Elyssa won't boot from USB

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Elyssa won't boot from USB

Postby kwatson512 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:29 pm

Hi. Trying to set up something slightly unusual, and running into difficulty. I installed Elyssa on a 16GB USB stick from the live CD, without the Hard Drive in my laptop (so it didn't inadvertently install grub on the HDD--I need to keep that completely untouched). My goals is a bootable USB drive I can take anywhere, with my (persistent) configuration and files on it. I did this successfully with Daryna, but am having trouble with Elyssa.

After installation, first boot hangs after the login screen. Login prompt and password work fine, but then it goes to a black screen with a white-arrow cursor. Ctrl-Alt-Bkspc allows me to restart X, shut down, reboot, or all the other options there, but no matter what I try, I always end up back with the black screen and no complete boot.

Live CD works fine. Any ideas?

(Lenovo X60s, Intel Core Duo L2400 @1.66GHz, 1.99GB RAM, Intl 945GM Display adapter, Intel PRO/1000 network connection, Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG network connection, SoundMAX integrated digital HD audio)
Mint 16 64-bit Cinnamon, Lenovo ThinkPad T430s, 8GB RAM
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Re: Elyssa won't boot from USB

Postby kwatson512 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:03 pm

Update: I tried to boot it from my home PC (Dell XPS 400) and it didn't even get as far as the login screen. It brought up BusyBox, but I don't know enough about BusyBox to do anything, so I halted it and exited the system. :(

(Dell XPS-400, Intel Pentium D CPU 2.80GHz, 3.5GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT display adapter, Creative SB X-Fi sound card)
Mint 16 64-bit Cinnamon, Lenovo ThinkPad T430s, 8GB RAM
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Re: Elyssa won't boot from USB (SOLVED, partially)

Postby kwatson512 on Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:16 pm

I figured out how to get my favorite distribution (Mint) to boot from USB, but I haven't figured out how to make it persistent. I'm using a 16-GiB USB drive with two partitions: 2 GiB in Fat32 format for the "LiveCD" and the remaining in Ext2 for /home and any configuration files (once I figure out how to save them). I'm looking for help from anyone that can help me get Mint to save its configurations in my second partition (which for me is /media/sda2).

Here's how I installed the non-persistent image entirely from within Windows XP, with no CD drive:

1. Download the latest version of syslinux and extract to a folder.
Go to http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/, scroll down to the latest version with the .zip extension.
I extracted it to a folder called “syslinux” on my desktop.
2. Download the linux mint 5 iso (http://www.linuxmint.com/download.html).
3. Download and install an iso extract program. I used ALZip (http://www.altools.com/Downloads/ALZip.aspx) but there are several available.
4. Install syslinux to your USB drive and make the drive bootable.
Best done in command line:
Click Start, then Run
Type “cmd” in the window; hit “Enter”
Navigate to the Windows folder within the one where you extracted syslinux (for me that was c:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop\syslinux\win32)
Type “
Code: Select all
syslinux –ma e:
” (E was the assigned drive letter for my USB drive.
5. Extract the mint 5 iso to the USB drive. Right-click on the downloaded iso file and follow the instructions provided by the extraction tool.
6. Navigate to the isolinux folder in the USB drive.
7. Move everything from the isolinux folder to the root directory (top level) in the USB drive.
8. Delete “isolinux.bin”.
9. Rename “isolinux.cfg” to “syslinux.cfg”.
10. Delete the empty isolinux folder.

Now I can boot into the USB, but only have a LiveCD version of Mint. I've tried emulating examples of successful persistent USB installs offered for other distributions (http://www.debuntu.org/how-to-install-ubuntu-linux-on-usb-bar and http://www.tuxmachines.org/node/14738), but I must be missing a step or two with Mint.
Mint 16 64-bit Cinnamon, Lenovo ThinkPad T430s, 8GB RAM
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Re: Elyssa won't boot from USB

Postby chrislang on Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:26 am

Hi kwatson512, I had the same problem last night (see post here: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=13641#p98852). I "solved" it this morning by using the Xfce version of Mint, which seems to be running fine.

I set up a bootable USB stick in a slightly different way, (see http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/10/31 ... m-windows/) but I can't imagine that makes much difference.
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Re: Elyssa won't boot from USB

Postby abuster on Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:55 pm

initrd.gz seems to have some problems in Mint Main edition, but some easy steps can fix them. Look here for details: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=8780&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=15#p102821
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