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Thread: Stuck on boot: Syslinux Problem

  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Stuck on boot: Syslinux Problem

    Hello there, I'm Alecossy.
    I've been using linux distros for over 4 years now, going from Fedora to Chakra, passing through ubuntu, knoppix and another couple of minor forks.
    Just yesterday I decided to remove my chakra copy to try out Ubuntu Studio 12.04 on an Acer Aspire 5742ZG laptop.
    I went straight to making the flash USB just to find that it gets systematically stuck on SYSLINUX.
    The exact message says:
    "Syslinux 4.03 2010-10-22 EDD Copyright (C) 1994-2010 H. Peter Anvin et al"
    Used to this kind of problems from other distros i tried to browse your forum looking for a solution.
    Of the few I tried none worked.
    I'm sure my computer supports USB boots because all other distros have been installed using this very USB Drive i'm using now (Including a version of Android x86) and I made the flash drive both using LiLi and Unetbootin.
    I'm now wondering, what might the problem be?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Wisconsin
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    Re: Stuck on boot: Syslinux Problem

    There are usually three possibilites:

    1) The syslinux bootloader was corrupted and needs to be reinstalled.
    2) syslinux.cfg is pointing to the wrong kernel
    3) syslinux.cfg is pointing to the wrong initrd (root system)

    Take a look at the .cfg file and try to eliminate some possibilities.

    If you don't know how to read it, post it here.

  3. #3
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    Re: Stuck on boot: Syslinux Problem

    Here's the content of my syslinux.cfg:
    Note that I never used syslinux before so I'm completly new to the whole thing.
    Code:
    default menu.c32
    prompt 0
    menu title UNetbootin
    timeout 100
    
    label unetbootindefault
    menu label Default
    kernel /ubnkern
    append initrd=/ubninit file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntustudio.seed boot=casper quiet splash --
    
    label ubnentry0
    menu label ^Help
    kernel /ubnkern
    append initrd=/ubninit 
    
    label ubnentry1
    menu label ^Try Ubuntu Studio without installing
    kernel /casper/vmlinuz
    append initrd=/casper/initrd.lz file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntustudio.seed boot=casper  quiet splash --
    
    label ubnentry2
    menu label ^Install Ubuntu Studio
    kernel /casper/vmlinuz
    append initrd=/casper/initrd.lz file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntustudio.seed boot=casper only-ubiquity  quiet splash --
    
    label ubnentry3
    menu label ^Check disc for defects
    kernel /casper/vmlinuz
    append initrd=/casper/initrd.lz boot=casper integrity-check  quiet splash --
    
    label ubnentry4
    menu label Test ^memory
    kernel /install/mt86plus
    append initrd=/ubninit 
    
    label ubnentry5
    menu label ^Boot from first hard disk
    kernel /ubnkern
    append initrd=/ubninit 
    
    label ubnentry6
    menu label Try Ubuntu Studio without installing
    kernel /casper/vmlinuz
    append initrd=/casper/initrd.lz file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntustudio.seed boot=casper quiet splash --
    
    label ubnentry7
    menu label Install Ubuntu Studio
    kernel /casper/vmlinuz
    append initrd=/casper/initrd.lz file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntustudio.seed boot=casper only-ubiquity quiet splash --
    
    label ubnentry8
    menu label Check disc for defects
    kernel /casper/vmlinuz
    append initrd=/casper/initrd.lz boot=casper integrity-check quiet splash --

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Wisconsin
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    Re: Stuck on boot: Syslinux Problem

    Looks like the install is set up for a LiveCD instead of a LiveUSB environment. Perhaps you simply copied it over? If so, that won't work; it needs to be installed properly - the CD and USB environments are a bit different.

    How, exactly, did you create the bootable USB?
    What program did you use to create it?

    For example, take a look at this line from the syslinux.cfg:
    append initrd=/ubninit file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntustudio.seed boot=casper quiet splash --
    See how the system is looking for a preseed file on the CDROM instead of the USB?

    Are you really trying to install Ubuntu Studio? Is the preseed file on your USB stick?
    If so, simply fix the string(s) to reflect the correct location.

  5. #5
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    Re: Stuck on boot: Syslinux Problem

    As I said, I used Unetbootin - 575, Windows version.
    I simply downloaded ubuntustudio-12.04-dvd-amd64.iso from the ubuntu studio site and ran a checksum to be sure, then I opened Unetbootin and selected "ubuntu" and the 12.04_live_x64 version.
    I then selected the drive and hit the okay button.
    The result is what you see before us.
    Did I do something wrong?
    I also tried to use LiLi (which is a windows application called LinuxLive USB Creator) but the result was the same.

  6. #6
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    Re: Stuck on boot: Syslinux Problem

    Perhaps you did something wrong. Or perhaps you have discovered a bug with the way unetbootin handles preseed files.

    Doesn't seem relevant to your problem right now. We know what the problem seems to be in the syslinux.cfg file.
    Do you understand how to fix it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Re: Stuck on boot: Syslinux Problem

    I'm not quite sure about it...
    I'm pretty sure I simply have to redirect the string you highlighter but I'm sure how to call the usb drive.
    Do I have to do something like:
    Code:
    append initrd=/ubninit file=/dev/sdb/preseed/ubuntustudio.seed boot=casper quiet splash --
    provided that the folder structure is the right one?

  8. #8
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    Re: Stuck on boot: Syslinux Problem

    Close. For the base path, use the root level of the stick, not the root filesystem. GRUB uses these before the root filesystem is loaded, so the only filesyste it know is the stick. init hasn't created /dev yet.

    For example, the initrd (ubninit) isn't at /dev/sdb/ubninit, for GRUB purposes it's at /ubninit (you can see it there at the top level of the stick).

    Similarly, the preseed file should be at /preseed/ubuntusutdio.seed

  9. #9
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    Jul 2012
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    34

    Re: Stuck on boot: Syslinux Problem

    Okay, this is strange...
    I accidentally left the stick plugged in my PC and the system started without a problem...
    I will try changing it to what you said and test it on the laptop anyway.
    Edit:
    the newly made syslinux.cfg
    default menu.c32
    prompt 0
    menu title UNetbootin
    timeout 100

    label unetbootindefault
    menu label Default
    kernel /ubnkern
    append initrd=/ubninit file=/preseed/ubuntustudio.seed boot=casper quiet splash --
    has no effect. still stuck at the same screen
    Last edited by Alecossy; July 9th, 2012 at 03:08 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Stuck on boot: Syslinux Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Alecossy View Post
    Okay, this is strange...
    I accidentally left the stick plugged in my PC and the system started without a problem...
    Wait a second! You never mentioned that you used the stick to install, and that it's the installed system that won't boot!

    I've been trying to diagnose why your USB stick won't boot...which apparently it does perfectly well. I've been working on the wrong problem entirely.

    Question: Did you really install Ubuntu Studio onto the laptop, or did you merely copy over a live environment? Normally, if you really install, you would be using GRUB instead of Syslinux. Syslinux doesn't work on ext2/3/4, which is what Ubuntu prefers; it's meant for ms-dos formatted media. Did you really install, but somehow manually change bootloaders?

    If you simply copied over a live environment, then needing the stick to boot makes more sense. Some path in the syslinux.cfg is still pointing to the stick.
    Last edited by Cheesehead; July 9th, 2012 at 03:25 PM.

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