Pointers to live usb using super floppy format

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Pointers to live usb using super floppy format

Bruno Wolff III
I have some older computers that don't seem to be able to boot off of
liveusb devcies formatted like hard drives and am looking to see if they
will work with ones formatted as superfloppies (no partition table and
no MBR). Since the bios' setup options suggest that they will boot off of
some usb devices it seems likely this will work.
However I am having trouble finding clear instructions on how to turn
a live[c/dv]d image into a liveusb image that doesn't use a partioned device.
Can someone point me to some reasonable documentation on how to do this?

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Re: Pointers to live usb using super floppy format

Marc Herbert-5
Bruno Wolff III a écrit :
> I have some older computers that don't seem to be able to boot off of
> liveusb devcies formatted like hard drives and am looking to see if they
> will work with ones formatted as superfloppies (no partition table and
> no MBR). Since the bios' setup options suggest that they will boot off of
> some usb devices it seems likely this will work.
> However I am having trouble finding clear instructions on how to turn
> a live[c/dv]d image into a liveusb image that doesn't use a partioned device.
> Can someone point me to some reasonable documentation on how to do this?

Have a look at "makebootfat". Something like this maybe (some details
and options skipped for clarity)

  dd if=/dev/zero of=imagefile
  loopdevice=$(losetup --show -f imagefile)
  makebootfat <cryptic options> $loopdevice

and then give the "$loopdevice" target to livecd-iso-to-disk.



If you change your mind and want to mount some partition instead of the
whole imagefile:

  losetup -d $loopdevice
  loopdevice=$(losetup --show -f -o $partitionoffset $imagefile)



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Re: Pointers to live usb using super floppy format

Bruno Wolff III
In reply to this post by Bruno Wolff III
On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 22:07:23 -0600,
  Bruno Wolff III <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I have some older computers that don't seem to be able to boot off of
> liveusb devcies formatted like hard drives and am looking to see if they
> will work with ones formatted as superfloppies (no partition table and
> no MBR). Since the bios' setup options suggest that they will boot off of
> some usb devices it seems likely this will work.
> However I am having trouble finding clear instructions on how to turn
> a live[c/dv]d image into a liveusb image that doesn't use a partioned device.
> Can someone point me to some reasonable documentation on how to do this?

I think the problem may be that the devices are too large and may require
extra trickiness. They need FAT32 or FAT16 with very large clusters to make
an 8GB file system and I think those features may not be properly supported.
The liveusb creation script does use syslinux instead of isolinux when writing
to a device that isn't partitioned. I don't know if the problem is a
limitation of syslinux or with the bios of the machines.
I'm going to be doing some more reading and testing to see if I can figure it
out.

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Re: Pointers to live usb using super floppy format

Bruno Wolff III
In reply to this post by Marc Herbert-5
On Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 10:50:37 +0000,
  Marc Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Have a look at "makebootfat". Something like this maybe (some details
> and options skipped for clarity)

I ended up making superfloppies for the gifts. That didn't work for hp 8200s
(though there is a firmware update available). The next time I go over
to where those machines are I'll be trying out hdd formatted drives to
see if they work. I also had a machine that I ended up allowing booting
from usb-zip/ls format which was the only option to work. This seems odd
since the devices were not set up with the zip format. I haven't gotten
any format to work on my home desktop which has bios settings for booting
off hdd devices.

I probably won't try the tricky stuff using makebootfat again for a long
while, since most of the drives are in other people's hands and for the
gaming group, I'll probably just worry about getting them to work on the
8200s and want to do that simply since I don't get a lot of testing
opportunity.

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