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Thread: Howto make USB boot drives

  1. #991
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @C.S.Cameron,

    Maybe we can say that people who still run Window XP , Windows 7 and Windows 8 can go via an Ubuntu [persistent] live drive and install mkusb (which can create an MSDOS partition table as an alternative to the standard GPT).

    Then we can focus on people who run Windows 10 for our template.

  2. #992
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @sudodus:

    Yea, but people still running Windows XP probably need to try Ubuntu the most. They can start with a Rufus or UNetbootin persistent install and work their way up from there, next stop mkusb, then the world.

    I tried a USB with "dd_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_ntfs_3.5GB.img.xz" installed, on a Windows 7 VM.

    Windows 7 File Manager could not see the NTFS partition, (Disk Manager could see it, but could not do anything with it).

    I reformatted the NTFS partition to FAT32 and the partition was accessible. I copied Ubuntu 20.04 ISO to it, working in windows 7. I added a "casper-rw" file and renamed it "writable".

    The USB boots right up and is persistent.

  3. #993
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @C.S.Cameron

    Good result with Windows 7

    1. Did you reformat to FAT32 in Ubuntu?

    2. Did you try the same in Windows 10 (copy Ubuntu 20.04 ISO to the FAT32 partition, and try booting from the drive)? In other words, are Windows 7 and Windows treating a drive made from the 3.5GB template in the same way, or not?

    3. Finally, do you want me to upload a corresponding 3.5GB template with FAT32 in partition #1? In that case, what size should it occupy? Slightly less than 4GB or slightly less than 8 GB (slightly less in order for it to work with drives that might be 'undersized'; the size of several USB pendrives and memory cards is not quite as big as the nominal size, for example 3.9GB or 7.8GB.)

  4. #994
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @sudodus
    The .xz size of the image that includes a 3.5B FAT32 or NTFS partition one is not much larger than the .xz without it. (but takes a little longer to flash, which is not a big deal).

    1) Yes, But I am hoping the image will come with FAT32 off the shelf.

    2) Yes I think so. Both worked with the original image file okay. The EliteBook Windows 10 seems to be having a bit of difficulty booting the drive made with Windows 7*. The Gigabyte computer is not having a problem at all, but it uses UEFI.

    3) Yes please. 3.5GB seems to be the right size, (but I am probably the last person on earth using something that small). It is easy to enlarge the partition.

    *Seems to be working okay now though.
    Last edited by C.S.Cameron; August 11th, 2020 at 01:49 PM.

  5. #995
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @C.S.Cameron,

    Edit: The set of 'mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios' files has been edited, and the current set is shown in post #999


    I tried to listen to what you want: modified the names and created a new template with an FAT32 file system in partition #1.

    You found these templates at https://phillw.net/isos/linux-tools/uefi-n-bios/?C=N;O=D

    - mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz
    - mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-windows.img.xz
    - mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_3.5GB_use-in-windows.img.xz
    - mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_4GB_use-in-windows.img.xz

    and the md5sums in the file mkusb_grub-boot-templates-for-uefi-n-bios.md5


    Code:
    $ ls -trl mkusb_grub-boot-template*
    -rw-r--r--. 1 nio nio 2768416  4 jun 10.05 mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz
    -rw-r--r--. 1 nio nio 3681860  8 aug 17.18 mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-windows.img.xz
    -rw-r--r--. 1 nio nio 3313020 11 aug 15.25 mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_3.5GB_use-in-windows.img.xz
    -rw-r--r--. 1 nio nio 3331492 11 aug 22.47 mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_4GB_use-in-windows.img.xz
    -rw-r--r--. 1 nio nio     409 11 aug 23.42 mkusb_grub-boot-templates-for-uefi-n-bios.md5
    
    $ md5sum -c mkusb_grub-boot-templates-for-uefi-n-bios.md5
    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_3.5GB_use-in-windows.img.xz: OK
    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_4GB_use-in-windows.img.xz: OK
    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz: OK
    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-windows.img.xz: OK
    
    $ lsblk -fm /dev/sdc
    NAME   FSTYPE LABEL     UUID                                 MOUNTPOINT             SIZE OWNER GROUP MODE
    sdc                                                                                14,6G root  disk  brw-rw----
    ├─sdc1 vfat   ISODEVICE D39A-66D7                            /media/nio/ISODEVICE   3,4G root  disk  brw-rw----
    ├─sdc2                                                                                1M root  disk  brw-rw----
    ├─sdc3 vfat   usbboot   02D3-7915                                                   245M root  disk  brw-rw----
    └─sdc4 ext4   writable  edd959eb-b3db-4bd1-8c5d-cc2e4c3d0877                         11G root  disk  brw-rw----
    I think this palette with templates should provide working solutions for most cases, where you want to use templates to create a grub-n-iso (isoboot) system or an installed system in an external drive (USB pendrive, memory card, external SSD or HDD via USB or eSATA).

    Please test that the templates work for you.

    Edit 1: I tested again, and this time Windows 10 could not use the template with a FAT32 partition (in particular, could not see the FAT32 partition, hence not put any iso file into it

    I don't know why it worked the first time but not after that - I tried to reboot, but it did not help. If you can use it in Windows 7, fine, otherwise I think it is better to remove this template, because I don't see how it can be used, where the other templates don't work.

    Edit 2: I created a new template file for old Windows, that see only partition #1. I made it slightly bigger too, but still with some margin smaller than the standard nominal size 4 GB.

    This time the partition is not only number 1, but also located at the head of the drive, before the other partitions. There is still a problem that Windows refuses to edit it, but Windows can to copy a file into it. So we can provide ubuntu.iso and get a successful grub-n-iso boot drive, that works both in UEFI mode and BIOS mode.

    I think this file
    Code:
    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_4GB_use-in-windows.img.xz
    should work for you in old versions of Windows. But I have only tested it in Windows 10, so I am looking forward to your test result
    Last edited by sudodus; August 14th, 2020 at 03:49 PM.

  6. #996
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Thanks Sudodus
    That should keep me entertained for a while.

  7. #997
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Sudodus:

    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_3.5GB_use-in-windows.img.xz was flashed using Rufus. Apparently Etcher does not like Linux ISO's with Windows in the name. It wants to treat them as Windows ISO's. After changing the word "windows" to "wins" it worked in Etcher also..The resulting USB was not accessible in Windows 7 or 10, except by Rufus and Windows Disk Manager, WDM was not able to fix it. *

    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_4GB_use-in-windows.img.xz worked great for me using Rufus. Easy and quick way to make an ISO booter. The USB was accessible in both Windows 7 and 10. After changing the word "windows" to "wins" it worked in Etcher also.
    I made a working Ubuntu ISO booter on Windows 7 using the image. Funny thing is the .xz file worked in Rufus even though I could not find 7zip installed on the VM? I wonder if a similar Template would work with a NTFS partition?.
    The Template did not work for me in Etcher on a 4B drive even renamed to "wins". I think Etcher thought it is too big for my 4GB USB. Rufus managed to squeeze it onto the same 4GB USB.

    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz made a drive that was visible to Windows Disk Manager and I was able to add a NTFS partition, but it would not completely shut down.This image mostly worked in a Windows 7 but not able to format unallocated space. Only Rufus could see it. The 4GB Template version with a FAT32 partition included, saved a step over this version.

    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz worked great using mkusb to flash the USB. It did not work using Gnome-Disks. I created a FAT32 partition using GParted that was visible in Windows 10 but not in 7. I changed the drive letter using WDM and it became usable in Windows 7. I should also mention that the fat32_4GB_use-in-windows.img also worked with mkusb and also worked with Gnome-Disks and was usable in Windows 10 and in 7 without changing drive letter..

    If I was marooned on a jungle island, somewhere in the Indian ocean and could only have one of the above I would pick "mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_4GB_use-in-windows.img.xz". My second choice would be the bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz.

    * I'm not sure how reproducible my results are. I could have sworn that the first time I ran the 3.5GB Template it worked okay. I have run the 4GB template a dozen times today with consistent results.

  8. #998
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Quote Originally Posted by C.S.Cameron View Post
    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz made a drive that was visible to Windows Disk Manager and I was able to add a NTFS partition, but it would not completely shut down.This image mostly worked in a Windows 7 but not able to format unallocated space. Only Rufus could see it. The 4GB Template version with a FAT32 partition included, saved a step over this version.

    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz worked great using mkusb to flash the USB. It did not work using Gnome-Disks. I created a FAT32 partition using GParted that was visible in Windows 10 but not in 7. I changed the drive letter using WDM and it became usable in Windows 7. I should also mention that the fat32_4GB_use-in-windows.img also worked with mkusb and also worked with Gnome-Disks and was usable in Windows 10 and in 7 without changing drive letter..
    Thanks for these detailed tests.

    Question: Are you talking about the same template in the above paragraphs, or is one of them about

    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-windows.img.xz

    (renamed from dd_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_only-p1p2.img.xz) ?



    Comment: I will check the problem, when using Gnome-Disks.

    Edit: with mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz and Gnome-Disks, the drive needs also treatment with gpt-fix in order to work (this treatment is built into mkusb-dus). I can try to reduce this problem (so that gpt-fix is no longer necessary).

    So it is easier to use mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_4GB_use-in-wins.img.xz, but the FAT32 partition is at the drive's head end so its size is difficult to increase, which is a disadvantage. But I understand that you prefer it anyway, because when you consider the general performance, it is best among the tested templates.
    Last edited by sudodus; August 14th, 2020 at 04:17 PM. Reason: highlighted question

  9. #999
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    I made a new version of mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz

    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz
    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_4GB_use-in-wins.img.xz
    mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-wins.img.xz

    with the md5sums in

    Check the download with

    grub-boot-templates-for-uefi-n-bios.md5

    This 'use in Ubuntu' file behaves better in my tests when clonied with Gnome-Disks. Please test how it works in Windows 7 and 10 for you.

    I also renamed the files to make Etcher accept them.

    Code:
    $ l -tr mkusb_grub-boot-template*
    -rw-r--r-- 1 nio nio 3681860  8 aug 17.18 mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-wins.img.xz
    -rw-r--r-- 1 nio nio 3331492 11 aug 22.47 mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_4GB_use-in-wins.img.xz
    -rw-r--r-- 1 nio nio 2768936 14 aug 16.03 mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_use-in-ubuntu.img.xz
    Edit: I should add to "This 'use in Ubuntu' template file behaves better in my tests when cloned with Gnome-Disks." that I

    - cloned with Gnome-Disks and then
    - used Gparted to create a FAT32 partition and
    - let Gparted do the fix that it wants to do (somewhat corresponding to 'gpt-fix').

    This will become partition #1, located behind the boot partitions, so it is not limited in size. It looks good in Windows 10, and I am looking forward to your test in Windows 7, where I hope you can use it, for example to read and write files.
    Last edited by sudodus; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:06 PM.

  10. #1000
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    Question: Are you talking about the same template in the above paragraphs, or is one of them about

    Oops, looks like a copy paste error, The first paragraph should have been for the Windows Template, the next paragraph was correctly about the Ubuntu one. I did not find much difference between them.

    So it is easier to use mkusb_grub-boot-template-for-uefi-n-bios_fat32_4GB_use-in-wins.img.xz, but the FAT32 partition is at the drive's head end so its size is difficult to increase, which is a disadvantage. But I understand that you prefer it anyway, because when you consider the general performance, it is best among the tested templates.
    Yes, I think for casual use I would use fat32_4GB_use-in-wins.img, but I don't want to be too hasty. Will confirm after I have given it a bit more thought.

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