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Thread: Getting Knoppix to boot off a USB Hard Disk

  1. #1
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    Getting Knoppix to boot off a USB Hard Disk

    I'm currently trying to boot Knoppix off a MP3 Player Hard Disk(hooked upto a computer, people have been asking how the hell I think I'm going to boot Knoppix on a MP3 Player) so that I don't have to use the CD and it is more portable and stronger than a CD, any ideas?

    btw, The computers I'm aiming to use this for are school computers, their netowrk is down every 2-3 days and I'm falling behind in work, Knoppix should fix this problem for me....

  2. #2
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    We will need to know the details of the computer, your USB device and what you have done so far.

    Does the PC support USB booting? Only new PCs and/or PCs with up to date BIOSs can boot a USB device. Is the BIOS boot order set to boot off a USB device? What capacity is the USB device? 512MB, 1GB, 2GB? If the device is under 700MB then you will need to remaster knoppix to fit on it. I do not want to discourage you but there is much work for you to do & you have much reading & experimenting to figure it all out.

    You may have better luck with linux distros that are designed/smaller/better to boot off USB devices. See Puppy Linux, Feather Linux, Damn Small Linux at http://www.distrowatch.com
    I hope this helps.
    James

  3. #3
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    I'm not actually fully sure if the computers do support USB booting but I know my 2 year old computer supports it andthat's going to be my test machine. The USB part of the MP3 Player is 20GB, more than enough to runa full version of linux except I wuld like to run Knoppix so that I can use it on multiple computers without having troubles of drivers, drives, etc. I knew that when I started all of this. Sofar I've just copied the files from the CD onto the hard disk, but I need something to initate the Knoppix.

    To let you know, it's a 1.8 inch 20GB toshiba hard disk in the MP3 player.

  4. #4
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    I found a site which shows me how to get all of this running, I'll take a look at this later on today as I've got school very soon.

    EDIT: Just putting the link here so that I can find it later at school. http://rz-obrian.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/knoppix-usb/

    btw, Love the layout of the forum.

  5. #5
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    Ark, This is going to be harder than I thought, can any one give me advice and do I need to run this in Linux or Knoppix to edit this certain file.

    Any help would be apperciated.(btw, I'm not the greatest speller)

  6. #6
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    I'm going to need help please doing this because it's harder than I thought, is there anyone or a tutorial that can help me? I'm still a beginner with Linux but I'm willing to learn as I want to be able to start programming in Linux and then work upto Programming in Windows.

  7. #7
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    Crenn, I've been working on this for a week now and finally got it to work on a USB hard drive enclosure. I hope to have this work on my iPod when I get all the bugs worked out. I recommend that you make a full back-up of your mp3 device before doing what I have done. I'm not sure if the iPod or other mp3 players require a boot loader for its own OS, I guess I will find out when I get Knoppix remastered and moved to my iPod (work in progress). Here are the rough steps I took:

    1. Find out what device the USB drive is in a standard Knoppix run and create a partition for the Knoppix install. (I am using FAT16 right now and it is 840 MB, just enough for the CD image and a few boot files, could be smaller). Any filesystem that GRUB can read is ok to use (not tested though).
    2. Reboot the computer with the USB hard drive attached and the Knoppix CD (you may be able to just copy from the ISO file from Windows or Linux but not tested). Give the following command on the isolinux prompt
    Code:
    knoppix usb2 tohd=/dev/sda1
    if your destination partition is not /sda1 then substitue with the actual one. I have not found the bug that prevents the 2.6 kernel from finding the USB drive yet so I've stuck with the 2.4 kernel (next project after the remaster)
    3. Wait for the copy to happen then Knoppix will boot off the USB drive and use it as the base.
    4. When Knoppix boots open a terminal and issue the following commands
    Code:
    su
    mount -o remount,rw /cdrom
    cd /cdrom
    mkdir boot
    grub-install /dev/sda
    vi boot/grub/menu.lst
    -- in vi add the following lines --
    default 0
    timeout 0
    
    title knoppix
    kernel /linux24 usb2 ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=791 nomce quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix
    initrd /minirt24.gz
    --save and exit vi--
    --if linux24 and minirt24.gz are not in /cdrom then--
    cp /mnt/cdrom/linux24 /mnt/cdrom/minirt24.gz .
    Reboot the system, take out the CD and it should work. Your milage may vary and will. I tried using syslinux, but DELL computers had problems reading the kernel and initrd image off the disk correctly. I hope this helps you. So far, I've booted my USB drive off four diffrent computers wilthout any problems (other then XFree resolutions not quite right) Be sure your USB boot device is before your internal hard drive.

    Good Luck,
    Robert

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the information. I need to make it so it is only 1 partition on the drive or the MP3 Player would crash, or so I think. I'll have to work that out at a later time as the computer that boots knoppix currently has no power due to the fact that I need a new extension cord.

  9. #9
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    I found out yesterday that the Dell that I have and a few others that I can find on the Internet are not able to boot off an iPod. The BIOS just hangs during the start-up processes. My hopes that using the iPod for a portable hard drive based Knoppix install is not going to work. I may have to invest in one of those pocket drives for the task.

    For all the posts in one day, I would have expected to hear some results from the information I posted about what worked for me,

    Robert

  10. #10
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    Since my MP3 Player is not a MP3 Player, I shouldn't have a problem. Just to let you know, it's a JNC SSF-M3. It's very nice.

    I've yet to burn a new copy of Knoppix, I don't even remember what Knoppix verrsion I have and the computer with the lastest ISO images currently has no power.....

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