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Thread: Ubuntu and other distros slow or wont boot on Usb drive larger than 4gb

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu and other distros slow or wont boot on Usb drive larger than 4gb

    Hi, I have been trying several Ubuntu based distros on a Usb with persistent. I tried Ubuntu 12.04 on 16gb Kingston, and it was slow as molasses. I tried Bodhi, and it wouldn't boot or it would be slow on the 16gb drive. When I use a sandisk 4gb, everything was smooth with Bodhi and fast. It seems anything over 4gb just wont work for me. Tried a PNY 16gb, and the same thing. Is this due to fat 32 only recognizing 4gb ? Are larger Usb pen drives flakey when it comes to running distros persistent etc ?

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu and other distros slow or wont boot on Usb drive larger than 4gb

    For me I've been able to install Ubuntu onto a 8GB flash drive and it ran just as fast as if it was on a 4GB flash drive. Are you making sure that you are formatting it correctly and testing it on the same computer?

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    Re: Ubuntu and other distros slow or wont boot on Usb drive larger than 4gb

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Forums

    I have good experiences with USB drives larger than 4 GB, for example 16 GB. I think the important thing is the read/write speed of the flash memory, which is often slower than the USB 2 interface. So if you get a fast drive, for example a USB 3 pendrive, it will be faster also in a USB 2 port of the computer.

    But there is a drawback with the persistence compared to a live system. If you have stored a lot of data files and installed a lot of program packages, it means that there will be a lot of reading at boot and shutdown, before the system is ready. And USB 2 is very inefficient reading many small files, so it will be slow but not because of the size of the USB drive (except that a larger size allows more data to manage for persistence).

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    Re: Ubuntu and other distros slow or wont boot on Usb drive larger than 4gb

    Hi Knownsyntax, I make sure it is formatted to fat 32, tried the fast format in windows, and did a long format that fixes bad sectors, and it still is extremely slow. Is yours running fast as a live usb, or with persistence ? And yes I am testing it on the same computer. I first tried 12.04 and it was very slow.Was not bad live cd, but terrible with usb persistence. Then Bodhi wich is small and fast. works perfect on sandisk 4gb, and slow and or boot error on 16 gig kingston or PNY. THANK YOU for taking the time to help

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu and other distros slow or wont boot on Usb drive larger than 4gb

    Hi sudodus, I did not know USB 3 drive would be faster even in a USB 2 port. That is GREAT info to know. I will experiment and try ubuntu live. Since it actually runs pretty good on live cd, I imagine it will be majorly faster live vs persistence. What stumps me now is why bodhi would fly on my 4gb and slow and freeze on the 16gb like ubuntu. Even with the 16 gig I tried with a persistence of only 2gb.

    What do you recommend for a fast USB Stick ? And Thank You for taking the time to help people

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu and other distros slow or wont boot on Usb drive larger than 4gb

    If you have 16GB why not a full install. I have Ubuntu installed in 8GB with 8GB for data.

    I just posted here, so as not to repeat it.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2120498
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair - Updated Mar 2015:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu and other distros slow or wont boot on Usb drive larger than 4gb

    Quote Originally Posted by italianman View Post
    Hi sudodus, I did not know USB 3 drive would be faster even in a USB 2 port. That is GREAT info to know. I will experiment and try ubuntu live. Since it actually runs pretty good on live cd, I imagine it will be majorly faster live vs persistence. What stumps me now is why bodhi would fly on my 4gb and slow and freeze on the 16gb like ubuntu. Even with the 16 gig I tried with a persistence of only 2gb.

    What do you recommend for a fast USB Stick ? And Thank You for taking the time to help people
    1. As oldfred wrote, you can also make a normal installation of Xubuntu or Lubuntu to the USB drive. It works well, better for long-time performance than persistent live.

    2. I have two USB3 16 GB pendrives branded Transcend and Sandisk. The market changes so fast, that you need to check in a few web-shops, what is the best buy right now. Look at the read/write specs, they must be given with numbers.

    See this link

    http://www.whoratesit.com/Best-Flash-Drive/Comparison/1

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu and other distros slow or wont boot on Usb drive larger than 4gb

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    If you have 16GB why not a full install. I have Ubuntu installed in 8GB with 8GB for data.

    I just posted here, so as not to repeat it.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2120498
    Hi OldFred I remember I watched a youtube vid doing a full install and formatting to ext4 and followed it closely. It ran real slow (ubuntu 12.04) I am going to sift through all your helpful links and see what I can try to do/ or doing wrong. Again thank you for taking time out of your day to help.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu and other distros slow or wont boot on Usb drive larger than 4gb

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    1. As oldfred wrote, you can also make a normal installation of Xubuntu or Lubuntu to the USB drive. It works well, better for long-time performance than persistent live.

    2. I have two USB3 16 GB pendrives branded Transcend and Sandisk. The market changes so fast, that you need to check in a few web-shops, what is the best buy right now. Look at the read/write specs, they must be given with numbers.

    See this link

    http://www.whoratesit.com/Best-Flash-Drive/Comparison/1
    Everything works great on my Sandisk 4gb, and the Kingston 16gb and PNY 16gb just pooped out. I'm definitely going to look at the link and go for a 3.0

    I will experiment with a full install on my 4gb sandisk, and try on the 16gb and see what happens. i will post what I get.

    Thanks to you to for taking the time out of your day to help people with linux issues. i have worked very hard the past year learning linux and it has been great. I will never go back to another mac/pc. Its fun to learn and the rewards are amazing using linux.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu and other distros slow or wont boot on Usb drive larger than 4gb

    Quote Originally Posted by italianman View Post
    Everything works great on my Sandisk 4gb, and the Kingston 16gb and PNY 16gb just pooped out. I'm definitely going to look at the link and go for a 3.0

    I will experiment with a full install on my 4gb sandisk, and try on the 16gb and see what happens. i will post what I get.

    Thanks to you to for taking the time out of your day to help people with linux issues. i have worked very hard the past year learning linux and it has been great. I will never go back to another mac/pc. Its fun to learn and the rewards are amazing using linux.
    You are welcome

    It's nice to help, when there is time for it. Anyway, it is possible to make a full install of Lubuntu on a 4GB pendrive, but there is not much margin to install extra packages or own files. I recommend at least 8 GB for that purpose. See this link how to do it on a 4 GB drive

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1872303

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