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Thread: Can't create bootable USB

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    10

    Can't create bootable USB

    Now, I know this is the most basic part and I have actually done this many times before. I've created bootable USB sticks for Fedora recently (using the same USB stick) and in the past for Ubuntu using the instructions here http://www.ubuntu.com/download/deskt...ick-on-mac-osx, but for some reason it doesn't seem to be working for ubuntu 13.04. I am using sudo dd to create the disk but as soon as it's finished I get a warning saying "this disk is unreadable", and it doesn't boot.

    Unetbootin doesn't create a disk that is bootable on a mac and I have no optical drive so this is my only option. Any ideas what I might be doing wrong?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Beans
    10

    Re: Can't create bootable USB

    Obviously the action of writing out a forum post has helped. I seem to have a working disk.

    In case it helps anyone else, I changed the filename from "ubuntu-13.04-desktop-amd64.img" to "ubuntu1304.img" and the path from "/Users/Sam/..." to "~/..."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    10

    Re: Can't create bootable USB

    Scratch that, I'm back to an unreadable, unbootable disk again.

    Any ideas?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Beans
    54
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Can't create bootable USB

    I've done it before, and I did not convert the disk image. I just fed it straight with the .iso.
    Last edited by Mk32; August 17th, 2013 at 03:52 PM.

    iMac G4 800MHz, Compaq E500, ThinkPad X200
    Likes: Ubuntu 9.10, 10.04LTS with 9.10 back-theme
    Classic Mac Networking v3.1 http://applefool.com/se30/
    "Linux assumes you know exactly what you are doing." -oboedad55, ubuntuforums.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Beans
    87

    Re: Can't create bootable USB

    I think this program can help you solve a problem:


    http://sevenbits.github.io/Mac-Linux-USB-Loader/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Beans
    10

    Re: Can't create bootable USB

    mk, I tried that but still get an unbootable USB.

    mateo, that's great, thanks. This has got me further than before, but now when I boot from the disk I get a grub boot prompt (grub>). Any ideas what I do from here?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Beans
    7

    Re: Can't create bootable USB

    I used This link and found I was unable to create a USB stick on mac after converting .iso to .img with 10.10 (supposedly a "out of the box" working solution for my 7.1 macbook pro). However the exact same steps (followed exactly) worked perfectly when converting 13.04 and 12.04 ISO to .img. Both were installed from the same USB (I used disk manager to reformat MS-DOS every time before placing a new release on the USB). I found that at the end of loading the 12.04 and 13.04 image I was greeted by a mac error somewhat along the lines of "disk unreadable" and this denoted a correct mount to me, as the install worked every time afterward. The 10.10 release NEVER resulted in that message so I eventually went back to the originals, now I am trying to figure out wireless and graphic driver issues :/...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    a puddle in Manchester
    Beans
    9,208
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Can't create bootable USB

    I spent about 5 hours two nights ago trying to create a persistent bootable live usb and failed.
    All the usual suspects failed in an epic way - Unetbootin, USB-creator/Startup Disk Creator and dd from inside Ubuntu. They even failed with the same errors you've been getting. I used 2 different makes of USB stick and still nothing.
    In the end I tried doing it manually and that got closer than anything else did.
    After all that I decided to give up for the night and just made a non-persistent (normal) Live USB. They all failed at that too.
    The iso is good so I don't know what went wrong.

    In the end all I did was use dd from inside Mac OS X and the stick worked right away!

    We also must remember that Macs (if that's what you're using) can be very finicky about booting from USB sticks - or so I found.

    In the end I installed 13-04 to another USB stick so I can effectively have persistence using that full system install as a live USB.
    I have to say though that the installed system on the USB runs quite slowly but as it's only going to be used for repairing my base system it will do.
    MacBook Pro 10,1 retina

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    /dev/root
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: Can't create bootable USB

    Good to know that the result might be different if you use dd from inside Mac OS X and dd in another computer
    But I can't understand what could the different.

    -o-

    Look at this link that discusses the speed of USB pendrives

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...#Prerequisites

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    a puddle in Manchester
    Beans
    9,208
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Can't create bootable USB

    Yes, I don't know whether it's my choice of usb sticks or the computer.
    Having said that, one of my usb sticks is old - it's an Integral 2GB which for some reason (firmware I suspect) has a 1.5MB first partition which cannot be deleted.
    This has worked ok for a normal live usb before though.
    I have also tried 4GB and 8GB Sandisk Cruzer Blades and none of those was bootable unless I dd'd the image from within my MacBook Pro.
    All very odd, though the Mac can be a little flaky about booting from usb sticks occasionally, or even about picking them up at all.
    MacBook Pro 10,1 retina

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