USB Boot Problems

Post in this forum for problems at boot time, if there was no problem for burning the disc. For example can't find the CD, or strange errors when you press enter at the very first prompt.
Coastie
Posts: 16
Joined: 25 May 2010, 22:21

USB Boot Problems

Post by Coastie » 25 May 2010, 22:30

The 1.3.x versions worked fine for me on a USB stick created using unetbootin as does 1.5.0 and 1.5.1, the 1.5.3 and higher versions including the most recent beta do not. It appears to stem from the new boot menu?

I have 2 computers I have tried this on and they both have the same problem, as seen in this screenshot

Image

This displays when selecting DEFAULT in the menu, and then no option seems to work, it just keeps repeating the "Please select partition by number or:" menu.

In the past 1.3x I needed to use altker32 for it to work, but I don't see that option any more.

Dell E1505 and MSI u100 both have the same problem with the 1.5.3+ builds failing when booting from USB. The MSI does not have a built in CD/DVD drive, so I'd like to figure out how to get the USB sticks working again, ideally with unetbootin as the creation tool since that has worked great in the past and is recommended on the http://www.sysresccd.org/Sysresccd-manu ... _USB-stick page. It appears to install correctly, just not run properly.

I'd like to get to the old "Wizard" menu so I can select gparted, shell, partimage etc. Basically for system partition creation and imaging.
Last edited by Coastie on 26 May 2010, 00:13, edited 1 time in total.

Coastie
Posts: 16
Joined: 25 May 2010, 22:21

Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by Coastie » 25 May 2010, 22:53

Just did some more testing. 1.5.1 works great, it has the old boot menu so I can select ALTKER 32 and boot via USB.

1.5.3 and greater all fail as with the new menu I do not see an option to select the ALTKER 32 and neither of my systems would ever boot with the default kernel via USB for some reason. Both would boot with the default kernel from CD (external on the MSI)

I am currently downloading 1.5.2 to test that, not sure when the new boot menu was added.

Is there a way to access the altker 32 from the new boot menu and still get to the start wizard?

Coastie
Posts: 16
Joined: 25 May 2010, 22:21

Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by Coastie » 25 May 2010, 23:39

1.5.2 contains the new boot menu and fails to load on both my systems via USB.

Looks like I need a way to select the altker 32 on boot from the new menu.

Coastie
Posts: 16
Joined: 25 May 2010, 22:21

Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by Coastie » 26 May 2010, 00:10

I found a way to make it work.

Copied the syslinux.cfg file from 1.5.1 and put it on the new >1.5.1 install, and the altker32 option is available and lets me successfully boot from USB.

probably just needed to add the following somewhere, and change the entry number

Code: Select all

label ubnentry1
menu label altker32
kernel /isolinux/altker32
append initrd=/isolinux/initram.igz video=ofonly
Is this an oversight in the new menu?

Luc
Posts: 17
Joined: 25 May 2010, 21:52

Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by Luc » 26 May 2010, 02:51

What you have in the picture is the ntpasswd kernel booting.

That one doesn't work too well either. The screen says that you should be able to get away with it just pressing Enter for the defaults, but I get stuck right in the second or third question.

Coastie
Posts: 16
Joined: 25 May 2010, 22:21

Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by Coastie » 26 May 2010, 04:08

pressing enter did nothing other than generate that same menu over and over and over.

admin
Site Admin
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Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by admin » 26 May 2010, 08:25

I can't understand what the things from the screenshot come from. The windows installation stuff does not come from SystemRescueCd.

It's easy to get it working by using the old isolinux.cfg and removing the new menu. But it would be great if we could just see why it fails. It

The installation from either SystemRescueCd or any Linux distribution using sysresccd-usb or the new ./usb_inst.sh script (at the root of the cdrom in sysresccd-1.5.5-beta8 and more recent) should really work. I guess there may be a problem with the manual installation from Windows.

So can we please focus on the Windows manual installation instruction and see exactly why it fails.

The new menu introduces changes:
1) It requires a recent syslinux (3.74 or better)
2) It requires new files (such as vesamenu.c32)
3) The {iso,sys}linux.cfg configuration file has been rewritten

People have reported problems with an "unknown keyword" in config file, it's likely to be due to an outdated syslinux version being used, or maybe a referenced file being missing.

Can you be sure you have the latest syslinux version installed on Windows first. After the installation, can you check that all files referenced in the syslinux.cfg configuration file are present.

Also it may be necessary to update the "scandelay=1" to a higer value in the config file (eg: "scandelay=5" for instance) just so that we leave enough time for the USB devices to be initialized and detected.

What sort of problem do we have:
1) installation fails
2) the blue menu does not show up
3) we can see the menu but boot fails

When you are in the menu, you can also press ESC to get a black screen where you can type the name of a boot entry by hand. This way to can see what boot options are used and why the boot fails.

Also please make all your tests with the very latest SystemRescueCd beta version, just so that we don't spend time debugging things which are either already fixed or which have changed.

Luc
Posts: 17
Joined: 25 May 2010, 21:52

Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by Luc » 26 May 2010, 08:45

admin wrote:I can't understand what the things from the screenshot come from. The windows installation stuff does not come from SystemRescueCd.
What are you talking about? Isn't that the ntpasswd boot option, supposed to recover/delete Windows XP passwords? I am pretty sure it is. That's what it says it does on the screen...

I have Windows on one of my partitions, but I carried the entire procedures out on Linux. I haven't booted into Windows for many weeks.

admin
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Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by admin » 26 May 2010, 11:23

That's right, this must be the ntpasswd tool. But we are discussing about problems to install SystemRescueCd on an USB stick. So this screenshot is just not appropriate. It it boots directly in ntpasswd, it's probably quite simple to see what happens from the syslinux.cfg file, it must be the default entry with no timeout or something like that.

So can you just clarify the situation about the problems to install SystemRescueCd using the instruction from Windows.

I just want to have more details to see what the problem is to fix something in the official release if it's actually a problem either in the tools or in the documentation.

admin
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Joined: 17 Jul 2003, 09:44

Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by admin » 26 May 2010, 11:30

C) Manual installation from Linux using cp

I'll be honest. I didn't follow that procedure exactly the way it is there. I will. But before I do, bear with me. I don't think I missed any relevant step of the procedure except... well, let me explain. I formatted the stick with FAT32, copied everything to the stick with cp then ran 'syslinux /dev/sdb1'. Now it boots, but I only get one line of data (I can't remember what it says) and the second line says 'boot: '. When I press Enter, SRCD tells me that it can't find the 'Linux' kernel or option, something like that. I am typing this from memory.

I just saw the thread titled USB Boot problems - 1.5.2, and it seems that syslinux has to be syslinux-3.74 or newer. Mine is 2:3.63+dfsg on Ubuntu and Adept Manager informs me that there isn't a newer version available.

Guys, please listen to me. This is the only reason I bothered to register with this forum and write this lenghty message: you are not being reasonable. This is a rescue CD. It is supposed to save us trouble, not give us trouble. My Ubuntu is 9.04, Jaunty Jackalope, released on April 23, 2009. You are demanding what I consider pretty much bleeding edge to make SRCD work. A rescue CD is something that should be plenty useful to people of all walks of life, with all kinds of new and old machines. Syslinux as old as at least five year should be as good as any newer one. Look, I have SRCD 1.2.3 installed on another stick, how come that one worked fine? My version of syslinux was just the same, perhaps even older. Please don't create obstacles. This project is supposed to help us overcome them, not hit our heads against them.
syslinux-3.74 is really required, so it's not worth the effort of installing it if you just have an old version. You can always download syslinux from the official website and just run the syslinux binary from a temp directory if the official package in ubuntu is out of date.

This new version is required just because it allows us to have a menu. The purpose of this menu is just to provide an easy to use tool. With the old version the space was very limited so you had to look at the documentation if you want to boot with a non standard option. Now you just have to look at the various entries in the menu and choose the most appropriate option. I really think it makes the life easier to users who don't want to spend a huge amount of time investigating issues.

If you are installing SystemRescueCd to an USB stick from a Linux system you should really use the automated installation script. It has been recently tested in many situations, it's very easy to use and provide good results. I think the manual installation should be removed from the documentation soon.

You then have to options to install from linux:
1) Use SystemRescueCd-1.5.5-beta8, mount the cdrom, plug your stick, and just run "./usb_inst.sh" at the root of the cdrom.
This will use the installation commands from the cdrom (install-mbr, parted, mkfs.vfat, syslinux) so there will be no problem with software requirements, so it will work even with your Ubuntu.

2) Burn SystemRescueCd on a CDRom, boot from it, plug your stick, and just "sysresccd-usbstick dialog". All the required commands are part of SystemRescueCd so there won't be any problem with that.

I think the most difficult thing is to provide a good installation program for Windows users. At the moment we still have to use the manual installation commands on Windows or a 3rd party installation tool.

Coastie
Posts: 16
Joined: 25 May 2010, 22:21

Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by Coastie » 26 May 2010, 13:31

talking way above my level to install to a usb drive from windows.
Should be as simple as start windows, open unetbootin (latest) tell it to install, and be done.

It worked with SRCD 1.5.1 and below, now with the new menu, booting SRCD fails to boot from USB.

I tried 1.5.5b7 yesterday, and am currently downloading b8, but it looks like your changes only affect the install from linux.

Coastie
Posts: 16
Joined: 25 May 2010, 22:21

Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by Coastie » 26 May 2010, 14:13

same exact problem with 1.5.5b8 as with my original post and screenshot. Fails to load after selecting DEFAULT from the new menu, and no option to select the altker32 needed to boot from usb. Maybe the default is not correctly loading the standard kernel but rather the ntpasswd option instead?

installed to USB from Win7 using unetbooten 442, the latest

admin
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Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by admin » 26 May 2010, 14:17

You are right the new 1.5.5-beta8 version provides a new script which only works from Linux.
I don't have the control of the UNetbootin project, I can only make modifications in the official installation procedure.
So can you please try with the official instructions for Windows with the latest syslinux (it's part of the cdrom)

admin
Site Admin
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Joined: 17 Jul 2003, 09:44

Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by admin » 26 May 2010, 21:36

The official documentation about USB installation has been updated. The three methods at the top provide easy and valid installation instruction to run from Linux or Windows or SystemRescueCd.

The funny thing is that the the windows version of the liveusb-creator for Fedora Linux just does the job very well. You just have to select the ISO image and the USB device and it just works. Unetbootin does not works with SystemRescueCd because it tries to guess what files should be used to generate a syslinux configuration file and it's completely wrong.

Coastie
Posts: 16
Joined: 25 May 2010, 22:21

Re: USB Boot Problems

Post by Coastie » 29 May 2010, 00:46

liveusb-creator worked well, thank you.
Too bad about unetbootin. A big advantage that has is that it is portable and does not require system installation like liveusb-creator.

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