Mail archive

[alpine-devel] Can't boot from USB stick

From: Eric Duncan <>
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2013 14:29:33 -0400

(sorry for the double post - gmail shortcut keys sent the incomplete
previous one)

Hello: I am attempting to run AlpineLinux 2.5.0 for the first time. My
only means of an HDD install is via a USB stick to boot from (and then run
the installer scripts afterwards). It is an 8 GB stick, if that matters.
 I've attempted to create the USB boot device via multiple means in the
wiki. The only successful one for me was the Universal USB Installer
method from Windows.

I constantly get the error "Mounting boot media failed" when booting off of
the USB stick. I've attempted to follow the steps outlined in the
"Troubleshooting" part:

/ # cat /proc/partitions
major minor #blocks name


^- shows nothing when the HDDs are disconnected.

The following screen always shows:

[ 0.000000] tsc: Fast TSC calibration failed
Alpine Init 2.5.0-r0
Mounting boot media failed.
initramfs emergency recovery shell launched. Type 'exit...
sh: can't access tty; job control turned off
/ #

System setup:

Intel S3200SHC Server board
Intel Core 2 Q9450
8GB ECC DDR2 ram
2x WD 146GB VelocityRaptors (attempting RAID1 in LSI mode for the Intel RST)
8GB USB stick (to install from)

I've attempted all sorts of configurations in the BIOS. From
enabled/disabling ECC, changing from RAID to AHCI to ATA modes, forcing
emulation of the USB Disk (my USB stick) as cdrom and harddrive emulations,
physically disconnected the HDDs, etc.

Here's the odd things:

1) When configured for RAID1, and connecting the HDDs, two do show up:

/ # cat /proc/partitions
major minor #blocks name
8 0 146523384 sda
8 16 146523384 sdb

Even odder, if constantly run "cat /proc/partitions", it always shows just
those two drives. But, if I start changing directories and looking around,
and later run "cat /proc/partitions", then then shows up:

/ # cat /proc/partitions
major minor #blocks name
8 0 146523384 sda
8 16 146523384 sdb
8 32 8017920 sdc

Could this be a timing issue? Taking several minutes until the USB stick
shows up?

Digging deeper, it is indeed identified as "/dev/usbdisk" as well as
"/dev/usba1", both as links to "/dev/sdc".

I've modified the syslinux.cfg multiple times for "sda", "sdb", "sdc".
 I've inserted time outs of up to 60 seconds, etc. Again, while RAID/AHCI
enabled/disabled, disconnected, etc. Nothing gets me past this screen.

I am going to try to find an old 4 GB USB stick. But I am at a lost here.
 Any help is appreciated.


Received on Sun Sep 22 2013 - 14:29:33 UTC