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 Post subject: MBR or "boot" record needs to be written before flash boots
PostPosted: 1. May 2010, 23:29 
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Joined: 03.2010
Posts: 16
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Gender: Male
After several attempts to instal on a usb drive, I came up with the following scheme to get the usb drive to boot. I had no real problem installing to a flash ide adapter (not the same as a usb pen drive), but a flash ide installl puts unix file system on the flash whereas a usb pen has w95 fat32. IANE on this, just trying to help anyone else who cannot get the flash to boot on a system that supports usb booting.


It would appear that the "install on usb" using the Dotsch tools does not write a boot record. This needs to be done especially on flash drives that come preformatted.

That is what I found out when I got my three flash drives in the mail yesterday and they didnt boot. These drives were HP labeled and 4gb.

I booted 1.2 from a cd and followed the instructions exactly. Dotsch_UX seemed to install on the USB but it would not boot giving me the error "USB does not contain an operating system". I then took the 2nd flash USB drive and installed win98boot using that HPFlash2.exe program you can find using google.


That booted just fine so I then deleted IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM, BOOTLOG.TXT and did an xcopy of all files, attributes, links, permissions, etc from the nonworking Dotsch USB to the working MSDOS USB. That failed to boot, but it did show the famous "abort retry or ignore" so I knew the mbr was working but could not speak linux.

The following did not work either: I put the original non-booting USB into another Dotsch system and ran mbr-install /dev/sdb1 to put a linux style master boot record on it. Unfortunately, it failed to boot giving the original "no operating system found"



I took the 3rd flash USB drive, put it in that working Dotsch system where I had tried the mbr-installer and did the following
(1) deleted the existing partition using that partition expert
(2) quit the partition expert and brought it back up because it is too stupid to know that the partition was just deleted.
(3) Create a new partition (you get an error if you try it right after deleting the existing partition). You may be asked for format. If you dont seen anything formatting you did something wrong. We will end up replacing this format with a w95 fat32 in step (7) but if you dont do the format here I dont think the partition will take. IE: tHIs wOrkED fOr Me.
(4) bring up a terminal and see if it worked
(4.1)find out the name of the USB device using " fdisk -l "
(4.2)display the partition (it should be empty) using "fdisk /dev/sdb1" that assumes that sdb1 was the USB as shown in step (4.1) and you should spot ext2, ext3 type partition attributes after hitting the "p" key in fdisk.
If you see about 10-11 partitions and warnings about not ending on a cylinder then you failed to get rid of the original fat32 partition. Try again. You probably failed to click "apply" and that partition expert knows you didnt really want to apply anything that you just spent an hour trying to figure out.
(5) Pull the USB drive and bring up the Dotsch USB tool. If you booted from a Dotsch CD you are ok, else everything is grayed out you need to find that CD and put it in the CDROM. After entering the secret password, put the USB device back in and verify it is named on that USB install dialog box.
(6) If you got this far there should be a triangle with a bang ! in it about where the USB is listed in that USB tool dialog box. Even though you formatted the USB in step (3) you will need to format it again as it appears w95 fat32 is needed.
(7) After formatting you can then click on the install and it will eventually boot into Dotsch UX.

To make a copy of the usb drive do the following
write down the name of the source drive. use " fdisk -l " to figure it out. For me it was sda1. Then stick your second USB drive in. It should have been partitioned and formatted but a quick format from windows should do. Its name might be sdb1

then do the following to clone the new usb drive

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=512

Unaccountably, the "part 2" did not work, possibly because I did not do a proper space allocation. I copy casper-rw back onto the flash that did not work. It boots into Dotsch_UX just fine w/o having to run that part 2 and boinc is running. I edited hosts and hostname and supplied my own computer name. At location \home\boinc\BOINC I edited the client_state.xml and replaced the domain_name with the new system name (same as my new hostname) and she is working.

I did not have this problem createing a flash ide drive.

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