[ABANDON] My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

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markfilipak
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[ABANDON] My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by markfilipak »

Edit update: Due to UEFI problems, I've had to abandon Mint 18 as Host OS. I've returned to running Mint as a VirtualBox Guest OS running in Win7 (which provides a more stable run-time environment for MInt). So, this issue is now moot.
=====
Hi All,

I'm cross-posting this from the 'mintstick' github issues section ('https://github.com/linuxmint/mintstick/issues/48'). Please forgive me. I usually avoid cross-posting, but in this case, I thought ..."Maybe this is a problem with the Mint ISO?" Also, I thought that others might profit from a verbose experience log right here in good old 'forums.linuxmint.com'.

In a nut shell: The issue may revolve around the nature of the ISO and a possible quirk in Mint (or 'parted').
- The Mint ISO appears to maybe default to a 'mac' partition table. That may be a problem (I don't know, but I've never seen it before).
- The Mint ISO written to USB stick does not boot (see blow-by-blow documentation, below, including a fleeting error statement during failed boot).
- Formatting a USB stick using 'parted' to 'fat32' seems to default to 512-byte sectors -- this is definitely causing problems. Thereafter, Mint insists that the sector-size is 512 bytes, even after the ISO is 'burned' to USB stick using 'mintstick' (which reformats it to 2018-byte sectors). I don't understand the details, but I've reproduced the warnings & errors below.

Thanks for your attention, and gooday!
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick.

I'm sorry this is so long. I've endeavored to be complete (verbose).
Especially see '<<--' lines (there's 5 of them).

I use 'gparted' to format '/dev/sdb' to fat32.
'gparted' reports:
==================
Device Information
------------------
Model: USB Flash Memory
Serial: none
Size: 14.45 GiB
Path: /dev/sdb
Partition table: msdos <<-- NOTE: MSDOS part-table
Heads: 255
Sectors/track: 63
Cylinders: 1885
Total sectors: 30297216
Sector size: 512 <<-- NOTE sector size (can't be changed)
============
Partition #1
------------
File system: fat32
Label: USB Stick
UUID: 9142-EF76
Status: Mounted on /media/mark/9142-EF76
Used: 14.45 MiB
Unused: 14.42 GiB
Size: 14.45 GiB
Path: /dev/sdb1
Name:
Flags: boot
First sector: 2048
Last sector: 30281727
Total sectors: 30279680
===========
Unallocated
-----------
File system: unallocated
Size: 7.56 MiB
Path: unallocated
First sector: 30281728
Last sector: 30297215
Total sectors: 15488

I write 'linuxmint-18-cinnamon-64bit.iso' to the USB stick using 'mintstick -m iso'

I launch 'gparted'. When the scanner gets to '/dev/sdb', it complains:

"Libparted Warning
The driver descriptor says the physical block size is 2018 bytes, but Linux says it is 512 bytes.
[Cancel] [Ignore]"

I click [Ignore] button.
'gparted' reports:
==================
Device Information
------------------
Model: USB Flash Memory
Serial: none
Size: 57.79 GiB
Path: /dev/sdb
Partition table: mac <<-- NOTE: is this 'mac' as in 'macintosh'?
Heads: 255
Sectors/track: 63
Cylinders: 1885
Total sectors: 30297216
Sector size: 2048 <<-- NOTE sector size
============
Partition #1
------------
File system: unknown
Label: Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit
UUID: 2016-06-28-12-50-06-00
Status: not mounted
Size: 4.00 KiB
Path: /dev/sdb1
Name:
Flags:
First sector: 1
Last sector: 2
Total sectors: 2
Warning:
Unable to detect file system! Possible reasons are:
- The file system is damaged
- The file system is unknown to GParted
- There is no file system available (unformatted)
- The device entry /dev/sdb1 is missing
===========
Unallocated
-----------
File system: unallocated
Size: 42.55 MiB
Path: unallocated
First sector: 3
Last sector: 21787
Total sectors: 21785
============
Partition #2
------------
File system: fat16
Label:
UUID: B1F5-0A13
Status: not mounted
Used: 2.30 MiB (100%)
Unused: 8.00 KiB (0%)
Size: 2.31 MiB
Path: /dev/sdb2
Name:
Flags:
First sector: 21788
Last sector: 22971
Total sectors: 1184
===========
Unallocated
-----------
File system: unallocated
Size: 57.74 GiB <<-- This is 4x what it should be (...4x==2048/512, the sector size is causing this?)
Path: unallocated
First sector: 22972
Last sector: 30297215
Total sectors: 30274244

Hmmm... NOTE the '-m' in 'mintstick -m iso' (above). Does that mean 'mac'? Should a different command line be used?

In 'terminal', I submit: 'mintstick --help'. I see:
mark@mark-Lenovo-V570 ~ $ mintstick --help
/usr/lib/mintstick/mintstick.py:10: PyGIWarning: Polkit was imported without specifying a version first. Use gi.require_version('Polkit', '1.0') before import to ensure that the right version gets loaded.
from gi.repository import GObject, Gio, Polkit, Gtk, GLib, UDisks
/usr/lib/mintstick/mintstick.py:10: PyGIWarning: Gtk was imported without specifying a version first. Use gi.require_version('Gtk', '3.0') before import to ensure that the right version gets loaded.
from gi.repository import GObject, Gio, Polkit, Gtk, GLib, UDisks
/usr/lib/mintstick/mintstick.py:10: PyGIWarning: UDisks was imported without specifying a version first. Use gi.require_version('UDisks', '2.0') before import to ensure that the right version gets loaded.
from gi.repository import GObject, Gio, Polkit, Gtk, GLib, UDisks
Usage: mintstick [--debug] -m [format|iso] : mode (format usb stick or burn iso image)
mintstick [--debug] -m iso [-i|--iso] iso_path
mintstick [--debug] -m format [-u|--usb] usb_device
[-f|--filesystem] filesystem
mark@mark-Lenovo-V570 ~ $

Hmmm... They all have '-m'. In 'terminal', I submit: 'man mintstick'. I read:
"SEE ALSO
"The full documentation for mintstick is maintained at http://github.com/linuxmint/mintstick

"Go to the project page to get access to the complete documentation."

I go to 'http://github.com/linuxmint/mintstick'. I can't find documentation. I can't find a project page.

I reboot so that the automounter will find the USB stick.

Rebooted, I launch 'gparted'. When the scanner gets to '/dev/sdb', again it complains:

"Libparted Warning
The driver descriptor says the physical block size is 2018 bytes, but Linux says it is 512 bytes.
[Cancel] [Ignore]"

I click [Ignore] button. Immediately, I see:

"Libparted Error
Partition(s) 1 on /dev/sdb have been written, but we have been
unable to inform the kernel of the change, probably because it/
they are in use. As a result, the old partition(s) will remain in
use. You should reboot now before making further changes.
[Cancel] [Ignore]"

I quit 'gparted' and reboot again. The sequence above repeats.

Nemo shows device 'Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit' is mounted, and, when I browse into it, the file listing looks correct.
/media/mark/Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit/boot/
/media/mark/Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit/casper/
/media/mark/Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit/dists/
/media/mark/Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit/isolinux/
/media/mark/Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit/pool/
/media/mark/Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit/preseed/
/media/mark/Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit/.disk/
/media/mark/Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit/MD5SUMS
/media/mark/Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit/README.diskdefines

If I boot to USB, boot fails with this message: "Error: File name '/boot/' not found."
I'm left with a black screen and no boot. When I reboot and allow it, Linux Mint launches normally.

Issues:
The resulting USB doesn't appear to be bootable ('Flags:' != 'boot').
Is the USB using 'grub'?
What's with the 'mac' ID for the new Partition table? Is this a problem with the Linux Mint ISO or with 'mintstick'?

Help is needed and appreciated. Cheers!
Last edited by markfilipak on Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
AscLinux
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by AscLinux »

Writing an ISO to USB is really very simple, dd utility will do just fine. No need to format the stick or to do any other voodoo. In case the ISO is not hybrid it will not boot indeed, in this case use isohybrid utility to convert it before using dd, isohybrid can also convert UEFI ISO images.
deepakdeshp
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by deepakdeshp »

If I have helped you solve a problem, please add [SOLVED] to your first post title, it helps other users looking for help, and keeps the forum clean.
Regards,
Deepak

I am using Mint 20 Cinnamon 64 bit with AMD A8/7410 processor . Memory 8GB
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trytip
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by trytip »

TMI (too much information) ... what os are you using? search for image writer for that os. if all else fails you can burn the .iso to a dvd
Image
markfilipak
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by markfilipak »

AscLinux wrote:Writing an ISO to USB is really very simple, dd utility will do just fine. No need to format the stick or to do any other voodoo. In case the ISO is not hybrid it will not boot indeed, in this case use isohybrid utility to convert it before using dd, isohybrid can also convert UEFI ISO images.
Thank you, AscLinux. In 'terminal' I submitted 'dd --help'. The result is unreadable. I also tried 'man dd'. The result is a duplication of the 'dd' help (actually, no-help) verbiage. I will look further.
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by AscLinux »

There are millions of tutorials on the net how to create a bootable USB stick, one more complicated than another.

As I mentioned before, it really is simple, you need max two utilities to do it.

Code: Select all

dd if=/path/to/iso of=/dev/<usbstick> bs=1M status=progress
Where <usbstick> is your stick node, like sdb or sdc ...

In case you need to convert the non-hybrid ISO to hybrid:

Code: Select all

isohybrid /path/to/iso
To convert UEFI ISO:

Code: Select all

isohybrid --uefi /path/to/iso
Then use dd as above.

That's it, simple, isn't it?

Big fat warning: make sure you get your USB node right, writing to wrong device will destroy the data on it!
markfilipak
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by markfilipak »

Re: 'http://superuser.com/questions/683210/h ... enovo-V570 ~/Downloads $ fdisk linuxmint-18-cinnamon-64bit.iso

Welcome to fdisk (util-linux 2.27.1).
Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
Be careful before using the write command.

Command (m for help): q

mark@mark-Lenovo-V570 ~/Downloads $ head -c 512 linuxmint-18-cinnamon-64bit.iso > bytes.txt
mark@mark-Lenovo-V570 ~/Downloads $ cat bytes.txt
E��3���ռ|��f1�f1�fSfQW�ݎ�R�|�����KR�A��U1�0���r��U�u��t
f���B��ZQ���?[Q��@P��SRP�|�f���D��f@����f�>@|��xpu ���{�D|��isolinux.bin missing or corrupt.
f`f1�f�{f�{fRfPSjj��f�6�{�����Œ�6�{��A���{��dfa��Operating system load error.
^���>b��<
u�����TF.MiC�e���2�������pT�U�mark@mark-Lenovo-V570 ~/Downloads $ [/code]Q1: From the 'terminal' session results, is 'linuxmint-18-cinnamon-64bit.iso' hybrid or non-hybrid?
Q2: Is there any danger running 'isohybrid' against an ISO that's already a hybrid-ISO?
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by slipstick »

I see that with the .iso file on my hard drive, I can just right click on it in Nemo and from the context menu I can select "Make bootable USB stick". This implies that the .iso must be a hybrid, doesn't it? I grabbed a blank USB stick (msdos format) and burned it and it seems to have worked OK - I haven't yet tried to boot from it, as I have a bunch of stuff open that I don't want to close right now, but just thought I'd run that by as something to try.
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by markfilipak »

deepakdeshp wrote:Here is how you make a bootable mint iso.
Thank you, deepakdeshp.
- 'unetbootin' ('http://unetbootin.github.io/') Installed it. It wanted to run as root. Why? I don't automatically trust applications that make such demands without explanation. Removed it.
- 'multisystem' ('https://mintguide.org/system/256-liveus ... -mint.html') I couldn't figure out the web site presentation -- far too cryptic.
- 'gparted'+'mintstick' ('https://mintguide.org/tools/314-how-to- ... -mint.html') I already did this and it doesn't work.
- 'eicher' (or is it 'either'? or is it 'etcher'?) ('https://mintguide.org/tools/614-either- ... drive.html') Reads like marketing literature. No details. 'synaptic' doesn't recognize 'eicher' or 'either' or 'etcher'.
- 'yumi' ('http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multi ... b-creator/') Note: "YUMI for Linux version was broken and is being rewritten".
- 'tuxboot' ('https://mintguide.org/tools/468-tuxboot ... -mint.html') I couldn't figure out the web site presentation -- far too cryptic.
This is a utility for Windows. I'm running Mint.
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by markfilipak »

slipstick wrote:I see that with the .iso file on my hard drive, I can just right click on it in Nemo and from the context menu I can select "Make bootable USB stick". This implies that the .iso must be a hybrid, doesn't it? I grabbed a blank USB stick (msdos format) and burned it and it seems to have worked OK - I haven't yet tried to boot from it, as I have a bunch of stuff open that I don't want to close right now, but just thought I'd run that by as something to try.
'nemo' appears to be using 'mintstick' to do the job. It doesn't work on my system (Mint 18). I'm letting it run nevertheless, and I'll come back here and let you know if the resulting USB stick is actually bootable (I doubt it). Stand by.

Continued below: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=233094&p=1236655#p1236655
Last edited by markfilipak on Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by slipstick »

markfilipak wrote:'nemo' appears to be using 'mintstick' to do the job. It doesn't work on my system (Mint 18). I'm letting it run nevertheless, and I'll come back here and let you know if the resulting USB stick is actually bootable (I doubt it). Stand by.
FYI, I'm running Mint 17.3, Cinnamon, 64 bit with the 4.4.0.45 kernel. I'll try later to see if I can boot from the USB I made.
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by markfilipak »

This page: 'https://www.lifewire.com/create-uefi-bo ... sb-2202084' looks promising, and it says: "Turn Off Fast Boot To Make It Possible To Boot From USB", but the screen shot of 'All Control Panel Options' > 'Power Options' > 'System Settings' is nothing I can find in Mint 18.
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by slipstick »

markfilipak wrote:This page: 'https://www.lifewire.com/create-uefi-bo ... sb-2202084' looks promising, and it says: "Turn Off Fast Boot To Make It Possible To Boot From USB", but the screen shot of 'All Control Panel Options' > 'Power Options' > 'System Settings' is nothing I can find in Mint 18.
I thought "Fast Boot" was a Windows option - are you running a dual boot system?
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by markfilipak »

slipstick wrote:
markfilipak wrote:This page: 'https://www.lifewire.com/create-uefi-bo ... sb-2202084' looks promising, and it says: "Turn Off Fast Boot To Make It Possible To Boot From USB", but the screen shot of 'All Control Panel Options' > 'Power Options' > 'System Settings' is nothing I can find in Mint 18.
I thought "Fast Boot" was a Windows option - are you running a dual boot system?
No, I'm not running a dual-boot system. I guess it's referring to Windows (though you wouldn't know it). I thought that maybe "Fast Boot" was also a Mint option.

....... Never mind. 8)
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by markfilipak »

Continuation of viewtopic.php?f=46&t=233094&p=1236651#p1236641

'nemo' IS using 'mintstick' to do the job. The resulting USB stick is not bootable. The boot fails with this message: "Error: File name '/boot/' not found" which flashes for about 1/5th second, then just black screen.
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by slipstick »

I'll try later (maybe an hour or two from now) on my system.
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by Atypical User »

Isn't "Fast Boot" a BIOS/UEFI option (e.g., before booting)?
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by slipstick »

Atypical User wrote:Isn't "Fast Boot" a BIOS/UEFI option (e.g., before booting)?
According to the User's Manual on my Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 3 motherboard, Fast Boot is a Bios/UEFI option, but there is also a note that says:
"This function is supported by Windows 8.1/8 only" (and also, I presume, by Windows 10). I looked around in my UEFI setup menu and could not find anything about Fast Boot, so I don't know if it is on or off in my system (maybe I just didn't look in the right place).

EDIT - I found the Fast Boot option: "Advanced Memory Settings" -> "Memory Boot Mode"
There are four options on my system: "Auto" (the default), "Normal", "Enable Fast Boot", "Disable Fast Boot". It was set to Auto, so I left it there because it works with that setting. The manual says that Fast Boot will "Skip memory detection and training in some specific criteria for faster memory boot."
Last edited by slipstick on Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by slipstick »

markfilipak wrote:Continuation of viewtopic.php?f=46&t=233094&p=1236651#p1236641

'nemo' IS using 'mintstick' to do the job. The resulting USB stick is not bootable. The boot fails with this message: "Error: File name '/boot/' not found" which flashes for about 1/5th second, then just black screen.
I plugged in the USB stick with LM18 Cinnamon 64 that I had made earlier on my LM17.3 system from Nemo, then hit restart. I then kept hitting the F12 key, which, on my system is the one to select the boot order (maybe different on yours), until I got a menu to select the order. There were two options for the USB stick, one UEFI and one not, so I selected the UEFI one and hit Enter to boot. It booted up LM18 just fine.
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Re: My experiences writing an ISO to USB stick -- Help!

Post by slipstick »

For some reason, parted and gparted don't like something about my bootable USB stick, even though it works. When I run

Code: Select all

sudo parted -l
I get this message

Code: Select all

Warning: /dev/sdb contains GPT signatures, indicating that it has a GPT table.
However, it does not have a valid fake msdos partition table, as it should.
Perhaps it was corrupted -- possibly by a program that doesn't understand GPT
partition tables.  Or perhaps you deleted the GPT table, and are now using an
msdos partition table.  Is this a GPT partition table?
Yes/No?
I get the same message running gparted and whether I answer Yes or No to the question, gparted shows the entire USB stick as unallocated.
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