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Suggestions for booting FAT32 under Linux?


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#1 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 02:44 PM

Evening, all.

 

Got an interesting little problem here. I'm posting in Linux & Unix, simply because I only run Linux, as y'all know by now.

 

I'm interested in installing Remix OS to a USB flash drive, and trying it out that way. Now, this is where the 'problem' starts! Remix OS requires the USB drive to be formatted to FAT32. All well and good. But.....

 

Early last year, I did a CPU upgrade to the 'big' Compaq desktop PC.....from a single-core Athlon64 3200+ to a dual-core, Athlon64 X2 3800+, running in the same socket-939 CPU socket. To accomplish this, I had to upgrade the Phoenix BIOS from MSI's site to a later version in order to support the newer CPU.

 

Ever since then, the Compaq will not boot from FAT32-formatted USB sticks. It simply doesn't 'see' them. If I plug a FAT-32 formatted stick in, with any OS on it, and attempt to boot from it, via the BIOS, it doesn't show.....and doesn't recognise that there's anything even there. Period.

 

Previously, the older BIOS was quite happy to boot from FAT32. Not now!

 

Has anybody heard of a situation like this before? And more to the point, does anyone have any ideas as to what 'workarounds' (if any) might be available? I've thought about using PLOP, but it's not as though the Compaq won't boot from USB. It will.....as long as it's NTFS or a Linux file-system.

 

Peculiar, no? Any suggestions? And please, don't suggest a 'newer' BIOS; I've already got the newest available.....from all the way back in May 2006!!  :scratchhead:  (*shrug*)

 

Any suggestions or advice will be very much appreciated.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 23 October 2016 - 04:52 PM.

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#2 rufwoof

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 08:29 PM

BIOS, Integrated Peripherals, and make sure USB Controllers, USB Legacy Function, and USB Storage Function are all Enabled ??

OpenBSD (--release) data server (that auto detects and rsshfs to)

OpenBSD (--current) desktop that sshfs mounts my android phone


#3 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 08:42 PM

Hi, rufwoof.

 

It's quite possible I haven't got everything configured thoroughly yet. The new BIOS is very much more complicated than the previous HP BIOS.....which was pretty basic, and as simple as they come.

 

You remember Keisha? He 'baby-walked' me through upgrading the BIOS, using the 'flashROM' utiility from the PPM. Worked a treat, too.....only the new BIOS has about a million and one settings, a good half of which I'm dead sure I haven't examined yet..!

 

I'll have a look at your suggestions; I'll see if I can find out what the Phoenix 'Award' equivalents are. I'll let ya know what happens.

 

Cheers.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


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#4 Al1000

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 03:55 AM

Does the computer boot from USB sticks that are formatted with other file systems?

 

If your BIOS has a HDD menu, check to see if the USB shows up in there (if you haven't done so already).



#5 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 04:22 AM

Mornin', Al.

 

Oh yes. It'll boot a 'stick' from anything other than FAT32.....it'll even happily boot from NTFS. Which as I said, is downright peculiar.

 

As for the HDD menu, that is the way the Phoenix Award BIOS works for USB booting; any USB device is an 'HDD' as far as it's concerned. The suggestion is appreciated, however; it doesn't automatically occur to everybody to consider the hard drive menu as a way of booting a USB 'stick'..!

 

I've checked rufwoof's suggestions this morning, when I first powered on; everything's as you would expect it to be, with the exception of 'Legacy' function (which doesn't exist!!) 

 

(Not really surprising, when you consider that this BIOS dates from the very period that 'Legacy' generally refers to...)

 

I don't really know what else I can check. Unless, of course, this was either a bad download (it's still available from the MSI site), or this particular release of the Phoenix Award BIOS (6.00) was fundamentally flawed in that one respect.....and nobody ever picked up on it. (I don't think booting from 'sticks' was as popular a decade or so back, was it?)  :scratchhead:

 

Perhaps there's no real point messing around with things for the sake of it. After all, absolutely everything else works as it should; 'If it ain't broke', etc.....  :P

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 24 October 2016 - 04:26 AM.

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Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

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#6 Al1000

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 05:07 AM

Hi Mike,

 

I also happen to have Phoenix Award BIOS (version 7) on my desktop pc.

 

Some bootable USBs show up in the HDD menu, using the name of the device as the menu entry, and other ones show up in the main boot priority menu under "removable device" - in case you haven't already checked that too.



#7 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 02:36 PM

Hi, Al.

 

Mmm. Mine's version 6.....the previous one to yours.

 

I've never been too sure what the 'removable' devices section is for.....except that I've never seen a reference to USB anything in there. I'm still stumped as to why it's only FAT32 that gives the problem; every other filesystem (and I've tried quite a number over the last eighteen months or so) will boot, once set-up to do so.

 

It's just a wee bit annoying, that's all. You know ETP, from the Puppy forum....or know of him? I've been running his 'Chromebook' Pup for well over a year, and I would like to try some of his more recent stuff. But his newer releases have all been set up as '.img' files, which MUST be 'dd'd' to a FAT32 file-system.

 

This boot problem is really getting my goat, in recent months...

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 24 October 2016 - 02:37 PM.

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#8 Al1000

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 03:54 AM

I've never been too sure what the 'removable' devices section is for.....except that I've never seen a reference to USB anything in there.


The listing doesn't change from "removable device," like the listing for HDD for example in the same menu doesn't change from "HDD," no matter what HDD you are using. So the removable device listing will always say "removable device," even if there is no removable device plugged in.

I suggest moving "removable device" in the Boot Priority menu, to above HDD. Then try and boot from the USB.

I've never heard of ETP from the Puppy forum, but I will take a look at his stuff if you post a link as I'm curious as to why a FAT32 file system must be used.

#9 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 02:35 PM

Hi, Al.

 

I suggest moving "removable device" in the Boot Priority menu, to above HDD. Then try and boot from the USB.

 

 

Mm. Worth a try. I'll give it a go in the next day or two.....I've got a lot of stuff on at the mo.

 

As for ETP, he's quite a long-term contributor to the Murga-Linux forum. I'll give you the link to his page on 'archive.org'. Each entry, usually at the bottom of the article, will give you a link to the forum thread about it.

 

Every Puppy ever created or released has been archived on here by forum member Ally, from Lincoln here in the UK.

 

https://archive.org/search.php?query=collection%3Apuppylinux&sort=-publicdate&and[]=creator%3A%22etp%22

 

See what you think. Some of ETP's stuff is definitely worth a look.....

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

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KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#10 Al1000

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 07:30 AM

Thanks for the link. I made one of these (will have a play with it later), and it boots my pc no problem.

This one shows up in the HDD menu in the BIOS however, so I would expect it should do the same on your pc, and have no idea why it wouldn't.

#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 08:23 AM

Have you tried your PLOP suggestion? I have used it to boot USB's on older computers that have no USB boot support.


Edited by JohnC_21, 26 October 2016 - 08:23 AM.


#12 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 09:49 AM

Have you tried your PLOP suggestion? I have used it to boot USB's on older computers that have no USB boot support.

 

Hallo, John.

 

That's the thing of it, y'see. The old Compaq does have USB boot support from the newest version of the BIOS available for this CPU from MSI; Phoenix Award BIOS (v.6.00), for the AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+,running on an MSI MS-7093. Well, actually, that's not strictly true.....  :blush:

 

Let me explain ('cos I have an odd feeling this might be at the root of it, now I think of it...)

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I inherited this beast (a Compaq Presario SR1619UK desktop PC) from my sister, 2 1/2 yrs ago. XP had just gone EOL, and not being 'tech-minded', she took the path of least resistance (like most folks!), and bought a new one with Win 7 pre-installed. You'll no longer find a link to it on the HP website, since it's more than 10 yrs old, so all references have been deleted. HP are nothing if not consistent! Original specs were as follows:-

 

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ single-core

WD 160 GB Caviar 'Black' IDE HDD

1 GB DDR1 RAM

ATI Radeon Xpress 200 integrated graphics, built-in to the RS482 northbridge, on the MSI MS-7184 mobo. One of these:-

 

http://www.elhvb.com/mboards/oem/hp/manual/amethystM_manual.pdf

 

Current specs are:-

 

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ dual-core

WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue' SATA III (plugged into a SATA I port).

4 GB DDR1 RAM

...and still using the built-in graphics. I'm not a gamer, and have no use for a discrete card.....so the single 1.0a standard PCI-e slot hosts a USB 3.0 adapter card, which is of far more use to me.

 

I'm also running a 64 GB IDE/PATA SSD, plugged into the original connector that used to host the Caviar 'Black'.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I've been running Puppy Linux pretty much since I got it. A mate on the Puppy forums 'baby-walked' me through flashing the BIOS using the  Linux 'flashrom' utility available through Puppy's package manager; I'd never done this sort of thing before, and was a wee bit apprehensive about 'bricking' the old girl.

 

There was no BIOS update for the MS-7184 that would support the dual-core. However, my acquaintance, after extensive research, found that that there was another MSI board that was almost identical to the MS-7184.....with 2 extra SATA ports, and a slight variation on the northbridge; the MS-7093. One of these:-

 

http://www.ctechinfo.net/documentation/manuals/ahi_manual.pdf

 

Here's the MSI reference page:-

 

https://us.msi.com/Motherboard/support/RX480M2.html#down-bios

 

There were quite a few posts on the Arch Linux forums about folks who'd carried out this exact same 'transplant' with 100% success. We discussed it, and decided to give it a try. So I ran the 'flashrom' utility, under remote guidance from Keisha, and installed the BIOS update.....and then re-booted. Apart from a hairy moment when the fans were running flat-out (and it refused to boot), it was quickly solved; MSI had 'locked' the BIOS by default, so I had to figure out 

 

a) How to access the BIOS (in this key, the 'Delete' key, and

b ) What password to use. (That took too much tracking down, so I ended up resetting with the jumpers!)

 

The upshot of it is that I've got a PC with a 'split-personality'; an MS-7184 board that thinks it's an MS-7093..! But it works, and has been totally hassle-free since I set the BIOS up correctly; MSI's idea of 'optimized defaults' was not the same as mine.

 

But I'm now thinking there might be more differences between the two northbridges than meets the eye..! I'm guessing that it's quite possible the RS-482 supports FAT32 booting, yet there's something in the RX-480 that doesn't.

 

However, as I understand it, USB controllers and built-in support for the same are normally the province of the southbridge....yes? (And these two boards both use the same identical southbridge; the SB400.) So I'm not sure what to think, TBH...  :scratchhead:

 

What d'you reckon?

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 26 October 2016 - 10:32 AM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

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#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 10:23 AM

I wouldn't be able to answer the northbridge question as I am not a hardware guru but it's my understanding you cannot boot FAT32 on a USB but can NTFS. I am pretty sure PLOP does not care what your BIOS does in regards to USB boot. Booting USB takes place using PLOP's boot manager and bypasses any BIOS issues. I am pretty sure PLOP would be able to boot FAT32 or NTFS.

 

I would burn the iso of PLOP and give it a shot. Boot the CD and select USB boot. 



#14 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 10:41 AM

Hallo again, John.

 

Hm. See, I've always been the opposite; more comfortable with the hardware than I am with the software! I've looked at the PLOP website, but boy, it looks complex. I've heard references to PLOP over the last couple of years, and how it'll literally boot USBs from anything, regardless of how they're set up.

 

So; it's as simple as burning an .iso, and booting from it, is it? Sounds worth a try.   :)  Where exactly do I find the ISO image..?

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 10:54 AM

On the Plop download page download plpbt 5.0.15.zip. In the zip file is plpbt.iso. Burn this iso to disk and boot. At the menu screen use your keyboard to select USB then press enter. If everything goes okay PLOP will find the USB key and boot it.

 

https://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager/screenshots.html






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