Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Technical issues/questions of an intermediate or advanced nature.

Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby rchase » 20 May 2017, 03:50

burdi01 wrote:Using my unofficial PartedMagic spin I took my Sandisk Ultra USB 3.0 32 GB USB stick and inserted it in a USB 3.0 port. With GParted I created an MsDos partition table, a 27 GB NTFS partition and a 2 GB ext4 partition. I copied all the files of a Porteus-MATE-v3.2.2-x86_64.iso to that ext4 partition. I then cd'ed to the /boot directory on that ext4 partition and ran "sh Porteus-installer-for-Linux.com". I then rebooted and was presented with the Porteus login screen *). Booting as guest/guest failed, but booting as root/toor succeeded.
I then took this USB stick to another PC, inserted it in a USB 2.0 port and booted. And again I was presented with the Porteus login screen. Booting as root succeeded.

So where is the (I quote) "significant flaw affecting the deployment of Porteus on USB 3.0 flash drives in general"?
:D

*) I have my systems boot from a USB key if present.

Thanks for trying to replicate what I thought I had verified on two different computers -- I do only have one with USB 3.0 and legacy booting. I am using XFCE, used the GUI and the installer, and installed to a Sandisk Ultra Fit 32 GB, but other than that, your procedure sounds identical. I will try again.
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby Evan » 20 May 2017, 04:48

rchase wrote:I will try again.



Stick with it as Porteus is very rewarding once you resolve any problems.

:good:
Last edited by Evan on 21 May 2017, 00:06, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby brokenman » 20 May 2017, 21:26

Please check if the USB3 kernel driver is being loaded for the kernel you are using:
Code: Select all
lspci -v | grep xhci
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby brokenman » 20 May 2017, 21:35

Since USB3 is backwards compatible with USB2 I see no reason why this isn't working. Furthermore, if your getting as far as the boot loader then this is evidence enough that the hardware is identified, loaded and used in order to kick off the boot procedure. The problem appears to be that the ext4 partition is not being identified during boot. I will need to purchase a USB3 drive in order to test further. Thanks for reporting.
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby burdi01 » 22 May 2017, 11:53

As a shot in the dark I repeated my test as described in my May 19 18:10 post, but now using exfat instead of ntfs for the first partition and Porteus-XFCE-v3.2.2-x86_64.iso for the second one.
This test was successful as well. However in addition to the login problem as mentioned in the above post there was the "minor" problem of Porteus not "knowing" the exfat filesystem.
:D
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby burdi01 » 22 May 2017, 15:59

@rchase: I am willing to go into debugging the problem with you.
Please state:
-- the complete filename of the Porteus iso you are using;
-- the filesystems of the first and second USB partitions;
-- a detailed description of how you set the second partition up;
and provide:
-- a tar.gz of second partition -- use e.g. google drive to upload that tar.gz.
:D
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby donald » 22 May 2017, 17:22

burdi01 wrote:Porteus not "knowing" the exfat filesystem.
:D

https://forum.porteus.org/viewtopic.php?f=81&t=6444
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby rchase » 23 May 2017, 01:51

Thanks for the replies. My apologies -- I have succeeded in making a USB 3.0 flash drive boot Porteus (in the second partition) with an exFAT first partition in both kinds of slots. I have no idea what I did wrong, but I am going to examine the boot configuration of the Sandisk Ultra Fit I thought proved this impossible. I notice that there is a significant delay while the loader looks for the partition and Porteus asks whether the device is ready (but doesn't it always do that?). I still can't boot UEFI off a flash drive, but I gather that the ESP partition has a special UUID and partition type. When I boot UEFI off my SSD, I have to use partition names; UUID doesn't seem to work.
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby Ed_P » 23 May 2017, 04:20

To the best of my knowledge to boot on an EFI system the ESP partition has to be based on a FAT file system and the machine's EFI Secure Boot option turned off. An exFAT partition isn't a supported option.

-update-

Maybe this will help you understand: EFI system partition
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby rchase » 23 May 2017, 05:21

Ed_P wrote:To the best of my knowledge to boot on an EFI system the ESP partition has to be based on a FAT file system and the machine's EFI Secure Boot option turned off. An exFAT partition isn't a supported option.

-update-

Maybe this will help you understand: EFI system partition

I know that. Making an UEFI-booting flash drive means giving up on the idea of formatting most of it exFAT (usefully, that is). For a flash drive able to boot Porteus on UEFI-only computers with the bulk of the drive useable by Windows, I suppose that the ESP should be made the size of the whole drive less ~5GB for a large ext4 partition for Porteus.

The problem is my Sandisk Ultra Fit. I had problems booting from it before, but just assumed it was my Kangaroo's UEFI booting that was to blame. The drive seems to format and save data fine, but Porteus won't boot from it, not completely at least; the loader declares "Porteus data not found" every time. After booting fails, the drive becomes hidden from the BIOS and must be replaced in a slot in order to be seen again. I'll take the matter up with Sandisk; I can't estimate how much time I have wasted assuming this flash drive worked!
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby Ed_P » 23 May 2017, 06:13

rchase wrote:I know that. Making an UEFI-booting flash drive means giving up on the idea of formatting most of it exFAT (usefully, that is).

I'm confused. You said when the drives wouldn't boot in EFI systems the drive's first partition were exFAT.
rchase wrote: I have succeeded in making a USB 3.0 flash drive boot Porteus (in the second partition) with an exFAT first partition


Regardless when you research the SanDisk specs it's probably best to use their support system not their user forums. https://kb.sandisk.com/app/ask/
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby burdi01 » 23 May 2017, 10:54

I'll take the matter up with Sandisk; I can't estimate how much time I have wasted assuming this flash drive worked!
I have said it on this forum before: "From my days on the PartedMagic forum I remember that booting from Sandisk USB sticks always was a hit-or-miss affair. The specific Sandisk explanation however is no longer available ..."

For a flash drive able to boot Porteus on UEFI-only computers with the bulk of the drive useable by Windows, I suppose that the ESP should be made the size of the whole drive less ~5GB for a large ext4 partition for Porteus.
No ESP stuff is required. Just format the second partition to FAT32, copy the files of the ISO to the USB, cd to the /boot partition on the USB and run Porteus-installer-for Linux.com. The stick boots ok in MBR mode. I does boot in UEFI mode too, but no joy: the implementation only wants to boot from the first hard disk ... *)
:D

*) I know that e.g. PartedMagic with this setup boots ok.
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby rchase » 23 May 2017, 17:14

burdi01 wrote:No ESP stuff is required. Just format the second partition to FAT32, copy the files of the ISO to the USB, cd to the /boot partition on the USB and run Porteus-installer-for Linux.com. The stick boots ok in MBR mode. I does boot in UEFI mode too, but no joy: the implementation only wants to boot from the first hard disk ... *)
:D

*) I know that e.g. PartedMagic with this setup boots ok.

I want Porteus to run in a native ext4 partition and only the first partition on flash drives is visible to Windows. Supposedly, the ESP does not have to be the first partition, so I may try formatting a drive with an exFAT partition (for storage and transfer), an ext4 partition (for Porteus), and a FAT32 partition (for the ESP).

I just got off the phone with Sandisk Customer Service -- Sandisk claims that their not having expressly warranted the Ultra Fit for booting absolves them from having to replace it! I suppose that's one way to cope with having sold millions of defective flash drives over a period of years. I'll never buy another Sandisk product again.
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby Evan » 24 May 2017, 00:59

When you have Porteus setup exactly how you like it then you can always use the -ro cheatcode to make it read only seeing is you're using Ext4.
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Re: Installing on USB 3.0 flash drive

Postby Ed_P » 24 May 2017, 05:10

rchase wrote:I want Porteus to run in a native ext4 partition

Why? Porteus runs fine on FAT partitions. It was designed to do that. I have at least two flash drives set up that way and when I get time I will install it on the new USB 3.0 drive that way also. Your requirement is a self imposed limitation.
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