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Author Topic: Installing VL6 from a USB stick  (Read 2803 times)
no2thesame
Packager
Vectorite
****
Posts: 136


« on: March 22, 2009, 06:39:32 am »

My daughter wants me to put VL 6 on her Asus eee PC 1000H (sweet 10" netbook, currently running XP).
She bought a 4Gb USB thumb drive for the installation.

I have never done this before and tried to compile unetbootin but that was harder than what DM7000s did http://forum.vectorlinux.com/index.php?topic=5721.0

He said
Quote
I extracted the contents of VL5.9-Light-B2.iso to my USB stick.
I also extracted the contents of the isolinux folder (from the iso) to the root of the USB stick.
I changed the name from isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg.
Did a syslinux x: (in windows).
The thinclient booted right away from the USB stick, and was ready to install VL light!

What does he mean by "extracted"? Is that just a straight copy to the USB stick? I'm never sure how to handle iso s.

I'm know very little about Windows, how do I get to the DOS prompt to run the syslinux command?

no2
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M0E-lnx
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 3179



« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2009, 07:23:32 am »

If you use one of the 6.0 ISO's, they ship with the syslinux utility to help you with this, otherwise you'd have to find something for windows that can mount ISO's.

I've used this before http://www.slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html
that will make your iso image look like a cd-rom in windows.

Format your USB stick to a FAT32
Use this tool http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=197
Otherwise it will not work

After that is done, copy your contents of the ISO over to the newly formatted partition on the USB stick.

____ ONLY ON OLD ISO's (5.9 and older) ______
Rename the directory called isolinux to syslinux
go into the newly ranamed directory (syslinux) and find the file named isolinux.cfg
rename this file to syslinux.cfg

Now, use the syslinux tool to make the image bootable

syslinux -f X: (where X is the windows drive letter for your USB stick)

Reboot and set your BIOS to boot from USB and you should be good to go
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no2thesame
Packager
Vectorite
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Posts: 136


« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2009, 04:36:35 pm »

Now, use the syslinux tool to make the image bootable

syslinux -f X: (where X is the windows drive letter for your USB stick)

Thanks MOE-Inx

The only problem is that Windows won't let me do this, it complains it is writing directly to the hard drive. Even if I "ignore", it just exits.

I'm very uncomfortable with Windows, don't know much about it. Is there some way I can make the USB bootable under Linux?
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no2thesame
Packager
Vectorite
****
Posts: 136


« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2009, 07:19:55 pm »

I formatted the USB stick with the HP program you  recommended Moe and installed the virtual clone drive. Then copied the contents of the CD with the VL 6 iso over to the USB stick.

In linux I ran:
root:# syslinux -f /dev/sdb
syslinux: this doesn't look like a valid FAT filesystem


so I tried:
root:# syslinux -f /dev/sdb1


No problem this time, so I assumed the USB stick was bootable but the eeePC didn't boot from it despite setting the BIOS to boot  from "Removable Dev". So I tried it on my Acer laptop and it wouldn't boot from it (with suitably modified BIOS boot priority).

What am I still doing wrong?
Have to do some "real work" now but will get back to it.
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M0E-lnx
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 3179



« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2009, 07:43:35 pm »

If you want to do it under linux, use your VL 6.0 STD or Deluxe ISO or CD.

It's got a script to make this work for you.
Right on the top directory of the ISO. Just make sure your USB stick is the only USB storage device plugged into the machine.
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no2thesame
Packager
Vectorite
****
Posts: 136


« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 04:02:07 am »

Thanks for pointing out the bootinst.sh, MOE-Inx. Good idea. I've eventually worked out how to use it but even though [Removable dev] is the first boot device in the eeePC BIOS, it still doesn't boot into the USB. Probably something to do with my modification of the bootinst.sh.

I have a bootable FAT32 single partition of 3.8Gb on the USB stick. Had to do it under Linux with fdisk and mkfs to get something both XP and linux recognise.

I copied the contents of my VL6 STD CD to the partition. XP and Linux find everything.

To make it bootable continues to be a problem. XP won't let me do it with syslinux. Says it won't allow changes to the hard drive.

So to do it under linux (because it is a FAT32 drive, I can't execute the bootinst.sh actually on the stick) so in my home directory, as root,  I made the directory, vl-temp, and copied over /syslinux and bootinst.sh from the CD.

The modified bootinst.sh (so it pointed to the USB stick) is as follows: there is no error checking in the script so the MBR may not have been modified


#!/bin/bash
#Modified from bootinst.sh, Borrowed from SLAX

set -e
#these values were found with the command:  tail -f /var/log/messages
TARGET=/dev/vl-hot/sdb1
MBR=/dev/vl-hot/sdb

clear
echo "-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-"
echo "                        Welcome to USB boot installer                         "
echo "-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-"
echo
echo "This installer will setup disk $TARGET to boot only Vector"
if [ "$MBR" != "$TARGET" ]; then
   echo
   echo "Warning! Master boot record (MBR) of $MBR will be overwritten."
   echo "If you use $MBR to boot any existing operating system, it will not work"
   echo "anymore. Only Vector will boot from this device. Be careful!"
   echo "$NUM is the NUM variable"
fi
echo
echo "Press [ENTER] to continue, or Ctrl+C to abort..."
read junk
clear

echo "Flushing filesystem buffers, this may take a while..."
sync

# setup MBR if the device is not in superfloppy format
if [ "$MBR" != "$TARGET" ]; then
   echo "Setting up MBR on $MBR..."
   ./syslinux/lilo -S /dev/null -M $MBR ext # this must be here to support -A for extended partitions
   echo "Activating partition $TARGET..."
   ./syslinux/lilo -S /dev/null -A $MBR $NUM
   echo "Updating MBR on $MBR..." # this must be here because LILO mbr is bad. mbr.bin is from syslinux
   cat ./syslinux/mbr.bin > $MBR
fi

echo "Setting up boot record for $TARGET..."
./syslinux/syslinux -d syslinux $TARGET

echo "Disk $TARGET should be bootable now. Installation finished."

echo
echo "Read the information above and then press [ENTER] to exit..."
read junk


I don't know how to check the MBR. Or what to look for. What simple step have I missed?
no2
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M0E-lnx
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 3179



« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 04:57:23 am »

From experience, I can tell you that this is most likely your partitioning.

From what I've seen, parted, cfdisk, and all the good linux tools can create a fat32 fs/partition, but for some reason syslinux cannot make these bootable... it says it does, but they almost never do for me.

Sometimes, not even formatting the usb pendrive as fat32 with windows is good enough..
The only way have been able to do it is using the HP Disk Formatting tool.
I dont know what they do differently than a windows formatting, but it works when I do it with their tool.
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no2thesame
Packager
Vectorite
****
Posts: 136


« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2009, 02:16:38 pm »

From experience, I can tell you that this is most likely your partitioning.

The only way have been able to do it is using the HP Disk Formatting tool.
I dont know what they do differently than a windows formatting, but it works when I do it with their tool.

Thanks for all the help MOE-Inx, but I had to give up.

After reformatting with the HP tool, copying over the contents of the VL6 iso,  and coming back to the Asus (and XP) to run syslinux, I kept getting this error message:

16 bit Windows Subsystem
An application has attempted to directly access the hard disk which cannot be supported.  This may cause the application to function incorrectly.
Two button choices - "Close" and "Ignore".


I chose "Ignore" but the USB stick was still not booting. (In retrospect, it may have been trying to use syslinux.com rather than syslinux.exe)

But I'm posting this from the Asus eee PC running VL6  Grin

I got fed up with all the problems with the USB method and became more aggressive; I took out the hard drive and put it into my Acer notebook (also a SATA HD). I then installed from the CD. Returned the HD and ran vasm from the tui login to redo all the hardware. It works fine.

Haven't checked wireless, webcam or sound yet but will report on that in another thread.

I wonder if we shouldn't look at packaging unetbootin so that other potential netbook users don't have to go through this frustration. Swapping hard drives isn't the most elegant solution.

I tried to package unetbootin, but it was beyond my ability.
http://forum.vectorlinux.com/index.php?topic=7886.15

Unetbootin installations of VL seem to work with the eee PC :
http://forum.vectorlinux.com/index.php?topic=7542.msg53515#msg53515

Thanks again MOE-Inx, its been... interesting, learning about Windows. Think I'll stick with Linux though.
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