Porteus, Plop, and master boot records

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niftyprose
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Porteus, Plop, and master boot records

Post#1 by niftyprose » 14 Apr 2013, 01:03

Hi chaps, one for an idle moment. I have a working Porteus installed to the hard disk of my netbook, am in the process of setting up modules and removing unwanted software. I erased the existing partitions using the partitioning tool in the Porteus installer, which ran very nicely. This of course means that I now have the Plop bootloader on my hard disk. Am I right in thinking that Plop got installed to the MBR and Grub was placed into the /boot directory? I ask because I can no longer boot off a couple of USB sticks with other Linuxes, possibly because they expected to find Grub in the MBR -- although, of course, my trusty Puppy in 'superfloppy' mode works absolutely fine... Best, W.

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Re: Porteus, Plop, and master boot records

Post#2 by Ed_P » 14 Apr 2013, 03:56

What are you using to boot the USB sticks? Are the sticks bootable in their own right or are you booting them via a menu system on the harddrive?

If bootable in their own right the only thing they need from the machine is the BIOS set to look for USB drives ahead of the machine's harddrive.

If the machine booted to a menu system that inturn referenced ISOs and etc on the USB sticks then changes to the machine could very well have impacted you.
Ed

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Re: Porteus, Plop, and master boot records

Post#3 by fanthom » 14 Apr 2013, 07:55

Am I right in thinking that Plop got installed to the MBR and Grub was placed into the /boot directory?
nope.
porteus default bootloader is extlinux (ext*, fat*, ntfs). when partition is formatted with xfs or reiserfs then installer fallbacks to LILO.
plop is there only for cases when PC does not support booting from usb directly (old BIOS/mobo). we do not use GRUB at all.

by default porteus installs to a partition and not MBR (xfs is the only exception as it does not support installing to a superblock and lilo must be installed to MBR, installer gives a warning about this) so user may have for example lilo installed to /dev/sda2 and extlinux to /dev/sdb5. it's enough to mark partition as active to switch between lilo/extlinux bootloaders.
please mind that if any bootloader (lilo/grub) is installed to MBR then it gets wiped as porteus bootloader takes priority (if user wants to keep his original bootloader then running a porteus installer makes no sense).
I ask because I can no longer boot off a couple of USB sticks with other Linuxes, possibly because they expected to find Grub in the MBR
are they live versions?
if yes then each live linux installs to usb stick MBR/partition. they are completely independent from your hardware (otherwise you would not be able to boot them on other PC).

if they were a regular installs (when you selected usb stick as a root partition) then they are gone indeed.

or maybe you have installed
Please add [Solved] to your thread title if the solution was found.

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Re: Porteus, Plop, and master boot records

Post#4 by niftyprose » 14 Apr 2013, 13:52

Hi chaps, thanks for both replies. I know what the problem *isn't* but am no nearer to figuring what it *is*. After a couple of reformats and attempted fixes both manual and automated I now have an EeePC with the following symptoms:

Has a single Phison 20GB flash drive which shows up as SDA1 and SDB1
Will boot from any system installed on SDA1
Will boot from any working live CD incl. Porteus
WIll boot from Puppy and Bodhi live USBs, but not from any others
-Will not mount SDA1 under Puppy even after booting

Clearly something weird is happening involving disks. I posted the same issue to the #! forum and feel a bit guilty for double-posting, but if anyone in Porteus-land is able to say 'I know exactly how to fix that', I'd appreciate any input.

Best, W.

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Re: Porteus, Plop, and master boot records

Post#5 by Ed_P » 15 Apr 2013, 01:17

Has a single Phison 20GB flash drive which shows up as SDA1 and SDB1
!! Not SDA1 and SDA2??
Ed

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Re: Porteus, Plop, and master boot records

Post#6 by niftyprose » 15 Apr 2013, 06:35

Hi Ed, nope, as stated. It took me a while to get around to researching the disk setup on the 901, because I just thought I had acquired a particularly weird partitioning scheme. Turns out many of the machines went on the market with 16&&4GB drives, and were available ex-stock in Linux and Windows models. Presumably the software was preinstalled to the appropriate disk, because the Windows model was designed to function as a straight 16Gb -- the user might 'find' the missing 4Gb drive during a reinstall. Bonus!

I don't know if SDA1 and SDB1 are actually physically separate devices, or if the hard disk has been tweaked to show up as two pieces of hardware. But I suspect that my boot problems relate to this.

RIght now: full Statler running nicely; will boot off CDs; will boot off a Puppy USB in superfloppy mode; won't boot off most by-the-book live USBs. Suggestions?

Best, W.

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Re: Porteus, Plop, and master boot records

Post#7 by Ed_P » 25 Apr 2013, 03:28

Any progress on this niftyprose?
Ed

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