Failed booting from USB stick

Thomas Olsen tanghus at
Fri Apr 16 14:27:31 BST 2010

On Friday 16 April 2010 14:16:00 g.lip at wrote:
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Thomas Olsen
> > 
> > At grub menu, go to command prompt (press'c'), and type
> > search -f /vmlinuz
> > 
> > check output, (as example here, say...hd0,3 and hd2,1)
> > type 'esc' to go back to menu and at first entry, enter 'e' to edit
> > 
> > (in this example.... only)
> > if the entry shows (hd1,1), change that to (hd2,1) and sdb1 to sdc1
> > 
> > Alt + x to boot.
> > 
> > When booted, at terminal
> > sudo update-grub
> > check if changes is effected at /boot/grub/grub.cfg
> > 
> > note: usb 'notations' tends to change, eg
> > hd2,1 may become hd3,1 etc especially with multi- usb readers.
> > Also will change if plugged into different computers.
> Okay, at boot prompt, (grub prompt? with a grub> ? ), type
> search -f /vmlinux

This tries to find kernel image "search" ;-) (I figured out the vmlinux=vmlinuz)
> check output, (as example here, say...hd0,3 and hd2,1)
> Then type....
> linux (hd2,1)/vmlinuz root=/dev/sdc1 ro
> initrd (hd2,1)/initrd.img
> boot

When I try to run:

linux (hd1,1)/vmlinuz root=/dev/sdb1 ro

it tries to find kernel image "linux" which doesn't exist. If I try to run:

/casper/vmlinuz root=/dev/sdb1 ro

it starts to boot the kernel that I can also see if I just normally mount the 
USB stick, but then the kernel panics because it cannot find /dev/sdb1 and 
tells me to supply a proper root argument (BTW: I wonder why they call the dir 
casper?). It suggests sda1, sda2, sda3 (my only HD) and sr0. I then tried 

/casper/vmlinuz root=/dev/sr0 ro

but the kernel still panics telling me the root argument is invalid and that 
it cannot find sr0 device.

> Good luck - Goh Lip

Thanks for all the efforts - I'm on the brink of giving up getting this to work 
but it would be cool to have a portable linux-on-a-stick system. Luckily my 
CD-rw that I thought was toast decided to wake up to life again so at least 
I'm able to burn and boot new install discs.

Best Regards / Med venlig hilsen

Thomas Olsen

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