How To Boot Mandriva on a USB Disk

As you know, running a Live CD is great, booting and running from a USB Flash drive is more great! It's fast. It's handy. It's beautiful. It's secure. And it's silent, no noisy harddrive or optical drive activity.

This work is meant for USB Flash Memory devices, thus: USB Keys, Flash Drives, Pen/Thumb Drives, Sticks. You can also use an external USB hard drive (it needs a FAT32 formatted first partition!). For setting up: Don't boot with inserted USB Stick. Insert it after you booted successfully.

Hardware Requirements:

A PC/Notebook with a recent motherboard and BIOS. Most computers not older than 4 years should have an option in the BIOS to set the boot sequence to USB-HDD. With a BIOS update we got it working even with a 2001 motherboard.
The minimum capacity of the USB Flash Drive/USB Stick: 256 MB for the Xfce version (Jordaan), 512 MB for the KDE version. 1 GB is fine too, even a 2 GB will work. If your motherboard does not support booting from USB, you can use a combination of burned CD and USB flash drive, using the bootcode: livecd fromusb.
You need to burn the downloaded iso-file to a CD-R or CD-RW. The installation to the USB stick is done from the running CD, with a graphical wizard.
Some flash drives come factory preformatted with an odd partition table. When you see booting from usb: 'no operating system found', you first need to fix the partition table. Plugin the drive, start the Mandriva Control Center (MCC) -> Mount points. Here you can find the name of the usb device, it is one of the tabs, sda or sdb or sdc ... Close the MCC.
Open a terminal window, type: su
Type the root password: root
Example, the usb stick is sdb. Make sure it is NOT an internal hard disk!
Type: dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1M count=2
This will erase the MBR and the partition table on the drive. Now you can use the MCC to create a new FAT32 partition and format it. And run the "Create Live USB' wizard

Download the ISO from here. Many versions of ISO there, I use the new release of MCNLive, code name "Toronto", the English only version. As the community said, a newer version usually means better support of new hardware. You can use the previos releases such as "Delft" which support Dutch, French, and Italian beside English.

Burn the ISO file to a CD-R(W)
After you have done, you have an all-in-one solution.
Live CD: You can use it as a Live CD, as it is.
Installation CD: From the running MCNLive you can use a graphiphal wizard to install it on a USB Flash Drive or external hard drive. For computers able to boot from USB, you would just plugin your newly configured USB stick, set the BIOS boot priority and boot it. You got a Live USB now.
Start up CD: For older computers without USB boot ability, you can use the same CD in combination with the USB drive to get all features of the Live USB of MCNLive. Insert the CD, plugin your USB Stick. Restart your PC. At the first screen hit 'F1', type: livecd fromusb
The boot process will continue, using the USB drive. Your CD/DVD drive is freed up, you can remove the CD medium from the drive.

Now, here the step by step for making your Mandriva Live USB Disk:

Get the BIOS info: Insert the stick, start your PC (without Live CD), enter the BIOS at the very beginning, mostly done by pressing 'DEL' or 'ESC' or a function key. Wait two seconds. Look for a section like 'Advanced BIOS Features', this might be named different in your BIOS. Find something like: First Boot Device, Second Boot Device, Third Boot Device. Here you find the available USB boot options, USB-HDD, USB-ZIP. USB-HDD is the preferred one. Set the USB device prior to the harddisk, CD-ROM as first boot device.

Some BIOS have a special feature. As soon as you insert a USB mass storage device before booting, the BIOS will detect it and make it available/visible under 'Hard disk drive priority'. Enter this menu, and you will see your USB Stick besides your internal harddisk. In this case you would set the boot priority here! This is similiar to the USB-HDD method. MCNLive was built and tested on such a computer, a Shuttle SB61G2, with AWARD Bios.

Notebooks tend to have a stripped down BIOS. Hard to find the USB boot settings. Here an example how to set the boot sequence on a Lenovo IBM 3000 C100 M740. Insert the USB stick. Boot and press F1 at the very beginning. Once in the BIOS navigate to the 'Boot' menu. Hit 'enter'. Navigate to 'HDD', hit 'enter'. You will see your usb stick below your harddisk. With the PgUp key you would set the boot priority.

Restart your PC with the burned LiveCD inserted, without USB stick, don't use the copy2ram bootcode, boot into the graphical environment. Insert the USB Flash Drive. Wait two seconds. In the menu 'MCNLive' you can find a program to setup the Live mode.

Your BIOS must support USB-HDD booting. The USB stick must have a FAT partition, with the boot flag set. The wizard does not repartition or re-format the drive. You can create partitions using the Mandriva Control center. (Be sure to hit: toggle to expert mode).
Some notebooks need the bootcode: livecd irqpoll noapic nolapic

Reboot without LiveCD, but with the USB Flash Drive inserted. Make sure the boot sequence in the BIOS is set.

We've done !


Delicious Digg Technorati Reddit Furl BlinkList Yahoo! NewsVine Netscape Google Live Bookmark Netvouz Squidoo StumbleUpon Magnolia.png