View Full Version : USB harddisk boot

03-09-2005, 11:29 PM
Hello guys!

I need your help to get out of my endless nights wondering what to do...

I have 2 computers at home, one in my room, and the other one is a laptop. I wish to use both of them as webservers, and using them alternatively (the laptop for the night, the desktop for the day cause I need my laptop to work in my lab).

So I came with the Idea to use my USB harddisk (120gb) as a "removable bootable server". I decided to customize the latest knoppix (3.7), as I need the kernel modules 'madwifi' needed for the wireless card of my laptop. I started checking in the how-to if there was a mean to adapt knoppix for usb-boot instead of cdrom-boot. I read this page: http://rz-obrian.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/knoppix-usb/knoppix-usb.html

Has it refers to an old knoppix distribution, I tried to adapt this method for my USB-HDD. I followed its instruction, then when I get to the syslinux execution in the MBR of my usb hard-disk, I checked the manpages to see if the isolinux.cfg could simply be renamed syslinux.cfg. I renamed it this way, then unmounted the /dev/sdb1 partition, and executed "syslinux /dev/sdb1" (the modified linuxrc refers to /dev/sda1, and not /dev/sdb1, do you think this can play a role? I'm new to syslinux and that kind of things... I did only modified grub files in my past experiences).

Then, when I boot my computer, with ide-hd boot desactivated to be sure to boot on usb, and with usb boot activated, I first get a line telling me "Booting from USB HD ... OK" before getting an endless sequence of 99 99 99 99 ... kind of stuff you get when there's an boot sequence mistake somewhere.

My questions are simple: I cannot find in my brain or in google what the 99 sequence refers to. Second: Do you see a way to solve my problems?

Thx for reading me.


PS: I haven't customized the knoppix to become my server yet, I first want to be sure this is possible, so I want to check the usb-bootable customization.
PS2: I speak french better than english, so please avoid abreviations when you answer me.

03-10-2005, 01:11 PM
Hi!, i'm also very interested in this thread, as far as know, you must use GRUB for booting (it comes with KNOPPIX and works perfectly), so don't use SYSLINUX. I get the system booting from hdd perfectly, but when Linux kernel starts, i geta message saying: Kernel Panic because it can't find the USB device. So i suppose that i must modify some files to put USB modules at booting time... If you discover how to do it, please help me, i'll post here all that i could discover...



(Sorry for my bad english...)

03-11-2005, 12:20 AM

Actually, what I did is more or less described on the webpage I mentioned in my previous post.

For the knoppix 3.7, you have, in your iso image, /boot/isolinux directory containing minirt24.gz and minirt26.gz, respectively for 2.4 and 2.6 kernel. Extract it ot get minirt24 and minirt26. Then, you have to mount those images in the directory of you choice with mount -o loop (as usually). You will then find the linuxrc file where you have to modify a few things, as reported on the webpage previously mentioned. For the usb modules (usb-storage.o and so on), what I did is to use the modules provided with knoppix. As I didn't managed to mount the KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX image, I simply rebooted my computer with knoppix live-cd, then I remounted my home rw and copied the needed modules to include in the minirt24 and 26. As the modules where *.ko, I renamed it *.o, thinking k was optional. Then you umount the minirt24 and 26, create the gz files and I'm not able to test it for the reasons mentionned above.

By the way, if someone can tell me why I cannot mount the KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX ...


03-12-2005, 11:39 PM
Currently i've installed Knoppix using knoppix-installer in my hdd, now i have the initrd.img at boot directory, buy i don't know how to open it to modify the linuxrc and include the usb modules, can u help me with this?