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Thread: Unable to boot a supposedly bootable usb stick

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    San Jose City, PH.
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    Default Unable to boot a supposedly bootable usb stick

    My hard drive is going bad, so I swapped it out for another temporary one to use in making a bootable thumb drive to install OpenSUSE on a new drive I just bought. This temporary drive has an old and defective version of Mandriva (Yeeech!) installed and can't be upgraded or added to, so I'm limited to dd and fdisk.

    The thumbdrive I'm using was recognised as a non-bootable drive when booting the OS - until I used dd to install the iso on it. Now with it plugged in the computer just boots into Mandriva without recognising the existence of the plugged in thumbdrive.

    Once fully booted up I can mount the thumbdrive and view its contents.

    fdisk -l does NOT work on this system. So I use fdisk /dev/sdb, then p to print this info:



    Code:
    fdisk /dev/sdb
    
      The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 4244.
    
     There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,
     and could in certain setups cause problems with:
    
     1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)
     2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs
        (e.g., DOS FDISK, OS/2 FDISK)
    
      Command (m for help): p
    
      Disk /dev/sdb: 4016 MB, 4016045568 bytes
     33 heads, 56 sectors/track, 4244 cylinders
     Units = cylinders of 1848 * 512 = 946176 bytes
     Disk identifier: 0xcee0ec63
         Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
     /dev/sdb1   *           1        4245     3921919    b  W95 FAT32

    Note that the boot flag is set. The thing with the cylinders is a mystery to me. The command I used to write the iso (as root, not sudo) is:
    Code:
    dd if=/home/russ/OpenSUSE/openSUSE-13.1-KDE-Live-x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdb1 bs=4M && shutdown -r now
    It writes just fine, then reboots - straight back into Mandriva. What to do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Unable to boot a supposedly bootable usb stick

    Quote Originally Posted by rwbehne1 View Post
    Code:
    dd if=/home/russ/OpenSUSE/openSUSE-13.1-KDE-Live-x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdb1 bs=4M && shutdown -r now
    There's the mistake.

    Use:
    Code:
    dd if=/home/russ/OpenSUSE/openSUSE-13.1-KDE-Live-x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M
    

    That is to say, the output needs to go to the device ("/dev/sdb"), not to the partition ("/dev/sdb1").

    The message about cylinders is probably a side effect of using an old version of "fdisk".
    openSUSE Leap 15.3; KDE Plasma 5.18.6;

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Spain
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    25,547

    Default Re: Unable to boot a supposedly bootable usb stick

    On 2014-04-23 13:06, rwbehne1 wrote:

    >
    > Note that the boot flag _is_ set. The thing with the cylinders is a
    > mystery to me. The command I used to write the iso (as root, not sudo)
    > is:
    >
    > Code:
    > --------------------
    > dd if=/home/russ/OpenSUSE/openSUSE-13.1-KDE-Live-x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdb1 bs=4M && shutdown -r now
    > --------------------
    >
    >
    > It writes just fine, then reboots - straight back into Mandriva. What to
    > do?


    Remove that "one" of the sdb write command. You have to write to the
    whole device, not to one partition. And of course, the partition table
    and boot marks will be destroyed, as intended.


    If you prefer, you can simply use:

    Code:
    cp /home/russ/OpenSUSE/openSUSE-13.1-KDE-Live-x86_64.iso /dev/sdb
    That is, assuming "/dev/sdb" is the usb stick you want to use for
    creating the install device - if you mistake the target device, that
    other device gets destroyed instead.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" at Telcontar)

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