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Topic: New way of booting< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
bri974 Offline

Group: Members
Posts: 4
Joined: April 2005
Posted: April 27 2005,07:58 QUOTE

Hi guys,

I tried to have my damn usb key to boot. It didn't work at all.
Then I tried to use the new extlinux. And it works !!!

Here's what I do, tell me if it is usefull :

Erase disk ! (replace sda by your device if needed - don't do this if sda is your hdd :-P )
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda

fdisk /dev/sda
n (new partition)
p (primary)
1 (partition number 1)
enter (first cylinder)
enter (last cylinder)
a (activate)
1 (partition 1)
w (write to disk)

for info my fdisk -l gives :
Code Sample

fdisk -l /dev/sda

Disk /dev/sda: 131 MB, 131072000 bytes
5 heads, 50 sectors/track, 1024 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 250 * 512 = 128000 bytes

  Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *         1      1024    127975   83  Linux

reboot or use hdparm -z /dev/sda if you see a message kernel uses the old table

Format the key using ext2
mkfs.ext2 /dev/sda1

mkdir key
mount /dev/sda1 key/

find your mirror with (


tar xvzf syslinux-3.07.tar.gz

This installs the bootloader in the ext2 partition in the file extlinux.sys :
syslinux-3.07/extlinux/extlinux key/

This installs the bootloader code in the mbr :
dd if=syslinux-3.07/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda

create key/extlinux.conf with

Code Sample

DEFAULT linux24
APPEND ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=fr apm=power-off vga=791 initrd=minirt24.gz nomce noapic quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix frugal

Warning : change lang=fr for your needs

(find your mirror with )
wget http://.../dsl-1.0.1.iso                    
wget http://.../md5sum -c dsl-1.0.1.iso.md5.txt
wget http://.../bootusb-0.8.img
wget http://.../bootusb-0.8.img.md5.txt
md5sum -c dsl-1.0.1.iso.md5.txt
md5sum -c bootusb-0.8.img.md5.txt

mkdir dsl_orig
mkdir bootusb

mount -o loop dsl-1.0.1.iso dsl_orig/
mount -o loop bootusb-0.8.img bootusb/

cp bootusb/minirt24.gz .
cp bootusb/linux24 .
gunzip minirt24.gz

mkdir initrd
mount -o loop minirt24 initrd/

vi initrd/linuxrc
goto line 256 ( : then 256 )
Code Sample
if mountit $i /cdrom "-t vfat -o rw" >/dev/null 2>&1

Code Sample
if mountit $i /cdrom "-t ext2 -o rw" >/dev/null 2>&1

umount initrd/
gzip minirt24
mv minirt24.gz key/

cp bootusb/linux24 key/
mkdir key/KNOPPIX

umount key/
umount bootusb/
umount dsl_orig/

rmmod usb-storage

Bruno K/Bidy
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roberts Offline

Group: Members
Posts: 4983
Joined: Oct. 2003
Posted: April 27 2005,22:06 QUOTE

First of all thanks for sharing.

FYI for everyone else: It appears that this method works for those computer whose BIOS support booting from USB-HDD

The methods that are currently supported in DSL have been for BIOS that boot from USB-ZIP, which can sometimes be a pain to get the geometry just right and using mtools, and syslinux.

This new method doesn't require that. But does, at least on my test machines, to require USB-HDD.

So proceed with caution. Especially since it zero outs your pendrive.

I am packaging this up as a fully automated script to compliment our current offerring. That way, when one selects install to pendrive from the menu, you will be prompted which version depending on your BIOS capability.
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chickenman Offline

Group: Members
Posts: 113
Joined: Aug. 2004
Posted: May 02 2005,08:51 QUOTE

Nice going!, i could have used this when i was (extremely) frustrated setting my pen drive geometry.
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2 replies since April 27 2005,07:58 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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