Jump to content
Joe L.

Cant get Sandisk 1G MobileMate drive to boot on Intel D865GLCLK motherboard

12 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

Anybody using a 1Gig SanDisk Mobilemate USB Drive?  So far, I can't get them to boot unRaid on D865GLCLK Motherboard, BUT... it does boot when plugged  into my laptop... so odds are high I've got it formatted and loaded correctly.

 

I picked up two of these 1Gig drives at Walmart, sent their serial numbers to Tom, and received back two pro keys from Tom. 

 

Unfortunately,  my efforts to get them to boot in my unRaid server have not been successful.

 

Now... I've tried various things... first, since they were formatted (as FAT) and empty I used the syslinux.exe tool to add the boot sector and then copied the files as described by Tom.

 

I tried to boot my existing unRaid server and it did not boot.  The CRT basically was blank.  Same with both USB keys. (Yes, I did go into the bios and set the USB drive as the boot device)

 

So... I reformatted one of them with the HP tool Tom described on his web-site (as FAT) and re-installed the programs from the unzipped download.  Still no luck... only difference, this time the console showed a single letter "j"  Hey... it was getting further!

 

Wondering if the new USB drive was bootable I plugged it into my IBM laptop and tried to boot from it there. I had to press F12 on the T42 laptop during its startup to have it present a boot device selection list to me. The MobileMate was in the list, so I choose the MobileMate drive and it proceeded to successfully boot the unRaid software... Yes!!! the USB drive is bootable.

I logged in as root on the laptop and typed "poweroff" and it did.  Good. (I did not want it to do anything to the laptop)

 

Now... I am using an unRaid MD-1200/IDE system originally built for me by Tom, using the original suggested D865GLCLK Intel  motherboard... and with the exact same bios settings I use to boot the flash drive he originally supplied to me over a year ago. Other than to set the boot device  in the bios to point to the MobileMate USB drive rather than the one Tom originally supplied, it is unchanged.

 

I put my original USB drive back in my server and re-selected my original USB drive as the boot device in the bios.  It successfully rebooted on version 2.060706 of unRaid, so I am back to where I started, but not on version 3.0 of unRaid.  Bummer...

 

So... my new 1Gig SanDisk Mobilemate USB drive is bootable with 3.0 unRaid on my laptop, but not in the unRaid server.... the unRaid server boots the original USB drive just fine. (As long as I select it as the boot device)

 

I've also tried formatting the USB drive as FAT32 rather than as FAT.  Same results... it boots in the laptop, but not the Intel motherboard.  In it it prints the letter "j" on the system console and freezes.

 

Any ideas Tom?  Anybody else?

 

Joe L.

Edit: The eventual discovery was that my flash drives did not have a master-boot-record installed( and since it was not present, it was not marked as the active boot record either).  The solution had two parts, the most significant being I had to invoke "syslinux" with the "-ma" options.  Second most significant was the use of the HP formatting utility.  Looking back at this thread now, I can see at least one spot where I probably had everything in place except I at that point must not have had the volume label set to UNRAID.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Just a quick update... I tried plugging the new 1G MobileMate drive into the unRaid server and using its fdisk command to partition it.

 

I first deleted the existing partition, then created a new partition using the entire drive.  Last, I marked it as a FAT16 partition.

Then, when I inserted it into the USB connector of my Win2K PC it stated it was not formatted and asked if I wanted to format it.

 

I answered "yes" and formatted it (this time not using the HP utility), added the files from the unRaid download and my system.dat file and tried booting it...  Same as original... The boot freezes with no output to the console.

 

I put it back in the Win2K PC, formatted it again with the HP utility and now I'm back to where it prints a "j" and freezes when I attempt to boot it in the unRaid server.

 

Putting my original 2.060706 drive back in I'm up and running once more...but not on version 3 of unRaid... Bummer.

 

Joe L.

Edit: These probably were failing because there was no master boot record installed on the flash drive.

Share this post


Link to post

Another update...

 

I am attempting to figure out what I can do to make my 1G MobileMate flash drive boot unRaid 3.0.

 

I next tried formatting under Linux a smaller 256Meg partition, marking it as FAT16, and re-loading all the files. (in fact, I did this using my unRaid server)  The results were exactly the same as before... The boot freezes with nothing displayed on the console.

 

Next...  Since I am now suspecting syslinux bootloader I tried to clone my existing USB 2.060706 drive contents onto the MobileMate USB drive so I could see if it would boot using the GRUB bootloader the older version of unRaid used.

I know it will not start the unRaid interface since the serial numbers do not match, but it will prove the USB drive can be used in the unRaid server if it does boot.

 

So...  dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb

 

I then powered down, removed the original USB drive and replaced it with the new MobileMate drive and powered up...

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see the GRUB menu, followed soon thereafter by a boot of the "current" 2.060706 release of unRaid... from my new Sandisk MobileMate USB drive.

 

So... it will boot using the GRUB bootloader, but not with the syslinux bootloader. 

 

Of course, the emhttp process printed "wrong serial" so I powered off and put the original drive back in so I could use my server.

 

I'm still running 2.060706, but now I know it has something to do with the syslinux bootloader not dealing well with my new Sandisk MobileMate USB drives. 

 

I guess I can always configure them with the GRUB bootloader if it comes to that....

 

Tom... Any Ideas with these additional clues???

 

Joe L.

 

Edit: Because I had cloned my original  2.060706 flash drive in its entirety to my new flash drive, at this point, I did have a master boot record and the GRUB bootloader on the new flash drive.    I thought my problem was syslinux related, but now I see I was not even getting to run the syslinux bootloader, since the master-boot-record was missing.

Share this post


Link to post

Try this sequence:

 

1. Plug into currently running server, type:

 

fdisk /dev/sdb

 

(Assuming you know how to use fdisk, delete any existing partition(s), create one big one, type 6 (fat16), mark "bootable".)

 

mkdosfs -F16 /dev/sdb1

sync

 

2. Now plug into PC, should appear formatted.  Run syslinux & copy unRAID files over to it.

 

3. Shutdown unRAID, plug in new flash - it should show up as a "hard drive" - select it as primary boot -  does it boot?

 

Share this post


Link to post

Followed above steps... boot freezes, same as before, with nothing printed on the console.

 

I did try changing the geometry of the drive in "x" expert mode.  I gave it 255 heads and 32 sectors.

I then formatted it using mkdosfs, loaded the files, plugged it in, and it showed up in the BIOS as a removeable drive rather than a "hard disk"

 

It did boot, once I selected it as the boot device, but failed to find /dev/sda1 to mount... and failed to start emhttp since nothing was mounted on /boot so it rendered no web-page.

(Guess the removeable drives are not assigned the same as "hard disks")

 

So... the geometry is still part of the answer... just to figure out a good set of numbers to assign.  As I said in my earlier post, a "dd" of my existing flash drive boots fine,(other than a serial number mismatch) but shows up as a 128Meg drive instead of a 1Gig drive.

 

Joe L.

Edit:  At this point, I still had the master-boot-record present from my clone of the original flash drive.  What I was  missing was setting the volume label to UNRAID.  If it was present, odds are I would have booted just fine.  The symptoms were that the flash drive did not get mounted at /boot, since it could not be found by its volume label.  I was so close here, but did not recognize it. (after installing a master-boot-record, and it not being erased by the subsequent steps.)

Share this post


Link to post

Followed above steps... boot freezes, same as before, with nothing printed on the console.

 

I did try changing the geometry of the drive in "x" expert mode.  I gave it 255 heads and 32 sectors.

I then formatted it using mkdosfs, loaded the files, plugged it in, and it showed up in the BIOS as a removeable drive rather than a "hard disk"

Ok that's progress (better to have the Flash appear to bios as a removeable disk vs. hard disk because it won't change the boot priority when you add/remove hard disks (which it normally doesn't, but sometimes it does for some reason only known to the bios programmers (though probably not known or else it wouldn't happen))).

 

It did boot, once I selected it as the boot device, but failed to find /dev/sda1 to mount... and failed to start emhttp since nothing was mounted on /boot so it rendered no web-page.

(Guess the removeable drives are not assigned the same as "hard disks")

Was this Flash the only USB device plugged in?

 

So... the geometry is still part of the answer... just to figure out a good set of numbers to assign.  As I said in my earlier post, a "dd" of my existing flash drive boots fine,(other than a serial number mismatch) but shows up as a 128Meg drive instead of a 1Gig drive.

We haven't been able to figure this out yet either  :-\

 

 

 

Joe L.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, the time it booted it was the only USB device plugged in. Not sure why it did not mount /dev/sda properly.

 

I tried another trick... I copies the first 512 bytes from the old USB drive to the new.  This should be the old GRUB bootloader and the old partition table.  It will also have the old geometry settings.

 

Then, I deleted the existing partition, added a new one using the entire drive, marked it as FAT16, made it bootable, used mkdosfs to make a file system on /dev/sdb1

 

Then... back on the windows machine, plugged it in and it said it was unformatted. (interesting since mkdosfs did not complain)  syslinux also said it did not appear to have a DOS filesystem. So... I choose format after right clicking on the USB drive, formatted it as FAT, and then ran syslinux.  It created the syslinux file on the drive as usual.

 

Then... copied the other files to the drive and put it back in the unRaid server.

 

It almost booted.... It printed a single word on the console...

 

GRUB

 

Yup... guess the GRUB bootloader is still in the MBR and was not replaced with the syslinux MBR...  It did not complain when I ran syslinux... Oh well...  I think I'll dd if=/dev/zero the first 446 bytes of the drive and try loading the syslinux loader again.

 

I think it likes 32 sectors...

 

Joe L.

Edit: Another clue that the master-boot-record was the key to getting all this to work.  This time, when I zeroed the first 446 bytes, I removed the master-boot-record. 

 

Share this post


Link to post

One other Sandisk Cruiser 1 Gig drive I had access to has a CHS of 16 heads, 32 sectors, and 3909 cylinders so I tried that CHS configuration formatted under Linux as FAT16 in one big partition with one of my new Sandisk MediaMate 1G drives. 

 

I used fdisk in expert mode to set the heads, sectors, and cylinders, created a big bootable FAT16 partition and formatted it using mkdosfs.

 

I plugged in into my windows box  and loaded syslinux and the files from 3.0 on it...

 

Unfortunately it does exactly the same as when the same drive was originally configured with 32 heads, 63 sectors and 1009 cylinders.  It freezes when booting same as before. :'(  Guess my idea that the motherboard bios likes 32 sectors was flawed. So far, it just seems to like smaller drives.

 

Joe L.

Edit: this freeze when booting  had nothing to to with 32 heads, but that I had zeroed the master-boot-record.  It is much easier to do this analysis now... knowing a bit more.

Share this post


Link to post

I finally got my USB drive to boot...  I ended up setting the heads,sectors, and cylinders using Linux fdisk.  I also set the file system type to "e", marked it as bootable and then used mkdosfs under linux to put a file system on it.

 

Lastly, I used different version of syslinux than the one Tom provided on his download page. I used the win32 version 3.31 of syslinux and used "syslinux -sam f:" as my command to load syslinux.

 

Now, I'm not sure which of these did it, but I'm up and running.  I'll try and find time over the holidays to figure out what it was specifically, but that is less important now, since I can use "dd" to copy the working USB drive to the other new drive and just replace the key file with the correct one..

 

Joe L.

 

This worked:

 

Disk /dev/sda: 1024 MB, 1024966656 bytes

16 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1986 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 1008 * 512 = 516096 bytes

 

  Device Boot      Start        End      Blocks  Id  System

/dev/sda1  *          1        1986    1000912+  e  W95 FAT16 (LBA)

Edit:  It was the "-ma" options to syslinux that did it.  They add a master boot record and mark the partition as active and bootable.

Share this post


Link to post

kchad,

 

Glad that you are up and running and the syslinux command I eventually used worked for you.

 

Since you did not have to re-set the flash drive geometry as I did, I'd like to learn how the Cylinders/Heads/Sectors are set on your flash drive from the factory.

 

Could you log in via telnet and type:

fdisk -l /dev/sda

 

Thanks...

 

Joe L.

Share this post


Link to post

Here's the info:

 

Disk /dev/sda: 1037 MB, 1037041152 bytes

4 heads, 8 sectors/track, 63295 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 32 * 512 = 16384 bytes

 

  Device Boot      Start        End      Blocks  Id  System

/dev/sda1  *          1      63296    1012731+  b  W95 FAT32

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.