:55    Post subject:  ComboFormat and sfs files
Subject description: How to use devx_400.sfs with ComboFormat on a USB stick?
 

Hello,
I installed PuppyLinux (Dingo) via a CD to a USB Stick and used the format which shouldn't be used: "ComboFormat".
SuperFormat somehow doesn't work with my system: I tried to install it the ordinary way, but it fails to boot with "Boot Error" message. The notebook is quite new (2007) so I am not sure what is causing this. I tried it with ext3 and FAT.
Anyway...

ComboFormat works great, and I am able to put the save file on the second partition with no problems.
ComboFormat creates a 128 MB partition to start PuppyLinux.

Now I wanted to use devx_400.sys but this is quite large, so I couldn't copy it to the first partition. Is there any way, I can use ComboFormat with sfs files?

Many thanks,
Antoine
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muggins

Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 6759
Location: hobart

PostPosted: Wed 14 May 2008, 21:59    Post subject:  

Hi antoine_p,

please excuse my ignorance, but I have no idea what comboformat is? But one possible solution to your woes is to customise your pup_400.sfs to include the devx. It will be a lot larger, but it will work! If you just mount the pup_400.sfs, then copy everything to a temporary location. Then ditto for the devx. Then just doing:

Code:
mksquashfs /whatever_tmp_directory pup_400.sfs


This new, larger, pup_400.sfs then includes your devx modules.
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6815
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Wed 14 May 2008, 22:34    Post subject:  

@muggins
Quote:

'ComboFormat' added to Universal Installer
March 3rd, 2008 BK


http://puppylinux.com/news/news400a5-400a7.htm

Aitch
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bodiless

Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 12 Dec 2008, 17:32    Post subject:  

Hello I continue this post since I don't think this problem has been solved (I am quit new to puppy but really fascinated).

I am in a somehow similar situation with antoine_p since on my thinkpad x61s (which doesn't have a cd drive) the only way to boot from a flash drive is to use the comboformat option. I used a 1 GB usb stick and the comboformat option created 2 partitions, one FAT16 (/dev/sda4) with 124MB and one ext2 (/dev/sda2) with the remaining space. After first boot, the pup_save.2fs file is offered to be saved only on the small FAT16 partition. Now the problem is this: I want to use the openoffice.sfs but this would not fit on the FAT16 partition. I tried to resize the 2 partitions with gparted but it failed. Actually it didn't failed. I made the two partitions to have 500MB each but after resizing there wasn't any empty space on the /dev/sda4 partition. df showed that from the 500 MB available 113MB were in use and only 8MB free and that the partition was 100% used. Quite strange!

Anyway, my question is: is there a way 1) either to increase the /dev/sda4 partition to store my sfs files or alternatively 2) store the sfs file in the /dev/sda2 partition and load them from there somehow?

Thanks in advance

PS. muggins, I am not sure I understood your method. Would this not run into the same problem, i.e. if the pup_save file increases to much then it would not fit on this small 124MB FAT16 partition?
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Bruce B

Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11488
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Sat 13 Dec 2008, 00:20    Post subject:  

bodiless wrote:

PS. muggins, I am not sure I understood your method. Would this not run into the same problem, i.e. if the pup_save file increases to much then it would not fit on this small 124MB FAT16 partition?


I'm not muggins, let alone his spokesperson. However . . .


So you don't get it right the first time on a USB stick. Copy your user file, (that's all you need probably) to another temporary storage location and repartition.

In your case maybe you do need a FAT to boot. Maybe it could be very small with the rest on type 83, (Linux). Maybe it could be all FAT. Up to you.

Point is: You can repartition, seeing as your anticipated needs have changed.

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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6815
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Sun 14 Dec 2008, 07:25    Post subject:  

There's a good howto USB flash install here, - zipped pdf, so you need to unzip it & have pdf reader

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?mode=attach&id=7157&sid=01a8ca9430133be8452f0c9fb957b393

howto clone a USB stick

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=1283&sid=06c24f767d0f8860f30c26b410fa401e

An 'If you are stuck' Formatting USB stick thread

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=17658

However, normally success is reported, I think....

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=35689

I think a few people have had issues with this, try the bugfix version

http://www.puppylinux.com/blog/?viewDetailed=00518

Aitch Smile
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bodiless

Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun 14 Dec 2008, 16:27    Post subject:  

Thanks you very much Aich, but in the meantime I found a workaround to my problem. Here is a summary for anyone facing a similar problem.

Initial problem:
I was trying to boot puppy from a usb stick on a thinkpad x61s which doesn't have a cd drive. The bios offers to boot from USB-HDD only. So I guess this is why any of the methods to create a bootable usb from within the universal installer failed. The only way to boot from the usb was to use this new comboformat option.

Second problem:
I wanted openoffice. This means that I needed to have the approx. 200MB openoffice.sfs file on the FAT16 partition (thats where /mnt/home is located and /mnt/home is were you must place the .sfs files). However, this FAT16 partition is only 128MB large meaning that there is no way to fit a 200MB sfs file on it. Resizing the two partitions that were created by the comboformat option of the universal installer didn't help either. No matter how much space I allocated to the FAT16 partition the partition would always show up as full. (I guess this might be fixed in the future?).

Solution:
I created on my 1GB usb flash drive only one FAT16 partition of size 1GB. Then I made it bootable installing grub on it and then I instructed grub how to boot into puppy by editing the /boot/grub/menu.lst file. There are many howtows on the net on how to achieve this but here is a good link that worked for me. You just need another working linux box with grub. Just stick your flash drive into this other linux box and follow the instructions. After having finished with installing grub on the flash drive I just copied the puppy files (i.e. the files which are included in the puppy.iso file) into the /boot directory of the flash drive. Then I placed the openoffice.sfs file into the / folder of the flash drive (this can also be done later after having started puppy). Finally I added the following lines in the /boot/grub/menu.lst file of the flash drive:

Code:
title        Puppy Linux
root      (hd0,0)
kernel          /boot/vmlinuz root=(hd0,0) ro quiet
initrd       /boot/initrd.gz



PS. I tried this with 2 different flash drives. With one of them, after passing the grub screen I was getting:

Code:
pup_400.sfs not found. Dropping out to initial-ramdisk console...
/bin/sh: can't access tty: job control turned off


It helped typing
Code:
 . /init

Be careful, thats dot space slash init. After this puppy just booted fine.

I hope this will help others who can only use the comboromat option and need sfs files at the saqme time
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Bruce B

Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11488
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Mon 15 Dec 2008, 01:20    Post subject:  

Bodiless,

Excellent problem solving on your part.

The closest I had to success with a FAT partitioned USB, using GRUB* was using MS-DOS to make it bootable. Then the DOS File GRUB.EXE

This way the UBS stick, actually boots MS-DOS which in turn runs what I want, including and especially, grub.exe

=================

Although, you referenced the page, if you would please explain in exact detail what you did, I'd be interest.

Moreover, if the post is detailed enough, I'll do this:

Post it in the howto section as something that worked for someone else. That way neither you or I have to hang around and support all the people complaining and asking for more details.

Bruce

* blue text was added later for clarity

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Last edited by Bruce B on Mon 15 Dec 2008, 09:43; edited 2 times in total
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Bruce B

Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 11488
Location: The Peoples Republic of California

PostPosted: Mon 15 Dec 2008, 01:21    Post subject:  

Bruce B wrote:
Bodiless,

Excellent problem solving on your part.

The closest I had to success with a partitioned USB, was using MS-DOS to make it bootable. Then add the DOS File GRUB.EXE + extras.

This way the UBS stick, actually boots MS-DOS which in turn runs what I want, including and especially, grub.exe

=================

Although, you referenced the page, if you would please explain in exact detail what you did, I'd be interest.

Moreover, if the post is detailed enough, I'll do this:

Post it in the howto section as something that worked for someone else. That way neither you or I have to hang around and support all the people complaining and asking for more details.

Bruce

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bodiless

Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon 15 Dec 2008, 03:37    Post subject:  

Thanks Bruce B,

ok I'll make later today a new post on the howto explaining all the steps in detail.
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