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#1 2018-08-18 18:38:52

isuzufan
Member
Registered: 2018-08-18
Posts: 11

Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

The only way I can get BL-Helium to boot from USB is to use the MultiBoot USB program (on linux). But when I try to install it from that session I get an error that the installer cannot find the CD-ROM device. I've looked on the BL and Debian forums and have tried everything I can see, but I have not been successful.  I hope you all can help, because I really like BL-Helium and want to install it.

Before you ask, yes, I know how to ensure my BIOS is set to boot from USB. It's an older 32-bit laptop, so there's not UEFI/Legacy stuff to worry about. And also, yes, I have verified the .iso files that I downloaded from the BL web site.

I have tried all methods below using a variety of USB sticks and filesystem formats (ext4, ext2, FAT16, & FAT32).  Here are the methods for writing the image that I've tried so far...

Used various tools to write the .iso to a USB stick:  MultiBootUSB & Etcher (in linux) and Win32DiskImager & USBWriter (in Win7). As I said above, only MultiBoot produced a USB that I could boot from. But unfortunately I couldn't install from it.

I reviwed the BL and Debian forms and discovered that the preferred write method is to use either the cp or dd commands.  I've tried the following three separate commands...none worked:

# cp bl-Helium_i386+build2.iso /dev/sdb
# sync
# dd if=bl-Helium_i386+build2.iso of=/dev/sdb> bs=4M; sync 
# cat bl-Helium_i386+build2.iso > /dev/sdb
# sync

Can you think of anything else I can try?  Maybe a specific filesystem/write method combination I haven't tried? Or maybe there's an edit I can make to the USB stick that DID work (MultiBootUSB) to make the install process work?

After evaluating dozens of distros for my old laptop I had settled on BL-Helium, and it would be a shame if I had to settle for my second choice!  Thanks in advance.

Last edited by isuzufan (2018-08-18 18:42:34)

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#2 2018-08-18 19:47:44

unklar
Member
Registered: 2015-10-31
Posts: 833

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

isuzufan wrote:

It's an older 32-bit laptop,

for this laptop could also be the right ISO: bl-Helium_i386_cdsized+build2.iso
https://www.bunsenlabs.org/installation.html


Your dd command has an error   wink  when sdb is the stick

dd if=bl-Helium_i386+build2.iso of=/dev/sdb> bs=4M; sync
dd if=bl-Helium_i386+build2.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4M; sync

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#3 2018-08-18 19:54:22

malm
jgmenu developer
Registered: 2016-10-13
Posts: 320
Website

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

Make sure none of the USB partitions are mounted.

There is a typo in the dd command. Assume you didn’t do “sdb>”.

Have you got another USB stick to try? They can develop faults.

Are you sure it’s /dev/sdb

Check with

sudo blkid

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#4 2018-08-19 02:47:05

isuzufan
Member
Registered: 2018-08-18
Posts: 11

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

Thank you both, malm and unklar, for responding.  Yes, my dd command had an error, but I made it when I was writing my original post.....it wasn't the command I acutally used in the terminal emulator. 

Also, I did try the cdsized iso and a new USB stick, but that did not work. 

Do you know if there is an ideal format for the USB stick (FAT32, ext4, etc.)?

Can you think of any other ideas I could try?  Thank you!

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#5 2018-08-19 04:47:00

hhh
That's it!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 7,284
Website

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

It doesn't matter what your USB is formatted as, it will be overwritten by cp or dd...

sudo cp *.iso /dev/sdX;sync

Sync is just added so the terminal doesn't finish while the usb is still active when the ISO is still writing. * is the path to the ISO, X is the drive letter.

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#6 2018-08-19 06:24:30

malm
jgmenu developer
Registered: 2016-10-13
Posts: 320
Website

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

When you ask the BIOS to boot from the usb, what happens?

I looks like you are doing everything right.

I would try more basic fault finding such as trying to boot from the USB on another computer, or using another USB stick.

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#7 2018-08-19 23:10:42

hhh
That's it!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 7,284
Website

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

I'd also suggest trying another distro, path of least resistance, and then maybe we can reverse-engineer the problem. If not, the BL packages are mostly scripts that will work on anything Linux.

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#8 2018-08-19 23:48:44

isuzufan
Member
Registered: 2018-08-18
Posts: 11

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

When

malm wrote:

When you ask the BIOS to boot from the usb, what happens?

The laptop recognizes the usb and tries to boot from it.  But I only get a black screen for about 15 seconds -- a cursor appears for about 5 seconds in the middle but then disappears.  After that, the laptop fails over and  loads the OS on my SSD (Mint).

malm wrote:

I would try more basic fault finding such as trying to boot from the USB on another computer, or using another USB stick.

Unfortunately, I don't have another 32-bit machine to try it on.  But I did buy a new USB today and used the cp command.  No luck.

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#9 2018-08-19 23:54:52

isuzufan
Member
Registered: 2018-08-18
Posts: 11

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

hhh wrote:

I'd also suggest trying another distro....

Tried that today also. I don't have "consistent" luck.  Sometimes the distros boot (Tiny Core, WattOS, Mint XFCE) and sometimes they don't. 

I wondered if maybe it was some fault of my current OS (Mint Cinnamon), so I tried the cp and dd commands from another distro. No luck there either.

Do you think there's something about my 32-bit machine that doesn't play well with standard distro boot processes?  I wouldn't think that this is the case, because I can boot some distros.

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#10 2018-08-20 00:06:03

hhh
That's it!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 7,284
Website

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

Install one that works with your hardware!!! Every after that is gravy.

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#11 2018-08-20 00:47:38

isuzufan
Member
Registered: 2018-08-18
Posts: 11

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

hhh wrote:

Install one that works with your hardware!!! Every after that is gravy.

Yeah, I do have two "runner up" distros I can install.  It's just strange because I CAN boot BL Helium (although only by writing the iso using MultiBootUSB).  It's just that I reach a dead end when I try to install it from a MultiBootUSB session....Helium tells me it can't mount the CD-ROM.

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#12 2018-08-20 05:52:17

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,590
Website

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

you can't even boot the live sessions?
that's bad.
could it be some extremely rare problem with your GPU?
have you tried a text interface distro, or a text-based installer?

can we please have more information about the hardware?

or did you just say that something worked?
what?

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#13 2018-08-20 06:40:48

hhh
That's it!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 7,284
Website

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

Human isuzufan. You have broken Nexus 8 issue "ohnonot_again" from Tyrell Corporation. This issue has been logged and monitored. The White Zone is for loading and unloading, only.

Bleep boop bizzzt... Blip I am human reporting this. Not a robot at all, totes MacGyver THX-1138. bloop

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#14 2018-08-21 02:16:19

isuzufan
Member
Registered: 2018-08-18
Posts: 11

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

hhh wrote:

The White Zone is for loading and unloading, only.

YOU'RE the one who wanted to have the abortion!

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#15 2018-08-21 02:34:39

isuzufan
Member
Registered: 2018-08-18
Posts: 11

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

ohnonot wrote:

You can't even boot the live sessions?

I can, but increasingly it seems to be only those live sessions that I created a month ago, or so.  The one's I have created more recently have rarely worked.

have you tried a text interface distro?

Not intentionally, but yes!  I tried to run Puppy Linux with a GUI but it would always choke and default to the CLI. And I did try to run the BunsenLabs text based installer with no luck. It gave the me the same problem as always:  can't mount the CD-ROM.

ohnonot wrote:

can we please have more information about the hardware?

It's old. 2007 32-bit laptop made by an Italian company called Olivetti. Intel T2060 2-core processor with 2GB of RAM. I can give more info when I'm back on my Linux box and can run HardInfo. 
EDIT (let me know if you need something more specific): 
- Processor: Intel T2060 @ 1.60 GHz (1 physical processor, 2 cores, 2 threads)
- Ram: 2GB
- Motherboard: Standard L41ii1 and L41ii2
- Storage: 240 Gb SSD

Also, I feel like this thread may have become focused too much on creating and booting live sessions.  I just want to reiterate that I CAN boot into BL-Helium from a USB created using MultiBootUSB.  My original problem is that when I tried to install Helium the installer said it couldn't mount the CD-ROM.  THAT's the issue I'm trying to solve. 

Do you all know of any alternatives to try for fixing that? Or is creating a new bootable USB the only solution?

Last edited by isuzufan (2018-08-21 04:05:15)

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#16 2018-08-22 06:37:12

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,590
Website

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

isuzufan wrote:

let me know if you need something more specific

i think i already did (post #12).

lspci -k | grep -A5 VGA

but how are you providing this info if you cannot boot anything?
or, what ARE you booting?

i-m confused ... o_O

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#17 2018-08-27 12:49:42

isuzufan
Member
Registered: 2018-08-18
Posts: 11

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

Thanks for replying.  Here's the output of

lspci -k | grep -A5 VGA

...

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
	Subsystem: Uniwill Computer Corp Mobile 945GM/GMS, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller
	Kernel driver in use: i915
	Kernel modules: i915, intelfb
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
	Subsystem: Uniwill Computer Corp Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller
ohnonot wrote:

but how are you providing this info if you cannot boot anything?
or, what ARE you booting?

Well, in case I wasn't clear, I do have Lubuntu installed as my current OS, so of course I can boot into that.  But I want to install BL-Helium so I created a live USB using MultiBootUSB. It has about 6 other distros on there, but I CAN boot into the BL live environment.  HOWEVER, I can't install BL from that stick. The installer says it can't mount the CD-ROM and the installation fails.  THAT's my primary problem that I'm trying to resolve.

Other posters suggested I create a new live USB with BL by itself on a separate stick. Maybe that would allow me to successfully install BL.  But I wasn't able to do that because of my secondary problem creating live USBs with such a low success rate.  However, last night I was successful and created a new live USB with BL all by itself. 

Still no luck.  When I attempt to install from that new USB the BL installer still says that it can't mount the CD-ROM. Do you think there's a way to run the installer from the grub menu using special options that tell the installer where to find the files it needs? 

Thanks for trying to help me with this.

Last edited by isuzufan (2018-08-27 12:54:03)

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#18 2018-08-28 02:50:17

isuzufan
Member
Registered: 2018-08-18
Posts: 11

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

I solved it! The short explanation:

  1. Make sure the BL iso is on a USB drive by itself (not as one of many on a multiboot USB)

  2. When the installer says it can't mount the CD-ROM, just remove the USB and reinsert it

The primary problem was that the BL installer would always tell me that it couldn't mount the CD-ROM. I found a post on the Debian forms that recommended simply removing the USB from the port and then reinserting it. Just wait a couple seconds after reinserting it and then tell the installer to try again.   

Initially, I tried to run the installer from a multiboot USB (with ~6 distros on it). That won't work, because when you remove/reinsert the USB, the installer can't find the files it needs because the multiboot creating software structures the file system differently.  Once I burned the BL iso to its own USB, the remove/reinsert procedure went smoothly.

Also in my original post, I complained how I had such a low success rate creating bootable USB drives.  I finally did the following procedure from a Windows machine and it worked:

  1. Use Diskpart to clean and repartition the USB

  2. Format the USB as FAT (mine was a 4GB USB)

  3. Use Rufus to write the BL iso to the USB

I don't know why this was successful. Formatting a larger drive as FAT32 did not work. And I'm not sure why the initial file system format would even matter because I thought that Rufus's write process performed its OWN formatting.  Strange, but I'm not questioning it.

Anyway, thank you all for your replies.

Last edited by isuzufan (2018-08-31 13:46:25)

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#19 2018-09-21 17:08:32

danypendeira
Guest

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

The same happends to me. The live USB works fine. But I can't install it.
Tried several USB drives and it always says it can't find the CD-ROM.

Last edited by danypendeira (2018-09-21 17:08:52)

#20 2018-10-10 18:56:32

Peregrino69
Member
Registered: 2016-03-11
Posts: 37

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

Thanks @isuzufan, worked like a charm smile

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#21 2018-12-17 04:18:35

fishmanloveslinux
New Member
Registered: 2018-12-17
Posts: 1

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

I had to download the cd version and burn it to a cd-rw. I seen the other solution that I am going to try if this doesn't work.

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#22 2019-01-04 23:56:14

lmart
Member
Registered: 2019-01-04
Posts: 7

Re: Can't Install BunsenLabs Helium

I read through you post, experienced the very same things you did, had the same results.
Finally, tried installing via the CD.
My results (disappointing); https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic.php?id=5473

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