IFL - can't create working USB boot

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IFL - can't create working USB boot

Postby RickJ » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:02 am

Using IFL 2.99, all attempts to create a bootable USB fail. I use a Linux laptop, and don't have a Windows machine.

My Linux is Kubuntu 17.04, the machine a Starlabs StarLite (Intel N4200, UEFI). Secure boot is disabled, but there is no BIOS option for legacy boot, so UEFI is always active.

First I tried using makeHDD, but the script is so bug-ridden it's unusable. I've tried fixing some of the more glaring errors, but it appears to have been written by someone who doesn't really understand Shell as a scripting language.

I then tried simply writing ifl.iso to the USB drive using dd. This is a standard way to create a non-partitioned bootable drive (it's how I created a bootable Linux install in the first place). This device does boot, and enters the grub menu. But on trying to boot one of the selections, the first "loading" messages appear, then the screen goes blank and it hangs.

This is actually the way the machine behaved the first time I installed Linux and got the EFI partition wrong. I therefore suspect that the IFL boot is not correctly configured for UEFI. As I mentioned above, I have no option for legacy boot mode.

Any suggestions? Without a way to boot IFL from an external device I have no way to create image backups. Being a strict UEFI machine I can't use BooIt either.

Thanks
RickJ
 
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:26 am

Re: IFL - can't create working USB boot

Postby TeraByte Support » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:53 pm

What problem with makeHDD do you have? Did you follow the tutorials at
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/howto/ (setting up image for linux on a
linux distribution and make a bot disk from a linux distribution).


You can't dd an ISO unless you boot something with iso emulation since the
sector sizes and layout are completely different.


"RickJ" wrote in message news:14602@public.image...

Using IFL 2.99, all attempts to create a bootable USB fail. I use a Linux
laptop, and don't have a Windows machine.

My Linux is Kubuntu 17.04, the machine a Starlabs StarLite (Intel N4200,
UEFI). Secure boot is disabled, but there is no BIOS option for legacy boot,
so UEFI is always active.

First I tried using makeHDD, but the script is so bug-ridden it's unusable.
I've tried fixing some of the more glaring errors, but it appears to have
been written by someone who doesn't really understand Shell as a scripting
language.

I then tried simply writing ifl.iso to the USB drive using dd. This is a
standard way to create a non-partitioned bootable drive (it's how I created
a bootable Linux install in the first place). This device does boot, and
enters the grub menu. But on trying to boot one of the selections, the first
"loading" messages appear, then the screen goes blank and it hangs.

This is actually the way the machine behaved the first time I installed
Linux and got the EFI partition wrong. I therefore suspect that the IFL boot
is not correctly configured for UEFI. As I mentioned above, I have no option
for legacy boot mode.

Any suggestions? Without a way to boot IFL from an external device I have no
way to create image backups. Being a strict UEFI machine I can't use BooIt
either.

Thanks

TeraByte Support
 
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 3:37 pm

Re: IFL - can't create working USB boot

Postby TeraByte Support(PP) » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:47 pm

There are script fixes in the V3 versions that you won't have in 2.99 (which is almost two years old now). You could try the IFL V3 trial version. You could also download that and copy the newer iflbuild and makeHDD scripts to use with 2.99 to create the boot media (it worked in a quick test I ran, but it's not a supported configuration). Upgrading to V3 is recommended.

Depending on your Linux configuration, using makeGRUB may also be an option. It adds IFL as a booting choice so you can boot directly to it from the GRUB menu.
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=586
Paul Purviance
TeraByte Support
TeraByte Support(PP)
 
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Re: IFL - can't create working USB boot

Postby RickJ » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:17 am

Thanks for your help.

I've tried the v3 trial and had more success. I can see that makeHDD has been (oddly) tweaked to get round some of the coding issues, and I've been able to create bootable media. I don't think the failure of 2.99 to boot was actually the fault of the make scripts, as I'd managed to manually work round the script issues. Looks like I shall have to upgrade to v3.

I've also tried makeGRUB, and it boots but has an odd problem. It gets to "Configuring system clock" then hangs. It can be cancelled with Ctrl+C, then a manual startx command opens IFL. The first time it hung I waited then hit CTRL+ALT+DEL, at which point the IFL screen appeared, but then of course it shut down and re-booted. It's the same with both net and non-net builds. Booting off other media never has that problem.

The scripting issues are essentially the result of massive over-use of quotes in the code. E.g.

if [ "$ptype" = "6" ] || [ "$ptype" = "e" ]; then # FAT16

Literals in Shell don't need quotes, everything is a literal by default (i.e. unless the syntax implies it's something else). Quoting a variable preserves embedded spaces, and is only potentially needed in this situation if there's a possibility that ptype is blank - which here it can't be. Because single-digit output from sfdisk has a leading space, the value of ptype is actually ' 6'. This code (and all similar) should be:

if [ $ptype = 6 ] || [ $ptype = e ]; then # FAT16

(or better still use "select ... case").

I can see the work-round added to strip ptype, the rather strange:

ptype=${ptype// /}

why not just:

ptype=$ptype

I got another strange error running makeHDD from the syslinux command:

plain floppy: device "/proc/3955/fd/3" busy (Resource temporarily unavailable):
Cannot initialize 'S:'
Bad target s:/ldlinux.sys

(there's no floppy, and no device 'S:' !)

This didn't happen when running syslinux directly from the command prompt, so I disabled the command in makeHDD and ran it manually after the script completed, which was fine. I've since discovered this appears to be a known bug in my version of syslinux, though I have no idea why it works on the command line and not in a script! I think this will be resolved in the 18.04 LTS Ubuntu release.

I've been using IFL v2 and BootIt NG for quite a while now for regular image backups etc, but recently got a new machine with UEFI so had to start again. When I get the full version of v3, I assume I can just update files on my boot media to switch from the trial version rather than re-create?

Are there any plans (is it even possible?) for a new version of BooIt that's UEFI compatible?

Best regards
Rick Jones
RickJ
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:26 am

Re: IFL - can't create working USB boot

Postby RickJ » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:46 am

TeraByte Support(PP) wrote:
> There are script fixes in the V3 versions that you won't have in 2.99
> (which is almost two years old now). ... Upgrading to V3
> is recommended.

OK, so I've purchased the upgrade to Drive Image Backup & Restore Suite, but the zip file I was given by SWREG only contains two Windows exe files, which aren't much use on Linux.

I managed to borrow a friend's Windows machine, which meant I had to install it in order to find the embedded IFL, which I copied off then uninstalled the product. But that IFL has no setup script, or any tools that run under Linux, just makedisk.exe which of course doesn't help. Also, when I login to the download portal, I used to see all my licensed products, but now I just see a few old bits, and no sign of the latest version of what I've purchased, and definitely no download of a Linux-specific product.

This all looks to be a bit of a mess. Have you stopped supporting Linux users? I'm confused.

Rick Jones
RickJ
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:26 am

Re: IFL - can't create working USB boot

Postby Brian K » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:06 pm

RickJ wrote:
> Also, when I login to the download portal, I used to
> see all my licensed products, but now I just see a few old bits, and no sign of the
> latest version of what I've purchased, and definitely no download of a Linux-specific
> product.
>

Rick, I think you have to login with your new Order Number. Then you will see Image for Linux V3.16, GUI Version, English Download.
Brian K
 
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Location: NSW, Australia

Re: IFL - can't create working USB boot

Postby RickJ » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:25 pm

Brian K wrote:

> Rick, I think you have to login with your new Order Number. Then you will see Image
> for Linux V3.16, GUI Version, English Download.

Ah! thanks. They've gone back to the old system, I didn't realise that. I used to have to login that way when I first got BootIt, then with IFL it was tied to an email login. Seems it's now back to the order number. Somewhat confusing!

Cheers
RickJ
 
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:26 am

Re: IFL - can't create working USB boot

Postby Brian K » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:31 pm

After the first login with Order Number you can go back to the email login method.
Brian K
 
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Location: NSW, Australia

Re: IFL - can't create working USB boot

Postby RickJ » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:07 pm

Oh yes, I see. But you have to set your password again before the new products are linked, even if you set it to the same as before!

Definitely a somewhat bizarre system :-/
RickJ
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:26 am


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