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Thread: Preparing USB Memory Stick for Booting 12.04

  1. #1
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    Preparing USB Memory Stick for Booting 12.04

    I've been following the instructions "Preparing Files for USB Memory Stick Booting" in the Ubuntu Official Documentation for 12.04, and I'm using the "Copying the files the flexible way" method.

    I've prepared the memory stick as per instructions, booted from it OK, and the installation begins. When it gets to the step of looking for an installer ISO image, it finds my downloaded file ubuntu-12.04-desktop-i386.iso, accepts it, and attempts to read it. I get the error message:

    There was a problem reading data from the CD-ROM ...

    Retrys do not help. I know this is a good file because I've used it to burn a CD, and booted with that CD. I tried saving error logs, but that step failed also.

    Any suggestions on how to proceed? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Preparing USB Memory Stick for Booting 12.04

    Have you tried creating the USB stick with Unetbootin?
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  3. #3
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    Re: Preparing USB Memory Stick for Booting 12.04

    Thank you! Unetbootin looks like just what I need.

  4. #4
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    Re: Preparing USB Memory Stick for Booting 12.04

    Good. If it worked please mark the thread 'solved'.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  5. #5
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    Re: Preparing USB Memory Stick for Booting 12.04

    Unetbootin created the USB stick with no apparent problems, but when I tried to boot from it, all I got was "Boot error". I tried using install-mbr on it, but still got the boot error. Then I tried using Boot Repair, which reported that it had successfully repaired the MBR, but still get the boot error. Not sure how to proceed from here.

  6. #6
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    Re: Preparing USB Memory Stick for Booting 12.04

    Please give a complete hardware description.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  7. #7
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    Re: Preparing USB Memory Stick for Booting 12.04

    If you can boot the install CD to a live system, does Startup Disk Creator from that make a bootable USB stick? If you use the option in Startup Disk Creator to format it, make sure you format the partition and not the device (for example, format /dev/sdb1 not /dev/sdb).

    If you formatted the entire device (instead of partition) or wrote an iso directly to the device, you can use gparted to create an msdos partition table and FAT32 partition.
    i5 650 3.2 GHz, 8 GB, nvidia GTX 550 Ti 32" 1080p | i7-4700, 8 GB, Intel HD 4600/nvidia GTX 765M 15.6" 1080p | etc.

  8. #8
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    Re: Preparing USB Memory Stick for Booting 12.04

    Thank you both for your replies. Here is the information mrgs requested. And I'll also try the Startup Disk Creator approach.

    I had Boot Repair create a Bootinfo Summary, which is at http://paste.ubuntu.com/993376/

    The computer is an eMacines 6520T with an AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3400+, 1.8 GiB of memory, hard drive (sda in the bootinfo summary) is 200 GB, partitioned into sda1 which contains Windows XP SP3, and sda2, a small restore partition. Graphics card is Gallium 0.4 on ATI RS480.

    My Ubuntu 12.04 is on an iomega portable drive (sdh). Ubuntu is in sdh5, and sdh6 is the swap partition. This is the system which was running when the bootable memory stick was created. The ISO image I used was a downloaded ubuntu-12.04-desktop-i386.iso

    The memory stick itself (sdc) is an 8 GB SanDisk Cruzer (not U3). sdc1 contains the bootable sytem (I allowed 2 GB for persistent files). I cleared everything off before running Unetbootin. GParted currently reports this information about it:

    Size: 7.45 GiB
    Partition table: msdos
    Heads: 255
    Sectors/track: 63
    Cylinders: 973
    Total sectors: 15633408
    Sector size: 512

    For partition sdc1 it reports:
    File System: fat32
    Size: 7.45 GiB
    Used: 2.71 GiB
    Unused: 4.75 GiB
    Flags: boot

    I appreciate your looking at it at this level of detail. Thanks!

  9. #9
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    Re: Preparing USB Memory Stick for Booting 12.04

    Am I correct in understanding that the bootable USB stick which is created will function like the live CD; i.e., it will ask whether I want to try the system or install it? Because my ultimate goal would be to install it, on a 16 GB USB stick I have. Is that a realistic expectation?

  10. #10
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    Re: Preparing USB Memory Stick for Booting 12.04

    I have a full install of 12.04 in my 16GB flash drive in a 8GB / (root) with the rest just as data. It is functional but not speedy as USB ports are slower than hard drives and flash is slow (particularly writes). But you can change some settings (Similar to SSD) to reduce writes.

    Full install is just like any install to another drive. Best to partition in advance and use manual install. Only with manual install (Something Else) do you get the choice to install the grub2 boot loader to the MBR of the flash drive. It normally just defaults to sda with any of the auto installs.

    Install instructions have not changed hardly at all between versions. New Unity is a lot different once installed.

    The lighter weight versions may work better as they do not have as large of programs to load.

    Installs to 4GB flash, newer of Ubuntu versions require 4.4GB as minimum
    HOW TO Avoid Wubi & Install Ubuntu 10.04 on USB Drive -amjjawad
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1650699
    HOW TO Install Lubuntu on USB Drive - amjjawad
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1872303

    It does not have to be encrypted BIOS based system:
    Standard full install with screenshots to flash or SSD:
    Ubuntu Encrypted Flash Memory Installation
    http://members.iinet.net/~herman546/p19.html
    More discussion Dec 2010, more SSD info
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1643591
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1404664

    My first install from one USB to another USB did have an issue which may not be one now. Grub searches by UUID if drive is not correct and when I unplugged one USB the other one changed drive. But grub stopped searching on UUID since there was a gap in device number. I had to use e change hdX to correct X and delete the search to get it to boot first time.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







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