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Thread: Booting from USB external hard Disk... any progress ???

  1. #1
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    Booting from USB external hard Disk... any progress ???

    Dear friends,

    I know, this question is quite common and lot of people looking for an answer/solution...
    Very recently I installed knoppix 3.3 at one of my external USB hard Disk. All went fine BUT when I tried to boot I can see only one L at my screen and then my computer is not responded. (I have installed LILO at the HD MBR (external USB HD) and my BIOS support USB Booting).
    Anyway I also tried the Boot floppy Disk but no success.
    I know/think that this behaviour is because the floppy's initrd does not load the required modules for USB support (I think this should be done at linuxrc file inside miniroot.gz).

    I am very sure that here, in this forum, there are many linux/guru , so I asking for help.
    The question is : How can prepare a Linux boot floppy disk based on syslinux or lilo or grub (does n't matter) but with the propper linux kernel (same as 19.11.03 Knoppix 3.3) and the propper/modified initrd in order to load the required USB drivers and then to start/boot my HD installed knoppix (Debian)??? Is there any ready made disk to cover me??? If somebody try to help me, please give me detailed information. I was and I am linux newbie...

    Am I asking defficult questions??? ... maybe, sorry.

    P.S. I don't looking for a solution like "flonnix-USB" because in that case we have just booting the compressed file system (KNOPPIX file), in my case there is s normal debian style installation.

    Best Regards,
    Mike Kranidis

  2. #2
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    Re: Booting from USB external hard Disk... any progress ???

    Quote Originally Posted by mikekgr
    Dear friends,

    I know, this question is quite common and lot of people looking for an answer/solution...
    Very recently I installed knoppix 3.3 at one of my external USB hard Disk. All went fine BUT when I tried to boot I can see only one L at my screen and then my computer is not responded. (I have installed LILO at the HD MBR (external USB HD) and my BIOS support USB Booting).
    Anyway I also tried the Boot floppy Disk but no success.
    I know/think that this behaviour is because the floppy's initrd does not load the required modules for USB support (I think this should be done at linuxrc file inside miniroot.gz).

    I am very sure that here, in this forum, there are many linux/guru , so I asking for help.
    The question is : How can prepare a Linux boot floppy disk based on syslinux or lilo or grub (does n't matter) but with the propper linux kernel (same as 19.11.03 Knoppix 3.3) and the propper/modified initrd in order to load the required USB drivers and then to start/boot my HD installed knoppix (Debian)??? Is there any ready made disk to cover me??? If somebody try to help me, please give me detailed information. I was and I am linux newbie...

    Am I asking defficult questions??? ... maybe, sorry.

    P.S. I don't looking for a solution like "flonnix-USB" because in that case we have just booting the compressed file system (KNOPPIX file), in my case there is s normal debian style installation.

    Best Regards,
    Mike Kranidis
    The one "L" means lilo is stucked there. This would mean some wrong disk geometry stuff when installing lilo which is understandable as when the USB external disk is accessed from within linux, it is some /dev/sd* device but when it is a boot device, it is more likely to be a simulated /dev/hd* device(in the BIOS world).

    The simplest solution as far as I know is to install syslinux on the USB HD, assuming there is a FAT partition. Of course, you would still need to have the proper modules loaded or compiled in the linux kernel in order for linux to see the device after it takes over.

    What you want is doable, assuming your BIOS support booting from USB. BTW, some machine can boot from only one particular USB slot(that is the case of my notebook).

    EDIT: if you must use lilo, try to find a way to tell lilo to treat the disk(USB) as either 0x80(may be 0x80-0x83) when it try to generate the boot loading map and it should work too. However, I cannot tell you how to as I don't use lilo myself. Any LILO user here can help ?

  3. #3
    Senior Member registered user
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    Dear garyng,
    thenks for your reply. I have tried many times to create a floppy boot disk and using this boot disk to boot my installed external USB Hard Disk.
    It is to hard to me to greate such disk...
    Anyway one more time I give up.

    Best Regards
    Mike Kranidis

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