[syslinux] bug / incompatibility with USB booting in Syslinux 3.00 pre9 ?

H. Peter Anvin hpa at zytor.com
Thu Dec 30 11:19:56 PST 2004

Florent B wrote:
>   Hi,
> I'm Florent BERANGER, from Flonix ( http://www.flonix.com ).
> After several tests, we have found that Syslinux 3.00 pre9 is no longer
> compatible with USB stick booting.
> Syslinux 2.13 works fine with this feature.
> Error infos :
> Syslinux 3.00 pre9 only displays its version and a new line with a "a"
> character and then hangs.
> Tests configuration :
> Syslinux applied from : Linux (without options, with -s & -sf) & Windows XP
> Motherboard : MSI K7TPro2 (Award BIOS)
> Boot option : USB-ZIP

One very important thing I want to add to this: I have an Award-BIOS 
cursed machine, a Shuttle SB61G2, myself; it doesn't boot a USB stick in 
USB-HDD mode, which is the proper mode for a USB stick.  It will ONLY 
work in USB-ZIP mode if you configure the right geometry AT THE POINT 
THE STICK IS FORMATTED.  Otherwise it can only read the beginning of the 

Because of this experience, I really want to make sure this isn't a 
spurious report.  In particular:

- Can you boot this disk in USB-HDD mode?
- What geometry are you using on the drive?
- Did you install syslinux immediately after formatting the device?


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