Tuesday, August 19, 2008

USB-Install hell

So, the consensus among my Linux-savvy friends regarding getting GTK, gcc, glut and opencv working on the eeePC was a resounding "GET RID OF XANDROS!". The rest of the robotics club uses Ubuntu or the lightweight derivative Xubuntu. People have reported various levels of success on eeeUser regarding Ubuntu installs, so I decided to give it a shot.

It was at this point I discovered that I have some sort of curse regarding bootable USB drives. I tried creating bootable Xubuntu, Ubuntu, Kubuntu (all 8.04), and eeeXubuntu (7.??) USB drives to install some favour of Ubuntu on my eeePC.

Here's a list of tutorials that I tried in turn:

First, I made an eeeXubuntu USB install using this tutorial: http://wiki.eeeuser.com/ubuntu:eeexubuntu:home

The tutorial and script work quite well, and I created an eeeXubuntu USB drive which boots on my eeePC. Great, right? Well no. Discussion on the eeeUser forum indicates that eeeXubuntu doesn't work so well on the eee PC 901, the model I have. Apparently it's better to install the vanilla version of the newer 8.04 version of Ubuntu or its derivatives Kubuntu or Xubuntu. Alright. I'll do that:


So next I tried these:


All three of these failed with the same fdisk error: "WARNING: re-reading the partition table failed with error: 22. Invalid Argument."

Also, if you can get past this, the tutorials require downloading syslinux during the Live session, and of course, neither ethernet nor wifi worked during the Live session on any of the three computers I used to attempt this.


A helpful person on the eeeUser forum suggested Unetbootin: http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

I tried this using a Windows machine, and the process went smoothly. However, the eeePC refused to boot from the USB drive, though my MacBook Pro and a PC tower both would.


Next I tried this:

This created a working Ubuntu installation as well, but again, the eee PC 901 refused to boot from it.


At this point I was just really pissed off and about ready to hurl the Live CDs, USB keys and the rest out the window. I'd probably spent about 12 hours trying to make these various USB installs at this point.

The solution? Get an external USB2 DVD drive.

No comments: