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Thread: Simple install from iso to USB/HDD2 or net install, missing steps?

  1. #1
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    Simple install from iso to USB/HDD2 or net install, missing steps?

    I'm trying to install a new distro on my first HDD. This computer has 2 HDDs currently. None of the methods I can find online actually work. Please help. It has taken over a week to download an iso, create a live USB that doesn't work, and find out I couldn't expect the USB to boot anyway because there is nothing to boot it with anywhere in the USB that the computer can recognize. That seems like a HUMONGOUS glaring oversight in the USB programs and tutorials.

    I downloaded isos for several distros and can't get any of them to work, although I finally did manage to get a USB to LOOK like it should work.
    Ultimate Edition 3.5
    Linux Mint Nadia
    Bhodi Linux
    Fuduntu

    After trying several USB creator programs Unetbootin actually resulted in a USB boot that tried to do something. I got some SYSLINUX message mentioning H. Peter Anvin, blah blah. After googling for hours I discovered the USB needs syslinux and found advice to change isolinux to syslinux, but intructions were vague or missing a step or two. I tried using dd, which got the USB stick labelled correctly and got me to the devices list, but not quite to boot either.

    After learning the USB needed syslinux or some kind of boot loader, I decided to try to find out 3 things:
    1) Could the iso be copied directly to the other HDD using dd and then install, skipping a CD or USB? Theoretically, yes, but I still need a MBR and I'm not quite sure how to set up the partition for the boot loader and get it installed prior to first boot.

    2) How to get the correct bootloader installed on the USB to make it truly bootable (syslinux vs. isolinux), and

    3) How to do a net install. I thought I remembered years ago that the standard method for installing Linux was to pull it directly from repositories or servers and install directly to the computer. I know some distros can do this now, but haven't been able to find instructions that seem complete.

    I just want to note that the dd method is MUCH SIMPLER than downloading Unetbootin and figuring out how to make it find and recognize your iso files and devices. Type a few simple words of code and it's done. Forget about the programs that "automate" everything. Terminal already automates things if you just use it. I would really prefer to know how to do it the right way than have a script or program do it all for me and leave me completely in the dark when something is incomplete and it doesn't work. So if you know some code or tutorials I haven't found I would be very grateful.
    Last edited by Luxx; April 1st, 2013 at 12:39 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Simple install from iso to USB/HDD2 or net install, missing steps?

    Also instructions for CD/DVD or USB
    http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download
    Write image or burn image not copy ISO as one large file to CD.
    http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/...-cd-on-windows
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...n/FromUSBStick

    Some old versions of Ubuntu had installers with issues.

    Bugs in usb-creator unetbootin is an alternative if usb-create does not work
    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/usb-creator


    Are you using a new version of unetbootin? Some older versions did have issues.
    Also it just seems some flash drives, some BIOS in combination do not work.

    http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
    If that does not work
    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/univers...easy-as-1-2-3/

    Some of the possible fixes:

    syslinux errors help/enter works:
    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ux/+bug/617779
    Delete ui in syslinux.cfg
    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ux/+bug/608382
    in the directory from "isolinux.cfg" to "syslinux.cfg"
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2078599
    Try replacing the file vesamenu.c32 on the USB disk drive with that one "/usr/lib/syslinux/vesamenu.c32" of Ubuntu Maverick system or use UNetbootin than works fine.
    http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...-image-829397/

    Are you using USB3 port? Some have issues with those.

    Not all distributions are hybrid:

    The daily ISOs for the Ubuntu Oneiric 11.10 development cycle (and all official Ubuntu CD releases going forward)
    for i386 and x86_64 platforms will be now spun as hybrid ISOs. or you can use dd
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...ghlight=Hybrid
    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.







  3. #3
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    Re: Simple install from iso to USB/HDD2 or net install, missing steps?

    Thank you for the links. I had come across some of these, but there are a few I had missed. I'm reviewing info concerning syslinux and grub. It seems dd should work to put any distro iso on a USB stick, but there may be some things I have to do manually to get it to boot. I am finding no syslinux on USB or in the isos. Once I wrap my head around this to the point I can implement the instructions I will get back. Again, thanks. I have a few things to try out.


    Wonderful. I can no longer rename or edit anything. Nautilus won't run as root (pretends to but won't do anything). It worked yesterday, but Synaptic was acting funny. I lost most of my GUI and had to reinstall ubuntu-desktop.
    Last edited by Luxx; March 9th, 2013 at 11:45 PM. Reason: update

  4. #4
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    Re: Simple install from iso to USB/HDD2 or net install, missing steps?

    Here's where I'm at:

    Several of the above links offer suggestions that seem feasible, but I can't get any of them to work. I made a serious mistake when I upgraded my system. Priviledges in Nautilus (gksudo nautilus) no longer work and I cannot change file names, make changes in files, or add or replace them, so even though some of these syslinux or vesamenu.c32 options seem like they might be along the right path, I can no longer try them. I could have done this before I upgraded my system.

    Trying the updated version of Unetbootin did not make any difference. I was trying to use dd to do this anyway, because when a pre-made program doesn't work it just doesn't work. When you do something in terminal with some knowledge and intent, you can usually figure out what you missed, what went wrong, and why it didn't work. That was why I said I wanted to know how to "do it right" from terminal. I don't really find pre-made solutions simpler than using the terminal. They just leave me in the dark.

    At this point I am leaning towards:

    1) a net install (I have found instructions for a net install, but there seems to be a very important piece or pieces missing)

    or

    2) installing grub on the second hard drive with the iso and installing it directly to HDD2. I have not found enough info to put together how to do this, although I have found that it is theoretically possible and it doesn't seem like it should be that hard.

    I found a friend with a Windows computer and tried to use the Windows version of Unetbootin, but then discovered the USB port didn't work on that computer. I am running out of options.
    Last edited by Luxx; March 9th, 2013 at 11:50 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Simple install from iso to USB/HDD2 or net install, missing steps?

    I now only use hard drive install or from one drive to another using grub2's loopmount.

    This will boot an ISO from a hard drive.
    ISO Booting with Grub 2 from Hard drive - drs305
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/ISOBoot
    Examples - you may copy & edit for your path & ISO version
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Gr...OBoot/Examples
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1549847
    Boot ISO from harddrive. To install it would have to be different partition
    [SOLVED] Using grub 2 to boot an iso off hard drive old examples
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1535864

    I now only have one entry in grub's 40_custom so I can more easily edit the file I am changing ISOs in. It is on my 2nd drive in 4th partition in a /iso folder, so that is why it refers ot (hd2,4). Text file I edit is livecdimage.cfg.

    Code:
     # livecdimage.cfg
    # Add this to 40_custom to load this file:
    # menuentry 'Live ISOs' {
    # configfile (hd2,4)/iso/livecdimage.cfg
    #} 
    # Add iso names to livecdimage.cfg
    #for i in `ls *.iso`;do echo "# "$i>>livecdimage.cfg; done;
    
        menuentry "Ubuntu 12.04.2 Precise Desktop ISO 64bit" {
        set isofile="/boot/ISO/ubuntu-12.04.2-desktop-amd64.iso"
        loopback loop (hd0,5)$isofile 
        linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz.efi boot=casper iso-scan/filename=$isofile 
        initrd (loop)/casper/initrd.lz
    }
    
        menuentry "Uubuntu 12.10 Quantal ISO 64bit" {
        set isofile="/iso/quantal-desktop-amd64.iso"
        insmod part_gpt
        loopback loop (hd2,4)$isofile 
        linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper iso-scan/filename=$isofile nomodeset
        initrd (loop)/casper/initrd.lz
    }
    
         menuentry "Parted Magic (Boot ISO Image via Grub2) " {
    
     insmod part_gpt
    set isofile="/iso/pmagic_2012_05_30.iso"
    loopback loop (hd2,4)$isofile
    linux (loop)/pmagic/bzImage iso_filename=$isofile edd=off load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 rw vga=normal loglevel=9 max_loop=256 vmalloc=256MiB
    initrd (loop)/pmagic/initrd.img
    
     }
       menuentry "gparted (Boot ISO Image via Grub2) " {
    
     insmod part_gpt
    set isofile="/iso/gparted-live-0.12.1-5.iso"
    loopback loop (hd2,4)$isofile
    
     #	linux (loop)/live/vmlinuz live-media=iso=$isofile keyb=us gl_kbd=us gl_lang=en_US gl_numlk=off gl_batch boot=live union=aufs  #toram=filesystem.squashfs noswap noprompt vga=791
    #        linux (loop)/live/vmlinuz fromiso=$isofile boot=live noswap
            linux (loop)/live/vmlinuz boot=live config union=aufs noswap noprompt ip=frommedia findiso=$isofile toram=filesystem.squashfs
     initrd (loop)/live/initrd.img
    
     }
    # linux /workdir/vmlinuz fromiso=/dev/sda11/debian-live-6.0.3-i386-lxde-desktop.iso boot=live config BOOT_IMAGE=/live/vmlinuz
       menuentry "Boot-Repair ISO 64bit " {
    
     insmod part_gpt
    set isofile="/iso/boot-repair-disk.iso"
    loopback loop (hd2,4)$isofile
    
         linux (loop)/live/vmlinuz2 boot=live config union=aufs noswap noprompt ip=frommedia findiso=$isofile toram=filesystem.squashfs
    #    linux (loop)/live/vmlinuz2 boot=live config
     initrd (loop)/live/initrd2.img
    
     }
        menuentry "SystemRescue CD on hard drive" {
                  set root=(hd2,4)
                  linux   /sysrcd/rescuecd subdir=sysrcd setkmap=us
                  initrd  /sysrcd/initram.igz
    } 
    
        menuentry "Reboot" {
    
     reboot
    
     }
       menuentry "Halt" {
    
     halt
    
     }
    Last edited by oldfred; March 10th, 2013 at 02:04 AM.
    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.







  6. #6
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    Re: Simple install from iso to USB/HDD2 or net install, missing steps?

    This looks like exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the links. After some reading homework and trial-and-error, I'm sure I'll have some questions. I'll give this a try and get back.

  7. #7
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    Re: Simple install from iso to USB/HDD2 or net install, missing steps?

    Ummm... curious. I put in a 3rd HDD and it wants to mount it at /usb/floppy. It's SATA. I don't even know what to think of that.

  8. #8
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    Re: Simple install from iso to USB/HDD2 or net install, missing steps?

    I have seen users have issues with Asmedia SATA ports. Not sure why a hard drive plugged into a SATA port would be seen as USB?
    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.







  9. #9
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    Re: Simple install from iso to USB/HDD2 or net install, missing steps?

    I've used Unetbootin many times, and it has always produced a USB flash drive which booted into a Live session -- including Mint Nadia and Fuduntu. Have you checked the checksum of the ISOs you downloaded?

    There is a lot of nonsense on the Internet, and it sounds you are paying too much attention to it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Simple install from iso to USB/HDD2 or net install, missing steps?

    Sums checked, Unetbootin and the USB creator did not work. There was a syslinux error; USB would not boot. I don't see anything wrong in trying to understand why they didn't work or how to use a different method. I would prefer a different method and to know how and why it works.

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