Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 35627
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2017/11/21 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/21   

2005/1/9-10 [Computer] UID:35627 Activity:nil
1/9     Where can one buy a 128MB USB 1.1 stick?
        My epia 5000 doesn't seem to boot from my USB 2.0 drive.
        "To increase your chances, a stick which complies to USB 1.1 and not
        USB 2.0 is recommended, since there seem to be some BIOSes out
        there which cannot boot from USB 2.0 media."  http://d-i.pascal.at
        \_ why don't you order one online. they're kinda cheap now.
           \_ Where? I'd like to, but all I can find are USB2.0.
2017/11/21 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/21   

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Cache (6565 bytes)
d-i.pascal.at
I want to thank everyone who sent me hints and corrections to this page. Many Debian boxes need their floppy and/or CD-ROM drives only for setting up the system and for rescue purposes. If you operate some servers, you will probably already have thought about omitting those drives and usin g an USB memory stick for installing and (when necessary) for recovering the system. This is also useful for small systems which have no room fo r unnecessary drives. Prerequisites This document applies only to Debian Sarge on the i386 architecture. For a successful installation on such a system, you will need: * A mainboard with a USB connector * A BIOS capable of booting from a USB memory stick (the corresponding item on the BIOS setup screen is usually called "Boot from USB-ZIP" or sometimes "Boot from removable disk"). To increase your chances, a stick which complies to USB 11 and not USB 20 is recommended, since there seem to be some BIOSes out there which cannot boot from USB 20 media. In most cases, a network interface and a connection to a Debian mirror will be used. Of course, you can also use a Debian CD-ROM (set) or its image on any local drive instead. ma in/installer-i386/current/images directory of the Debian distribution. T here you will find some subdirectories for different boot media. If you want to use the USB stick only for booting and then to fetch the package s of the base system over the network (from a Debian mirror), you should change to the netboot directory. If you want to install the base system from a Debian ISO image contained on the USB stick, then choose the hd- media directory. Preparing the stick For preparing the USB stick you will need a system where Linux is already running and where USB is supported. You should assure that the usb-stor age kernel module is loaded (modprobe usb-storage) and try to find out w hich SCSI device the USB stick has been mapped to (in this example /dev/ sda is used). To write to your stick, you will probably have to turn off its write protection switch. In order to start the kernel after booting from the USB stick, we will pu t a boot loader on the stick. SYSLINUX, since it uses a FAT16 partit ion and can be reconfigured by just editing a text file. Any operating s ystem which supports the FAT file system can be used to make changes to the configuration of the boot loader. Since most USB sticks come pre-con figured with a single FAT16 partition, you probably won't have to repart ition or reformat the stick. If you have to repartition it anyway, start cfdisk or any other partitioning tool and create a FAT16 partition. Copying the files - the easy way There is an all-in-one file which contains all the installer files (inclu ding the kernel) as well as SYSLINUX and its configuration file. gz >/dev/sda1 Again, take care that you use the correct device name for your USB stick. Partitionless installation: Instead of /dev/sda1 you may also use /dev/sd a as your target. This leaves your stick without a partition table so th at it will contain only the file system. The advantage of this method is that you don't have to rely on the existing (and possibly buggy) master boot record (MBR) of your USB stick. But be aware that you won't be abl e to access your stick using some third-party operating systems. Copying the files - the more flexible way If you like more flexibility or just want to know what's going on, you sh ould use the following method to put the files on your stick: Unless you have already a FAT16 file system on your stick, use mkdosfs /dev/sda1 to create one. Take care that you use the correct device name for your US B stick. The mkdosfs command is contained in the dosfstools Debian packa ge. To put SYSLINUX onto the partition, install the syslinux and mtools packa ges on your system, and type syslinux /dev/sda1 Again, take care that you use the correct device name. The partition must not be mounted when starting SYSLINUX. Note: Although the Debian syslinux package does not officially depend on mtools, it definitely needs mtools to write to the FAT file system. gz ramdisk_size=10240 root=/dev/rd/0 devfs=mount,dall rw DEBCONF_PRIORITY=medium The DEBCONF_PRIORITY=medium lets the installer ask some additional questi ons which might be useful, but you may of course leave this option out. Now you may put any Debian ISO image (businesscard, netinst or even a ful l one) onto your stick (if it fits). If you want to install over the network, you will of cou rse skip this step. Finally the directory listing of the USB stick could look somewhat like t his: drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 16384 Jan 1 1970 . cfg -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 769886 Nov 10 14:16 vmlinuz When you are done, unmount the USB memory stick (umount /mnt) and activat e its write protection switch. Booting Now connect the USB stick to the target system, boot it, enter the BIOS s etup program and change the boot device to USB-ZIP. If everything works, SYSLINUX will load the kernel and the initial ramdisk, and the Debian i nstaller will start. Troubleshooting If your system refuses to boot from the USB stick, the stick may contain an invalid master boot record (MBR). To fix this, use the install-mbr co mmand from the package "mbr" (thanks for this tip to Marco d'Itri). net/): I report to make a USB Stick work on a K7VMM Mainboard. The Feature Setup in BIOS -Setup allows you to To enable/disable USB at all but also to enable "US B Device Legacy Support" and support for a "ThumbDrive Suppor for DOS". I guess that there are some BIOSes out, which have similar features, so Keep you eyes open! Another hint I want to give is that with many BIOSes you may press F8 sho rtly after POST (Power On Self Test, this is what "beeps" several times if your hardware is corrupt) to get in some kind of boot-menu, which let s you choose your preferred boot drive. If you don't get it there somet hing is wrong with your hardware. If you are able to choose the device, but it doesn't boot, there is probably something wrong with the boot loa der. Please check twice if you /dev/sdX device holds all neccessary file s: syslinux, initrd, vmlinuz. So I copied initrd and vmlinuz from the netboot directory onto /dev/sdX. Adrian Bader: I have a MSI K8T-Neo Mainboard (for AMD64) with via K8T800 chipset and it works properly. It is important to enable these three things: USB in general (which is us ually the case), "boot from other devices" and "USB Legacy Support" for "all Devices". Then we can press F11 during the bootup, which pops up th e table to select the prefered boot device.