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Thread: Howto make USB boot drives

  1. #911
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    I am ready to help you debug this problem by testing here (but of course my computers are different from yours).
    Thanks @sudodus - I have done more research/reading and some articles suggested that if part of the HDD was corrupt there can be problems with an install. I did even use 'Startup Disk Creator' to make the usb, but that did the same thing. So, 2 different utilities/tools and the same error/problem. What baffles me though is that I have used mkusb in the past to do a fresh install on the HP laptop.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    0. Did you remember to check with md5sum that the iso file is good?
    I knew that the ISO was okay as I only checked it about 2 weeks ago. However , just checked again with md5sum and it is okay.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    1. Did you create a live-only or a persistent live drive?
    I tried with both, but same problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    2. It really should work when cloned because the cloning process is very robust and should not differ between tools. So it is well debugged with the Kubuntu 19.10 iso file.

    Edit: Some HP computers do not want to boot via grub from USB when there is a GUID partition table (GPT). For such computers you should select MSDOS partition table in the 'Settings' menu, when you make a persistent live drive.
    I can wipe the HDD completely if that would help. At present it has 19.10 on it but the desktop/plasma/menus is a total mess and I can't even switch between tasks. That is why I thought a fresh install may be warranted. But if I did wipe it clean, I would also like to check for any bad clusters, and mark those areas as 'unusable' or similar. Just to rule out the chance of this being a case of the install doing some sort of 'hang' or whatever when trying to write into bad blocks, etc. Thanks for your help.

  2. #912
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Cloning with mkusb and the Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator should give the same results. It there are problems with that process, there is some other problem (with the running operating system or the hardware (internal or external). So I think you are on the right track. It is a good idea to check the internal drive's S.M.A.R.T. status and after that create a partition with ext4 and after that run

    Code:
    sudo e2fsck -cf /dev/sdxn
    where x is the device letter and n is the partition number where you have the ext4 file system.

    I suggest that you test the RAM too. You can use memtest. Run it overnight - there should be no error at all during that time.
    Last edited by sudodus; April 9th, 2020 at 10:07 AM. Reason: added link to memtest

  3. #913
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @sudodus thanks for your help.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    Cloning with mkusb and the Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator should give the same results. It there are problems with that process, there is some other problem (with the running operating system or the hardware (internal or external). So I think you are on the right track. It is a good idea to check the internal drive's S.M.A.R.T. status and after that create a partition with ext4 and after that run
    I couldn't even create a partition. There have been far too many weird things going on with that laptop. It won't even let me drop down to Konsole, plus there are processes still there from before I last shutdown ? Can't navigate on the desktop, or swap between tasks. So at present running a secure erase on the hard drive, it will take 2 hours. I did have DBAN on a usb, booted to usb but the laptop went and booted to the HDD. Virus in the MBR ?? Myth Busters would say it is plausible...lol

  4. #914
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    So, after the HDD was reformatted, tried the usb again, same problem. When powering down the laptop there was a very quick message, something like "no caching mode page found". Did another mkusb , noticed this afterwards ..

    NAME MODEL FSTYPE LABEL MOUNTPOINT SIZE NAME
    sdb TOSHIBA_USB_DRV iso9660 Kubuntu 19.10 amd64 7.5G sdb
    sdb1 iso9660 Kubuntu 19.10 amd64 2.1G sdb1
    sdb2 vfat Kubuntu 19.10 amd64 3.9M sdb2
    sdb3 ntfs usbdata 5.3G sdb3

    with the 'live' option, there was no default, it asked whether I wanted to use vfat or iso9660. I took a 'y' to both, not knowing ??

    Edit #2

    After watching the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buWwqeGfVmc , did this

    Code:
    sudo /sbin/hdparm -I /dev/sdb
    /dev/sdb:
    SG_IO: bad/missing sense data, sb[]: 70 00 05 00 00 00 00 0a 00 00 00 00 20 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

    ATA device, with non-removable media
    Standards:
    Likely used: 1
    Configuration:
    Logical max current
    cylinders 0 0
    heads 0 0
    sectors/track 0 0
    --
    Logical/Physical Sector size: 512 bytes
    device size with M = 1024*1024: 0 MBytes
    device size with M = 1000*1000: 0 MBytes
    cache/buffer size = unknown
    Capabilities:
    IORDY not likely
    Cannot perform double-word IO
    R/W multiple sector transfer: not supported
    DMA: not supported
    PIO: pio0
    Edit #3

    @sudodus - You mentioned
    Some HP computers do not want to boot via grub from USB when there is a GUID partition table (GPT). For such computers you should select MSDOS partition table in the 'Settings' menu, when you make a persistent live drive.
    . But no matter what initial menu options I used with mkusb there was no settings option ?
    Last edited by oygle; April 10th, 2020 at 04:36 AM. Reason: extra info

  5. #915
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @oygle,

    I see from

    Code:
    NAME MODEL FSTYPE LABEL MOUNTPOINT SIZE NAME
    sdb TOSHIBA_USB_DRV iso9660 Kubuntu 19.10 amd64 7.5G sdb
    sdb1 iso9660 Kubuntu 19.10 amd64 2.1G sdb1
    sdb2 vfat Kubuntu 19.10 amd64 3.9M sdb2
    sdb3 ntfs usbdata 5.3G sdb3
    that you have used mkusb-plug, and then there is no problem with HP computers that do not want to boot via grub from USB because mkusb-plug uses a semi-cloning method (uses sed to modify the linux lines in the menuentries in grub.cfg, and boots via syslinux in BIOS mode). So you are not suffering from that problem. It might have affected you, if you used mkusb-dus alias the classic mkusb version 12.

    The USB drive described above looks good to me. It should be possible to boot from it. If the computer fails, you could try with another maybe older version of Kubuntu or standard Ubuntu, but I think there is a serious problem with the hardware.

    What operating system did you run when you ran hdparm (to get the output shown in the previous post)?

    What happens when you try to check the S.M.A.R.T. status via Disks when running the same operating system?



    I am not good at interpreting the output of hdparm, but I can imagine that your output indicates problems.

    I think you can get better help if you create an own separate thread for this problem. That way many more people will see your description, particularly people who are good at troubleshooting hardware problems. (Those people might not be interested in this tutorial thread about methods to make boot drives.)

    If you create an own separate thread, please post a link to that new thread here, so that I and others who have seen your problem here can follow the development in the new thread (and maybe contribute to it).

  6. #916
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    @oygle,
    The USB drive described above looks good to me. It should be possible to boot from it. If the computer fails, you could try with another maybe older version of Kubuntu or standard Ubuntu, but I think there is a serious problem with the hardware.
    Yes I agree, something wrong with the hardware, memory, motherboard, it is old. BUT, out of frustration I used "Startup Disk Creator" on a DVD, used it and it is now installing on the HP laptop.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    What operating system did you run when you ran hdparm (to get the output shown in the previous post)?
    Kubuntu 19.10

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    What happens when you try to check the S.M.A.R.T. status via Disks when running the same operating system?
    It isn't installed yet on that laptop but will do soon. I did get Smartmontools installed on the HP laptop before I wiped the HDD, and the 2 min quick test was okay, but all the other log type info said 'pre fail' or 'old', etc, so the laptop is due to be tossed out for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudodus View Post
    I think you can get better help if you create an own separate thread for this problem. That way many more people will see your description, particularly people who are good at troubleshooting hardware problems. (Those people might not be interested in this tutorial thread about methods to make boot drives.)

    If you create an own separate thread, please post a link to that new thread here, so that I and others who have seen your problem here can follow the development in the new thread (and maybe contribute to it).
    Okay there is one at https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2440334 , had some replies , but as I thought it was mkusb specific problem, added a post here. Thanks for all your help @sudodus, very much appreciated.

    Just to recap quickly on what I tried
    * 2 different usb devices
    * 'live' , 'persistent live' and other settings in mkusb
    * Rest BIOS to defaults in HP laptop, plus checked the BIOS settings many times
    * No memory test as yet
    * Startup Disk Creator to usb, no install option there either

  7. #917
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    @oygle,

    There seems to be a specific problem affecting booting from USB. Fortunately it does not affect booting from DVD

    I will look at that other thread now ...

  8. #918
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    mkusb version 12.4.5

    mkusb - 12.4.5
    - backup and restore: 'live-rw' --> 'writable'
    mkusb - 12.4.5-1ubuntu2
    - backup and restore: getcnt and getdrw: fix to work with mmcblk devices
    mkusb - 12.4.5-1ubuntu3
    - backup and restore: getcnt and getdrw: minor bugfixes after testing
    mkusb - 12.4.5-1ubuntu4
    - debian/control: mkusb et.al. depend: mkusb-common (>= 12.4.5)
    mkusb - 12.4.5-1ubuntu5
    - debian/update-control: depends updated 'automatically'

    The backup and restore scripts for the partition for persistence are upgraded to match the new label 'writable' replacing the old deprecated label 'live-rw'. Please notice that 'casper-rw' is also working as label for persistence and the backup and restore scripts can manage both labels, 'casper-rw' and 'writable'.

    There are also modifications in order to make backup and restore work not only with USB drives but also memory cards that are seen as mmcblk devices.

    There are also modifications in the debian scripts in order to force upgrading of relevant subpackages of mkusb, when mkusb is upgraded manually (for example in persistent live systems, when you may not want general upgrading).



    Unstable 1: You get/update this new version of mkusb from the unstable PPA via the following commands

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository universe     # this line only for standard Ubuntu
    
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/unstable
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb           # to install
    # sudo apt full-upgrade          # upgrade to current version (with all other upgrades), only for installed systems
    
    sudo apt install mkusb guidus dus mkusb-common  # to upgrade all mkusb basic components including dus
    
    sudo apt install usb-pack-efi    # for persistent live drives that work in UEFI and BIOS mode with 32-bit iso files
    You get only the version dus (alone or with guidus) via one of the following commands (if you don't care about mkusb-11, mkusb-nox, mkusb-bas)

    Code:
    sudo apt install dus
    sudo apt install guidus
    You get only the version mkusb-plug via [the update command and] the following command,

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb-plug
    Unstable 2: This new version of mkusb might also be available via this link: mkusb/gui#from_phillw.net.
    Unstable 3: There are tarballs with only dus and guidus (mkusb version 12) as a last alternative.



    Stable: mkusb version 12.4.4 is in the stable PPA. The policy is to test mkusb for a long time and in several environments before it is uploaded to the stable PPA (unless there are minor tweaks or bug-fixes).

    You get/update this version via the following commands

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository universe      # this line only for standard Ubuntu
    
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb            # to install
    # sudo apt full-upgrade           # upgrade to current version (with all other upgrades), only for installed systems
    
    sudo apt install usb-pack-efi     # for persistent live drives that work in UEFI and BIOS mode with 32-bit iso files
    You get only the version dus (alone or with guidus) via one of the following commands (if you don't care about mkusb-11, mkusb-nox, mkusb-bas)

    Code:
    sudo apt install dus
    sudo apt install guidus
    You get only the version mkusb-plug via [the update command and] the following command,

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb-plug
    Usually there is drive space enough to install all the following mkusb packages explicitly:

    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mkusb guidus mkusb-plug usb-pack-efi

    Please notice that if you have already installed mkusb-plug or dus/guidus from a tarball, you had better remove that version when you install via PPA. The advantage with the PPA version is that it gets updated/upgraded automatically along with other program packages that are installed from the Ubuntu repositories.
    Last edited by sudodus; April 18th, 2020 at 07:39 PM. Reason: added fixes

  9. #919
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    This is to inform that I could make persistent usb installation using mkusb on Ubuntu 18.04 for ExTiX LXQt Mini 20.4, Build 200402 iso. This distribution is based on Ubuntu 20.04 and uses LXQt Desktop. It uses the latest Linux Kernel 5.6.2.

    Kamalakar
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-21 with pre-installed Endless OS & Ubuntu 18.04 in dual boot
    Linux Registered User #395189
    Ubuntu user number # 345

  10. #920
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    Re: Howto make USB boot drives

    Hi Kamalakar,

    Interesting Sometimes I test Extix, and persistence works with some versions, but not all.

    Please explain which version of mkusb that you used, mkusb-dus or mkusb-plug and if you could use the default settings, or if you had to modify any settings or tweak something manually.

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