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[personal profile] chebe
Previously:
- Manually mounting
- Manually setting permissions to read/write

Today, creating live-USB discs, and manual reformatting.

It began like this. The screen on my laptop broke. Big stripe from top to bottom, width of the hinge, all gone white. But that was okay, I took out the five year insurance, so off it went for repair. This left me with just my EEE netbook. It had a nicely functioning Fedora 11, but it's coming to the end of it's life now. I didn't want to upgrade to 12 before as I felt they were trying too many new things all at once. And I'm apprehensive of the new bootloader. But now with 13 they've had time to get it all working nicely. Time to take the leap.

I looked up the options. Upgrading seemed attractive. preupgrade looks fairly shiney, but my /boot partition was too small at the previously recommended 200MB, and my router is in a really awkward place to enable me to sit plugged into it for a while. So, other options, upgrade from media, install from live media. I didn't have any blank CDs or DVDs handy (I've an external DVD-drive so that's not a problem for my EEE), so I thought I'd try out the Live CD on USB thing. But the live CDs don't upgrade, only install. And sure, they've changed the recommended partitions, /boot is now 500MB, and /home gets its own. Okay, why not, let's give it a go.

Well, the good news is the images came down quickly. The rest is a bit of a saga.

I looked up the documentation on creating live USBs and decided to give my old friend dd a go. dd completed successfully, I restarted the EEE, changed the boot order to pick up from removable drives first, and, nothing. Media wasn't bootable. Okay, maybe the instructions aren't complete, so I'll try the liveusb-creator program, I think to myself. (Format the USB drive for good measure.) Already installed, so I open it, pick the iso, and create the image. It finishes okay, so I stick it in the EEE and reboot. This time I get told it's not bootable media. Okay, I think to myself, I'll try a different image, what about the Security spin, that could be fun. Format the drive, and use liveusb-creator to create the image. Stick it in the EEE, and this time it boots! Success! Err, what do you mean 'sleeping forever'? Okay, em, well then. I turn off the EEE, and take the USB drive back for another go at the image.

Only, it's not mounting. lsusb sees it, so it is physically cononected. df -h doesn't list it, so can't even manually mount it. When in doubt dmesg | less, and I find this:

EXT3 FS on sdb, internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
usb 1-5: USB disconnect, address 2
usb 1-5: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 4
usb 1-5: New USB device found, idVendor=1307, idProduct=0165
usb 1-5: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
usb 1-5: Product: USB Mass Storage Device
usb 1-5: Manufacturer: USBest Technology
usb 1-5: SerialNumber: 08121953be70bd
usb 1-5: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
scsi7 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
usb-storage: device found at 4
usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
btusb_intr_complete: hci0 urb f3544600 failed to resubmit (1)
btusb_bulk_complete: hci0 urb f3544d00 failed to resubmit (1)
btusb_bulk_complete: hci0 urb f3544500 failed to resubmit (1)
usb-storage: device scan complete
scsi 7:0:0:0: Direct-Access 0.00 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
sd 7:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] 7897088 512-byte logical blocks: (4.04 GB/3.76 GiB)
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Mode Sense: 00 00 00 00
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
sdb: unknown partition table
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk
kjournald starting. Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS on sdb, internal journal
EXT3-fs: recovery complete.
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.


Curious, mounted, but still not accessible, there seems to be something wrong with the filesystem. It's /dev/sdb, so that information lets me reformat. Let's try FAT this time, everyone likes FAT.
mkfs -t vfat -v /dev/sdb

Oops, get a warning: mkfs.vfat 3.0.9 (31 Jan 2010)
mkfs.vfat: Device partition expected, not making filesystem on entire device '/dev/sdb' (use -I to override)


Ahh, partition tables are the problem! Well, I want it FAT, so mkfs -t vfat -v -I /dev/sdb
Output: mkfs.vfat 3.0.9 (31 Jan 2010)
Auto-selecting FAT32 for large filesystem
/dev/sdb has 125 heads and 62 sectors per track,
logical sector size is 512,
using 0xf8 media descriptor, with 7897088 sectors;
file system has 2 32-bit FATs and 8 sectors per cluster.
FAT size is 7704 sectors, and provides 985206 clusters.
There are 32 reserved sectors.
Volume ID is 37d1b64b, no volume label.


Should have paid attention to that last line. It then auto-mounts, but I have to unmount and remount to get it picked up by liveusb-creator. Which gives me the warning: Warning: The Master Boot Record on your device does not match your system's syslinux MBR. If you have trouble booting this stick, try running the liveusb-creator with the --reset-mbr option.

Hmm, okay, reformat, run liveusb-creator --reset-mbr
Output: Resetting Master Boot Record of /dev/sdb
Verifying filesystem...
Setting /dev/sdb label to FEDORA
Verifying ISO MD5 checksum
ISO MD5 checksum passed
Extracting live image to USB device...
Wrote to device at 3 MB/sec
Setting up OLPC boot file...
Installing bootloader...
There was a problem executing the following command: `syslinux -d syslinux /dev/sdb`
A more detailed error log has been written to 'liveusb-creator.log'
LiveUSB creation failed!
There was a problem executing the following command: `syslinux -d syslinux /dev/sdb`
A more detailed error log has been written to 'liveusb-creator.log'


Oh, come on! Okay, in for a penny, in for a pound, let's try it again. What do you mean unmounting failed? Stick it back in, not mounting again. Same story, in lsusb, not in df -h, and similar in dmesg. So, manually format again. This time I notice the last line about no volume label. So I graphically format as well to give it a label. Okay, time to run liveusb-creator, no options this time.
Output:Warning: The Master Boot Record on your device does not match your system's syslinux MBR. If you have trouble booting this stick, try running the liveusb-creator with the --reset-mbr option.
Verifying filesystem...
Verifying ISO MD5 checksum
ISO MD5 checksum passed
Extracting live image to USB device...
Wrote to device at 3 MB/sec
Setting up OLPC boot file...
Installing bootloader...
Unable to find partition
Complete! (0:04:18)


Not great, but at least it finished! Stick it into the EEE and start up. Success! Finally it works. Run live image, install to hard-drive, etc. Oh, newness! ... Em, so why doesn't networking work? But, that's another story.

Well, a short one actually. I had to manually install the wireless drivers in Fedora 11, but since 12, I think, they've been included in the base install/repos. Only, it's showing my devices as being disabled, and they won't turn on. At this point I'm fairly fed up. I resolved to get a blank DVD the next day, and burn the (non-live) full installation disc, and just hope it works. If it doesn't no doubt you'll get to hear me complaining about it.

In summary, I don't know why I had these problems when others don't seem to. Every program I used was Fedora based. The only thing I can think of is that the USB drive was NTFS before I reformatted it for the first time. Or that the instructions are incomplete. But, what I learned is how to manually use mkfs and that (by default at least) it doesn't assign a label. Also, I'll think I'll stick to DVDs in the future.
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