> On Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 3:53 PM, Mitch Bradley <wmb laptop org
>> My first order recommendation is "don't use dd to blast an image over the
>> existing partition map".
>> The problem with doing so is that it wrecks the factory partition layout. I
>> strongly suspect that said factory layout is, on many sticks, optimized for
>> the characteristics of the stick's internal firmware and the hardware block
>> sizes of the NAND Flash chips.
>> Unfortunately, the alternative is rather more complicated procedurally than
>> "dd and pray". But given the indifferent results from dd&pray, I think it
>> may be worthwhile to go for a more elaborate procedure.
>> Here is an outline of what I think really should be done:
>> a) Ensure that your filesystem image is somewhat smaller than 1G (or 2G or
>> whatever your base size) so it will fit on "all" 1G devices.
>> b) The image is just the partition contents, excluding the partition block
>> and master boot record.
>> c) The installation procedure involves
>> c1) Editing (not replacing) the existing partition map, setting the first
>> partition's "boot flag" byte and changing its filesystem type to ext2 or
>> whatever. (Ideally it would better not to change the filesystem type,
>> instead sticking with the factory FAT partition, but I understand what a
>> hard nut that is to swallow for Linux enthusiasts.)
>> c2) Copying the image into the partition
>> c3) Installing your bootloader using an installation program instead of dd,
>> thus replacing the first sector's Master Boot Record and doing whatever else
>> is necessary to complete the bootloader's installation. I have had the best
>> results with syslinux.
>> There is, of course, a chicken-and-egg problem of how do you run the
>> bootloader's installer. On the other hand, you have the same problem with
>> "dd" - in principle, on any machine that can run "dd", you can also run
>> If you want to talk more about this issue, please feel free to keep the
>> conversation going. It is a topic that has been much on mind recently.
>> Walter Bender wrote:
>>> I was wondering if you have any words of wisdom to share with us re
>>> USB stick compatibility, given your experience with the XO. There
>>> seems to be a lot of variability in terms of which sticks boot which
>>> machines in our Sugar-on-a-Stick experiments, e.g., using the same
>>> machine (a Classmate running XP) to burn the same image (the Beta SoaS
>>> iso) onto USB storage media from three different vendors, I cannot
>>> predict which one(s) will be bootable on any particular piece of
>>> hardware. Is there any deterministic way to proceed, or is trail and
>>> error our only recourse?
> Walter Bender
> Sugar Labs
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