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Joe L.

What is the biggest USB Flash Drive successfully used on unRaid 3.0/D865GLCLK?

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What is the biggest USB Flash Drive successfully used to boot unRaid 3.0 using syslinux bootloader on the originally recommended Intel D865GLCLK motherboard?

 

I have a feeling the bios on that motherboard has a problem with larger USB drives, most everyone else seems to be able to get their flash drives set up, but me.  :(

 

My original drive is a 128 Meg drive that Tom configured... It used the GRUB bootloader and it works fine for unRaid 2.060706.

 

Version 3.0 of unRaid is designed to use the "syslinux" bootloader.  I can't get it to load unRaid 3.0 with the 1 Gig Sandisk flash drives I picked up on sale the weekend after Thanksgiving. 

 

So I'm asking those using the originally specified Intel D865GLCLK motherboard reading this thread to respond with the size of the flash drives they are successfully using.

 

I think I've read of a 512 Meg drive working, but don't know what motherboard was used.  I know Tom has said a 2 Gig drive did not work and he did not know why.

 

Now, I know that I could probably get two smaller drives, but these cost less than the smaller drives and I've already got the serial number key files from Tom.  I figured I would have plenty of room for future growth when I purchased them on a black-friday-discount sale that weekend.

 

If you are using the Intel D865GLCLK motherboard on unRaid 3.0, here is your chance to boast about the size of your flash drive!!

 

Joe L.

 

PS. My original thread showing the things I've tried so far to get this flash drive to boot is here:

http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=359.0

Edit: The issue with booting these larger flash drives on my original Intel unRAID motherboard had nothing to do with their size or geometry, but instead with them having a valid master boot record.  Eventually, I discovered that syslinux has options to add one annd to mark it as active.  The correct command to load syslinux was : c:/syslinux -ma f:

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HI Joe,

 

I purchased the starter kit, so i am assuming the mobo is the recomended Intel board.

 

That said, i recently successfully upgraded the 2.0 to 3.0 Unraid software on this flash drive:

 

SanDisk Cruzer Crossfire 512MB Flash Drive

 

HTH

 

mark

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Joe, it might be possible to use 'grub' boot loader for those Flash's.  I'll try it and let you know the results.

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JM2005,

 

could you "telnet" in and then run

 

fdisk -l /dev/sda

 

and then paste the output here.  I'd love to see how the heads/sectors/cylinders are set on your 1 gig drive.

 

Joe L.

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Joe,

 

In response to your original question, I have unRaid installed on a 2GB Sandisk.

 

Around Thanksgiving I found a 2GB Sandisk Cruzer Micro for $13, so even though it is overkill for this, I bought it. I did have some issues trying to get it to run unRaid. The issue was the "U3" capabilities of the drive. Sandisk adds software and maybe a partition so that when you plug it into a Windows machine, it comes up as two drives--a CD-ROM and a flash drive. You cannot delete files off the CD-ROM part and when I tried to copy the unRaid files to the USB part, it would not boot in the unRaid server. I went to Sandisk, found software that will remove the "U3" capabilities http://www.sandisk.com/Retail/Default.aspx?CatID=1415. I removed U3, copied the unRaid files to the now normal Sandisk flash drive, plugged it into the unRaid server, picked the correct boot drive in the BIOS, and assigned the hard drives, and it works fine.

 

Is your usb flash drive a U3 Sandisk?

 

Paul

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Joe,

 

In response to your original question, I have unRaid installed on a 2GB Sandisk.

 

Around Thanksgiving I found a 2GB Sandisk Cruzer Micro for $13, so even though it is overkill for this, I bought it. I did have some issues trying to get it to run unRaid. The issue was the "U3" capabilities of the drive. Sandisk adds software and maybe a partition so that when you plug it into a Windows machine, it comes up as two drives--a CD-ROM and a flash drive. You cannot delete files off the CD-ROM part and when I tried to copy the unRaid files to the USB part, it would not boot in the unRaid server. I went to Sandisk, found software that will remove the "U3" capabilities http://www.sandisk.com/Retail/Default.aspx?CatID=1415. I removed U3, copied the unRaid files to the now normal Sandisk flash drive, plugged it into the unRaid server, picked the correct boot drive in the BIOS, and assigned the hard drives, and it works fine.

 

Is your usb flash drive a U3 Sandisk?

 

Paul

Paul,

My 1Gig drives were $13.87, and I thought I got a good price... you did even better. My thoughts were exactly the same... room for growth.

 

No, they are not a U3 Sandisk.

 

Are you using the same motherboard I am?  If so, what version BIOS? (Apparently mine is version P24)

 

I'll download the U3 software you used, just in case it does something to the drive I've not tried.

 

Could you also do an "fdisk -l /dev/sda" on your box and post the results here.  I'm trying to figure out if this is CHS setting specific, or what...  remember, my USB drive boots on my laptop as its BIOS is apparently able to deal with it.  It is just the unRaid server that won't boot from it from the BIOS on the D865GLCLK motherboard.

 

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Joe,

 

The results from my fdisk are

 

Disk /dev/sda: 2055 MB, 2055021056 bytes

16 heads, 63 sectors/track, 3981 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 1008 * 512 = 516096 bytes

 

  Device Boot      Start        End      Blocks    Id  System

/dev/sda1  *          1        3982    2006825    e  W95 FAT16 (LBA)

 

 

I bought the kit from Tom when he first started selling them, so I do have the Intel D865GLCL motherboard and it is BIOS version BF86510A.86A.0075.P24.

 

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pchilds,

 

Thanks.  I set the heads, sectors, and cylinders as shown below.  Obviously, I have fewer cylinders, since my drive is half the size of yours.

I set the filesystem type to "e" marked it as bootable, made a file system on it with mkdosfs -F16 and then plugged it into my PC to run syslinux on it and load it with the files from the unRaid zip file I had downloaded.

 

Initially I did not have any luck, it still did not boot.  I then downloaded the newest version of syslinux and tried it with that version. 

I also tried using some of the other options to syslinux.  I ended up using "syslinux -sma f:"

 

Now, I don't know what specifically did it... I'll probably try one thing at a time with my other USB drive, but I'm up and running using the following C/H/S and file partitioning:

 

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)

 

All I can say is thanks.

 

Tom,

The version of syslinux I used this time is version 3.31.  I'm not sure what version you have on your downloads directory, but the size of the exe is not the same.  It might be part of the solution, the CHS settings and file system type (e vs 6) might have been, or the options I fed to syslinux might have done it.

 

Joe L.

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I'm going to guess it was probably the -m switch to syslinux, but I'm not sure why.  The syslinux documentation lists this option under "booting from a hard disk" and says it's used to install a MBR (master boot record).  This would overwrite the mbr written by the normal Format function.

 

The syslinux on our download site is version 3.20.  According to their changelog, doesn't appear to be anything that should affect booting from larger devices.  Nevertheless, we'll download & test the latest version & post if it checks out.

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I purchased one of the rediculously fast 1GB Lexar Lightning Drives (22MBps Read and 15MBps Write - the fastest on the market from what I could find).

 

I had a similar problem and ultimately had to use the HP format utility that the admin references on his home page:

 

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/files/serveroptions/us/download/20306.html

 

I believe there may be some partitioning one some of the more exotic flash drives for their bundled utilities - and the HP format was necessary to allow mine to boot.

 

For anyone interested in the flash drive, you can pick one of these up for $32 at Buy.com using google checkout right now.  The server boots amazingly fast, but I have no reference point since this is the first server I put together.  I am very pleased with the results - I used a brand new motherboard that I have seen noone else in the forums use that has some nice features not found in any of the "typical" boards I see referenced here (like 4 onboard SATA ports - All 300 speed ports).  So far, the benchmarks blow away anything referenced at the Tom's Hardware Guide NAS Performance Charts.  And it looks very professional too - I'll have to take some pictures.  I was able to get some killer deals over the thanksgiving shopping window to build what I believe is the ultimate unRAID server. 

 

I will post some pictures and specs in the HARDWARE section if anyone is interested later today.

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I purchased one of the ridiculously fast 1GB Lexar Lightning Drives (22MBps Read and 15MBps Write - the fastest on the market from what I could find).

 

I had a similar problem and ultimately had to use the HP format utility that the admin references on his home page:

 

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/files/serveroptions/us/download/20306.html

 

I believe there may be some partitioning one some of the more exotic flash drives for their bundled utilities - and the HP format was necessary to allow mine to boot.

Unfortunately, even the use of the HP tool did not allow my 1 Gig SanDisk MediaMate drive to boot.  I eventually did get it bootable, but only after changing the Heads/Sectors/Cylinders to match a drive that would boot and using additional options to the syslinux command.  Glad to see your drive worked once you reformatted it using the HP tool.

 

If you have time, would you do a "fdisk -l /dev/sda" on your unRaid server after logging in via telnet and post your USB drive's configuration.

 

There is one other difference of course, the motherboard BIOS.  As I mentioned earlier, my USB flash drive would boot just fine on my iBM Laptop, but not on the unRaid server... so I knew the software on it was loaded correctly.  Odds are high it would have booted on your motherboard as well. 

 

Only motherboards with buggy USB boot BIOS code would have the problems I had, and then only with larger drives.  This never showed itself with the smaller 128 Meg flash drive Tom originally supplied. It has always worked just fine, (until I discovered the original limitation of the bios with the very first update to the 2.0 version of unRaid.)

 

At that point, Tom had to deploy a fix utility to get around the buggy BIOS when using the GRUB bootloader.  Now, with the SYSLINUX bootloader, a similar issue seemingly exists with that same BIOS with some USB flash drives, depending on how they are formatted and configured.

I will post some pictures and specs in the motherboard section if anyone is interested later today.

I'm sure many others will be interested in fast, well behaved motherboards.

 

Joe L.

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