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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
How to Make a Bootable Flash Drive using ISObooter
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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johnywhy


Joined: 20 Aug 2011
Posts: 882

PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr 2015, 15:40    Post subject:  

hi

cannot boot pclinuxos64-mate-2014.12.iso

retracing my steps:

- boot into lxpuptahr without any usb drives inserted.
- insert 8 gb sandisk cruzer.
- launch gparted.
- delete all partitions on cruzer.
- create one full-drive fat32 partition.
- mount the new partition in pcmanfm.
- copy isobooter to the partition.
- execute isobooter. say yes to everything.
- copy "pclinuxos64-mate-2014.12.iso" to the partition.
- execute isobooter again. say yes to everything.
- unmount the partition.
- reboot into the usb drive.
- pick "pclinuxos64-mate-2014.12.iso" from the isobooter menu.
- pick "live cd" from the boot menu.
- see a "PCLinuxOS" splash screen and spinner.
- press "esc" key and see nothing but blinking underscore behind splash screen.
- press "esc" key again, return to splash screen.
- OS never boots.

thx!

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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 12975
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr 2015, 15:59    Post subject:  

johnywhy wrote:
- pick "live cd" from the boot menu.
- see a "PCLinuxOS" splash screen and spinner.

I duplicated your steps. Underneath the spinner was the message "Booting the system". I waited 90 seconds. It booted.

This was with pclinuxos-mate-2014.12.iso.

Do you have a different machine on which to test this?
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johnywhy


Joined: 20 Aug 2011
Posts: 882

PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr 2015, 16:31    Post subject:  

i just duplicated these steps with tahrpupNOP and a different flash drive. This time, included a 1 GB unused partition at the end of the drive, since you mention in the OP to do that with multi-partition drives (which this isn't, but just in case isobooter needs it).

Succeeded.

Now going to try with PCLinuxOS non-64, same drive/process.

No other machines available.

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johnywhy


Joined: 20 Aug 2011
Posts: 882

PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr 2015, 17:10    Post subject:  

johnywhy wrote:
duplicated these steps with tahrpupNOP ... Succeeded. Now going to try with PCLinuxOS non-64, same drive/process.


PCLinuxOS non-64 failed. Same result as 64. Does not say underneath the spinner "Booting the system". I waited 5 minutes.

Seems either an issue with the iso's, or my hardware, or my bios. I did an MD5 check on my iso's, passed.

here's a pic of what i see when i pick any of the 'no-splash' options. Since i'm seeing the same thing with all distros i tried, seems maybe the problem is not the distro.

someone on pclinuxos advises:
Quote:
Before choosing a boot option, press the down arrow key to stop the timer. Select the no splash second boot option using the arrow keys, then type fromusb (all one word) at the end of the boot stanza shown, and only then press the Enter key. With the fromusb parameter, it should find the loop image and be able to mount it.

Quote:
The USB is booting, but when the kernel loads the modules from the initrd it cannot see the partition on which livecd.sqfs resides. This is usually a BIOS setting - not the one about boot devices, but one about how USB-connected drives are to be interpreted. It won't be in the BIOS's boot menu. It'll be in a section entitled something like "Hardware Settings" or "Chipset configuration" or "Devices" etc.

Quote:
An alternative workaround would be to copy the livecd.sqfs file from the USB stick to one of the partitions which is searched, provided it's got enough free space to store it, and it's not the partition you intend to install to
http://www.pclinuxos.com/forum/index.php?topic=130356.20;wap2

i'll try it
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johnywhy


Joined: 20 Aug 2011
Posts: 882

PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr 2015, 18:58    Post subject: SOLVED  

johnywhy wrote:
Quote:
An alternative workaround would be to copy the livecd.sqfs file from the USB stick to one of the partitions which is searched, provided it's got enough free space to store it, and it's not the partition you intend to install to
http://www.pclinuxos.com/forum/index.php?topic=130356.20;wap2

i'll try it


Solved. Booted successfully. The fix is copying the .sfs file from the iso onto the hard drive.

Then, the boot process finds and mounts it.

Not a total solution, of course, since it requires putting a file on the hard drive-- the goal is booting a live USB without touching the hard drive.

Out of curiosity, i move the sfs from the hard drive to the usb flash drive, but the boot process did not find the sfs if stored on the flash drive. Too bad!

Supposedly a BIOS setting should enable the booter to read the disk image off the USB ISO file, instead of needing to put the squash on the hard disk. I cannot figure out what BIOS setting is needed. Here are some shots of my BIOS.The images are displayed here in reverse order.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 12975
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr 2015, 10:40    Post subject:  

USB bootability is controlled by your system BIOS and it varies widely. For example, I have a machine that will not boot Fatdog off USB because of its large initrd file. But if I rebuild Fatdog with a conventional sfs file, it works fine.

I suspect that you are having the same kind of problem, since ISObooter works for you with small ISOs like Puppy.

BTW, I also got phinxdesktop-2012-64bit-beta1.iso to boot for me.
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johnywhy


Joined: 20 Aug 2011
Posts: 882

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr 2015, 17:50    Post subject:  

rcrsn51 wrote:
I have a machine that will not boot Fatdog off USB because of its large initrd file. But if I rebuild Fatdog with a conventional sfs file, it works fine.

is it possible for me to rebuild PCLinuxOS with a conventional sfs file?

thx!

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johnywhy


Joined: 20 Aug 2011
Posts: 882

PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr 2015, 02:01    Post subject:  

hi

i installed stock tahr puppy to a usb drive, using isobooter.

note, my hard drive contained pupsaves for NOPtahrpuppy, and LXPuppytahr.

on boot of the stock tahr puppy from usb drive, i noticed i booted into xfce.

wha?

seems the usb found and used the pupsave on my harddrive. That's unexpected/undesirable.

suggestion/request for the isobooter team: please don't use pupsaves outside of the iso, or at least outside of the usb device.

Or make it optional somehow.

thx!

----
meanwhile, i cannot figure out how to boot off other pupsaves when i want to! :/
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=839129#839129

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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 12975
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr 2015, 07:56    Post subject:  

The responsibility for locating a savefile belongs to the Puppy being booted, not ISObooter. If Puppy X is accidentally picking the savefile of a related Puppy Y, you should address the problem with the builder of Puppy X.

However, there are two ways of setting up ISObooter. If you boot to the splash screen, ISObooter simulates booting off an actual CD. In that mode, most Puppies will automatically search the hard drive for a savefile. That's standard procedure in Puppy. But you can bypass this by typing the "puppy pfix=ram" boot option.

If you boot to the desktop, ISObooter simulates a frugal install. So Puppy looks for the savefile close to the main SFS - ie. on the USB drive. But this search mechanism is constantly changing in Puppy, and there is no guarantee that the USB savefile will be picked before a hard drive savefile. Again, this has nothing to do with ISObooter.

After you have run the ISObooter setup, look at its menu.lst file. You are free to customize it any way you want to get a different boot procedure that fits your needs.
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johnywhy


Joined: 20 Aug 2011
Posts: 882

PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr 2015, 13:08    Post subject:  

thx for that
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slavvo67

Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 1618
Location: The other Mr. 305

PostPosted: Sun 03 May 2015, 11:57    Post subject:  

@rcrsn51

Following your instructions to the letter, I added Slacko, 5 Headed Titan and the new VividPup. This worked like a charm including the save file (at least for Vivid). So my only concern is the quality of the save file; as I have had many issues with puppy's save files in the past. This is why I tend to use Barry's full USB installs (Quirky series).

Anyway, thank you for the tutorial. It was a fun and easy project to undertake.

Regards,

Slavvo67
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ASRI éducation


Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 3203
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon 18 May 2015, 12:36    Post subject:  

@ rcrsn51

I started testing isobooter.
For a small script (under 100 lines), it is impressive what he is capable of.
I made some changes to suit my needs (adding options grub menu).
Thank you a lot.

Regards,

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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 12975
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul 2015, 16:30    Post subject:  

Some users want to boot off a flash drive, but put their savefile on the hard drive. Puppy does not like this combination with ISObooter - it wants to make the flash drive install self-contained. So here is a work-around:

1. Set up ISObooter with "splash screen = y".
2. Boot Puppy off the flash drive.
3. Once booted, mount the flash drive and edit the menu.lst file.
4. Delete the "chainloader" line and replace it with
Code:
kernel /vmlinuz pmedia=atahd pdev1=sdaX
initrd /initrd.gz

Note that "pdev1" ends with the digit "one" and "X" is the number of the target hard drive partition.

5. Save and unmount the flash drive.
6. Shut down and make your savefile on partition sdaX. Also copy the main SFS file(s) to sdaX.
7. Reboot.
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 4424
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Sun 02 Aug 2015, 11:35    Post subject:  

Woohoo!
1. I was really pleased when I used IsoBooter to make a bootable Flash Drive holding the latest TahrPup [6.0.3?], and it boots on a laptop just fine. Very Happy

2. Now I'm even more delighted, because I've just added an ISO file for the latest Comodo Virus Scanner [Comodo Rescue disk here], and its working just fine, scanning away at the Windows-7 partitions as I type, and found 1 threat.
a. Originally Windows had run Avast to eliminate infection.
b. Then I scanned using Slacko-5.7.0-pae->Avast_on_demand_scanner, and it found 1 virus on a "scanned/clean" system.
c. Then I scanned using the new Comodo, and so far it has found 1 "threat".
d. Only problem is: Comodo is unable to connect wirelessly to my router, so is unable update its virus database. I'll need to try connecting by cable.
Puppy connects wirelessly just fine using "Frisbee".

3. IsoBooter is FABULOUS! Very Happy
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 12975
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Sun 02 Aug 2015, 11:57    Post subject:  

Excellent. Unfortunately, if your system has the "sfs file not found" problem, it will probably also happen with ISObooter. I have always suspected that this is a USB timing issue with some hardware and might be fixed by a "waitusb" boot option like in other LInuxes.
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