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 Post subject: Non FAT Live USB (SOLVED)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Location: Ohio
OK, for starters, here's the background on the issue:

I rebuilt my computer a couple weeks ago and my motherboard is very modern, it's a GIGABYTE AM3+ AMD 9-series motherboard. Anywho, I decided yesterday to give Linux Mint 14 a try just for fun. So, I downloaded the .iso and used Startup Disk Creator to write it to a FAT32-formatted SanDisk Cruzer USB flash drive. I've done this numerous times, it's how I got Peppermint 3 onto my HDD (prior to the rebuild) and on my laptop. So, I rebooted, went to the boot menu, and found that the drive wasn't showing up. Normally, these show up as hard drives. I figured maybe it was a BIOS setting, so I went into the BIOS setup. I then spent about 1/2 an hour messing around with every BIOS setting that I thought may have made a difference as far as booting USB drives. None of it worked. I tried the drive in my laptop just to make sure it wasn't a drive problem (even though it was working fine in Peppermint) and it showed up on my HDD list and booted right up. So, I reset the BIOS on my desktop to the default settings and decided to Google the problem.

So, I booted back into Peppermint and started searching. I found a lot of people have this problem with GIGABYTE motherboards. Some people suggested a setting mine doesn't even have (probably an older board and BIOS) and someone said it would work with FAT16. I opened Gparted and reformatted the drive to FAT16, used Startup Disk Creator to write a new Live USB, still no joy.

After that, I decided to try other file formats. I used Gparted to write the drive to NTFS. I rebooted, and there it was on the HDD list. I tried ext4 and it too showed up as a bootable drive. So, I realized the board just won't boot from USB drives formatted with FAT file systems, or probably any FAT-formatted drives. I chatted with a techie friend of mine on another forum and he said he's been having this problem also, but it's with ASUS and another brand of board. Apparently, board manufacturers are no longer supporting FAT file systems as bootable drives. And, of course, neither Startup Disk Creator or Unetbootin will write a Linux .iso image to either NTFS or ext4. So, I'm currently stuck using actual CDs/DVDs like it's 2002 instead of 2012. (and this is with a "modern" sytem :roll:)

So, my question is: Is there a way to write a Live USB drive with any file system format besides FAT? NTFS or ext4 would be nice, because I know the board will boot those, but I'm sure it will boot others too. Or am I pretty much just out of luck here?


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 Post subject: Re: Non FAT Live USB
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:25 pm
Posts: 5521
Location: Cornwall, England
Have you tried writing it as an ISO9660 isohybrid image ?

Effectively that's copying the CD filesystem to the USB stick and using isolinux to boot it (so the system thinks it's running a CD)

I'm pretty sure the Linux Mint ISO images are already isohybrid, so all you need to do is unmount the USB stick, then -

Code:
cat /path/to/mint.iso > /dev/sdb


Where /dev/sdb is the USB stick.

BE AWARE .. this will completely overwrite the target drive, so be careful not to select your hard drive .. you have been warned.

If the Linux Mint ISO image ISN'T already an isohybrid image, run:
Code:
isohybrid /path/to/mint.iso

to make it one ;)

This doesn't allow for making a persistent LiveUSB though :(

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 Post subject: Re: Non FAT Live USB
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:17 pm 
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Location: Ohio
OK, thanks. I'll try that out. The drive is already blank, so no worries there. This is pretty much all I use this drive for. Also, I don't really care about persistence, I just don't feel the need to waste discs making Live CDs, especially for distros I'm just trying. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Non FAT Live USB
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Location: Ohio
It just keeps telling me "permission denied."


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 Post subject: Re: Non FAT Live USB
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:23 pm 
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Location: Cornwall, England
I meant be careful not to set /dev/sda as the target .. if you've ever messed with dd and got the if/of mixed up, you'll know why I'm warning you.

The cat command above will COMPLETELY overwrite the target drive WITHOUT WARNING .. even if you select your main hard drive as the target accidentally

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 Post subject: Re: Non FAT Live USB
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:24 pm 
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run it as sudo then ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Non FAT Live USB
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:01 am
Posts: 2363
Location: Ohio
I did, same results.

PCNetSpec wrote:
I meant be careful not to set /dev/sda as the target .. if you've ever messed with dd and got the if/of mixed up, you'll know why I'm warning you.


Yes, I realize that now. However, I know which drive I want to assign it to. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Non FAT Live USB
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:28 pm 
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unmount it first

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 Post subject: Re: Non FAT Live USB
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:01 am
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Location: Ohio
I did that too. Same results.


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 Post subject: Re: Non FAT Live USB
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:25 pm
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Location: Cornwall, England
Try this ..

assuming it gets mounted as /dev/sdb1

unplug the USB stick .. replug the USB stick

run:
Code:
sudo fdisk -l

to be sure it IS /dev/sdb1
or whatever.

when sure, run:
Code:
sudo umount /dev/sdb1

then
Code:
cat /path/to/mint.iso > /dev/sdb


If that doesn't work, you can also use dd
Code:
dd if=/path/to/mint.iso of=/dev/sdb


Be VERY carefull with dd though ;)

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