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Difficulties with the bootable flash drive installer: GameOver

Started by Nimsy, February 08, 2015, 02:53:14 AM

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Quote$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 15
model name      : Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     T7300  @ 2.00GHz
stepping        : 11
microcode       : 0xba
cpu MHz         : 2001.000
cache size      : 4096 KB
fdiv_bug        : no
f00f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 10
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm lahf_lm ida dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority
bogomips        : 3990.19
clflush size    : 64
cache_alignment : 64
address sizes   : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management:

hp compaq 6910p
2 gigs RAM

Using UNetbootin
Have GRUB bootloader (have been running Solyd K, which is also based on Debian)

BIOS is capable of booting from USB (has a few options)

$ uname -a
Linux username 3.14-1-486 #1 Debian 3.14.12-1 (2014-07-11) i686 GNU/Linux

sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 -t ~/usb -o uid=1000,gid=1000,utf8,dmask=027,fmask=127
run UNetbootin
select /dev/sdb1
select .iso (downloaded from Linux Freedom)
create installer

f9 (for me)
select USB Hard Disk (only option)

~Boot Error~

Reboot with existing OS
reformat flash drive with mkfs.vfat -I /dev/sdb1
delete and redownload .iso (this time from SourceForge)

$ md5sum sparkylinux-3.6-i586-gameover.iso
0ab769356332beb8a1fe5ceaa2ffd9f1  sparkylinux-3.6-i586-gameover.iso

$ md5sum sparkylinux-3.6-i586-gameover.iso.md5
efed870e5fe47ccd7bc4413357016438  sparkylinux-3.6-i586-gameover.iso.md5

Download .iso from HostingXtreme

$ md5sum sparkylinux-3.6-i586-gameover\(1\).iso
0ab769356332beb8a1fe5ceaa2ffd9f1  sparkylinux-3.6-i586-gameover(1).iso

$ md5sum sparkylinux-3.6-i586-gameover.iso.md5
efed870e5fe47ccd7bc4413357016438  sparkylinux-3.6-i586-gameover.iso.md5

The first thing I noticed is that the md5sum for the downloads from two separate hosts are the same, and neither match the md5sum of the .md5 file.


Also redownloading .iso from LinuxFreedom

.torrent is not cooperating with KTorrent or KGet and I do not have bittorrent/utorrent.
KTorrent wouldn't even download
KGet kept stalling and listed the time to finish as several days (2/3)


I'll admit, I'm not very good when it comes to hardware, or knowing what the CPU compatibility is with i386/486/586, etc.  But, as far as I can tell, I should be ok.

So what am I doing wrong?


With regards to the above information (there are underlying questions there that I wouldn't mind having answered :P), it appears that I had a bad .iso the first two times I tried to make the flash drive installer.

Might be a good idea to check the file integrity of the downloads at SourceForge and Linux Freedom.

The .iso that finally worked was the download from HostingXtreme.

And yes, that means I am the (extremely) happy new user of SparkyLinux GameOver.  <3!


To be honest, I was never able to get ANY ISO (as in any distro - Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, Gentoo, others... not only any Sparky ISO) to boot when building a LiveUSB with UNetbootin. It's a really poor choice. The little twerp tries to install Syslinux on it's own, ignoring any ISO-based configuration and constantly fails to do it right (not mentioning that it's distro list is quite outdated... Arch builds for example).

I always use the "dd" command to copy the ISO contents directly to the flash drive (which is destructive to any existing data, so don't use that on a USB HDD). I guess we'll have to make an util for that.
There's no such thing as "impossible". :)


It's already done: sparky-live-usb-creator - yad based front-end for dd
Nothing is easy as it looks. Danielle Steel
Join at [url="//"][/url]


Quote from: pavroo on February 09, 2015, 01:26:54 PM
It's already done: sparky-live-usb-creator - yad based front-end for dd

1. I forgot about that.
2. We should think about a non-destructive util. Currently 'dd' will overwrite the partition table of the flash drive, rendering any data it contained unreadable. I'll think somewhat about it, but still I have much more important matters to attend to (*cough*EFI*cough*32 :P ).
There's no such thing as "impossible". :)



dd command noted, but I don't like the destructive to existing data bit.  Seems a bit counterproductive.  :P


Quote from: Nimsy on February 09, 2015, 03:45:05 PM
I don't like the destructive to existing data bit.  Seems a bit counterproductive.  :P

Yeah, it's kind of troublesome when you want to put the LiveCD on a HDD USB drive, but for most part you'll just want to use a few GB flash drive. Still, some people like to create their LiveUSB on one partition and store their data on others. 'dd' makes a sector-to-sector copy from one location to another. For devices it's a physical sector read/write, so anything in the path gets overwritten (bootloader, filesystem metadata, system data, user's data, etc.), so move any important data from the target drive prior to using 'dd'.

Still, you can always do a partition write, but there are some constraints:
1. When running dd you should provide the partition device instead of the disk device (for example /dev/sdb3 for partition #3 instead of /dev/sdb).
2. The partition should have at least the same size as the source (ISO file, etc.). I haven't tested a case when the ISO file was larger than the partition, so I don't know the consequences. It'll either write data behind this partition, damaging anything that's there (the next partition) or it'll fail with some kind of "no disk space" message, but I don't know which one it'll be.
3. There's no guarantee that an ISO copied to a partition will boot without problems. It probably won't, at least for BIOS-based systems, as the scan for a master bootloading program is made on the first sector of each bootable device (with leaves the partitions hanging dry, as they're not scanned). For EFI-based systems you could probably get away with it, as Sparky's ISOs are EFI-compatible (EFI64 for the time being, but some experimental support for EFI32 is available in the downloads on SouceForge).
There's no such thing as "impossible". :)

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