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Creating a bootable partition on a USB disk with syslinux

 

 

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ianbrn at gmail

Sep 9, 2007, 11:28 PM

Post #1 of 8 (2909 views)
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Creating a bootable partition on a USB disk with syslinux

Hello,
I have a 2GB USB disk on key on /dev/sdb1.
I had created on it one partition (FAT16).
This partition holds all cylinders of the USB disk.


I want to create a bootable Linux USB disk.
For this, I tried:


syslinux -s /dev/sdb1


An than I ran:
fdisk -l /dev/sdb

Disk /dev/sdb: 2048 MB, 2048729600 bytes
64 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1008 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 3968 * 512 = 2031616 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 1 1008 1999841 6 FAT16



I expected that fdisk will show '*', meaning that it is a bootable partition.
But as you can see, fdisk shows there is no "*" in /dev/sdb1.

My question is: shouldn't syslinux /dev/sdb1 create a bootable partition ?
Should I use fdisk for it ? (like the "a" command of fdisk,
toggle a bootable flag)

Regards,
Ian

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aliustek at gmail

Sep 10, 2007, 4:57 AM

Post #2 of 8 (2783 views)
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Re: Creating a bootable partition on a USB disk with syslinux [In reply to]

Hi,

if you can see "ldlinux.sys" file on the disk syslinux did its job
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hpa at zytor

Sep 10, 2007, 9:29 AM

Post #3 of 8 (2880 views)
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Re: Creating a bootable partition on a USB disk with syslinux [In reply to]

Ian Brown wrote:
>
> My question is: shouldn't syslinux /dev/sdb1 create a bootable partition ?
> Should I use fdisk for it ? (like the "a" command of fdisk,
> toggle a bootable flag)
>

You need to install an MBR and mark the partition active.

-hpa

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aj at leogic

Sep 10, 2007, 11:50 PM

Post #4 of 8 (2795 views)
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Re: Creating a bootable partition on a USB disk with syslinux [In reply to]

Am Montag, 10. September 2007 schrieb H. Peter Anvin:
> Ian Brown wrote:
> > My question is: shouldn't syslinux /dev/sdb1 create a bootable partition
> > ? Should I use fdisk for it ? (like the "a" command of fdisk,
> > toggle a bootable flag)
>
> You need to install an MBR and mark the partition active.

btw: how to do that?
all I know is
- use mbr file from lilo
- use dd to write it to /dev/sda
- use some fdisk to mark the partition active

using dd is somehow awksome since it looks like this will overwrite the
partition table. but if the mbr small enough (220 bytes or something)

debian/ubuntu has also a package "mbr" with a programm install-mbr.
but: this program adds some hot keys so people can choose which partition
to boot during boot. this can be a security issue in some setups.
(or an annoyance as it adds a few seconds to the boot time.)

oops, checked ubuntu lilo package, no longer contains an mbr.
does anyone know a source of an open source mbr without fancy features?

Regards, Andreas

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wferi at niif

Sep 11, 2007, 12:46 AM

Post #5 of 8 (2777 views)
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Re: Creating a bootable partition on a USB disk with syslinux [In reply to]

Andreas Jellinghaus <aj [at] leogic> writes:

> Am Montag, 10. September 2007 schrieb H. Peter Anvin:
>> Ian Brown wrote:
>>> My question is: shouldn't syslinux /dev/sdb1 create a bootable partition
>>> ? Should I use fdisk for it ? (like the "a" command of fdisk,
>>> toggle a bootable flag)
>>
>> You need to install an MBR and mark the partition active.
>
> debian/ubuntu has also a package "mbr" with a programm install-mbr.
> but: this program adds some hot keys so people can choose which partition
> to boot during boot. this can be a security issue in some setups.
> (or an annoyance as it adds a few seconds to the boot time.)

This program has options to disable all the fancyness.

> oops, checked ubuntu lilo package, no longer contains an mbr.
> does anyone know a source of an open source mbr without fancy features?

Syslinux contains one.
--
Cheers,
Feri.

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g.esp at free

Sep 11, 2007, 12:59 AM

Post #6 of 8 (2789 views)
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Re: Creating a bootable partition on a USB disk with syslinux [In reply to]

Selon Andreas Jellinghaus <aj [at] leogic>:

> Am Montag, 10. September 2007 schrieb H. Peter Anvin:
> > Ian Brown wrote:
> > > My question is: shouldn't syslinux /dev/sdb1 create a bootable partition
> > > ? Should I use fdisk for it ? (like the "a" command of fdisk,
> > > toggle a bootable flag)
> >
> > You need to install an MBR and mark the partition active.
>
> btw: how to do that?
> all I know is
> - use mbr file from lilo
> - use dd to write it to /dev/sda
> - use some fdisk to mark the partition active
>
> using dd is somehow awksome since it looks like this will overwrite the
> partition table. but if the mbr small enough (220 bytes or something)
>
> debian/ubuntu has also a package "mbr" with a programm install-mbr.
> but: this program adds some hot keys so people can choose which partition
> to boot during boot. this can be a security issue in some setups.
> (or an annoyance as it adds a few seconds to the boot time.)
>
we used the same mbr package on ipcop and I have not seen the 'hot keys' change
and it does not disturb us.

> oops, checked ubuntu lilo package, no longer contains an mbr.
> does anyone know a source of an open source mbr without fancy features?
>
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~neilt/mbr


Gilles

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ianbrn at gmail

Sep 11, 2007, 1:45 AM

Post #7 of 8 (2781 views)
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Re: Creating a bootable partition on a USB disk with syslinux [In reply to]

Hello,
Thanks!
So the answer given by Ali is not enough:
>if you can see "ldlinux.sys" file on the disk syslinux did its job

As I understand, seeing "ldlinux.sys" does not yet says that it is bootable.

If I understand right, If it is bootable, than "fdisk -l" must show it
is bootable (by showing an '*' in the partition entry)

Another answer here said that you install an MBR and mark the partition active
by syslinux. "rpm -ql syslinux" shows me /usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin;
but I don't know how to
install an MBR and mark the partition active with syslinux (and if it
is possible at all).

Regards,
Ian




On 9/10/07, H. Peter Anvin <hpa [at] zytor> wrote:
> Ian Brown wrote:
> >
> > My question is: shouldn't syslinux /dev/sdb1 create a bootable partition ?
> > Should I use fdisk for it ? (like the "a" command of fdisk,
> > toggle a bootable flag)
> >
>
> You need to install an MBR and mark the partition active.
>
> -hpa
>
> _______________________________________________
> SYSLINUX mailing list
> Submissions to SYSLINUX [at] zytor
> Unsubscribe or set options at:
> http://www.zytor.com/mailman/listinfo/syslinux
> Please do not send private replies to mailing list traffic.
>
>

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ianbrn at gmail

Sep 11, 2007, 2:06 AM

Post #8 of 8 (2787 views)
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Re: Creating a bootable partition on a USB disk with syslinux [In reply to]

Hello,
I just one to add one little thing:

I said:
> but I don't know how to
> install an MBR and mark the partition active with syslinux (and if it
> is possible at all).
>


I know for sure that this is possible from DOS or Win32, according to
/usr/share/doc/syslinux-3.36/syslinux.doc (I have syslinux-3.36).

It says in that doc:

"Under DOS or Win32, you can install the SYSLINUX MBR with the -m
option to the SYSLINUX installer, and use the -a option to mark the
current partition active:

syslinux -ma c:"


But I work with Linux, and as I understand, there are no -a and -m options
from Linux.
" syslinux -h" gives:
Usage: syslinux [-sf][-d directory][-o offset] device


Regards,
Ian






On 9/11/07, Ian Brown <ianbrn [at] gmail> wrote:
> Hello,
> Thanks!
> So the answer given by Ali is not enough:
> >if you can see "ldlinux.sys" file on the disk syslinux did its job
>
> As I understand, seeing "ldlinux.sys" does not yet says that it is bootable.
>
> If I understand right, If it is bootable, than "fdisk -l" must show it
> is bootable (by showing an '*' in the partition entry)
>
> Another answer here said that you install an MBR and mark the partition active
> by syslinux. "rpm -ql syslinux" shows me /usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin;
> but I don't know how to
> install an MBR and mark the partition active with syslinux (and if it
> is possible at all).
>
> Regards,
> Ian
>
>
>
>
> On 9/10/07, H. Peter Anvin <hpa [at] zytor> wrote:
> > Ian Brown wrote:
> > >
> > > My question is: shouldn't syslinux /dev/sdb1 create a bootable partition ?
> > > Should I use fdisk for it ? (like the "a" command of fdisk,
> > > toggle a bootable flag)
> > >
> >
> > You need to install an MBR and mark the partition active.
> >
> > -hpa
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > SYSLINUX mailing list
> > Submissions to SYSLINUX [at] zytor
> > Unsubscribe or set options at:
> > http://www.zytor.com/mailman/listinfo/syslinux
> > Please do not send private replies to mailing list traffic.
> >
> >
>

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